Mass Effect 3: Bioware admit it’s making it up as it goes along
Speaking in Official PlayStation Magazine UK’s Mass Effect 3 feature this month, executive producer Casey Hudson admitted that the Mass Effect 3 universe may not have been quite as tightly crafted as you might think. When asked about how the story has been developed over the game’s life he replied, “With ME1 and 2 we kind of cast some lines out into the next game that we knew we would have to think of something with. We didn’t know what exactly, how it would happen, but we knew what we had to do.”
Essentially, while there were ‘things’ that had to happen, the ‘how’ and ‘who’ of it all came along late in the process says Hudson. “We would start a plot point, you know on a character level or on a macro level, knowing that, ‘okay in the second one it’ll change this way and in the third one it’ll change this way and it’ll be resolved’ but we didn’t know exactly how. Some things we had pretty specific ideas for how it would work but as we moved forwards we add more detail and start condensing things down into specifics.”
Even such an iconic element like the Illusive Man started life as an unspecified ‘device’. “We knew there would be a device that performed the role of the Illusive Man in the series,” says Hudson. “But we didn’t know it would specifically be him until we started getting towards the end of ME1 and started thinking about things like DLC, the next game, comics and novels and stuff like that and through these we started to find ideas for how to turn these things into actual characters and actual storylines.”
When asked if ME3 had turned out the way it had originally been envisioned when the series started he has this to say. “I think it’s a similar thing where we know we’re going to have to resolve certain things and we have ideas about how we’re going to do that, so we know from 1 we might say. ‘yeah this particular large storyline? We’re gonna do this particular thing with it and now we’re gonna resolve it’. But the people and the back-story might not exist for it until we make ME2 and we go ah! These are the people who need to be in that position at that time, to do these things.”
Still, as you can see from this Mass Effect 3 trailer, it all turned out okay.