BioWare: Sex Scenes "Tasteful" in Dragon Age: Inquisition

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BioWare: Sex Scenes "Tasteful" in Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition Conversation screen

Romance is back again in Dragon Age: Inquisition, and BioWare hopes to frame intimate scenes in a way that focuses more on an emotional connection.

From Dragon Age to Mass Effect, BioWare often makes games that feature romantic encounters with other characters. The way these scenes are composed can alter the mood or feeling the developer intended. Cinematic Director Jonathan Perry, who worked on both series, said he hopes to treat intimate scenes in a more mature and more tasteful way in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

"Something that didn't work well is that we tried more, well, I won't say graphic, but in Dragon Age: Origins we had characters crawling around in their underwear," Perry said in an interview with GamerZines, "and it looked weird because they were wearing these lacy Victoria Secret panties and outfits which looked out of place."

Perry referenced scenes in Mass Effect where characters were nude and framed in ways that placed parts of bodies in shadow. He added that the focus for the scenes will not be sex itself. "This is the culmination of spending a lot of time with a character and getting to know them, and so we're giving scenes a mature and tasteful treatment," Perry said.

Another feature of these BioWare games is the impact of your decisions as a player on other characters who each have their own drive, passion, and distaste. During a scene in Inquisition, if one of your actions upsets someone, the camera will react accordingly in a jarring manner.

"We might experience the same lines, but the framing of the characters in the shot might be completely different based on what we're doing," Perry said. "Previously when a character said a line, they would always have the same emotion, but now... they could say the same line but have a stern look or a happy look based on how the conversation is going or what has come before that."

Perry believes there is an "uncanny valley" between film and games in regard to difference in love scenes, "but games can be powerful in a very different way because they...can react to what you're doing and that's something you don't get in film as you are a passive viewer."

Source: GamerZines

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I like elf boobies. I find them very tasty-- er, tasteful!

I think it's best to not talk about how awesome your sex scenes will be and let people come to that conclusion by themselves. They won't be tasteful because you say they are, they'll be tasteful BECAUSE they are.

Bioware sounds like it's employing the same PR as its parent company.

I'm going to be honest - Is something like this really necessary in the first place? Is such a thing something you want to define your series and must be in every game? If your PC and another NPC/PC fall in love with each other, then sometimes it's just better to let the player make assumptions on things such as sex. If these two people go somewhere alone where the camera can't see them, and the screen fades to black with a bit of an "audio cue", it's pretty obvious at what's going to happen, and at that point it's better to let the player imagine what happened; no need to show the oft-awkwardness of what is happening.

In other words, EA would like to let the public know that Dragon Age: Inquisition has sex scenes. You like sex, right? Buy this game. Also, Bioware, so buy this game. Bioware.

Bioware sex scenes are always tasteful(read: kinda lame).

Don't worry bioware, this is something the modding community handles already when it comes to dragon age games (not so much for mass effect to my knowledge).

http://girlplaysgame.com/2013/08/02/dragon-age-31-mods-you-never-knew-you-needed/
Check the romance mods for a taster :)

Are we doing this dance again bioware? You using sex to sell your game as "Mature" again?

If they did a sex scene like the one in Mary Gentle's novel, Grunts, I'd consider buying EA/Bioware again.

"Pass me another elf, this one's split.

luvd1:
Are we doing this dance again bioware? You using sex to sell your game as "Mature" again?

I'd say they're trying to get the media to notice this and stir-up a controversy, i.e. free marketing/publicity, i.e. instant boost to sales.

Worked for Mass Effect.

Dr.Awkward:
I'm going to be honest - Is something like this really necessary in the first place? Is such a thing something you want to define your series and must be in every game? If your PC and another NPC/PC fall in love with each other, then sometimes it's just better to let the player make assumptions on things such as sex. If these two people go somewhere alone where the camera can't see them, and the screen fades to black with a bit of an "audio cue", it's pretty obvious at what's going to happen, and at that point it's better to let the player imagine what happened; no need to show the oft-awkwardness of what is happening.

Where have you been? Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3 (and the Citadel DLC) all did exactly that. The last thing the player sees before the fade to black in those games is the PC/NPC still fully clothed and just starting (the standard is kissing and moving out of view). As for it defining the series and being in every game, here are the answers: it doesn't (~30 second scene out of a 20+ hour adventure, yep that's all I remember. I can't recall who the Reapers are at all. /sarcasm) and they kinda do, since BioWare has included it for so long everyone just assumes their next game will have them too. It isn't fair or reasonable at all, but there it is.

All that said, I agree with you. The Dragon Age and Mass Effect scenes put too much emphasis on the act and not the connection, when sometimes suggesting is better than showing (and this article says they are reversing that). On the other hand, sex sells and suggesting doesn't pamper to, uh... certain demographics.

OT: So the scenes are going to be more about the emotional connections a la Jack from ME2 mixed with the camera work from the ME1 scenes? I can get behind that.

Sex scenes can be fucked up in many ways. They can even be "tasteful" and still horribly out of place like the Witcher pin up cards.

rofltehcat:
Sex scenes can be fucked up in many ways. They can even be "tasteful" and still horribly out of place like the Witcher pin up cards.

Depends on what you mean by "out of place" since Geralt has always been a bit of a gigolo... collecting "notches on his belt" or in gameplay terms "sex cards" is par the course for his character.

But I can see how the cards would rub someone the wrong way.

So long as it's not this:

Or this:

I'm pretty sure everyone will be happy Bioware.

How about you frame the sex scenes IN focus? Or are you just going to go the cocktease route again like in ME2?
Seriously though if you're gunna show sex, then SHOW SEX. You have the conversations leading up to it to establish an "emotional connection". That was never the problem.

roseofbattle:
"Something that didn't work well is that we tried more, well, I won't say graphic, but in Dragon Age: Origins we had characters crawling around in their underwear," Perry said in an interview with GamerZines, "and it looked weird because they were wearing these lacy Victoria Secret panties and outfits which looked out of place."

It's kind of a pity in my opinion. I always got the impression, what with Origins' BBFC 18 rating and all, that the sex scenes were intended to be more graphic originally, and feature actual nudity. Certainly the way the scenes are shot suggests as much, since it's not framed so subtly as in Mass Effect. My theory is that they decided to dial back on the sex scenes - hence the characters still wearing their underwear - after the uproar about the ones in the first Mass Effect. It's a pity, because otherwise they could have really pushed the boundaries of what you can put in a mainstream video game. As it was, the scenes still weren't bad per se, but they did come across as a bit silly.

Meh I don't know about anyone else, maybe I'm just the pervert here, but "tasteful" and "mature" just sounds like "BORING!" Don't get me wrong, I don't want a porno near the end of the game, but I also don't want anyone to pretend that, as an adult, the sight of two people touching each other intimately or a vagina or penis is going to cause me to curl up into the fetal position, weeping horribly and needing therapy.

I've actually been a bit disappointed in Bioware's "sex scenes" if they can be called that. As far as I'm concerned the most steamy they've gotten is somewhat showing ass in ME1...and since then it's gotten less and less. They're not really sex scenes in my opinion...it's more "kiss and fade to black" scenes. Which is fine, go right on ahead and do that if you find that's best for your game, but don't keep calling them sex scenes. Be honest.

Screamarie:
Meh I don't know about anyone else, maybe I'm just the pervert here, but "tasteful" and "mature" just sounds like "BORING!" Don't get me wrong, I don't want a porno near the end of the game, but I also don't want anyone to pretend that, as an adult, the sight of two people touching each other intimately or a vagina or penis is going to cause me to curl up into the fetal position, weeping horribly and needing therapy.

I suspect a lot of it is because despite the games ratings, they are very aware that a lot of people buy games under that age. They don't want to deal with the backlash of having that kind of thing, especially considering a lot of the Western world has such a backwards opinion of sex as it is.

I've actually been a bit disappointed in Bioware's "sex scenes" if they can be called that. As far as I'm concerned the most steamy they've gotten is somewhat showing ass in ME1...and since then it's gotten less and less. They're not really sex scenes in my opinion...it's more "kiss and fade to black" scenes. Which is fine, go right on ahead and do that if you find that's best for your game, but don't keep calling them sex scenes. Be honest.

The funniest thing about that is that they have become so tame that some fans even insist no sex takes place. I have had people in the Bioware forums try and insist that the fade to black and the lack of removed clothing means it doesn't happen.

OT: My issue with the Dragon Age "romances" more than anything was that the character models made it look more like the sex scene from Team America. Bioware's character models are not too bad in general, but in close-up scenes like that the flaws become very noticeable.

Dr.Awkward:
I'm going to be honest - Is something like this really necessary in the first place? Is such a thing something you want to define your series and must be in every game? If your PC and another NPC/PC fall in love with each other, then sometimes it's just better to let the player make assumptions on things such as sex. If these two people go somewhere alone where the camera can't see them, and the screen fades to black with a bit of an "audio cue", it's pretty obvious at what's going to happen, and at that point it's better to let the player imagine what happened; no need to show the oft-awkwardness of what is happening.

I completely agree. Personally I feel "romantic pixels" is one of the most useless, desperate, and pathetic addition we've seen to video games over the past few years. It reminds me of a rule laid down by a cinematographer friend, "The sooner a film jumps to a nude/sex scene, the weaker it's plot." It's as if the film makers know they've created a piece of drek and have to do something drastic to keep the audience watching.

Tasteful shmasteful. Are they still going to be horribly awkwardly written and animated, like literal Barbie and GI Joe dolls awkwardly grinding against each each other? Everyone in any of their games with sex scenes has been sexier with their clothes on.

Legion:

Screamarie:
Meh I don't know about anyone else, maybe I'm just the pervert here, but "tasteful" and "mature" just sounds like "BORING!" Don't get me wrong, I don't want a porno near the end of the game, but I also don't want anyone to pretend that, as an adult, the sight of two people touching each other intimately or a vagina or penis is going to cause me to curl up into the fetal position, weeping horribly and needing therapy.

I suspect a lot of it is because despite the games ratings, they are very aware that a lot of people buy games under that age. They don't want to deal with the backlash of having that kind of thing, especially considering a lot of the Western world has such a backwards opinion of sex as it is.

I've actually been a bit disappointed in Bioware's "sex scenes" if they can be called that. As far as I'm concerned the most steamy they've gotten is somewhat showing ass in ME1...and since then it's gotten less and less. They're not really sex scenes in my opinion...it's more "kiss and fade to black" scenes. Which is fine, go right on ahead and do that if you find that's best for your game, but don't keep calling them sex scenes. Be honest.

The funniest thing about that is that they have become so tame that some fans even insist no sex takes place. I have had people in the Bioware forums try and insist that the fade to black and the lack of removed clothing means it doesn't happen.

OT: My issue with the Dragon Age "romances" more than anything was that the character models made it look more like the sex scene from Team America. Bioware's character models are not too bad in general, but in close-up scenes like that the flaws become very noticeable.

And that first part is what pisses me off the most. I AM an adult. By my family and legally I am a damn adult. I can drink, I can drive (though never together), I can join the military, I can see any movie in the theater I want, and I can watch porn. These are the few perks of staying alive this long. So when I go out to buy a game and it's supposed to be intended for an adult audience, I expect to take in content that is intended to be for an adult audience....not watered down violence and sex because 12 year old Jimmy's mom doesn't give a shit about what he plays.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying every game has to go to the highest rating of violence and sex it can. That's stupid. But when I go to see a children's movie (and I do, Epic was wonderful), I expect a movie that is intended for children. So why can't I expect to get mature content in a mature rated game? It's kind of ridiculous and really frustrating. Read your ESRB people!

He added that the focus for the scenes will not be sex itself. "This is the culmination of spending a lot of time with a character and getting to know them, and so we're giving scenes a mature and tasteful treatment," Perry said.

That sounds boring as fuck.

trty00:

Wh-wh-why is she still wearing pants? Why is she still wearing pants? WHY IS SHE STILL WEARING PANTS?!?

OT- Bioware, I don't care. You have never make a good sex scene, you may never make a good sex scene, but as long as the rest of the romance is okay, I'm fine with it.

Hahahahahahahaha... NO.

The games are rated goddamned M for Mature, I expect to see some goddamned mature content.

The Witcher 2 had more as much full frontal nudity as an episode of Game Of Thrones, and everyone loved it!

And you can take your "emotional connections" and shove it; if they're anything like the relationships in Mass Effects 1-3, then hardcore nudity is the only thing you've got going for them right now.

You mean "Grinding in their undies"?

I don't give a damn what the sex scenes are if they don't return gameplay back to "Origins"!

It's about the story and how we get to the sex scene that would be interesting. The scene itself is utterly pointless unless you are 13 or you have a polygon fetish.

In my humble opinion these scenes are even important in creating the illusion of a working relationship in any game. Either that or some dialogue which hints at a sexual relationship. Without that characters appear to me like children or sterile beings, totally oblivious or devoid of any kind of sexual desire. And that makes them artificial to me.
That's one of the reasons to me why The Witcher games have such a realistic feeling world. Because it has these kinds of emotions and notions in it that other fantasy worlds lack. And that is not just sexual desire but also racism, sexism, bigotry and everything else that exists in our world. That being said, sometimes it can be refreshing to see a fantasy world like Skyrim where sexism and homophobia are practically nonexistent.

And like Screamarie said, they are not really sex scenes.

Machine Man 1992:
Hahahahahahahaha... NO.

The games are rated goddamned M for Mature, I expect to see some goddamned mature content.

The Witcher 2 had more as much full frontal nudity as an episode of Game Of Thrones, and everyone loved it!

And you can take your "emotional connections" and shove it; if they're anything like the relationships in Mass Effects 1-3, then hardcore nudity is the only thing you've got going for them right now.

So true xD
Mature and tasteful seem to equal boring in Bioware's mindset ^^
I think they just don't want to let their games appear childish or piss off the ultra conservatives too much and that's why they pander to their idea of a "meaningful releationship"

Bioware's idea of 'romance' is having four to five conversations with someone you work with, mostly about their childhood, making a professional decision that they approve of, and then sleeping with them because of plot-convenient downtime.

Shamanic Rhythm:
Bioware's idea of 'romance' is having four to five conversations with someone you work with, mostly about their childhood, making a professional decision that they approve of, and then sleeping with them because of plot-convenient downtime.

^^Truth

Honestly at this point, I think Bioware talk about it simply for advertising purposes. That's all it is, a cheap grab for the "OMG SEX!" headline. I'm married, so the bioware romance's seem so far removed from my experience's with relationships to be a comedy side game really. For the most part they seem to be forced in there just to say they are there.

Frankly I don't think this is a good solution, I mean it's like trying to do violence more tastefully, whether you shot someone's brains being splattered over the wall or do a camera cut with some fancy shadow work to allude to brains being splattered on the wall you're still going to offend the same people.

Basically they need to do an all-or-nothing approach. Some people didn't like the romance subplots but fortunately they are always optional, and the "sex" scenes while yes approaching softcore porn... what's the problem? Really I mean I don't get how people will bang their war drums in staunch defense of violence in video games but lord forbid we show sexuality. Violence in video games has always been gratuitous, unrealistic, and over the top, to suddenly complain that a game that has all that in it isn't realistically depicting relationships? Give me a break please.

Doing anything realistically in a video game, especially when it deals with social interaction is going to be very difficult to pull off, at least we can applaud that Bioware is TRYING, I mean Mass Effect and Dragon Age's courting system are far from perfect but at least they're not Harvest Moon level of gifts = love, you actually have to talk to them and somewhat conform to their expectations.

I rather enjoyed the love scenes in ME and DA and yes I'm a male who has no shame in being explicitly upfront about sexuality, I don't see it as shameful and needing to be hidden, but that's besides the point. If you invest in a relationship in a game, a game that's all about rewarding player investment, then shouldn't it make sense to have a pay-off? I mean what else would you expect them to do? Have an innocent G-rated kiss on the cheek and sing the Barney & Friends theme song? It's already a mature rated game for adults, what's the harm in showing a little *gasp* sensuality? I mean realistic or not, you expect some level of intimacy to form, and what higher form of intimacy is there?

Nurb:
You mean "Grinding in their undies"?

I don't give a damn what the sex scenes are if they don't return gameplay back to "Origins"!

My thoughts exactly. Thank you, I thought I was the only one :(

Captcha: heebie jeebies

I don't think Bioware will go the full mile and give us good sex/romance scenes that will not fade to black and/or last 2-3 seconds.

The Witcher franchise holds that crown so far and looking forward how they will top themselves with Witcher 3.

Regardless of any of that, the gameplay that I've seen looks samey as DA2 which only lowers my hype for the game even more.

Revnak:

trty00:

Wh-wh-why is she still wearing pants? Why is she still wearing pants? WHY IS SHE STILL WEARING PANTS?!?

OT- Bioware, I don't care. You have never make a good sex scene, you may never make a good sex scene, but as long as the rest of the romance is okay, I'm fine with it.

As an aside, I generally think about it like this: if you're game has sexual content in it, and GTA and Saints Row do it better (crass and as tasteless as you can get while remaining "good"), you should probably get rid of it. Personally, this news makes me think they'll pull a Heavy Rain and try too hard, but we'll just have to wait. Here's your chance to answer Saints Row 4's dig at your romance system Bioware, USE IT.

Machine Man 1992:

The Witcher 2 had more as much full frontal nudity as an episode of Game Of Thrones, and everyone loved it!

Not really. It had a lot of boobs and the occasional lower half for the ladies but (speaking as a straight male who merely noticed this) it was really missing dicks.
Like, all the sex and you never see a single penis. Equal opportunity flaunting guys.

You know BioWare, I remember this game that you guys made called KOTOR. I loved that game, especially the characters. When I first played that game the only two characters that I didn't like when I first met them was Bastila and Juhani. Now while I didn't like Juhani ever, I began to enjoy Bastila's presence and loved the arc with her mother on Tattooine.

After awhile I had been able to create a healthy relationship with Bastila, and then there was a fade to black and I could fill in the blanks on my own. So basically BioWare, maybe you should make me care about the characters and enjoy the relationship that I was able to build up without throwing out any major reward instead of tossing up a dry humping scene for us.

I thought the ones in Mass Effect were pretty tasteful and well done. I never romanced Jack but I watched them all on youtube and I thought the romance scene between her and male Shepard was pretty touching. Especially coming from such a hardass person as her. I'll be honest, I had a tear.

The Dragon Age scenes (Origins anyway- never finished DA2 so I can't comment on that one) were decent, but not as good as those in Mass Effect.

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