Weekend tech reading: Dragon Age II focusing on consoles (not?)

By on August 8, 2010, 12:50 PM
Dragon Age II: No overhead view on PC, no toolset, audience is on consoles As many feared Dragon Age II is changing from a PC franchise to a console one, and with it are coming some big changes that are going to upset PC gamers. French Magazine Joystick (Sept. issue) interviewed Mike Laidlaw - lead designer on DAO II. In it Mike reveals that DAO II was made thinking of console users first... Galaxy Next Door -- Update: Reply and clarification by Laidlaw himself (Thank you princeton).

TorrentReactor buys and renames Russian town TorrentReactor, listed among the five most popular torrent sites on the Internet, has surprised friends and foes by acquiring a small town in central Russia. The town formerly known as Gar has reportedly been bought for the equivalent of $148,000 and was quickly renamed after the Russian-based torrent site. TorrentFreak

Big Macs on campus In five years, Apple has switched places with Dell as the student laptop of choice. 70% of incoming University freshman students are coming with Macs, which is up 10%-15% y-y. Sounds good for Apple, right? It also sounds too good to be true, given that only five years ago Apple's share of the campus laptop market had dwindled to the low teens. Fortune

Mozilla to bring auto-updating to Firefox In a little-discussed move, Mozilla is adopting automatic updating for the upcoming Firefox 4 browser. "For Firefox 4, minor updates will occur automatically," said Alex Faaborg, a principal designer on Firefox, in a Firefox developer forum discussion. "We'll only be using the major update dialog box for changes like 4 to 4.5 or 5." InfoWorld

3D at the box office: Down, down, down No matter how it's spun, the data on the expected 3D explosion just isn't going in the right direction. After nearly 80 percent of those who saw "Avatar" saw it in 3D, it was assumed that the format would quickly overtake theatrical distribution. But 3D's box-office trajectory has been pointing downward almost ever since... The Wrap

AT&T hints end of "Exclusivity Agreements" in SEC filing For the first time in a quarterly SEC filing, AT&T has made direct mention of the impact that the loss of certain "exclusivity agreements" could have on the company: In this case, none. PC Magazine

NFL in discussions about using chip-in-ball technology The National Football League (NFL) are in discussions about employing chip-in-ball technology to help rule on contentious touchdown and first down calls, German manufacturer Cairos Technologies has told Reuters. Reuters

**Thanks to Relic and dustin_ds3000 for sharing some of the linked stories.

User Comments: 10

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princeton princeton said:

On the Dragon Age II story, it was a misunderstanding, Mike Laidlaw has made a clarification reply statement:

Hey folks,

Victor managed to hunt me down, and I wanted to clear up a few things with regards to what I'm seeing as the two major concerns.

First off, let's talk about the toolset issue. Obviously in this community there's going to be some concern that we wouldn't release a toolset, so let me clear the air a little: The tools exist, the ones we're using to make Dragon Age 2 are very, very close to the tools you guys have used to make your mods for DA . They're not identical, as we've made a few in-house improvements, but they're almost identical. As such, there isn't a new toolset to release, per se.

While we won't be releasing a toolset update in tandem with Dragon Age 2, we ARE investigating what it would take to update the community toolset to match ours, along with providing DA2 content in the future.

As to the subject of tactical view, I can confirm that we will not be doing a tactical view... on consoles, though we are looking into some expanded party control that I think will make console players quite happy.

On the PC, however, we are still working with the camera to keep the key elements of the tactical experience there. I was actually playtesting some new camera code when Victor found me, in fact, so I can give you the latest news on that front.

While we likely won't pull as far up as we did in DA , I have always felt that the key to tactical play was actually freeing your camera from the character you're controlling to issue precise orders, which is what we're tuning now. So, this means you can still maneuver the camera around the battlefield and issue orders from a remote location, just as you could in Origins.

As you can probably tell from my phrasing, all of this is a bit in-flux right now, so things may change between now and ship, but I wanted to update you guys by correcting and detailing the current direction of things.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

GameInformer magazine did a pretty extensive review of DAII with interviews of the production staff this month. Basically backing up what princeton posted. Things aren't going to change that much for the PC gamers. I think the French Magazine....was just being French. :p

No big surprise on the 3D. Until they get rid of the glasses, it will always be just a novelty.

princeton princeton said:

TomSEA said:

GameInformer magazine did a pretty extensive review of DAII with interviews of the production staff this month. Basically backing up what princeton posted. Things aren't going to change that much for the PC gamers. I think the French Magazine....was just being French. :p

No big surprise on the 3D. Until they get rid of the glasses, it will always be just a novelty.

Ok here's my 3D idea. We take the nintendo 3DS screen and put it into a 42" factor. You'll only be able to watch for 5 seconds until you get a migraine headache and possibly have a brain aneurysm but it'll totally be worth it for those 5 whole seconds.

Lurker101 said:

With any luck, we won't have any disgusting, profiteering immersion-breakers like the Wardens Keep DLC for Origins.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Thanks for the update Princeton, when I was reading this yesterday before Mike Laidlaw made his reply I was pretty sad. I couldn't believe that Bioware of all companies would do something like this especially after pushing DA as being the RPG for PC gamers as opposed to ME which is the more casual version. At least everyone can still be hopeful about a toolset, as a mod supporter I'd be sad not to see one.

Cueto_99 said:

Fortunately Dragon age II isntĀ't going to be focused totally on consoles, such a great game didnĀ't deserve such fate... thanks for the good news princeton.

bugejakurt said:

@TomSEA Thumbs UP for the glasses!

CMH, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Consoles just aren't meant for serious gamers.... If you were to take your gaming to the next level, PC is the only way to go.

However, there just isn't the numbers to make them interested.... Plus all the marketing going into selling the consoles themselves.... I wonder if PC gaming is going to go the way of the dodo....

MrAnderson said:

*On 3D Down, Down, Down*

in-3D is down because they are charging customers as much as they think they can get away with for this "experience". IMHO, I feel we are being over charged. Clash of the Titans and Avatar: The Last Air Bender were the final straw in how I will be becoming very picky in what I watch in ways of in-3D content.

In NYC we are being charged 17.50, and that is just for regular "digital" screen, not IMAX. They are asking too much it seems. The theaters in some places are not even very clean. Avatar was an attraction; you cannot ride that wave when the bar was placed that high, especially when the other live action movies with VFX that followed have fallen far from that mark. Some not even filmed in-3D, with their weak artificially induced 3D (from software) and along with very weak story telling. If it is falling, there is your answer as to why. Stop over charging us and start paying attention to the things that make a great experience.

Guest said:


I swear I have been hearing this since Playstation 1 and before, oh PC gaming is fading away, PC gaming this, PC gaming that. Dont forget PC gaming is still a multi billion $ industry, from the millions that are constantly pumped into hardware R&D for graphics cards (the cards that power consoles no less) and gaming acessories to probably the most sucessful game ever created (World of Warcraft) who's subscription income eclipses all but the biggest of console games.

There is a market for PC games and a market for console games; and somewhere in the middle we get games that are released on both.

I buy MW2, Mass Effect 2 and Starcraft for the PC then I go buy Bioshock, Assassins creed 2 and Orangebox for my 360.

There is and always will be room for PC gaming. Just look at the games avalible from the "eTailors" you might just be shocked.

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