The developers at BioWare discuss the finer points of crafting a story and building characters for Dragon Age II.
If the above video makes one thing clear, it's that Dragon Age II will be all about the storytelling.
That's not to say that the gameplay will be neglected, but the crafting of the plot and the way the plot is revealed seem to be getting extra attention this time around. The main story will be nested within a larger one relayed to an outsider by an in game narrator, similar to the way Diablo II or The Usual Suspects was set up. This is called a frame narrative, and the developers seem very proud that theirs may be the first truly interactive use of the technique.
There is also a strong focus on the characters that act out the story. Instead of creating a very wide world to be explored over a short amount of time, Dragon Age II will be set in a smaller, more well constructed space that we will experience over the span of 10 years. This allows relationships with other characters to develop over a longer, more natural period of time. In addition to giving the main character, Hawke, a chance to experience the far-reaching consequences of his actions, he has also been given a family, giving him a grounding in the world.
Of course, the game isn't exactly a huge jump for BioWare. The game will use the company's tried and true conversation system, with options to be a saint or a jerk, which will change your character's personality.
But really, a game with moral choices, a focus on story and writing, and sex with the other party members? Yep. Sounds like a BioWare game.