Former BioWare administrator wishes Dragon Age had kept a 'PC-centric' and 'modding-driven' character like Neverwinter Nights

Concept art of Solas for Dragon Age 4
(Image credit: Cyberbanking Arts, BioWare)

The approaching of Dragon Age feels decidedly cryptic appropriate now. Advice on the aftereffect Dragon Age: Dreadwolf is still dispersed and BioWare afresh laid off over 50 employees, including the biographer of Dragon Age's best admired character. Accustomed how austere that all seems, I'm affluence blessed to brainstorm an alternating cosmos approaching for the alternation as aggregate by its above flat lead, who wishes BioWare had kept a added "PC-centric, Neverwinter-like identity" for Dragon Age.

Aaryn Flynn batten in Edge affair 389 about his career abutting BioWare, eventually acceptable accepted manager, and again abrogation to become CEO and architect of Inflexion Amateur and its accessible crafting adaptation bold Nightingale.

Flynn mentions some of his aboriginal assignment at Bioware developing a toolset for Neverwinter Nights that was ultimately acclimated by the developers and players. "We capital everybody to be able to say 'I, as a modder, can body the aforementioned affair that Bioware does.' We didn't appetite any exceptions to that."

It presented difficulties, of course, architecture the alternation and the advance at the aforementioned time, as Flynn puts it, but it meant that Neverwinter's toolset became a array of recruiting apparatus amid the flat and its modding community. Afterwards Neverwinter Nights, the flat confused on to alpha Dragon Age: Origins.

"Dragon Age in the aboriginal canicule had its fair allotment of character crises," Flynn says. "Was it activity to be a tools-driven, modding-driven bold like Neverwinter Nights? Was it activity to be a big singleplayer RPG like The Ancient Scrolls IV: Oblivion?"

"Dragon Age on PC alien with the toolset, so we did do that," Flynn says. 

Dragon Age: Origins does accept a quite abounding modding community that's created new affair members, bags of hairstyles and armor sets, action mods, and more. The achievement for Dragon Age 2 was acutely smaller. Again BioWare switched to DICE's Algidity Engine, awfully difficult for modders to use, abnormally after official tools, and Dragon Age: Inquisition's modding association was hamstrung. 

"I ambition we'd kept that up and ashore to that," Flynn says of aircraft Dragon Age amateur with modding tools. "Unfortunately we got, I'd say, a little too akin amid Accumulation Aftereffect and Dragon Age. I ambition we would accept kept added of a PC-centric, Neverwinter-like character for Dragon Age."

(Image credit: BioWare)

Flynn describes the move to Algidity as a advance to assimilate accoutrement internally beyond BioWare's then-growing studios. "We had so abounding altered engines for so continued at BioWare," Flynn says, answer that the flat hoped to actualize a added accepted cant beyond teams who could allotment what they'd congenital with one another's projects.

The blow was the modding association Dragon Age had cultivated. Players accept done their best to appoint mods on Dragon Age: Assay over the years, but consistently after that aspirational akin of admission that Flynn references as an ideal from Neverwinter Nights.

We still don't apperceive abundant about the fourth Dragon Age game, but it's appealing safe to accept that it won't be branch aback to those "PC-centric" celebrity canicule of the aboriginal 2000s, abundant as I ability ambition it would.

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started autograph for PC Gamer as a contributor in 2017 while block the Aphotic Souls appearance badge and accustomed her role as Accessory Editor and Arch Minecraft Liker in 2021. She originally started her career in bold development and is still absorbed by how amateur beat in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She brand continued books, best RPGs, multiplayer cryptids, and can't stop arena address crafting games.