A Dive into Dragon Age: The Veilguard’s Vast Character Creator

As BioWare prepared to show me the Dragon Age: The Veilguard character designer at its offices in Edmonton, Canada, I was expecting something robust: it’s 2024, the character designers have been doing some heavy lifting. path and Bioware has a rich history of customization. Despite my expectations, I was not prepared for the robustness of Veilguard. Robust enough, even, that BioWare used it to create most of the game’s NPCs, except for main characters like companions. Leaving the hyperbole aside, this is an incredibly rich creation system, and I can’t wait to see near-realized replicas of player-created celebrities and monstrous creations that would be more at home in a horror game.

But I’m also looking forward to the community’s reaction to the Dragon Age series’ best character creator yet. At the heart of it all is inclusivity, Veilguard game director Corinne Busche tells me, before letting me guide her through creating my own character.

A Dive into Dragon Age: The Veilguard’s Vast Character Creator

As usual, there are four races to choose from: Elves, Qunari, Humans and Dwarves. After selecting the Qunari and Busche pages through various presets, the game explanation allows a more detailed examination of each and the possibility of choosing pronouns with she/her, he/him and them separately from gender, to select different types bodies, and more. . You can see your character, called Rook in the game, in four different lighting scenes at any time, including The Veilguard’s primary purple hue, a bright and sunny tropical day, and a gothic night.

I joke with the team that after spending over an hour creating my Dragon Age: Inquisition character in 2014, I immediately restarted the game after seeing it in the first cutscene; the game’s lighting made my hair color look horrible, among other issues I had with my Inquisitor. Veilguard creative director John Epler says the team is aware of countless stories like this with Inquisition and its green-hued character creator, adding that BioWare has worked hard to stifle this issue in Veilguard.

Head and body presets can be individually selected and customized to your taste with 40 different skin tones that include smooth, rugged, youthful and freckled skin tones, skin tones ranging from cool to neutral to warm, shades of these skin tones and even some melanin. slide. Busche tells me that BioWare relied on consultation to authentically represent everyone. There is a Vitiligo slider (where you can adjust the intensity and amount) and sliders for your forehead, eyebrows, cheeks, jaw, chin, larynx and scalp. You can select your underwear, including nudity, because “this is a mature RPG,” adds Busche, and use the “Body Morpher” to select three presets for each corner of a triangle, then move a slider inside to transform your body. or head for a mix of these presets. It’s an impressive piece of technology that I’d love to see adopted in other games.

I could go on: you can adjust the height, shoulder width, chest circumference, size of buttocks and bulges, width of hips, how bloodshot your eyes are, how visible cataracts are, the color of your sclera, the curvature of your nose, the size of your bridge, the size of your nostrils and nose tip, and there are just as many, if not more, sliders for things like Rook’s mouth and ears. On the ears alone, I see you can adjust asymmetry, depth, rotation, earlobe size, and even add a cauliflower ear to your Rook. Busche says the makeup blends modern styles with Dragon Age fantasy with over 30 options, including eyeliner intensity, color, glitter, eyeshadow, lips, and blush.

Tattoos are just as customizable, as are scarring and painting options. Tattoos, scars, and painting are very culturally relevant to certain bloodlines, BioWare tells me, with unique tattoos for elves, for example. You can add tattoos to Rook’s face, body, arms, and legs, and you can also adjust things like intensity.

I’m particularly impressed by the hairstyle options. There are tons of them, and as someone with long hair, I’m particularly excited about the fun selections I can make. You can finally dye your hair non-traditional colors, and it looks gorgeous. EA’s Frostbite engine uses the Strand system to render each style entirely with physics. “The technology has finally caught up with our ambition,” says Matt Rhodes, art director for the Dragon Age series.

After customizing all that and selecting our Qunari’s horn type and material (there are over 40 options to choose from), it’s time to choose a class from the Thief, Mage, and Warrior – find out More about Veilguard classes, click here. Since we created a Qunari, we opted for the Warrior. For the penultimate step of the character creator, at least during the demo BioWare shows me, we select a faction. From the six options, we select the pirate-themed Lords of Fortune.

“Rook rises through skill, not through a magical McGuffin,” BioWare principal and Mass Effect executive producer Michael Gamble tells me, contrasting Inquisition’s characterization that destiny chose you. .

“Rook is there because he chooses to be and that reflects the type of character we’ve built,” adds Busche. “Someone has to stop this, and Rook says, ‘I guess it’s me.’ »

Ready to begin our Rook’s journey, we select a first and last name and one of four voices from the options of English Male, English Female, American Male, or American Female. There is also a pitch shifter for each voice, allowing you to further adjust it to your liking.

Don’t worry too much about locking your character creations before you start the game—the Mirror of Transformation, found in Veilguard’s main hub, The Lighthouse, allows you to change your physical appearance at any time. However, class, bloodline, and identity are locked and can’t be changed once you select them in the game’s character creator.

From there we head to Minrathous, and you can read more about this famous city in our cover story, available here.

For more on the game, including exclusive details, interviews, video features and more, click the Dragon Age: The Veilguard center button below.

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