Dragon Age Keep

Weaving the Tapestry

BioWare needed a practical solution to bridge the gap between new and old consoles—and connect Dragon Age gamers across all platforms, from PC and console to mobile.

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The Challenge

Before the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition, BioWare had to solve a serious dilemma.

Enthusiastic Dragon Age gamers had dedicated hundreds of hours to gameplay on last-gen consoles. But with Xbox One and PS4 fresh on the market, there was no way to connect their hard-won gameplay hours to Dragon Age: Inquisition on the new current-gen consoles.

BioWare needed a practical solution to bridge the gap between new and old consoles—and connect Dragon Age gamers across all platforms, from PC and console to mobile.

Disciplines

  • Ideation
  • Strategy
  • User Experience Design
  • Development
I still remember when the [Work at Play] team presented the idea for the tapestry—that was the moment it gelled together. I could see people wanting to play with it, and discover paths of the story they might not have played through before.
Fernando Melo, Director of Online Development at BioWare
Photo with caption

An Engaged & Thriving Community

For the Dragon Age gaming community, the Keep became much more than a simple save-import tool.

Weaving the Tapestry

Each decision you make in Dragon Age directly impacts the world around you. Every choice creates a ripple effect of expanding storyline possibilities and countless plot twists—all of which needed to be accessible to gamers in the Keep.

We knew we needed to translate the choice complexities into a clear, navigable system. Using a decision tree was the obvious choice—but during testing it was confusing and unwieldy. The pivotal aha! moment struck once we hit upon the ideal visual metaphor.

Thematically, the metaphor had to fit the fantasy RPG genre, and provide a visual shorthand for gamers to interpret and sort related decision groups. Since the Keep helps gamers weave together intricate story threads, a medieval tapestry made perfect sense.

A big image
Work at Play was absolutely instrumental. We never would’ve got to where we [did] without their involvement. The core feature of the Tapestry as a visual way to set your choices was brilliant. It really made the site what it is today.
Fernando Melo, Director of Online Development at BioWare

Results

An Engaged & Thriving Community

For the Dragon Age gaming community, the Keep became much more than a simple save-import tool.

With the advent of the Keep, suddenly gamers could dramatically reorder their Dragon Age universe. They could venture down new narrative paths, and redefine important relationships—all without running the risk of losing their initial choices and outcomes.

Today, Dragon Age Keep is an invaluable franchise hub where gamers look back on memorable storylines, plan future experiences, and build upon the vast lore of Dragon Age.