OXM’s Interview with Neil Thompson

The UK edition of the latest issue of Official XBox Magazine (Issue 95, February 2013) includes an interview with BioWare art and animation director, Neil Thompson, who sounds off about the costs behind developing for the next generation of XBox console, as well as some general (also, generic) tidbits about Mass Effect 4 and Dragon Age 3: Inquisition.

Here is a table of contents of questions that Neil Thompson responded to in the article, so that you can judge for yourself if you want to obtain a copy of this magazine issue.

OXM Feb 2013 Article Thumbnail

Page 70

  1. How did you get your first break in the games industry?
  2. You also worked at Bizarre Creations on Blur. It's not a typical-looking racing game - was that a deliberate decision?
  3. What is it like working at a huge games company like BioWare?
  4. How was it at BioWare when the news broke that Ray Muzyka and [other founder] Greg Zeschuk were leaving the company and the games industry to pursue other interests?
  5. We just want to know that BioWare will continue to make great games.

Page 71

  1. What do you personally love about Mass Effect?
  2. How do you explain the artistic vision of Mass Effect to the development team?
  3. What's in store for the next-generation of consoles? Will there be more innovations on the art side of things?
  4. Can you tell us if the next Mass Effect title is a new game or spin-off?
  5. Let's move on to Dragon Age - is it difficult to create a fantasy epic that doesn't look like other fantasy epics?

Page 72

  1. So Inquisition is going to be a visual departure from the previous two Dragon Age games?
  2. Do the writers and programmers have input on the art side of Dragon Age III?
  3. What about other games - are there any recent titles that have really impressed you with their art style?
  4. What advice do you give to budding artists wanting to work at BioWare?

Unfortunately, there is no new artwork reveal - instead, the article was peppered with pictures from Mass Effect 3 and Dragon age 2. Generally speaking, the article retreads some information we had already learned from other sources previously:

  • Mass Effect 4, which is not a continuation of Commander Shepard's story, is being developed by the newer BioWare Montreal studio, which includes some of the original development team behind the Mass Effect franchise.
  • The art style of Dragon Age 3 will be a marked improvement from Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2 because of the switch from using the Eclipse engine to a modification of the Frostbite 2 (DICE, Battlefield 3) engine.
  • Dragon Age 3: Inquisition is due out in "late 2013."

If you live in the UK, you can check out the article gratis with Google Play's 14-day free trial subscription. Other options include buying it from Apple iTunes (again, UK region restrictions) and Zinio.