Former BioWare Emloyee Review of company sheds distuburing light on MEA's development

it's more likely that was some kind of showreel or demo so it probably had animations that were specifically for those rigs, which might have changed for the final build.

that ryder looks a lot better, though.
If you're implying those animations aren't possible on current consoles, then no, they are absolutely doable.

It does look like someone else took over.
 
We've been here before. Several times. Now more than ever, it's important we remain skeptical of anonymous sources until we have confirmation.






The toxicity also extends to fans. Remember during the Dragon Age 2 era:


And of course Greg and Ray themselves who couldn't "handle" the criticisms they received from legions of fans who told them to fuck off.

The entire symbiosis at work here is highly problematic. If what these glass doors reviews are true- Then that is a damn shame. A quick google search shows you many anecdotals from anonymous claiming similar thing- That they have an outragous amounts of contracted workers who are let go, with little notice which ruins them.

I have no idea if any of that is true.One should be skeptical, but suffice to say- Over the last dozens of years more and more things have piled up that give a toxic impression of Bioware as a place of work and the fanbase which is passionate but also have fanatical subcultures. AND I mean fanatical in anything from erotica based fanfiction and fanart to homophobia and anger towards samesex romance options in the games and accusations that Bioware is being PC.


It is not unusual for people to become possessive, entitled and hostile towards fiction they care deeply about. George RR Martin lack of being able to finish his book and the anger from the fans of Ice of Ice and Fire, are a good example of consumers in other mediums who seriously need to take a step back and fucking reevaulate.


However- The disappointment and expectatons evolving Bioware are relatively unique and associated with a few individuals. Kojima and Bungie are two who also have rapid scrutiny, hype and idolization. The expectations for story, lore and gameplay are a lot higher than for your usual EA or Ubisoft game. The devoted fanbases go hands in hands with people on the flanks who don't keep their disappointment and hype consistent, but who attack or berade outside the artistic and technical attributes of the game.


I said back then that I condemn the ridicule of Greg and Ray, as I do with all other Bioware employees who've been harassed. Same goes for the hatred against BW Austin and the anger against James Ohlen and the other leads who orchestrated the SWTOR fiasco. The most expensive disappointment in the history of gaming, and also one of the largest.
That project was so gigantic it might have broken Bioware, but none of these people deserve harassment.

They'd never have used that terrible engine if they had known it would perform like that. It was a total sham- A switch and bait, and by the time MMO devs realized that this engine was a disaster, it was too late to go back and re-do it. Bungie ran into similar problems with their engine with Destiny. You *cannot* fix a ship if the ship is beyond fucked. But engine contractors tend to promise support and fixes and the world, and then you're stuck.

What has happened over the last many years at Bioware is terrible. Bioware the darling for many years. They revolutionized gaming narrative. This was the studio where the hardest job was being the writer. It was infamous for being a place where writers had to go through a trial of fire.
 
So we know Edmonton is working on EA Destiny 2k18 but will they also be making another Dragon Age?

If I remember correctly some big Dragon Age names left somewhat recently too. Is that IP in limbo?



Unless this game sells gangbusters I am not expecting a new Mass Effect for a long time if ever. And EA just Dead Space 3 it with 1 bad game nuking a franchise. Curious what will mean for the future of the Montreal studio.
I don't think DA is in Limbo, from what the various creatives say on twitter...not that they are working on 4 per se but certainly still on the IP. There are obviously lots of stories to tell, as well as more immediate stories about Solas etc, but I guess it's about what direction they go in. It's been well documented that BioWare didn't expect the backlash to Inq's side content because they never expected a majority of people to actually go for it, so there is a redressing to be done there. Mark Darrah mentioned in an interview he wanted them to have a game that was equal in the volume of content to Baldurs Gate 2, but acknowledged the difficulty of creating unique content in a 3D engine that quickly....I kinda suspect we will get a lower budget DA4 that perhaps allows them to do more with less.
 
Thing is, GAF is out for blood right now, total berserk mode. Even though OP pointed out that the subject of the thread is to be taken with a grain of salt, any thread related to BioWare will see dozens of brutal comments for no other reason than "this game I haven't played has some funny animations". Good reviews are ignored, as well as positive opinions, it's just... I don't know what's happening really. Not even counting the employee getting harassed because holy shit it shoud have made people regain their senses for a sec but no, let's double down.
You can find negative reviews for any company on glassdoor but this week the cool thing to do is hate on BioWare so let's take a review from mid-2016 and ignore all the positive ones to keep the hate train rolling.
I'm sure shitty stuff happens at BioWare like everywhere in the industry but the amount of shit getting thrown at the company as a whole, the employees and the game is just insane.
You're mistaking "hunting for blood" for understanding what went wrong with the production of Mass Effect Andromeda. We have clear signs and evidence of the troubled production that the game has been through with the subpar character creator, the atrocious facial animations, the departure of employees throughout the project, the lack of squad abilities, the many, many bugs, the weird marketing, the sudden announcement of a release date, the cancellation of Multiplayer beta, and so forth.

I don't know about hate train or anything, but this is more a conversation about what might have went wrong and not some kind of witch hunt or hate train or whatever you want to label it. By sticking our heads into the ground, we ignore what things went wrong that lead to the game and its developers suffering to such an extent that an unpolished and subpar game is released at the end.

Frankly, it's intellectually bankrupt to think this is just some "it's cool to hate on Bioware or something, when what people wants to do is understand what went wrong. This doesn't mean that the Glass Ceiling thing is correct or true, just that people are looking for answers after such a 5-year performance by multiple studios and hundreds of talented people.
 
Given the overall consensus taken from pretty much every review, "Some really good ideas marred by a messy and somewhat broken end product", the above allegations must be at least somewhat true. If the game was getting overwhelmingly positive praise from across the industry, it would signal good development, not troubled development.

I'm looking forward to the inevitable Jason Schreier story on this game's troubled creation, from start to finish.

Sadly, many of the issues ive seen in the issues seem like they couldve been ironed out or improved with six months of polish. The game is just unpolished. Shouldve been delayed til August or September.

"A bad game is always bad, but a delayed game is eventually good."
 
Given the overall consensus taken from pretty much every review, "Some really good ideas marred by a messy and somewhat broken end product", the above allegations must be at least somewhat true. If the game was getting overwhelmingly positive praise from across the industry, it would signal good development, not troubled development.

I'm looking forward to the inevitable Jason Schreier story on this game's troubled creation, from start to finish.

Sadly, many of the issues ive seen in the issues seem like they couldve been ironed out or improved with six months of polish. The game is just unpolished. Shouldve been delayed til August or September.

"A bad game is always bad, but a delayed game is eventually good."
Good development does not equal good game and vice versa.
 
This game wasn't made by the Bioware you're familiar with though. They're working on an new IP. This is the C squad.
What we've seen of the studio culture of the various teams under the BioWare umbrella suggests they're all rather progressive. This anonymous post is so far the only thing I've seen that contradicts this.

Yep, absolutely. I've worked at a few game companies so far and it's really difficult to work when they force the Touch Football games every hour and the frequent "drink offs". Also it is a fireable offense if you don't refer to your coworkers as "bro" or "broseph" and woman as "babes".

sorry bout that overly sarcasticness. All the companies I worked at and know about aren't even close to that kind of culture. I'm sure that's more of a Lawyer, stock broker, marketing department thing... Not sure who started this idea that all game devs are womanizing bro's.
It's certainly the most out of place part of the whole thing. From the stories we got from Jeff Green about what it was like to work at EA, I really, really don't think "Bro Culture" could survive at any of its subsidiaries.
 

Crossing Eden

Hello, my name is Yves Guillemot, Vivendi S.A.'s Employee of the Month!
I refuse to support these shady business tactics, I will not be purchasing Andromeda.
Just as an example, you're quite active in the BOTW OT. Do you think BOTW had rocky smooth development with absolutely no crunch when the team was told to cut Wii U specific features which led to rewrites and to make sure the game was ready for the Switch launch? Or is the game "good enough" that you can overlook what likely was very troubled development considering multiple delays, the creation of a new engine, cut features and crunch added due to having to be ready for the Switch's launch date, (which considering the performance issues, it isn't). Subsequently do you not consider those to be shady practices?
 
Say this was true, regarding the animation quality reduction -- why?

I'm trying to understand this from a development perspective. Maybe they had to animate by hand for each scene and it was too much work so it was scraped for a less expressive (the current) animation system that just animates based off dialogue? That's the only excuse I can think of for it. (I know little about game development, just trying to make a logical justification for the changes).
They mightve figured it wasnt feasible to make the whole game reflect the fidelity of the leaked scene, so they decide to scrap those animations, particles, renders and effects to keep the consistency.
 
What we've seen of the studio culture of the various teams under the BioWare umbrella suggests they're all rather progressive. This anonymous post is so far the only thing I've seen that contradicts this.



It's certainly the most out of place part of the whole thing. From the stories we got from Jeff Green about what it was like to work at EA, I really, really don't think "Bro Culture" could survive at any of its subsidiaries.
Yeaa, most of us aren't that cool to be even considered bro's. Artists, programmers and designers aren't known for their bro-ness. There are definitely some at every studio (depending how you define a "bro"), but they are always in the minority (from where I worked) and don't usually have that much influence on anything creative.

Also, it's generally really hard to maintain your bro-status when you have a 15" Gandalf figure on your desk.

(sorry for being overly generalizing... just speaking from personal experiences!)
 
Good development does not equal good game and vice versa.
This is true of so many artistic endevors. There are some truely great films which were horrible to work on. For an older example here are some stories from Singing in the rain.

There was a scene where one of the actors had to do a long musical number which included an acrobatic wall run backflip. It took them so many times to get it right that he was hospitalized from exhaustion. The production lost the footage and the actor had to redo the stunt days after being released from hospital.

That films Signature dance number where actor Gene Kelly sings the films title song was filmed at 2am, in a humid 100 degree warehouse while the actor had a raging fever.

Kelly's treatment of female Co Star Debbie Renalds was apparently so bad that he later publicly apologized for it.

Yet somehow they produced one of the best films ever made.
 
Look at all the stuff they let Manveer Heir tweet. I'm not even going to link the tweets, just look at his twitter account. It's no wonder this game is in the shape that it's in. Bioware is a mess and this game is a mess.

Thank God for companies like CD Projekt Red.


Please don't disappoint me CD Projekt Red.
 
Cliques and people who know eachother sticking around who they know, not being friendly to new people, doesn't necessarily only apply to men either.

It happens everywhere, happened on a movie set I worked on last year. Some people never grow out of high school.
That just sound like every office everywhere in the world though
 
It's certainly the most out of place part of the whole thing. From the stories we got from Jeff Green about what it was like to work at EA, I really, really don't think "Bro Culture" could survive at any of its subsidiaries.
I don't think "bro culture" means what most people here are saying it means.

It usually just means it's very cliquish.
 
My understanding from reading the all the information I have is that Montreal is the C team-.firings, leavings whatever further caused a team that primarily worked on DLC to become even shallower, scope got out of hand, milestones blown and it was time to just get it out the door. They didn't have the talent to handle this maybe? It was a bad management decision to have a studio of this experience handle this project?

I also am led to believe they are very progressive/SJW/liberal/ whatever tag you want to throw on and from reading this that might have clashed with overall culture since it is Bro culture apparently. Chads and brads in khakis vs gender fluid purple hairs can be explosive. Work place conflict should be handled by HR or MGMT if employees can't. Again see non responsive HR..which also has management failure all over it.

Regardless I love ME and all shortcomings of the current release fall on managements head. Ultimately it is their call. Who loses? Everyone. Except people who troll ME I guess. Pretty sad. It will sell decently on the name alone and hopefully we get another shot.
 
i'm not implying that at all :p

i'm implying they changed the face rigs so had to throw away those facial animations, or it was a progress/concept demo of some kind.
To me, it 100% looks like they redid their adaptive facial rigging system they use. Since it's not as simple as making one rig in this game, the characters have to procedurally be able to talk, since hand animating every face would be impossible in this type of game. So I'm sure they went through a ton of tech art solutions and redo's of the overall facial/body rig.
 
I also am led to believe they are very progressive/SJW/liberal/ whatever tag you want to throw on and from reading this that might have clashed with overall culture since it is Bro culture apparently. Chads and brads in khakis vs gender fluid purple hairs can be explosive. Work place conflict should be handled by HR or MGMT if employees can't. Again see non responsive HR..which also has management failure all over it.
Nah, you'd be hard pressed to find any tech company with a quote "gender fluid purple hair" culture.

Bro culture is, in itself, self-destructive. Look at what's happening with Uber right now. Bro culture prioritizes nepotism, forcing team members to compete, and treating the workplace like a clique. Sexual harassment is thrown under the rug, senior employees can get away with anything because they're a part of the "in group"... companies like this are a mess.
 
i wonder if the target is just the game running on unreal with all the matured assets, know how, and the gold version in just their attempt to move onto frostbite and troubles with ramping up to it, which makes sense since i'm sure there are tons of people experienced with unreal but much fewer on frostbite outside of sweden. unreal always looked really good when shit was wet.
 
In addition, take a look at the below video comparing the leaked 2016 MEA footage to the current footage.

https://my.mixtape.moe/yugchn.mp4

Notice how the April 2016 leaked version has dramatically better animations, ESPECIALLY the facial animation when that guy starts coughing. What happened?!
.
Man, this is just depressing. That prototype looks like it would have set a new standard when it comes to a big rpg and facial animation. The final product does the opposite.
 
Not supporting this game. Read a couple other reviews as well.

I am very against cultures who put the "old guard" at the top, and refuse to listen to their new employees.