This week BioWare’s Principal Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert introduced the Codex. If you’ve played some of BioWare’s other projects like Dragon Age or Mass Effect, you’re probably familiar with the Codex system, which allows players to discover key bits of lore throughout the game by exploring or accomplishing different tasks. This story can help enhance the lore of the world or offer additional narrative to a player’s chosen profession.
This feature isn’t just about being another way to deliver story to the player. As Lead Systems Designer, I’m mostly concerned about bringing the fun. Delivering story and context isn’t enough for me – I also want to be sure that we add new activities for players to do and goals for him to achieve. In particular, we saw the codex as a way to reward exploration
Here are some more of the highlights:
- The team had two design goals: providing more fictional context for the player, and providing an explorer mini-game with meaningful rewards.
- It was inspired by the codex systems in Dragon Age and Mass Effect.
- Current estimates of the codex are around 120,000 words of text. The average Star Wars novel comes in at around 100,000 words.
- Some Codex entries will be given away for free. Others will require exploration or killing various monsters.
- Datacrons are unique objects you can find throughout the world that will increase one of your stats permanently.
- The system is designed to be easily expandable.
- Check out Schubert’s entire blog entry for more details on the Codex.
Currently, the Codex consists of lore deposits that total over 120,000 words, which the Star Wars: The Old Republic novel by comparison has just over 100,000 words. Some Codex entries can be obtained easily, while others will require a bit more work to obtain. The Codex offers an additional incentive and reward to fans of the Star Wars story and of exploration.