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

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?!
Mother of god. And thus, the game was forever ruined for me. I'm not ever gonna bother now that I saw what It should have been.

What the fuck happened ?
 
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?
The only major DA departure i know of was David Gaider but Patrick Weekes has already been promoted to lead writer for the franchise. I don't think it's in limbo either. They have been tweeting some cryptic teases.
 
Sounds like a load of "i was here first" territorial fedoras actively fucking others over whom they don't deem worthy.

I'm shocked that a studio purchased by EA has gone to shit. Shocked.
 
Dudebro game has developer with bro culture? Not really that surprising really
What is funny is that Bioware is a game company that has been accused by many Internet warriors as infusing many SJW elements in its games, lol. Just look at the hububs about the terrible Character Creator in Andromeda: quite a lot if people attributed the ugliness if the characters due to Bioware forcing their SJW values down to gamers' throat, lol.
 
Daaamn. Explains a lot. Such a shame.

Like cliques in high school. A closed circle of associates who look after their own at the expense of others.
Using this as a definition, where is this ever NOT a thing? Not sure I've ever experienced a platform / group that was entirely inclusive and not at least somewhat clique-ridden tbh.
 
Much of the problems with the game seem like they can be chalked up to development hell in general, regardless of may have happened.

I just wonder how an earlier build of a cutscene can have it's animation scrapped for what looking like a placeholder animation that somehow made it into the final game. That's the biggest mystery to me. Bad writing, missing lighting effects, glitches, all that stuff seems to be explainable, but I really don't get how animation can get scrapped like that. Really weird.
 
Damn......That doesn't read well....

I'll wait until it goes on sale I guess, I just purchased a pro for this game, now I'm thinking I should return it and spend that money on a tonneau cover and running boards for my truck instead.

And I think the most damning is what the game use to look like.

We could have had magic, as long as it looked like that I wouldn't care about anything else but right now it just doesn't look visually appealing at all.
 
I need to understand what is happening with regards to the game getting worse, as shown in that clip. Like shake-ups I understand...but why downgrade facial animation? Was it just a series of decisions that gradually degraded it and no one noticed? Or did someone come in and say "let me screw this up?" Because neither sound particularly likely.

Using this as a definition, where is this ever NOT a thing? Not sure I've ever experienced a platform / group that was entirely inclusive and not at least somewhat clique-ridden tbh.
Not only does my workplace not have cliques, but my high school didn't even have cliques. I was a 250lb hardcore gaming nerd with 2ft long blonde hair and I regularly hung out with the preps and jocks. Middle school was pretty bad, but high school was comparatively easy on the clique front. Maybe my school was unique, or maybe the idea of cliques is overblown.
 
I'm absolutely heartbroken that Mass Effect was the game that had to suffer because of office politics and internal mismanagement (if the above is true). I also feel incredibly bad for the people who had to work their asses off for five long years and either get fired or end up with a subpar and underwhelming product.
I feel the same.
 
Damn......That doesn't read well....

I'll wait until it goes on sale I guess, I just purchased a pro for this game, now I'm thinking I should return it and spend that money on a tonneau cover and running boards for my truck instead.

And I think the most damning is what the game use to look like.

We could have had magic, as long as it looked like that I wouldn't care about anything else but right now it just doesn't look visually appealing at all.
You should keep the pro and get Horizon, last Guardian, yakuza 0, nioh or gravity Rush 2 and wait until andromeda receives some form of patches
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
I'd love to learn more as to the ups and downs of Andromeda's production, including the technical and management issues they wrestled with. I know a handful of things I was hearing about a couple of years ago were completely reimagined or outright cut from the project. The first big Game Informer interview hints at a couple of these things, including the technical efforts to make the Tempest fully pilotable in 3D space, which ultimately had to be scrapped.

Though I'm still excited to play tonight, and enjoyed my time with the trial, it does seem clear that the five years of production weren't smooth sailing. Unusual technical and production deficiencies contrast even BioWare's previous work on Inquisition, but I am still suspect that modern Frostbite 3 conflicts with BioWare's production and design vision versus other engines that are proven in this area. I also wouldn't be surprised if earlier scope had to be seriously diminished and maybe this impacted overall production quality. Snags have been hit. And there's always a question of general talent, too, but that's a difficult factor to assess; how talented and experienced are your animators? Your writers? Designers? And so on.

It's easy to point fingers, but it's important to remember Montreal as a studio are not an entirely unexperienced mass of fresh staff. Writers and designers built the Omega DLC from the ground up, which while hardly faultless I do feel is really pretty great and has some of the best encounters in the series, while also being visually appealingly envisioned. The production was up to equal standard and scope to everything else related to Mass Effect 3. Lead designers also worked heavily on Mass Effect 3; not just the multiplayer but the single player combat and encounter design, both of which are routinely cited as trilogy strengths.

Additionally, and I feel this is equally important, "Montreal made Andromeda" is only part of the puzzle. BioWare operate similarly to other major studios where a title in full production draws massive quantity of staff from elsewhere to see assets, animations, and other production notes through to completion. I guarantee Austin and Edmonton also worked on Andromeda, even if that capacity varies. It's hard to pinpoint who-did-what-and-when, especially with staff juggling through exodus and shifting management.

It's also important to remember that Glass Door has no vetting. Literally anybody could boot up and say whatever, no different to a forum, anonymous twitter rant, pastebin, or whatever else. Obviously yes, the Glass Door details could be a completely legitimate insight into Andromeda's process, but they also could be entirely fabricated. Or it could be an individual employer venting, from a perspective partially warped from a bad experience. Or an isolated event. There's no way for us to gauge the degree of truth, and I feel in these cases it's essential to apply the same level of discretion and scrutiny that we would to the same information being echoed in an anonymous post here.

Nevertheless, I'd love to explore Andromeda's production background in full, the highs and lows. It's a shame we see this so infrequently in the medium, but I guess that can be said for all major productions in the creative medium.
 
The only major DA departure i know of was David Gaider but Patrick Weekes has already been promoted to lead writer for the franchise. I don't think it's in limbo either. They have been tweeting some cryptic teases.
Yup. And Patrick Weekes is a great writer. He did a great job with Solas. Trespasser was really well done too. Not taking anything away from David Gaider of course but DA is in good hands right now imo.
 
What is funny is that Bioware is a game company that has been accused by many Internet warriors as infusing many SJW elements in its games, lol. Just look at the hububs about the terrible Character Creator in Andromeda: quite a lot if people attributed the ugliness if the characters due to Bioware forcing their SJW values down to gamers' throat, lol.
Which is why it's easy to take one or two bad company reviews with a grain of salt. There's a lot of assuming that this one review is truth, without possibly considering it's a disgruntled employee.

Honestly, I'd take glassdoor with a grain of sand, it could be true, false or anywhere in between. Problem there is that there are other reviews from the same studio (in Montreal) which are glowing.

The game obviously had problems, but attributing it all to this one account is problematic.
This.
 
If they didn't cared about the IP they would never put their resources to make another one. In every story there is always 2 versions, and to me this seems like a very complicated story that we will probably never know. But the facts are the current state of the game, the lack of marketing from EA that definitely looked like they didn't want to take any more risks with the game by injecting money to a big marketing campaign which would make their ROI even more difficult to achieve and also the fact that neither Microsoft or Sony decided to sign a marketing deal for the game which to me always felt weird.

To me the reaction to this by EA/Bioware will tell a lot of their commitment to the franchise in the long run, they need to turn this negative reaction and make a good lasting impression of the game. Keep patching it and improving it (even Deep Silver/Dambuster Studios made this for Homefront The Revolution, so they don't have any excuses not to keep working in the game) and also make all DLC free. Steps like that would at least make sure the biggest Mass Effect fans don't jump ship.
I´m really pessimistic here. the management truly didn´t care based on the lack of marketing, production value etc and i assume they really want to burn the bridges with the franchise sadly..

all i hear from ea is how much money can be made through ultimate team and how it will be implented in future games, i assume there´s a lack of appreciation for designed game experience in general and mass effect was never a good candidate for cost/return. (the franchise was only solid sales-wise)

it´s just sad, there´s so much potential in the universe
 
Great post, Eatchildren. It's also good that you correct the false narrative that this was by a B-team.

I hope it's possible that we'll get some more information or transparency. Something clearly went wrong. Maybe some whistleblowers will come forward, especially when the game has received such a rough landing and I could imagine hardworking people are disgruntled
 
I need to understand what is happening with regards to the game getting worse, as shown in that clip. Like shake-ups I understand...but why downgrade facial animation? Was it just a series of decisions that gradually degraded it and no one noticed? Or did someone come in and say "let me screw this up?" Because neither sound particularly likely.



Not only does my workplace not have cliques, but my high school didn't even have cliques. I was a 250lb hardcore gaming nerd with 2ft long blonde hair and I regularly hung out with the preps and jocks. Middle school was pretty bad, but high school was comparatively easy on the clique front. Maybe my school was unique, or maybe the idea of cliques is overblown.
That's awesome! Whereabouts do you live, if you don't mind me asking? That is very much not the norm, at least not in my experiences.
 

Crossing Eden

Hello, my name is Yves Guillemot, Vivendi S.A.'s Employee of the Month!
What sucks about threads like these is that this will be the prevailing narrative going forward about what went wrong with the game, (a literal anonymous review), until an actual source comes up. :|
 

Crossing Eden

Hello, my name is Yves Guillemot, Vivendi S.A.'s Employee of the Month!
Thank you OP, Man I was just about to buy the PC version. Not now. I will never support these types of practices. I'm a huge ME fan but fuck this.
What games have you played recently if you don't mind me asking? Because the "I will never support these practices" posts are exactly what I was talking about with my first post:

The triple A industry in general has a history with it, it's something that gamers rarely acknowledge as something that devs deal with.
 
It's also important to remember that Glass Door has no vetting. Literally anybody could boot up and say whatever, no different to a forum, anonymous twitter rant, pastebin, or whatever else. Obviously yes, the Glass Door details could be a completely legitimate insight into Andromeda's process, but they also could be entirely fabricated. Or it could be an individual employer venting, from a perspective partially warped from a bad experience. Or an isolated event. There's no way for us to gauge the degree of truth, and I feel in these cases it's essential to apply the same level of discretion and scrutiny that we would to the same information being echoed in an anonymous post here.

Nevertheless, I'd love to explore Andromeda's production background in full, the highs and lows. It's a shame we see this so infrequently in the medium, but I guess that can be said for all major productions in the creative medium.
This is a very important point. We shouldn't be treating this post as gospel. We need a real investigative journalist piece on this, not just one random glass door post. That could be literally anyone.
 
What sucks about threads like these is that this will be the prevailing narrative going forward about what went wrong with the game, (a literal anonymous review), until an actual source comes up. :|
I think sensible people will be skeptical of glass ceiling sources and not include it in what narrative there is about Andromeda's production.

The more worrying and incorrect narrative that I'm seeing repeated over and over again is that the game was made by a B team without any of the ME people involved and without the assistance of the Austin and Edmonton studios. Which is obviously false and doesn't explain why Andromeda got released in its current state or what happened the last 5 years.
 

HK-47

Oh, bitch bitch bitch.
I'm gonna wait for more concrete sources on this one. People are running with this because it feels right rather than it being true.
 
I'm finding it really hard to continue to support Bioware after hearing about this. I don't want to spend money on a company that treat it employees like trash.