Tag Archives: PAX East

BioWare Base Schedule PAX East 2013

Hi Everyone,

Evil Chris Priestly, BioWare’s Live Event Coordinator here.

BioWare will be attending PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts from March 22-24th, so if you’ll be there, be sure to visit us at the BioWare Base. What’s the BioWare Base?

It’s a place for BioWare staff and fans to hang out and talk to each other. There will be mini-panels with BioWare staff and VIP guests, a free photo booth, autograph signings, a costume contest with prizes, portfolio reviews and of course, giveaways. We hope you’ll join us each day at the BioWare Base at PAX East.

Where will it be? This year our Base will be upstairs in Room 206 near the Wyvern Theater, and we’ll be open daily from 10:00am till 7:00pm daily.

The Base will be open daily from 10:00am until 7:00pm. Please check the daily calendar below for our planned activities. Any unplanned changes will be posted at the BioWare Base each day. You can also follow me on Twitter @BioEvilChris for live tweets from the Base and PAX East all weekend.

Friday March 22

10:00 – BioWare Base opens

10:30 – How to get a job at BioWare & Art Portfolio Review

  • BioWare’s HR team will be on-hand to explain how to get a job at BioWare and answer your questions
  • Senior Artist Nick Thornborrow will be on hand to review artists portfolios

12:00 – Dragon Age: Thedas Unlocked

  • Dragon Age Executive Producer Mark Darrah and members of the Dragon Age team & guests will be talking about the world of the Dragon Age franchise

1:00 – Dragon Age Team Signing

  • Get autographs from the Dragon Age team – be sure to bring your Dragon Age materials to be signed!

2:00 – Creating BioWare comics, novels, clothing and more

  • Dragon Age Creative Director, Mike Laidlaw, and guests from Dark Horse Comics, TOR Publishing and Treehouse Brand Stores will discuss how we work with our partners to bring you the coolest tie-ins to our games

3:00-7:00 – BioWare Photo Booth Open

  • Come out and have your picture taken

3:00 – BioWare: Behind the Scenes

  • BioWare staff talk about what it’s like working at BioWare, how we make our games and answer questions on what it is like to work at the Edmonton studio

4:00 – Mass Effect: Exploring the Universe

  • Mass Effect Senior Creative Director, Preston Watamaniuk, and members of the Mass Effect team talk about the Commander Shepard trilogy

5:00 – Mass Effect Team Signing

  • The Mass Effect team will be on hand to give autographs – don’t forget your Mass Effect games, comics & books!

6:00 – Hang out with BioWare

  • We’ll close out the first day of PAX with staff on-hand to talk with fans, answer questions and recap the day’s events

7:00 – BioWare Base Closes

  • See you Saturday

 

Saturday March 23

10:00 – BioWare Base opens

10:30 – How to get a job at BioWare & Art Portfolio Review

  • BioWare’s HR team will be on hand to explain how to get a job at BioWare and answer your questions
  • Senior Artist Nick Thornborrow will be on hand to review artists portfolios

12:00 – Dragon Age: Thedas Unlocked

  • Dragon Age Executive Producer, Mark Darrah, and members of the Dragon Age team as well as special guests will discuss the Dragon Age franchise

1:00 – Dragon Age Team Signing

  • Bring your Dragon Age materials to be signed or show up to get autographs from the Dragon Age team

1:30 – BioWare Base Closes so fans can attend the Mass Effect Team Panel in the main theater at 2:00pm

2:00-3:00 – The Mass Effect Trilogy – A Retrospective Panel (PAX East Main Stage)

  • Join Mass Effect Executive Producer Casey Hudson, members of the Mass Effect Team and special guest Raphael Sbarge, the voice of Kaidan Alenko, as they relive some of the most memorable public and private moments in the creation of the trilogy.

3:00-7:00 – BioWare Photo Booth Open.

  • Come out and have your picture taken as a free souvenir from PAX East

3:30-5:00 – Mass Effect Team Signing

  • Casey Hudson, Raphael Sbarge and the Mass Effect Team will be on hand signing your Mass Effect swag

5:00-7:00 – Cosplay Extravaganza

  • Calling all costumes, calling all cosplayers! We want everyone in costume to come to the BioWare Base to show off your costumes and possibly win some excellent prizes. All costumes, not just BioWare games, are eligible. Special Guest Holly Conrad from Crabcat will be on hand to talk cosplay and help judge the costume contest.

7:00 – BioWare Base Closes

  • Come see us Sunday on the final day of PAX East

 

Sunday March 24

10:00 – BioWare Base opens

10:30 – How to get a job at BioWare & Art Portfolio Review

  • BioWare’s HR team will be on hand to explain how to get a job at BioWare and answer your questions
  • Artists, this is your last chance to have Senior Artist Nick Thornborrow review your art portfolio

12:00 – Mass Effect: Exploring the Universe

  • Mass Effect Senior Creative Director, Preston Watamaniuk, and members of the Mass Effect team and special guest Raphael Sbarge, voice of Kaidan Alenko, will discuss about the Commander Shepard trilogy

1:00 – Mass Effect Team Signing

  • The Mass Effect team will be on hand to sign your games or come out and get autographs from the team

2:00-6:00 – BioWare Photo Booth Open.

  • It’s your last chance to get your free picture taken at PAX East

2:00 – Voice Acting – Tips, Tricks & How to Get Started

  • Join special guest Raphael Sbarge, the voice of Mass Effect’s Kaidan Alenko and Knights of the Old Republic’s Carth Onasi , and BioWare staff to get insight into the world of being a voice actor in video games.

3:00 – Raphael Sbarge Signing

  • Raphael Sbarge will be signing cards featuring his Mass Effect character, Kaidan Alenko

4:00 – Dragon Age: Thedas Unlocked

  • Dragon Age Creative Director, Mike Laidlaw and members of the Dragon Age team as well as special guests will be talking about the world of the Dragon Age franchise

5:00 – Dragon Age Team Signing

  • Bring your Dragon Age materials to be signed or come out and get autographs from the Dragon Age team

6:00 – BioWare Trivia Contest for Prizes

  • We will have lots of swag from our partners on display at the BioWare Base, but we don’t want to take any of it home with us. Bring your big BioWare fan brains to answer trivia questions for a chance to win some cool prizes.

7:00 – BioWare Base Closes

  • Thanks for hanging out with us at PAX East

 

We hope to see you at the BioWare Base in Boston!

BLOG: The World of Thedas

The World of Thedas

By Dragon Age editor Ben Gelinas (@bengelinas)

There’s deep, and there’s Dragon Age lore deep.

When I started work as a dialog and story editor on Dragon Age a couple years ago, one of my first tasks was to take some seven years of evolving lore and build a single point of reference that wasn’t David Gaider’s brain.

The Dragon Age team is building a world in Thedas that’s so rich it’s downright alive. There are hundreds of places, hundreds of characters, and oh so many concepts—all with meat on their bones.

The task to collect it all seemed a far cry from my old job as a newspaper crime reporter. Weirdly, though, I ended up using a lot of the same skills. I treated Thedas like a real world, ever mindful of its rules, limits, and established facts. Where questions appeared, I sought answers from creators like David and the other writers and artists.

With fiction, though, when something’s missing, we gotta make it up.

Combined with background from every game, novel, and external product, I first built an internal lore guide—which currently sits at around 425,000 words and growing.

This guide formed the backbone for the upcoming Dragon Age: The World of Thedas – Volume 1.

Our new lore book offers a detailed look at Dragon Age from an in-world, encyclopedic perspective. We designed it to appeal to Dragon Age vets while still offering a solid introduction to those diving into the world for the first time.

One of the most exciting features is new in-world writing from a small army of Dragon Age writers and editors, including David Gaider, Luke Kristjanson, Mary Kirby, Sheryl Chee, Karin Weekes, Jo Berry, and Sylvia Feketekuty. Together, we’ve penned dozens of brand new codex entries from familiar characters like Varric and the ever-prolific Brother Genitivi, which dig deeper on topics as wide-ranging as griffons and Kal-Sharok to sexuality and sacrifice.

We take readers to every nation, fleshing out what life’s like in such far-flung reaches as Par Vollen and Seheron. A revised map charts these points, and clarifies some things to best reflect the world as it continues to be written. Weisshaupt’s on the right side of the Hunterhorns now, people. And it’s glorious.

Multiple entry points allow readers to browse the book or digest it cover-to-cover. An extended timeline of recorded history spans all chapters, charting hundreds of the most important moments in the tumultuous history of Thedas. Sidebars also pop up to provide peeks into the stranger parts of Thedosian life. (My favorite discusses fashion trends.)

Hundreds of pieces of concept art are provided by our many talented artists, as well as great external partner artists like Green Ronin’s Tyshan Carey. My partner-in-crime, concept artist Nick Thornborrow, will talk more about the pictures in a second blog post.

While I personally fact-checked the hell out of this thing, I also had multiple team members do close reads to make doubly sure we weren’t breaking canon or contradicting anything that’s appeared previously. As thorough as we were, a couple things always slip past with a project of this scope. I just noticed that the Commander of the Grey is cited as the leader of the Warden Order in the glossary, for instance. It’s obviously the First Warden—a fact stated correctly in the main text. These things will keep me up at night for months, I assure you.

Ultimately, Dragon Age: The World of Thedas is the sum of its parts. Creating Thedas is a highly collaborative process and this book could not have been possible without the contributions of countless writers, editors, artists, and other designers. It’s a love letter to fans of the complex, living world the talented Dragon Age team continues to develop. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed making it.

If you’re in Boston for PAX East this year, drop by the BioWare booth. Ben Gelinas and Nick Thornborrow will be there, answering questions and offering a preview of the book. Feel free to bring your writing or art questions, too; they’re always happy to talk shop.

Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1 is available on April 17, 2013 from Dark Horse Comics and fine retailers.

BioWare at PAX East

Hello, BioWare fans!

We are pleased to announce that BioWare is returning to PAX East March 22-24 in Boston with another awesome BioWare Base. This year, our Base will be open daily from 10am until 7pm upstairs in Room 206 near the Wyvern Theater. Members of the Mass Effect, Dragon Age, HR, and Community teams will be present at the BioWare base to meet and talk with our fans. We are also very pleased to announce that actor Raphael Sbarge, the voice of Kaidan Alenko in the Mass Effect series, will be joining us on Saturday and Sunday.

Each day, we’ll discuss topics like our games, working at BioWare, and the voice acting process—and we’ll be answering your questions.  We will also have signings with staff and guests (make sure you bring games or other items you’d like signed), an art portfolio review for aspiring artists, a free photo booth, a costume contest Saturday evening, giveaways, and much more.

A BioWare panel will also take place on Saturday March 23 from 2:00 till 3:00, on the PAX East Main Stage. If you can’t make it to Boston for PAX East, we’ll record it so you won’t miss it. The panel’s title is The Mass Effect Trilogy – A Retrospective:

In 2004, BioWare set out not only to create a new science fiction universe, but also a new way for their fans to experience interactive storytelling across an entire trilogy of games. Nine years and three games later, the Mass Effect trilogy has ended. Relive some of the most memorable public and private moments in the creation of the trilogy with development team members including Casey Hudson – Executive Producer and Project Director, Preston Watamaniuk – Lead Designer, Parrish Ley – Lead Cinematics Director, John Dombrow – Writer, and Dusty Everman – Level Designer. The panel will be moderated by SpikeTV’s Geoff Keighley.

We’ll reveal the daily schedules of BioWare Base activity as we get closer to PAX East, so check back for details or check your PAX East guide. We look forward to seeing you at the BioWare Base at PAX East!

Pre-PAX East Blog

by Evil Chris Priestly

Well, for me, PAX East in Boston Mass kicks off the start of the Convention season. I know for industry types it is usually DICE or GDC, but for me as a Community guy (and huge nerd) I prefer the fan oriented conventions. In the past, BioWare has had a great time at conventions like Koln GamesCom, Gen-Con, and Fan Expo Canada, but probably the biggest each year is PAX.

PAX, for those who don’t know, is the Penny Arcade Expo which takes place annually in Seattle Washington. It was founded and run by Gabe & Tycho of the Penny Arcade webcomic and a huge army of volunteers who make it the place for fans of gaming to go each year. This year, for the first time, they have taken PAX from it’s home in Seattle (usually in late August/early September) and have taken it to Boston on the East coast, bringing it to a whole new audience.

PAX is a great time for video gamers, Magic Players, board gamers, P&P gamers and fellow enthusiasts (basically nerds, and I use the term lovingly as I am one myself). Many awesome and huge names come out to show off their upcoming games. This year I have seen EA (with APB, Skate 3 and Dante’s Inferno), Turbine, Rockstar and many more. Also smaller independent game developers bring out their products to get noticed. There are merchants selling board or card games, tech companies like nVidia and Intel showing off their latest hardware and fans all over the place. There are areas of the Hynes Convention Center set aside for people to bring their own PCs, people who play hand held games, areas for table top gaming, etc. Basically, if you are a gamer on the East Coast, you should be coming out to PAX.

Now this year, BioWare doesn’t have a booth. Since we have already shipped Dragon Age: Origins and Awakening as well as Mass Effect 2, it just wasn’t possible for us to have a major booth (they are pricey things once you add up cost to make, shipping, equipment, staffing, etc). But even though we aren’t there with a booth, I made it my mission to attend anyways. Even though I have been to the past 3 PAXs on the West coast, I am usually tied up at whatever booth we have running and don’t really get much time to see the convention or get to meet with fans. So this year, I am attending for the fun of seeing the show. I plan to take in game demos, watch some of the panel discussions, meet BioWare fans (there are lots of people running around in ME2 hoodies or DAO t shirts) and generally take in the show as a fan. Now I will e handing out Swag items to fans who find me. I will be tweeting my locations throughout the show and the first person to find me will get some cool BioWare swag just for following our biofeed on Twitter.

The pictures in this blog were all taken during set up. I’ll blog again tonight or tomorrow morning (depending on how late I’m out till as PAX doesn’t end till around 2 each morning) with Day 1 impressions of the fun and madness that is PAX East. The line below may be empty now, but it will be PAXED later. Get it? Packed? PAXed? *sigh* Nevermind. See you in Boston.