BioWare co-founder explains their "d***bag gameplay" design principle

Dragon Age Inquisition
(Image credit: EA)

BioWare dedicated an entire section of its game design to the joy of being a "dickbag."

Last week, BioWare co-founder Trent Oster took to Twitter to reveal the unusual information. Responding to a tweet from critic and journalist Jeremy Peel, who was writing how good it felt to throw people off roofs in Assassin's Creed, Oster revealed BioWare had an entire design review based around this horrible behaviour, which they called "dickbag behaviour."

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In fact, as Oster reveals above, "kick that guy off a roof" was how the entire thing started. Sometimes players really do just want to be absolute dickbags in virtual worlds, whether that's throwing people off roofs in Assassin's Creed, or hog-tying them and placing them on the train tracks in Red Dead Redemption (not speaking from personal experience here).

It'd be interesting to know how many other big AAA games out there held design reviews around this same concept. Did Rockstar leads spend hours experiment with being massive assholes in GTA 5 prior to its launch? Did Atlus spend lots of time thinking about the consequences of the player character romancing everyone at once in Persona 5?

It would also be really interesting to know which games in particular BioWare held these "dickbag gameplay" meetings for. Dragon and Mass Effect don't really allow the player that freedom you'd associate with kicking someone off a roof, so perhaps this is aimed more at the older Neverwinter Nights series, which Oster had a big hand in developing in the early days of BioWare.

Speaking of Rockstar though, you can head over to our full GTA 6 guide for a complete recap of everything we know about the new game so far. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.