Mac Walters (lead writer for Mass Effect) talked to BioWare Pulse about the writing in Mass Effect 3. He tells the internet television show that the goal in ME3 is “treat this like a movie – the movie.” The final installment of the trilogy will have intense action while having huge cut scenes that give the feel of ‘playing a movie’ at times.
The history and evolution of the ME writing staff tells a story all in its own. In the original Mass Effect, there were only 4 writers and 1 editor. In ME2 there were 6 writers and 2 editors. Finally in ME3 there are 8 writers and 3 editors. This shows each game has required a larger staff to fulfill the requirements to produce the type of product they have been so successful with.
Through the story telling process, the writers first create a high level story. These are the overarching themes they want to see occur in the game; the key points. Once these are agreed upon, the writing team fills in the gaps with missions and side stories. The writers are given free-reign to write the plot for the side missions so they each have a bit of their own creative genius in various parts of the game.
While there is in fact a raging war occurring in the ME universe during Mass Effect 3, the writers are still developing character development. In this installment, Shepard is becoming more human than ever before. He or she is receiving a strong emotional component that will be greater than in the past games.
Walters says that ME3 will be bigger than any of the previous titles. If this video game makes you feel something while playing it than the BioWare team has succeeded. I’m confident they will succeed.