BioWare has been going back to the drawing board on Dragon Age III for a while now. Dragon Age II, as you may recall, received a mixed critical reception at best — I sure didn't care for it though of course, not everyone hates the game including some thoughtful folks who work here.
Bioware wants you to know that They Are Listening To You, and want to hear every idea that you may have about the third instalment. Seriously. Every single possible idea you may have.
At PAX Prime last year, they held a panel where they engaged the audience to find out what they wanted. At PAX East this year, they did the same thing. And starting this week, they've been doing it yet again on their official blog.
From a post on the 14th by BioWare's community manager Jessica Merizan:
Beginning today, we'll do a series of questions and discussions around Dragon Age. Consider this a conversation between fans, the community team, and the developers. Everyone at BioWare is incredibly excited about the future of the franchise but we're interested in what you have to say. Every month, we will discuss a topic or question about Dragon Age and game development. You will have one week to post your thoughts, desires, and hopes before we close the thread for review. Moderators and developers will pop into the thread to chat every now and again, so keep an eye out.
These questions and discussions are not only for future games, but other potential products like novels, animated features, pen and paper RPGs, and comics — all of which offer us opportunities to expand on parts of the world.
Merizan is sure to be clear that what they're making no promises with any of it, but that they're interested in engaging the very vocal community to make sure they know what people want as they make the game.
The question for May?
"What kinds of things would you like to discover and learn about the Dragon Age world?"
[Insert joke about wanting to discover why the second game was such a disappointment.]
This sounds like one part good community management and PR, one part genuine interest into what the fans want, and one part hoping to really listen and not have a repeat of THe Ending Controversy That Shall Not Be Named.
I have to (somewhat jokingly) ask — in between all the conversing and feedback-wrangling BioWare is doing, I do hope that they have time to implement a few new ideas of their own!
Dragon Age; Question of the Month (Discovery and Learning!) [BioWare Forums via Rock, Paper Shotgun]