I was really torn about whether to buy Dragon Age 2 on day one. For one thing, I wasn't thrilled with what I was hearing about the game's development. For another, I was afraid of what I might find - namely, that the game had trampled on some of the ideas central to my standalone mod.
I was half-right. Dragon Age 2 has turned out to be a fun game that's well worth the $47 I paid for it. Unfortunately, my fears in the second case have proven well founded.
When Dragon Age 2 was announced so soon after Origins, my heart sank - likely in unison with every other modder working on a standalone mod. With Dragon Age 2 coming out in mere months, it raised the question of whether there would be any players still around to play mods for Origins. In addition, those of us working in the Dragon Age setting faced the possibility that the new game would include plots, characters, or themes that were similar to what we were working on.
But wait, you say, what are the odds of Bioware coming up with material that bears any sort of resemblance to something created by a modder working on his own?
Quite high, actually.
The fact that two people or groups working on their own can come up with virtually the same idea is one of the more interesting things I learned from working with Ossian on various game proposals. Creativity is not divorced from logic. When you sit down to think of The Perfect Idea, you go through a thought process that could well be shared by others. For example, you might ask yourself questions such as:
- What has never been done before, or at least hasn't been done recently?
- What are the most interesting facets of the setting (that haven't been explored)?
- How can I work off of the expectations set by previous works?
- What kinds of things are happening in the real world that I can riff off of?
|This may also explain why crappy Hollywood movies come in twos - Armageddon/Deep Impact, Volcano/Dante's Peak, Milo and Otis/Tango and Cash.|
But Dragon Age is not the Forgotten Realms, and with limited material to work with, there's a lot of overlap in ideas even among the Dragon Age 2 sidequests. Sadly, there's also some overlap with some of the major ideas in The Rotted Rose, though I'm reluctant to go into more detail until I decide what, if anything, I'm going to do about it.
|Remember "The Simpsons Already Did It" episode of South Park? I sure do.|
I don't exactly know where I'm headed from here, but I imagine my two sides will compromise. The Rotted Rose is pretty modular, with four mostly self-contained "subquests" making up most of the game content. Those quests could remain the same while the story's framing and denouement change to something more original. I'm still not sure, though. I'm going to finish Dragon Age 2 (hopefully tonight or tomorrow) before giving it some serious thought.
The only thing I do know for sure right now is that I need to finish my mod before Dragon Age 3 comes out. God, I hope Bioware doesn't have an announcement coming up.
|The Rotted Report is a periodic update on my upcoming standalone adventure for Dragon Age. Feel free to stop by The Rotted Rose project page on the Bioware Social Network.|