Mass Effect 3 might offer a wealth of gameplay and dialogue options for players to craft their own unique experience, but one of the major reasons fans have continued to return to this universe is the story. Spearheaded by lead writer Mac Walters, Mass Effect 3 promises to be not just a trilogy-ender for Commander Shepard but the culmination of three games worth of experiences. Pulse, BioWare’s video news channel, sat down with Walters to get a sense of just what goes into creating Mass Effect’s epic story.
Even though Mass Effect 3 is the third entry in a popular franchise, Walters' goal was to craft ME 3 as its own unique experience. Players should be able to jump into the game and pick up important story beats on the fly, but those who have stuck with the series from the very beginning will also find nuance and detail where newcomers wouldn’t.
The most important part of Walters job is getting together with Creative Director Casey Hudson and determining the important story beats within each game. From there Walters can craft an overarching story, which is then expanded upon to create the individual missions players will be working their way through. Some games might think of story as an ancillary part of the experience, but to BioWare story clearly comes first.
Perhaps the most intriguing thing Walters shares is how the team delegates tasks among themselves. Walters, for example, was given several missions in the game to work on, and within those missions he is given free reign. Sure he has an idea of how the journey begins and ends, but either he or another writer determines all the meat of that sequence.
It’s plain to see that Mass Effect 3 isn't simply one man's story, but instead is crafted by not just the writers at BioWare but also key creative personnel working on the mechanics of the game. There are moments that are solely determined by one person, but even those are open to interpretation until the end product satisfies the team as a whole. Hopefully this formula will lead to a satisfying conclusion for Mass Effect 3.
What would you like to see out of the Mass Effect 3 story? Do you think that a developer should put gameplay first and then craft a story, or vice versa?
Mass Effect 3 releases March 6, 2012 for the PS3, PC, and Xbox 360.
Source: BioWare Pulse