BioWare veteran says its other classic D&D CRPG was used to test Mass Effect and Dragon Age developers

Red goblins in Neverwinter Nights
(Image credit: Beamdog)

A BioWare veteran recently revealed that up-and-coming developers would first cut their teeth by modding the studio’s classic Dungeons & Dragons RPG, Neverwinter Nights. 

“Neverwinter Nights created a modding community that inspired a lot of folks,” explained BioWare’s former general manager Aaryn Flynn in Edge's latest 389 issue. “Those people would then occasionally become known to BioWare, and after a relationship was built they would come and join us as full-time developers.” That’s certainly a dreamy Cinderella-type story, but it seemed to have worked so well that the studio began to embrace the tools in its recruitment process.

“The toolset was incorporated into the recruitment process, and as part of your testing you had to build specific things in Neverwinter Nights to show that you could do it,” continued Flynn. “Even if you then went to Mass Effect or Dragon Age, it was still a way to level the playing field, to get a consistent look at designers.” The modder-turned-full-time-developer pipeline is a consistent one. Just last year, two people working on the ambitious Fallout: London mod bagged jobs from Bethesda Game Studios. Heart-warming, really. 

Aaron Flynn, meanwhile, has since parted ways with the iconic RPG factory. Flynn is now the lead on Nightingale, the open-world crafty survival game with Mary Poppins-esque umbrellas that you can use to float with. It also mixes an alternate history Victorian setting with wild fantasy foes that have me very excited for its early access release on February 22nd. 

Find out what else is coming soon with our new PC games for 2023 and beyond guide.

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.