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The third article in the series posted above by ChAiNz is now available - http://www.computerandvideogames.com/310556/interviews/mass-effect-3-bioware-on-intense-combat-and-overhauling-ai/

 

As an aside, Christina Norman, ME2 and ME3 Lead Gameplay Designer, interviewed in that article has now left Bioware. Preston Watamaniuk, overall Lead Designer for ME1/2/3, is doing double duty and taking over her role.

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

I DO like that the different difficulties will now offer something more than just bullet sponges now. The proverbial "dangled carrot from a rope" to get players to try the harder difficulties just to see how the AI changes.. hehe

 

I'm looking forward to it. I always play "normal" first anyways to get a feel for the game.. looks like just knowing what to expect won't fully prepare you for the harder runs now.. sounds fun :D

 

EDIT:

 

Couple of new(ish) vids.

 

Commander Shepard's story continues in Mass Effect 3, and here Morgan Webb takes a look at this upcoming title's weapons customization improvements, new weapons like the Omni-Blade, AI upgrades, and Kinect voice command.

http://www.g4tv.com/videos/53986/mass-effect-3-gameplay-preview/?quality=hd

 

Casey Hudson, Executive Producer at BioWare, talks with G4tv to give us a preview look at the storyline and gameplay mechanics behind Mass Effect 3 at Comic-Con 2011.

http://www.g4tv.com/videos/54324/mass-effect-3-comic-con-2011-story-preview/?quality=hd

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The faces are too perfect to be based on the in-game facegen... I don't think you can get anywhere close to #4, 5, or 6. None of them also resemble anything close to default FemShep. Then again, that isn't exactly a downside considering that FemShep has an ever-lively expression shared only by the Borg Queen.

 

734px-Default_Shepards.jpg

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No, the proposed canon FemShep head is not a FaceGen mesh, just as the canon MaleShep head isn't. I would assume they based it on a scan of a real face, again just as is the case with MaleShep.
Irrelevant. If any of the candidates aren't possible FaceGen permutations, then this is all just marketing fluff. The key difference in all of this is that I can play box art ChauvShep, even if it is a direct scan of a model's face; any of the FemSheps are basically impossible to recreate in ME1&2. So... it's all just marketing eye-candy.

 

Additionally, this entire competition is really just about what pleases the aggregated masses, particularly the majority of the player base that will never play FemShep, rather than the 18% that do. This is particularly apparent when the leading candidate is white, blonde, and blue-eyed.

 

Mm, so much for space democracy.

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Irrelevant. If any of the candidates aren't possible FaceGen permutations
who cares, if like the male shepard that put them the canon female shepard in game, just like the male? How do you know they are not going to add DLC to ME1&2 with the canon female Shepard face? Not only would it make it possible to play with the canon face, but it would sell.

 

I happen to be one of the 18% and I usually use the defalut male and female Shepard because I cannot create anything with the FaceGen.

 

As to marketing eyecandy, forgive me if I wrong, but isn't that what a marketing department is suppose to do, sell their game?

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So... it's all just marketing eye-candy.
Of course it is - what else would it be? The sole reason for the canon MaleShep head was to have a marketable face for ME. Hence why it's a custom mesh with a custom texture, and not one of the horrible plastic FaceGen heads. After all the bitching and moaning from people over the course of the first two games, they finally decided to throw them a bone and do the same for FemShep for ME3. Although I doubt appeasing existing fans was their primary motivation. After all, all the whiners on the official forums will buy ME3 anyway, come what may. But if this marketing ploy nets them say 10,000 additional new players to the franchise, it was worth the effort.
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who cares, if like the male shepard that put them the canon female shepard in game, just like the male? How do you know they are not going to add DLC to ME1&2 with the canon female Shepard face? Not only would it make it possible to play with the canon face, but it would sell.
That's the overarching issue: the to-be canon FemShep is ultimately what the masses want rather than what the developers would deem "appropriate" for the game. As per the first installment, the "appropriate" FemShep has already been selected, and I'll give BioWare credible props for making her look more believable than many other female video game protagonists. Hell, she's more believable than ChauvShep's Cro-Magnon-inspired space marine pastiche.

 

With the FemShep candidates, all of the options have been based on analyses and aggregations to what "the public would want" as a FemShep, rather than what everyone would be perfectly a-OK with if they just stuck with the default. It's an "ideal" FemShep, and elicits feelings on what would be the "ideal" woman in player's minds, in this case Victoria's Secret Model #L45J1.

 

Sometimes, the people can make stupid decisions, and ultimately it's better if the developer just makes up their own appropriate design rather than listening to any other bloke. It's why we often can't have smart things in games (or any mass media), because the "what's popular must be right, right?" mentality caters to the perceived lowest common denominator. It's lowering the bar for a trope's sake.

 

I happen to be one of the 18% and I usually use the defalut male and female Shepard because I cannot create anything with the FaceGen.
As do I, but the thing about default FemShep is that she isn't hypersexualized and is actually believably-designed. With this contest, I'm given a predetermined render of six variations of the same face, and am asked to pick "what's the best?" Apparently "what's the best" implicitly corresponds to "what's the most attractive", and in this case the sample population seems seems to favor the protagonist's typical blonde love interest. By this reasoning, I guess Dr. Chakwas should also be in her mid-20's and have a C-cup. Mm.

 

As to marketing eyecandy, forgive me if I wrong, but isn't that what a marketing department is suppose to do, sell their game?
Yeah. But they didn't have to pander to f****** everyone. It shows some sort of insecurity with their already-decent standard for FemShep, frankly.
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......

The words, "it's just a game" come to mind. Perhaps the canon faced femshep is supposed to somehow be a "plain jane" of indeterminate origin? If a "hyper-sexualized" femshep appearance helps sell another 10000, well.....there's always FaceGen. I've played both and rarely use the default appearances. Besides, w/FaceGen, there's a series of alternate "default" faces of various origins.

 

And yes, I know, 'I'M PLAYING IT WRONG'. :p

 

Wrong, schmong. I tend to track with the "right 82%" most of the time too.

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I really don’t see the big deal. If they can reinvent other NPCs, most notably Ashley Williams, why not Shepard?

 

Not really sure about the hair over the eyes on Femshep. May look cool, but in a firefight it may actually be in the way. However, my little woodelf in Oblivion had about the same cut and she was able to survive.

I've never liked FemShep that much.
Blasphemy Jennifer Hale FTW.

 

Only downside to FemShep is no Tali romance.

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