Inflexion Games, a Canadian game studio made up of ex-Bioware developers and led by former Bioware GM Aaryn Flynn, announced its first game Nightingale at the Game Awards last year. At first glance, the survival crafting game doesn’t seem to have much in common with the types of games Bioware is known for, but Flynn says the team learned some key lessons from Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and even Anthem in development. from Nightingale.
In a new interview with IGN, Flynn explained how Nightingale ended up in the project it is today, from its first concept and even further back in his history as CEO of Bioware. While Flynn says Nightingale won’t have the “narrative backbone” of a game like Mass Effect, there were still plenty of lessons the team could draw from the Bioware style of game development.
“We think we can learn a lot from Mass Effect and Dragon Age, and even Anthem,” explains Flynn. “And say, ‘How can we build a world that has survival crafting gameplay, yet offers that huge umbrella of knowledge and rich conceit that just makes it an engaging place to be in that space?'”
Flynn also said that Nightingale will lean on the idea of player choice, something Bioware games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age are known for. While the choices in Nightingale may not take the same shape due to the differences in genre, Flynn said the most important aspect was making players feel that their decisions had real weight and impact on the world of the game.
“I think one thing that great RPGs and these survival sandbox games should have in common is this idea of autonomy,” Flynn said. “That players have the feeling” [they] go do what [they] want in this world. And we can only offer so much; there will always be invisible walls and things like that. But the more we as developers can provide autonomy and real meaningful opportunities to influence and change the world of the game, and the more we see those choices reflected in compelling ways, the better the work we’ve done.”
Another lesson Flynn learned from Bioware comes from another former Bioware developer, Mike Laidlaw, this time on how to make sure the game finds its intended audience.
“A former colleague of mine, Michael Laidlaw, who was the creative director of Dragon Age: Inquisition, had a great phrase that he always used and that always spoke to me,” explains Flynn. “When it came to things like marketing the games… he always said, ‘I wish we had a marketing campaign that was, ‘Here’s our game. I hope you like it.’” And that’s really what it comes down to.”
Nightingale is currently slated to release in early access on PC sometime in 2022. Players interested in checking out the game early can sign up for closed beta testing, which will begin in the coming months.
Sirbpti may receive a commission from retail offers.