kitae's Profile - Destructoid

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When I game I play mostly MMOs, RPGs and Shooters but my main passtime is staring at my framed photo of Chad Concelmo. Also I work at Bioware as a system designer.
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Frontierville is an odd game. With no actual way to win, you need to come up with your own goals. Many people try to build a perfect farm, I wanted to build the perfect army.

Could I fill every single square on my farm with a friendly, but deadly, goose? At 300 gold each, this wasn't easy -- I had to do weeks of harvesting peanuts to raise the cash. Finally, with more cash than BPs planned dividend payments to shareholders this year, I began to recruit my army.

Unfortunately, technical problems started to surface. As the goose army's ranks increased, my framerate dropped. I switched to chrome which gave me a frame rate boost, but the geese relentlessly pecked at my performance. I started managing my goose army at work where I had access to an 8-core processor computer, but no computer seemed capable of rendering that many feathers.

There is nothing sadder than having an ideal, a dream, and realizing that while it's theoretically possible it's just to beautiful to exist in Adobe Flash Player 10. Fairwell goose army.

Christina the Mass Effect 2 bioware developer here, with another exciting Community Question (tm).

I'm working with our marketing team on planning future Mass Effect 2 gameplay videos. What would you guys like to see?

Hey this is Christina Norman from Bioware lead system designer on Mass Effect 2. From time to time I like asking questions to the destructoid community because I think you guys are generally a good representative of the hard core but gaming commuity. My question for today is:

Please tell me your favorite video game that has a hard mode you enjoy playing on, and why you enjoy it! Describe what's different about hard mode and regular mode, and how that difference contributes to you enjoying hard mode.

Thanks in advance for your responses!

Edit - I've noticed some people are posting general "this is what I'd like to see in a hard modes" comments.

If at all possible, please name a specific game you liked that had a hard mode and [b]what you liked about that game's hardmode. You can then add on any comments about what you like in general.

If no game you have ever played has had a hard mode you enjoyed, please feel free to state that, and then provide your suggestions about what would make a good hard mode.

E3 is over! I'm so very tired, but I had a great time, even though I was stuck in a demo booth all day for the entire thing. I should probably be showering, but hey, blogging is important too.

Mass Effect 2 had a great day of demos, we ended up being nominated for four awards.

Dragon Age also had a good showing, getting nominated for three awards.

Speaking of which, Destructoid should totally do their own awards and give them out at E3! A Mr. Destructoid head would make a sweet award sticker.
Photo Photo

Christina from Bioware here for a quick update. I have some random E3 photos too! Sorry iPhoto photos not the most awesome quality.

So today my first day of demoing Mass Effect 2 behind closed doors with Casey Hudson. E3 didn't open until noon, but I got there at 9am to double check that everything was working well. It was! EA set up the booth really nicely, great hardware and a beautiful booth.

Some nice Mass Effect 2 signage at E3 as well. There's more than this but this is the only one I got a photo fo.

I practiced the demo again a few times and before I knew it I was giving live demos. Everything went really smooth, and people seemed to enjoy the demo, what else can you really ask for? There is coverage of the demo in a variety of places. You can bug Brad Nicholson if you want a review of the demo, he saw it!

Finally, here's a photo from kare3oke of me hugging Jim Sterling mainly because it's ironic!

Photo Photo Photo

8:05 PM on 05.26.2009

Hey everyone! For anyone who doesn't know me, I'm Christina from Bioware, Lead System Designer for Mass Effect 2 (and member of the Chad Concelmo fan club).

So E3 is coming up and I'm really excited about demoing Mass Effect 2. I'll be there with Casey Hudson (Project Director) all week performing Demos. Casey will be doing all the talking while I play the demo.

I thought it might be interesting to talk a bit about the process of creating a demo and preparing it for E3. First if you haven't seen it already, you should probably check out our pre-E3 video which sums up what we'll be showing:

So how was our demo made?

We wanted the demo to be 100% content you would see on the retail disc. Often companies make E3-only demos, but this is a waste of resources really. I'd prefer to put all of our time into content for the real game!

With that in mind, Casey reviewed the game a couple months ago and identified the best vertical slice to show off what Mass Effect is all about. An outline of the demo structure was written up and communicated to the team. This is a difficult process with a game that's as large and deep as Mass Effect 2, because you can only show a tiny portion of the game. The vertical slice was then communicated to the team so everyone would know what we'd be showing at E3.

A few weeks later, Casey wrote up our demo script. This script highlighted both what Casey would say while he presented the demo, and what we'd show on screen. Then we did some early runs of the demo. This was a great opportunity to tune the script, and identify any high priority bugs we wanted to fix before E3.

In the past week or so there have been regular meetings with Ray and Greg, EA executives, and marketing to show over the demo. The feedback has been very positive! No major changes have been requested which is always a good sign. Final polish on E3 content has also been completed.

For the past few weeks, I've been practicing the demo at home during the evening on my 360 dev kit.
I've been playing Mass Effect 2 for a while now, so getting through the demo is pretty easy, but regular practice is necessary to ensure that people observing the demo will have the best experience possible. The best way I can think to explain it is, think about when you're playing a game, and someone sits down next to you who isn't familiar with the game to watch you play. They will generally ask a lot of questions about what's going on - something we can't do in a demo. With that in mind I have to play the demo in a way that makes things as clear as possible to the observer. For example, there's a power I want to show in the demo that I know will show the best if it's used on an enemy that's angled 30-60 degrees on my right side. Since combat in Mass Effect 2 is different every time, I can't count on a situation like that arising, but I'll do my best to watch for an appropriate situation and unleash the power at that moment. Practice is what lets me best identify and respond to those situations.

Despite all of this scripting and preparation every presentation of the demo will be different! When you're on the demo floor you need to respond to your audience, and tune the experience to what works best. That's one of the things I really love about giving demos!

I hope this was interesting! After the E3 demo is done, I'll do a follow up blog post about what is was like showing Mass Effect 2 at E3.

Also hi to everyone who will be at the Destructoid KarE3oke party! I'll see you there ;)