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Story is key for BioWare

Tuesday 28 November 2006
Developer BioWare believes that storytelling is the key factor in making its upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game stand out from the fierce competition that exists in this hugely successful section of PC gaming.

BioWare is currently working on an unnamed MMORPG project using the HeroEngine. While very few details have been released concerning the game, leading designers have been talking to US magazine Games for Windows about their approach to making MMORPGs.

According to James Ohlen, creative director of BioWare, creating a dynamic plot is vital. This is because storytelling is what BioWare has become famous for in such games as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Neverwinter Nights, and it's what many MMORPGs currently lack.

"It's something that pretty well doesn't exist in the online space right now as most 'storytelling' in MMORPGs is just FedEx quests - you know, you have to go get some eggs - and it's presented in a format that's just a bunch of text thrown at you in paragraph and that's not so exciting." This is something Ohlen wants to avoid and instead "bring a level of storytelling that's equal to the single-player games that BioWare has done".

Because of the importance of plot, BioWare has set aside writing time that is twice as long as any other project. As Ohlen explains, the MMO world "is huge and has tons of paths and options".

It all sounds like exciting stuff but we're sure we would be more excited if BioWare would let on something about the game's setting and content. Oh well.

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