PS3 News: BioWare Examines Improved Tech Behind Dragon Age II - PS3 News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

BioWare Examines Improved Tech Behind Dragon Age II

Dragon Age: Origins was a great game, even if it wasn't necessarily a great looking game.

However, BioWare has clearly worked hard to increase the visual quality in Dragon Age II, which is set to launch on March 8. If you're interested in going behind the scenes from a technical standpoint, check out the BioWare Blog, where you can read Part I of their series, "The technology of Dragon Age II."

They talk about a "rebooted art style" and how everyone, regardless of platform preference, will enjoy graphical improvements and upgrades. Lighting is mentioned and we have to agree that poor lighting hampers a presentation's effectiveness; we miss a lot of the detail and as a result, we lose a bit of immersion. But you should see what they've done to make Dragon Age II more dynamic and indeed, realistic: they introduced a system that "simulates how lighting works in the real world." Then there are the terrain changes, which we found interesting:

"Interesting terrain variation, dramatic vistas, impactful skies, a grand overall sense of scale are all important points for our level artists when laying out the outdoor areas of the game. We worked on more advanced terrain editing capabilities that allow more creative freedom when creating our exterior levels.

To complement the new terrain engine, our redesigned sky editing tools allow artists to easily create lit, moving layers of clouds that contribute a lot to the visual appearance of exterior levels. The team also worked on improving the water rendering technology. It now allows for physically lit water and realistic, accurate reflections from all objects in the scene."

There's lot more to read; check out the info for the new fog system and the characters. Dragon Age II is going to be fantastic; that's almost a guarantee. A. Origins was excellent. B. It's made by BioWare. What more do you need to know?

Related Game(s): Dragon Age II

Tags: dragon age ii, dragon age 2, bioware, dragon age tech

2/17/2011 10:53:30 AM Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (30 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 11:29:58 AM
Reply

Sounds good because I am purchasing this motherhumper on Day 1 even though I probably won't be able to play it for a long time.

Do we know what the Origins save file will do here? Cuz I lost my original and the one I have now isn't even halfway through the game so I wonder if I should finish that again first or not.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 3:33:08 PM

Dude, if you have just the slightest hint of affection towards rpg, there is no decision to be made: Just get it. Just ask any anyone that has Mass Effect and/or Dragon Age. Anyone!

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 11:45:37 AM
Reply

Is playing the first game a requirement if I want to play this one? One of the reasons I passed on the first game was because it looks last gen graphics wise.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

kraygen
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 11:47:41 AM

Jawknee, are graphics that important to you? I'm a little surprised to hear this from you, Dragon age origins was one of the best title to come out last year. Graphically it was weak, but it had a solid story built in a solid universe.

You should go out and pick up that ultimate edition asap, whether it's required for 2 or not.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 11:56:56 AM

Yes they are. Why should we be expected to pay this gen prices for games that look like they came out of last gen? We have PS3's, 360's and HDTV's to play HD games. Not PS2 looking games.

Another turn off for me is I really don't like medieval themed RPG's. I never have. Just not into western RPG's. It's not as inventive or inspired by original ideas when everything looks Lord of the Ringsish.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 12:50:05 PM

No, you don't need to play the first one, but it is a sweet game despite some sub par graphics. Yes it does have your classic elves and dwarves and stuff but the narrative is thick and the character development and interaction is so good at humanizing your party that the cliches don't hold up in your mind.

DA2 takes place some time later so DAO is just a bit of history to its events. Also it will play different and more like Mass Effect in that you have a predetermined identity and you aren't just a silent hero. You are stuck being a human in 2 though.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

aaronisbla
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 1:18:19 PM

You missed out on a great experience Jawk, but i do see where you are coming from and respect that opinion.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

maxpontiac
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 1:26:02 PM

Jawk - Yeah, graphics were certainly lacking, but all in all, easily overlooked due to the rest of the game.

Thegamercometh - Jawknee is right, the graphics in DAO were nothing special, and downright pitiful in some instances.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 1:41:05 PM

Hmm....Aaron, Max, you think I can score it on the cheap now? I'll pick it up if I can find it for $20 or less.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

maxpontiac
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 2:40:34 PM

If I were you, I would wait for the edition with all the DLC included to reach a lower price.

Check my trophy list out, you'll see that I put the time into the game. It was that good.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 3:25:58 PM

Word.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Nynja
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 3:43:39 PM

DA:O was a very well done game. Even with some technical issues that popped up occasionally, the game had more depth than FFXIII could ever try to offer.

DA offers real-time dungeon crawling gameplay where the gamer can freeze time, change party members, and execute many different tactics in battle.

With DA2 coming, I would suspect DA:O will drop in price eventually.

BTW, if you think the game looked terrible on the PS3, you should take a look at the 360 version. Wow... it was bad.

My fiancee is an avid RPG gamer and to this day, Dragon Age has become her favorite RPG series because of the unique combat and excellent dialog.

EDIT:
Though, if you really are pinching pennies right now (like me) you may want to wait for the sub $20 price tag. It may be a while, now that I think about it because your actions in the first game will effect the story in the sequel. For the full experience, you may want to hold off on DA2 until after you play DA:O.

Last edited by Nynja on 2/17/2011 3:48:00 PM

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 5:41:57 PM

I wouldn't go as far to say that DA had "last-gen" graphics. But I do think they are pretty poor. Like high 7 to low 8 range at best.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 5:50:12 PM

lol, wow, yeah, I just checked Arnold's graphics score, a six. hehe, yeah, can't argue with that.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

kraygen
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 6:04:45 PM

Yeah, Jawknee, wait for the ultimate edition to drop a bit more.

It is one of only 3 games that I have a platinum trophy. You have to beat it with all 3 classes to manage that and each play through takes over 50 hours. It really is worth it, even if that's not your favorite rpg style.

Mass effect isn't my thing, but it's bioware and I know it's top notch, so I won't be passing it up.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 7:25:00 PM

Temji, I think a 6 this gen pretty much equates to last gen imo. :)

Thanks guys for the advice. Will pick up the first game once its cheap enough.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

JPHarvey
Friday, February 18, 2011 @ 7:53:57 AM

I just bought the full edition with all DLC. I'm half way through the main story and still haven't started the Awakening content yet.

It really is worth playing even if graphics are not top notch. There is so much going on that the entertainment value is great.

If you want to have some exposure and don't want to spent a hundred hours before going to DA2, just buy the original version without the DLC. It is cheap and offers about 60 hours of game play. Enough to get you ready for DA2.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

kraygen
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 11:46:02 AM
Reply

Sounds good in theory, and I have all faith and love for Bioware, but usually when games present you with these large sweeping vista's and beautiful landscapes, the local graphics tend to suffer.

For example, Oblivion had these beautiful views, but the texture qualities and overall graphical quality of your character and npc's was subpar. It's been done in many games and I've seen the opposite done in other games.

Not sure which I prefer honestly, I always like my character to be one of the sharpest things on the screen, but I like those sweeping vista's as well.

Either way, I know I'll love DA2.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 12:52:04 PM

I know what you mean, FPS seem to have trouble in that area too. Look at the backgrounds in Crysis 2, then look at the close up characters, yeesh.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

SILVERAMMO
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 12:07:15 PM
Reply

i always wanted to play dragon age but i feel like i dont have time for rpg s anymore :(

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

kraygen
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 6:05:43 PM

great pic!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Geobaldi
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 12:22:52 PM
Reply

I'll be picking it up on day one just like the last one. Just hope I can finish it before The Witcher 2 comes out two months later.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Gamer Girl Gemo
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 12:35:50 PM
Reply

The Dragon Age 2 demo will be out on Tuesday February 22! :D
Just a little news tip :)

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

big6
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 1:45:02 PM

Might be busy playing Killzone 3 that day! ;)

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

_valdips3_
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 3:54:50 PM
Reply

d1p

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Excelsior1
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 4:58:35 PM
Reply

graphics matter a lot to me, too. sometimes a game can transcend that though. when i rented da:o, i thought it was 1 of the ugliest games i'd ever put in my ps3, so i blew it off.

recently, i picked up fallout 3 goty editition, and absolutely loved it despite its graphics. so much to do in that game,

anyways, maybe i was too hard on da:o. i was pretty impressed with me2, so i think i'll get da2.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

aaronisbla
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 6:32:04 PM

fallout 3 goty edition has been known to be a very buggy mess with the dlc. HOWEVER, i do remember trying out a method to made it a lot less prone to crashing and it actually worked.... but i can't remember how i ddi it. I found out about it on the gamefaqs forums for sure though

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lairfan
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 8:41:38 PM
Reply

Well, this is all an improvement, but from what I've seen the animations are still pretty stiff. I've always hated stiff animations in games, even if every other element of the graphics are great. Not saying that that'll make me not purchase the game, but I'm kinda disappointed they couldn't improve that along with all the other great improvements they've done.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

MadPowerBomber
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 9:28:04 PM
Reply

I kinda stopped caring about graphics when God of War came out. Now, the visuals just have to match the content and context for me in terms of purpose, meaning, and storytelling.

I'm not getting DAII for a while though, 'cause I want to finish the first one before I get it. And I don't know how long that's going to be. I just got MvC3, and a lot of time is going into that. I want two or three more playthroughs of Mass Effect 2. I just got Darksiders and Demon's Souls (hella cheap!), Killzone 3 and Bulletstorm come out Tuesday.

I'm kinda booked for gaming. Heh.

But I do want it. Badly.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Friday, February 18, 2011 @ 1:56:22 AM
Reply

i certainly hope so!
DA looked like a freaking ps2 game!!!!!!
hope its allot better then ME2, that games got such a poor frame rate its pathetic!
great game, but when it comes to smoothness its like a Belgian parve!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

Got Madden NFL 25?
Yes, and it's great!
Yeah, but I'm a little disappointed.
No, but I plan to get it soon.
...they still make sports games?

Previous Poll Results