Understanding Video Games

Over the last several months, BioWare has been working with the University of Alberta to help create a massive open online course. Covering topics ranging from mechanics and story to sex and culture, Understanding Video Games explores the impact of games on society.

The 11-lesson course is available online and is free to anyone (there is an associated fee if you want to write exams and receive credit from your institution). The course features interviews and discussions with several BioWare developers, including Senior Creative Director Preston Watamaniuk, Editor Karin Weekes, and Artist Matt Rhodes.

Each lesson is broken up into a series of short interactive video modules, accompanied by readings and quiz components. No background is required; the course teaches the terminology and theoretical framework necessary for discussing and interpreting games.
Understanding Video Games launches September 3, 2014.

We’re proud to have been a part of this course, and to continue working with UAlberta to foster learning and understanding around video games.

Dressing Up Your Dressing Downs

When reputation is on the line, nothing else matters. So when Mary Kirby, writer of Vivienne, oversteps in snark toward Jessica Merizan, something must be done. Indira Varma, who voices Vivienne, demonstrates in true Orlesian fashion how to deal with bullies.
After all, it’s not enough to merely rebuke one’s detractors – they must be destroyed.

The SDCC Dragon Egg Hunt

The Dragon Egg Hunt continued at San Diego Comic-Con, where two more eggs were found.

The Antiva mage egg flummoxed our inquisitors with the following instructions:

The Antivan Crows are a secretive organization of spies and assassins feared throughout Thedas. They practically rule their famously corrupt homeland, and such is their reputation that Antiva needs no standing army. If the Crows take a contract, they will make good on it, and someone has hired them to seek out the dragon eggs. Their agents have fanned out across Thedas looking for clues and everywhere their influence is felt. Already the Crows have assassinated five other hunters of the dragon eggs. A map of Thedas shows where they have struck. You can see the trail of corpses starts in the north and ends in the south.

The crow feathers scattered on the map may guide your path to a five-letter word.huntfeather

Meanwhile, the Qunari rogue egg involved following a trail of destruction caused by the assassin Tallis. Here’s what the inquisitors saw:

Those who adhere to the teachings of the Qun are rarely attached to physical property but the dragon eggs have attracted even the attention of the Qunari. The elven Qunari assassin Tallis is on a quest to trade one of these eggs for the password that will give her access to a slave camp run by a secret consortium of merchants across Thedas who sell slaves to the Tevinter Imperium. She intends to destroy the camp and free the slaves, but to do that, she will need to interrogate a merchant or merchants in six different locations. For each such target, you’ll be given a list of three other merchants that have led her to that point. Hidden in the names of those three merchants is something of a particular group, which is for you to determine. Another member of that group is hidden inside the name or names of one of the three possible options of who Tallis should take out next. For example, if each of the first three merchants contains the name of a coin, you might target VINCENTO, whose name contains CENT. Identify each target, unite their target letters in some order, and you will gain the word you need to give Tallis’s minion.hunttallis

There were six signs, each with three merchant targets.

The text on the signs read as follows:

Target One:

To reach this target, Tallis has assassinated

  • Karsha Tillerman
  • Alita Piscapell
  • Dobbelt

Her next target is

TARGET B: Ademaro

TARGET H: Bonny Lem

TARGET O: Hubert Bartiere

Target Two:

To reach this target, Tallis has decapitated

  • Razincor
  • Maribelle Adair
  • Volgoldar Nash

Her next target is

TARGET E: Lirene

TARGET G: Martin

TARGET Q: Old Tegrin

Target Three:

To reach this target, Tallis has eviscerated

  • Clemont Iverham
  • Pearl Fensford
  • Ollimer

Her next target is

TARGET A: Figor

TARGET K: Gorim Saelac

TARGET M: Tomwise

Target Four:

To reach this target, Tallis has ventilated

  • Renna Tharpion
  • Aluteria
  • Ballard Rumbuck

Her next target is

TARGET C: Bodahn Feddic

TARGET L: Glassric

TARGET R: Varathorn

Target Five:

To reach this target, Tallis has incinerated

  • Amfred Dewersby
  • Doctor Maren
  • Andoemar

Her next target is

TARGET F: Janar

TARGET N: Master Henley

TARGET P: Nexus Golem

Target Six:

To reach this target duo, Tallis has defenestrated

  • Ward Beyervan
  • Iochin Trask
  • Hipporian

Her next targets are

TARGET D: Armaas and Legnar

TARGET I: Bella and Cera

TARGET J: Levi Dryden and Mikhael Dryden

After you figure out the six target letters, you can scramble them into a six-letter word.

We’ll reveal the answers in the coming days, and prepare you for our next stop in the Dragon Egg Hunt: Gen Con!

Getting Our San Diego Comic On

We took a tour on down to San Diego for Comic-Con to show off demos of Dragon Age: Inquisition and reveal new information about the next Mass Effect. Take a gander at the new Mako and learn how we created such realistic dragon fights.
Special thanks to AMD and Microsoft.