Mass Effect 3: Casey Hudson's Largest FUBAR

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Not really sure if this is relevant to any other fans that are disgruntled about the ending to ME3. But it looks like the Bioware writing team had nothing to do with the ending. Thanks to the ingenious move made by Mac walters and Casey Hudson we have them to blame for this MASSIVE amount of internet uprising. Here is the link to the article, please read.

http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/5695/article/mass-effect-3-writer-allegedly-slams-controversial-ending/

I'm honestly a little more than upset by this. It sounds like there was a planned ending with everything that we were promised, but it was cut short. How about some input from the other invaluable members from The Escapist.

Apparently you can't write a good story when the lead writer from previous 2 games wasn't involved at all, and when the project director takes it upon himself to write the ending without any input from other writers. Who knew, huh?

Why am I not surprised?

Like the article says; 'it shows'.

I especially like the "Casey is an intelligent guy" remark.

I beg to differ.

If this is true then people can't defend the ending by saying "it is what Bioware chose to do." as it was two guys who came up with it and the rest of the writing team was no pat of it.

"It shows"

Hmmmmm, I suppose that's one way to put it.

Aw well. The man might get to have a career in game design walking away from this, but not a good one. So there's some small consolation in that.

Eh well ... they had a good run ...

EA: Here's what's gonna happen Casey, you and Mac are gonna take control of this thing and end it.

Casey: Why?

EA: Well, see... if we put the ending in your and Mac Daddies hands instead of giving the fans what they were promised, they'll will rise up en mass and demand something new and then we'll be able to give them just that.

Casey: Or... we could just give them-

EA: No... the plans have been set in motion. [booming reaper sound]

If true it's not surprising. The forced nature of it in a game designed ideally for multiple endings reeks of someone shoving an idea down our throats in the name of "their artistic vision".

This didn't need to happen. There was room to squeeze this in as an ending obtained though some sidequest or something and still leave the "more video-gamey" endings available. It sure feels like someone said, "my way or no way."

Simply put, Mac should only ever write characters, Drew should write story/lore. And they should goddamn ALWAYS be up for constructive criticism.

From the Article:

The stuff with the Catalyst just... You have to understand. Casey is really smart and really analytical. And the problem is that when he's not checked, he will assume that other people are like him, and will really appreciate an almost completely unemotional intellectual ending. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it.

Ladies and gentlemen, it seems that the ending to Mass Effect 3 could be a textbook case of "Viewers Are Geniuses"; especially when you consider that they were also deliberately going for a divisive and thought-provoking conclusion. They did just that, quite successfully I would say.

... Unfortunately, it seems someone forgot to mention that an ending which is too sophisticated is even worse than one which isn't sophisticated enough in the eyes of the average person.

Ergo, the many of the fans got angry because they locked themselves out of the loop by not paying attention to the multitude of genius bonuses littered throughtout the series. In all of the games of the trilogy, there's constant allusion to the value of information and the patterns which lie beneath; but nevertheless, that doesn't mean the majority of players are paying attention to them, probably only a very small minority. They are the key to "getting" the meaning behind the ending to Mass Effect, along with the willingness to accept an ending which lacks closure (as it does make it more thought-provoking).

Of course, one could easily argue that they shouldn't of bothered to go for this sort of ending at all; it's just asking for trouble. Even if that was not negotiable, the ending still could have been executed much better. But no matter how you slice it, averting this issue means having it dumb it down a bit; not to the point of painfully obvious, just to the point most players could actually see it coming.

And just to say, this sort of problem is actually very common among intellectuals. Lost within our own minds, considering the intricate relations of many different things at once; we end up forgetting that most people aren't even aware of such things, let alone interested. And then trying to break it down into more digestible segments for the average person, we still end up going over their heads; it takes a few tries to get it right, and it may be a case-by-case basis as well.

---

And to go on a brief tangent, Dragon Age II has a very similar problem with it's narrative; heck, the exact same problem. The issues with level and encounter design didn't help the matter either, as those were undeniable and rather serious issues. Mass Effect 3 didn't have the gameplay problems of DA2, and the vast majority of the narrative was done in a way that most could enjoy on the basic level.

This could be a growing problem for Bioware, at least if they want to continue making mainstream games. All of their games have a very heavy intellectual angle to them, and lately it starting to get a bit too dominant in their narratives; they don't have to sink to the lowest common denominator, but they're very quickly moving into the niche appeal market unless they can strike the right balance between smart writing and accessible writing.

The Abhorrent:
snip
This could be a growing problem for Bioware, at least if they want to continue making mainstream games. All of their games have a very heavy intellectual angle to them, and lately it starting to get a bit too dominant in their narratives; they don't have to sink to the lowest common denominator, but they're very quickly moving into the niche appeal market unless they can strike the right balance between smart writing and accessible writing.

Hmm, you point makes perfect sense considering their massive "TAKE EARTH BACK" ad campaign, overhaul to more gears style tps cover-shooter gameplay, and the fact that the whole space opera aesthetic of the first game was practically scrapped in favor of a military shooter.

Just sayin.

bobfish92:
Simply put, Mac should only ever write characters, Drew should write story/lore. And they should goddamn ALWAYS be up for constructive criticism.

I don't think Drew worked on me3.

Interesting read, I'm still curious how much the puppeteers (EA) were involved in pulling Casey's and Mac's strings on this.

deathbydeath:

bobfish92:
Simply put, Mac should only ever write characters, Drew should write story/lore. And they should goddamn ALWAYS be up for constructive criticism.

I don't think Drew worked on me3.

Exactly. Any new major storypoint added beyond the first two is laughable. It might not be Deus Ex Machina, but the Crucible is just pathetic from a plot point of view and if you consider the series as an entire singular storyline, then it becomes very close to Deus Ex. The starchild, the purpose of reapers, etc. Its all terrible. And whilst the characters arn't perfect they're much more believeable than in 1. Don't get me wrong, the characters in 1 were good, but not so properly portrayed.

I said this in a different thread, I'm not going to jump on Casey Hudson for this. No sane game developer would do such a thing to both their fans and their own creation. I'm much more inclined to believe they had budget/deadline problems.

That said, the ending is still a complete piece of shit and whoever's responsible for it, well, sucks shit through a straw. I don't care if it's someone at EA or BioWare.

bobfish92:

deathbydeath:

bobfish92:
Simply put, Mac should only ever write characters, Drew should write story/lore. And they should goddamn ALWAYS be up for constructive criticism.

I don't think Drew worked on me3.

Exactly. Any new major storypoint added beyond the first two is laughable. It might not be Deus Ex Machina, but the Crucible is just pathetic from a plot point of view and if you consider the series as an entire singular storyline, then it becomes very close to Deus Ex. The starchild, the purpose of reapers, etc. Its all terrible. And whilst the characters arn't perfect they're much more believeable than in 1. Don't get me wrong, the characters in 1 were good, but not so properly portrayed.

The star child was less of a dem and more of an ass pull, but I see your point. Hell, even in 2 there were some very shifty changes (cerberus, the collectors, the t800 reaper larvae, etc). And I agree with your point about characters in 1, and I haven't played 3, but in 2 they mostly needed some more development, namely miranda, jacob, and thane to a lesser extent

ruthaford_jive:
EA: Here's what's gonna happen Casey, you and Mac are gonna take control of this thing and end it.

Casey: Why?

EA: Well, see... if we put the ending in your and Mac Daddies hands instead of giving the fans what they were promised, they'll will rise up en mass and demand something new and then we'll be able to give them just that.

Casey: Or... we could just give them-

EA: No... the plans have been set in motion. [booming reaper sound]

thats unfair.

the reapers somewhat had a point!
image

The Abhorrent:

Ladies and gentlemen, it seems that the ending to Mass Effect 3 could be a textbook case of "Viewers Are Geniuses"; especially when you consider that they were also deliberately going for a divisive and thought-provoking conclusion. They did just that, quite successfully I would say.

Hardly, that's just a classic case of insulting with a compliment. If he simply referred to his boss as a fuckup, it both makes him look more like a resentful ass and makes things even worse if the comment comes to the attention of said boss.

So, instead... You still more or less say that they fucked up, but attribute it to a positive attribute so it doesn't really look bad on him for saying it.

rhizhim:

ruthaford_jive:
EA: Here's what's gonna happen Casey, you and Mac are gonna take control of this thing and end it.

Casey: Why?

EA: Well, see... if we put the ending in your and Mac Daddies hands instead of giving the fans what they were promised, they'll will rise up en mass and demand something new and then we'll be able to give them just that.

Casey: Or... we could just give them-

EA: No... the plans have been set in motion. [booming reaper sound]

thats unfair.

the reapers somewhat had a point!
image

Nice picture, made me giggle a bit.

Made me think of something though. If the reapers are just chillin' in dark space for hundreds of thousands of years, and on top of that they're super duper (really duper) intelligent, than wouldn't at least one of them have found out that their reasons for killing organics makes no sense?

RedEyesBlackGamer:
If this is true then people can't defend the ending by saying "it is what Bioware chose to do." as it was two guys who came up with it and the rest of the writing team was no pat of it.

I don't know for certain if it's actually true that Hudson and Walters are entirely to blame. I kind of hope that it is true, though, because then the problem becomes a bit easier to fix: fire those two, then let the other writers handle the ending DLC.

Oooohoohoohoo, I just remembered Bioware's little PR schtick where they said "we're not getting enough constructive criticism from our fans to take their complaints seriously", well APPARENTLY Hudson and Walters don't really care for constructive criticism after all.

Its the first thing thats come out that actually makes sense to me as to why we have this pretenious ending that popped up out of no where

The Abhorrent:
Ladies and gentlemen, it seems that the ending to Mass Effect 3 could be a textbook case of "Viewers Are Geniuses"; especially when you consider that they were also deliberately going for a divisive and thought-provoking conclusion. They did just that, quite successfully I would say.

Um, if you're gonna bring tropes in this, Mass Effect's ending fits "True Art is Incomprehensible" than anything else.

Gigatoast:
Oooohoohoohoo, I just remembered Bioware's little PR schtick where they said "we're not getting enough constructive criticism from our fans to take their complaints seriously", well APPARENTLY Hudson and Walters don't really care for constructive criticism after all.

If this is indeed true, I wonder what the rest of the ME3 crew are saying...

"We fucking told you it was terrible! This is all your fault!"

From what I understand, Casey told the rest of the writing team to eat it and scribbled in the ending he thought was cool, and we ended up getting the equivalent of Twilight fanfiction in terms of quality.

This is why big projects have teams of writers - so nonsense like this isn't seen by the light of day.

I would lol if those two would still write the ending dlc.

ruthaford_jive:
Made me think of something though. If the reapers are just chillin' in dark space for hundreds of thousands of years, and on top of that they're super duper (really duper) intelligent, than wouldn't at least one of them have found out that their reasons for killing organics makes no sense?

I think the point is that the logic the reapers use is valid with their (broken) robotic logic. Humans are going to kill themselves? We can't allow that! Solution: Kill them all, so they don't kill themselves. It sounds stupid from our point of view, but if you think about it, it almost makes sense in a binary fashion.

deathbydeath:

Hmm, you point makes perfect sense considering their massive "TAKE EARTH BACK" ad campaign, overhaul to more gears style tps cover-shooter gameplay, and the fact that the whole space opera aesthetic of the first game was practically scrapped in favor of a military shooter.

Just sayin.

Yeah, given all that, I'm sure the last thing Bioware wanted to do was "dumb things down."

The Abhorrent:
snip

Don't insult us, is the first thing you assume simply "lol they're just too dumb to like the ending"? Because the ending isn't particularly clever, philosophical or new, it's simplistic, cliche and insulting.

Mass Effect fans are smarter then you think, most of them have already deconstructed, analyzed and reconstructed every possible meaning behind the ending, to the point where people have developed a conspiracy theory centered around the minute details throughout the entire game. We've written VOLUMES about why the ending doesn't work and you honestly think it's because it just went over our heads?

Here's a quote from an incredible thread over on BSN:

Taken on its own, the ending presents this theme in a very underdeveloped way. Because the plot becomes convoluted once the Catalyst comes on the scene, the narrative has to restate its own themes in order to clarify things. If the narrative worked in a cause and effect way, the Catalyst wouldn't need at this point to make an isolated argument that is supported by its own premise. However, the StarChild's appearance effectively isolates the ending from the rest of the plot both causally and thematically.

This is the rest of the thread: http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/355/index/10550373/1

Read that and tell me we simply don't 'understand' the ending, you arrogant, condescending prick.

So the more and more I read about this situation, the more and more I'm coming to the conclusion that this conundrum is a direct result of Casey Hudson being a pretentious, egotistical fucknugget.

Who'da thunk it.

The Abhorrent:
From the Article:

The stuff with the Catalyst just... You have to understand. Casey is really smart and really analytical. And the problem is that when he's not checked, he will assume that other people are like him, and will really appreciate an almost completely unemotional intellectual ending. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it.

Ladies and gentlemen, it seems that the ending to Mass Effect 3 could be a textbook case of "Viewers Are Geniuses"; especially when you consider that they were also deliberately going for a divisive and thought-provoking conclusion. They did just that, quite successfully I would say.

... Unfortunately, it seems someone forgot to mention that an ending which is too sophisticated is even worse than one which isn't sophisticated enough in the eyes of the average person.

Ergo, the many of the fans got angry because they locked themselves out of the loop by not paying attention to the multitude of genius bonuses littered throughtout the series. In all of the games of the trilogy, there's constant allusion to the value of information and the patterns which lie beneath; but nevertheless, that doesn't mean the majority of players are paying attention to them, probably only a very small minority. They are the key to "getting" the meaning behind the ending to Mass Effect, along with the willingness to accept an ending which lacks closure (as it does make it more thought-provoking).

Of course, one could easily argue that they shouldn't of bothered to go for this sort of ending at all; it's just asking for trouble. Even if that was not negotiable, the ending still could have been executed much better. But no matter how you slice it, averting this issue means having it dumb it down a bit; not to the point of painfully obvious, just to the point most players could actually see it coming.

And just to say, this sort of problem is actually very common among intellectuals. Lost within our own minds, considering the intricate relations of many different things at once; we end up forgetting that most people aren't even aware of such things, let alone interested. And then trying to break it down into more digestible segments for the average person, we still end up going over their heads; it takes a few tries to get it right, and it may be a case-by-case basis as well.

---

And to go on a brief tangent, Dragon Age II has a very similar problem with it's narrative; heck, the exact same problem. The issues with level and encounter design didn't help the matter either, as those were undeniable and rather serious issues. Mass Effect 3 didn't have the gameplay problems of DA2, and the vast majority of the narrative was done in a way that most could enjoy on the basic level.

This could be a growing problem for Bioware, at least if they want to continue making mainstream games. All of their games have a very heavy intellectual angle to them, and lately it starting to get a bit too dominant in their narratives; they don't have to sink to the lowest common denominator, but they're very quickly moving into the niche appeal market unless they can strike the right balance between smart writing and accessible writing.

I actually liked the DA2 ending, I didn't like the laziness at which the game was designed, one city sure curbs development time doesn't it lol

ruthaford_jive:

Made me think of something though. If the reapers are just chillin' in dark space for hundreds of thousands of years, and on top of that they're super duper (really duper) intelligent, than wouldn't at least one of them have found out that their reasons for killing organics makes no sense?

I think what made Reapers so bloody intimidating (besides the obvious) is that they always had mystery ("We have no beginning, we have no end. We simply...are") and, as Sovereign said, the very concept of their being is beyond [our] comprehension.

Without wishing to make this sound like a rebuttal aimed at you (because it's not), I think what made them so much more menacing (and relentless) was that we tried to apply morals to a being that had no use for such concepts. They firmly and devoutly believe that what they do is neccessary and even beneficial...and that scares me more than any of their weapons!

Someone else said that the endings might have supposed to be "thought-provoking"

Well in that regard they were right and here are the first two things I thought at the end:

"Why did that make about as much sense as cleaning one's genitals with a cheese-grater?"

Closely followed by:

"You have GOT to be kidding me..."

Mission Accomplished guys...

salinv:

I think the point is that the logic the reapers use is valid with their (broken) robotic logic. Humans are going to kill themselves? We can't allow that! Solution: Kill them all, so they don't kill themselves. It sounds stupid from our point of view, but if you think about it, it almost makes sense in a binary fashion.

Reapers seem capable of nuanced thinking, though. Unless you ignore the first game, which seems to be what Bioware did in a lot of instances. There may have been some of this in the second, too.

Zen Toombs:

Um, if you're gonna bring tropes in this, Mass Effect's ending fits "True Art is Incomprehensible" than anything else.

But that ignores that he himself is obviously in on it, and therefore a genius. If he calls itincomprehensible, he's admitting he doesn't get it, and is just like the rest of us dirty proles. Where's the fun without the self-praise?

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