Inside the BioWare writers’ studio

BioWare, creators of the beloved Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, is known perhaps more than anything for the quality of its writing. The Border House interviewed BioWare writer Ann Lemay.

We work in an open-floor office, each in four-desk units with semi-clear dividers that afford some privacy, but still allow people to easily find someone and talk to them. It’s a setup that, in and of itself, promotes an ease of communication. (It’s sometimes referred to as the “Whack-a-Mole” setup.) As you no doubt noted in the “typical day” question, there tends to be a lot of back-and-forth between all disciplines on a regular basis. I’m always conferring with someone about various parts of dialogue or banter I’m working on, to ensure it works with the level. Someone is always walking up to my desk to ask a question or clarify a point (or just chat in general). The communication here is stellar, and it makes for a workflow that’s truly enjoyable. Considering the level of iteration we bring to our process as we work on the narrative – and considering how involved and layered our narrative can get – this level of cooperation is pretty much essential.