In an in-depth interview with International Business Times UK, Mass Effect: Andromeda Lead Designer Ian Frazer admitted the game was originally going to be procedurally generated. When Frazier was asked about the criticisms and how it’s affected BioWare’s post-launch plans for Mass Effect Andromeda, he said.
Our intent was to always be flexible because you don’t know how fans are going to react. You don’t know what they’re going to get super-attached to, positively or negatively. So we went in thinking ‘here’s some stuff we’re definitely going to do, and then here’s some stuff we might do, maybe, let’s see how the fans react. So to a large extent I think things are sort of on track, with regards to post-launch plans. Obviously the particulars change, but the overall timetable doesn’t.
We explored some very different designs early on. As you know in the game you’re the Pathfinder, and you’ve been tasked with finding these worlds to colonize and/or make peace with the natives. Originally, we leaned much more heavily into that. We were looking at a game that used a lot more procedural tools to have a vast swathe of planets and places to go.
We spent a lot of time developing down that particular road, and tailoring the story towards it and so forth, but we found it wasn’t yielding the results we wanted. You can make a giant procedural game, but we were finding that the giant procedural game wasn’t the narrative experience or the moment-to-moment experience we wanted players to have.
In terms of negative feedback, he said.
As far as my personal reaction. I won’t speak for the other guys, but I spent quite a bit of my time on Twitter and various forums and such. And I won’t lie, it’s hard. It’s hard to see the criticisms, some of the challenges that are out there. It’s difficult because we do want to help, so you’re out on Twitter and forums and stuff trying to troubleshoot issues or give people a hint on something they’re struggling with. But to do that, to help the fans and try to absorb the feedback to better steer what we do next, you have to wade through a lot of crap. And that part is not a lot of fun.
Frazier still appreciates the ability to talk directly to the people playing his games.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t enjoy the occasional gut punch, but on balance I think it’s really valuable that things have gone this way. Our ability to get feedback from fans on such a broad spectrum is great. For example, we used to rely heavily on our forums, but now we’ve got several channels of information coming in. You just get a much larger pool, because when you’re limiting it to one channel or two, it self-selects to an extent. You’re only going to get feedback from people who’ll take the time to become a member of that forum, or what have you. It’s been nice having a broad assortment of people give us feedback – good and bad – through channels like Twitter and Facebook.
Mass Effect Andromeda released in late March 2017 available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Source: International Business Times UK: Mass Effect Andromeda lead says it’s been ‘hard’ to take criticism of BioWare’s latest