Mugshots

Coffee and tea propel productivity in offices across the world, and BioWare is no exception to this rule. Behind each fresh brew is a vessel to contain these life-giving liquids. And when you use the same mug each morning, you start to get attached to it.

Below is a small cross-section of some of our developers’ prized porcelain and the stories that come with them.

MikeBlog

My “Yes Sir” mug was a gift from Patrick Weekes.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Patrick across multiple projects, and have discovered over the years that Patrick has an amazing knack for on-the-fly sycophancy. At a moment’s notice, he’s capable of delivering a remarkably sarcastic, yet utterly obsequious, compliment on one’s skills as a leader or manager, usually with the phrase “MisterLaidlawSir” appended to the end as a sign of joking (non-) respect.

Funnily, every time I look at it, the “Yes Sir” mug brings to mind a time he deployed this skill not with me but with Dragon Age executive producer Mark Darrah. The quote—which should be delivered in an overly keen and intensely nasal manner—was “Well, MisterDarrahSir, if I’ve achieved anything at this company, it’s because you inspired me to reach up, so that I might kiss the ass of giants!”

 

KarinBlogI grew up in New Mexico, and this mug makes me happy when I miss it: the blue is the color of the summer sky, and I flew hot-air balloons when I lived there. We did a high-altitude flight once, and were briefly above the Sandia Mountains just like the balloons in this picture. Taos Pueblo makes me feel connected with my native roots. It all makes me smile. Also the mug holds an entire can of soup, which is perfection.

 

tylerBlog

Robocup, a birthday present from one of BioWare’s finest producers. Coffee or tea, you’re drinking with me!

 

MarkBlog

What is it? – A teapot.

What do you use it for? – To make tea.

Holy !@#$% why is it so dirty? – 1. You aren’t supposed to wash your teapot; it improves the laminar flow of the pour and reduces drips (though I can find no internet corroboration of this). 2. Laziness.

 

SebBlog

I use an Aladdin Migo wide-base travel mug with a very secure lid—allowing me to carry coffee without spilling, thus compensating for my low DEX score.

 

ConalBlog

I wrote on Twitter that I wished I had a mug that said, “If this mug’s a noggin’, don’t come a knockin’,” and a few weeks later, this showed up in the mail. If I’d known that’s what I was spending my wish on, I would have asked for something less selfish. Like year-round egg nog.

 

JohnBlog

My wife made the mug for me during Dragon Age: Inquisition‘s development. I’ve been a coffee drinker since age 16, and normal coffee cups didn’t hold enough coffee for me. With the aptly named “John Likes Coffee” mug, I could put four cups in and then drink it all before it got cold. My caffeine needs have gone down since then, but the mug waits—ready to re-enter service when I need it most.

 

SylviaBlog

This mug belongs to Sylvia Feketekuty and is a survivor of a set of mugs Karin Weekes made for the ME3 writing pit just before Mass Effect 3 went gold. The game includes a “cave drawing” of a krogan riding a dinosaur, and these mugs celebrate the team moment that lead to it: John Dombrow had several awesome dinosaurs on his desk, and Karin had a Grunt action figure on hers. During various spirited writer room discussions, Grunt MAY have ridden a few dinosaurs. This was around the time Preston Watamaniuk, our Lead Designer, wanted the writing team to do some ambient planet-scan-and-collect missions related to general war assets, and he’d written out an asset list for us.
 
Patrick: HE thought he was putting in general examples, but >I< thought he wanted exactly what he had written in there. Like “Fossilized Kakliosaur,” which I looked at and went, “How the heck am I supposed to make that help the war effort?”
 
Sylvia: At which point a “Jurassic Park dinosaur-in-amber” discussion started. We were all maybe a little punchy, which explains why it seemed like such a great idea.
 
Karin: So Patrick wrote it up and sent them back for review. When Preston subsequently came into the room to say, “Wait, WHAT is going ON in here? You actually made kakliosaurs?”, we launched into a simultaneous, impassioned defense of the idea. Preston remained dubious until John put Grunt on the T-Rex to illustrate the awesomeness of KROGAN RIDING DINOSAURS, and that stunning visual won him over.
 
John: About that time, I needed a cave painting in the Genophage mission to show off ancient krogan cave art. Thanks to our awesome artists, that painting eventually came to fruition; we put it into the caves where Shepard and squadmates get lost for a bit.

Anything is possible when you work as a team.

Fan Creation Feature: M-6 Carnifex Rubber Band Gun

The BioWare community sends us the coolest things.

Travis Ng, an industrial design graduate from San Jose State University, created this one-of-a-kind rubber band gun based off the M-6 Carnifex heavy pistol from Mass Effect. Using sheets of birch wood and a laser cutter, Travis designed the pistol from the ground up, layer by layer. Complete with a loading mechanism, the model is actually semi-automatic! See it in action:

 

We took a moment to talk to Travis about his creation.

What inspired you to make the Carnifex?

I was inspired to make the Carnifex after successfully making a test prototype of the M-3 Predator. I decided to go full detail with the Carnifex, as it’s one of the most iconic weapons in the Mass Effect universe. It is a weapon most gamers and cosplayers would easily recognize.

How long did it take you to build it?

Although designing the laser-cut pattern did not take too long, it was the test fit of the firing mechanism that took the most time. The firing mechanism was designed based off another rubber band gun that a YouTube user had originally designed (RBguns). All in all, adding up all the time it took to design, test fit, and fully finish: 2-3 months total. It was truly a labor of love.

Want to make a Carnifex yourself? Travis has created an instructables page with all the necessary materials and steps to get you started. Thanks Travis!

You can find more of Travis’ work on his personal website.

Safety disclaimer: This is not a toy and is not intended for use by children. Never shoot rubber bands at other people, pets, and do not shoot it at yourself. Eye protection is recommended when using the rubber band gun.

Print Your Dragon Age Keep Tapestry

If you’ve ever looked at the Dragon Age Keep’s artwork and thought, “dang, that would look nice on my wall,” you’re in luck! We’ve teamed up with CanvasPop to bring you high quality, customizable prints of your favorite tiles and tapestries from the Keep.

To kick off this new feature, we’re giving away a free 8×52 canvas print. Just RT this tweet for a chance to win. If you’re a Keep user, you’ll have the option to print your own tapestry. Not a user? That’s cool too. You can still enter to win this magnificent set of tiles:

FrameNoBackground

One winner will be chosen by February 29th, 2016.

How it works:

Print a tapestry based on your preferred world state in the Keep or customize the appearance of the CanvasPop print however you like.

Print Your Own Tapestry

If you’d like a print based on your personal Dragon Age world state, visit the Keep, load or create your desired world state, and click the “print” button in the upper-right corner. Once you’ve chosen your tapestry, you can customize it further by swapping images in and out.

Print

Customize the Print

If you would prefer a custom layout of Keep artwork, visit the Dragon Age section of CanvasPop to start fresh—or just scroll up and choose another layout if you’ve already selected a tapestry print.

Once you’ve made your purchase, your customized Keep art will be on its way to you in no time. For detailed instructions on how to print a tapestry, see our tutorial.

Visit the Keep to print your tapestry or create a custom collage today!

Ask BioWare #2

For the second installment of Ask BioWare, we take questions from @CmdrNinja, @Devon_DB, @Flickamatuta, @HylianDeity, and @lamananna. We’re still cringing over choosing between romancing a rachni or a vorcha…

Want us to answer your questions for our next video? Find out how here.