Dragon Age Redemption

I’ve finally gotten around to watching the six episodes in the web series “Dragon Age Redemption” starring Felicia Day.

What did I think?

Well I’ll qualify what follows with two points:

  • I don’t like web series. I find they have too much preamble and postamble for a few minutes of entertainment. I don’t generally go out of my way to watch them.
  • Having been involved with the development of Dragon Age Origins I cringe a bit when I see the Dragon Age world used by outsiders.

But…

Overall I enjoyed it. It was less campy than I feared (though still somewhat campy). The production values were higher than I had expected given what I imagine was a relatively small budget to create the series. I thought the story fit the flavor of the Dragon Age universe, with a couple exceptions which I won’t bother getting into because they were mostly minor.

(So I didn’t cringe too much)

And the geeky part of me enjoyed seeing a fictive world I helped build appear on the big screen (well, my iPad’s screen, anyways). There’s still so much Dragon Age *content* — other countries and regions of the world of Dragon Age — that have not been explored yet that I’m always excited to see some of it appear to the public. I spent years carting (in the digital sense) hundreds of pages of world and story documentation around… nice to see it getting used (a bit)!

I’m curious what others thought of the series?

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  • http://twitter.com/dyalad Dyalad

    I liked it. I was happy to see how much attention to detail was given to certain things (in combats, you can recognize ingame spells and abilities). I liked the characters, the story was fun and felt like it belonged to Dragon Age. The only thing that bugged me is how much boobs Talis was showing off, I thought it was a bit unecessary.

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    Thanks Dyalad… and agreed most of it felt like it belonged.
    But I totally didn’t notice the boob thing at all…

  • Mordi

    I watched the first episode and I stopped there. See I have a problem. I can’t really stand the way felicia Day act. She’s reminds me of a dry, stale rendition of a character you’d see inna cheap Spaced knockoff. She might be cool IRL but her acting and her delivery is just awful. 

  • Jsmith

    I don’t think it does justice to the massive dragon age world and all the work you’ve done to do a cheap web series that last 30 min. overall. It looked like a bunch of fans in cosplay. Speaking of outsiders, there’s also a japanese dragon age anime coming up: 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEHTlYQXoNc and that looks even more out of place

    meh just my 2 cents

    jim

  • Axelcastellano

    I see the effort, and I think I appreciate, in general, when people go and do creative work, no matter what it is… Having said that, I cringed A LOT while seeing certain “style” choices, specially in character development and story…

    To be more clear, when I aproached the first game (Origins) I saluted the dark and mature themes it wanted to present, and its obvious debts with  fictional worlds like “A Song of Fire and Ice”. The themes and characters seemed to be appropriately grounded in that gritty, dark and savage world…

    This web series have more of a “Dragon Age 2” tone, I think, where there’s  an obvious effort to present much of the dialog and characters in a “sassy” way, with plenty of comic relief, sometimes very much like a contemporary sitcom… and the dark themes are not taken to their natural conclusion. At least thats my impression… I’ve even read Mr. David Gaider say they dont take themselves TOO SERIOUSLY (in regards to mix the story with this “contemporary” feel).
     
    I remember there were good humorous moments inDA Origins too, but my impression is that they were much more restricted and “in context”, rather than several funny “one-liners” thrown together “just to be funny”…

    As you said, you were part and lead of the Dragon Age developing team for so many years…, do you have an opinion on this…? :)

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    I was okay with the web series. Partly
    1. Distance… its been a long time since I was involved with Dragon Age 
    2. I don’t watch many web series so I might be off base here but I imagine it is difficult to pull off “gritty and dark” while still being entertaining with each episode only being a few minutes long. “Sassy” is a bit easier to pull off.

    Overall I think your points are accurate. The tone of the web series is lighter than Origins. But for me it is still within the realm of “tastes like Dragon Age”. That is, it doesn’t stray outside the boundaries of the world.

  • Soul951

    Is there no way you can go back to bioware? they might hire you for DA3 or at least be able to write books for dragon age. Are you allowed to say what you would of done for dragon age 2 if you were in charge, for example was you going to have the greywarden be the character for all future games? ect.

  • http://blog.brentknowles.com Brent Knowles

    No, not really. I’m not looking for a job, so I would have no reason to try. And I rather doubt they would phone me out of the blue and ask me to come back :)
    I had considered writing books for dragon age but I really enjoy working on my own stuff. I’m not tremendously successful at this point but knowing I have ownership of what I create is important to me.
    In regards to what I wanted to do with the DA franchise… it would have been my preference to stick with the gray warden storyline in some manner… possibly not the main character directly but his/her lineage or the grey wardens themselves.
    In a larger sense I wanted to keep the silent protagonist. Much of this for me is personal… I really dislike my avatar to be voiced, especially in a role playing game. 

    Thanks for stopping by,

     Brent

  • TheDevian

    Agreed, it had better production than I expected, and the credits were too long for how short it was. Should have just been one long ep. though I do think the Kossith should have been a bit, umm, thicker, his head looked as disproportionate as the elves in DA2. But, low budget, and that is a minor thing really, especially in light of what they were doing. (though after her flirting with the Templar, Hawke, and the [potentially] undead Leliana it seems she has little in the way of, standards, Even Isabela turned some people down… though I also admit, I am curious about the Qunari Elf and the [possibly] Undead Seeker)
    The Anime was worse in some ways too, the detail on some things, like the backgrounds and the Dragons and some other critters were just sooo detailed, and then the people had almost none at all. It was like the new elves, just a real disconnect with the rest of the art/world.
    I am glad you are happy with what you are doing, a part of me is mildly disappointed you won’t be a part of 3 (not that I expected it), for whatever reason, Laidlaw (no offense) needs someone to reign him in. “Awesome Button” indeed… =/ That kind of madness doesn’t belong in an RPG. Mr. ‘I don’t like romance in games’ shouldn’t be in charge of a game that draws in many players due to its romance options. I am not one of the people calling for him to be fired (like in the thread I was just reading), but I do think he would do better in a more appropriate genre.
    I just find it disappointing that so many games are going with the Action or FPS hybrid style RPGs (if you can even call them that any more, football games have stats and skills too, but you don’t call them rpgs). Oh well, sorry I digress, at least Kickstarter could still succeed, and if someone (you) decides to make an actual spiritual successor to DA:O, you can count me in line. Because I certainly do not expect 3 to pull it off. …and that makes me a saaaaad paaanda.