Reporting from the UK's Bradford Animation Festival, where a presentation on videogame art was hosted by BioWare Art and Animation Director Neil Thompson, Eurogamer gleamed some new tid-bits of Dragon Age 3, including a glimpse at the first in-game screenshot, which they've unfortunately only managed to source from an audience member's happy-snap (via Eurogamer
“That is Dragon Age: Inquisition,” he said. “It's the first time anyone has seen a frame of it outside BioWare studios.”
It didn't stay up on the screen for long though - Thompson moved past it after just three seconds. But, thankfully, one fan managed to take a snap and posted in on the BioWare forum (higher resolution images may be available in the future, we're told).
In a Q&A following the presentation, Thompson reportedly shared some more details on the team's transition to EA DICE's popular and powerful new game engine for Dragon Age 3:
“Mass Effect was done on Unreal of course,” he replied. “Dragon Age was done on the proprietary engine Eclipse. I think anyone who played Dragon Age 2 would agree that engine was starting to creak a little bit by the time that was released.
“Obviously Frostbite is the Battlefield engine built by DICE. It's a beautiful, beautiful engine. And what we've found is an improvement with DA3, is the artists who were really battling with the Eclipse engine have just embraced Frostbite. The work they're doing now is stunning.
“I think the screenshot I showed earlier is pretty stunning. That's unusual for pre-production. Usually you don't get to that kind of quality until a week before gold master.”
He continued: “It makes my job easier because then it's all about discussing the aesthetic and what you want to achieve. When you're a character artist or an environment artist you're focusing on a small aspect of the greater whole of the game. As an art director you're concerned about the whole, the frame and everything it contains and how everything sits and the consistency. An engine like Frostbite allows you to focus more on that rather than the technological challenges of just getting the damn thing to run.”
Dragon Age 3: Inquisition is due in Spring 2013 (Northern Autumn) with target platforms not yet revealed. The first gameplay details and concept art were revealed a few weeks back