What You Didn't Know About Mass Effect 2

by Andrew Reiner on Feb 01, 2010 at 08:42 AM

Game development often lasts for years. And in that stretch of time, studios have their fair share of ups and downs. From humorous game bugs to stress-relieving antics, Game Informer peers behind the curtain of game development. In this Tidbits column, BioWare shares the stories behind the development of Mass Effect 2.

  • Boo, the space hamster, is actually voiced by the lead programmer.
  • Mass Effect 2 was the first game to use exotic dancers at EA Canada’s motion capture studio in Burnaby, Canada.

  • We did eight full HUD revisions during the development phase of Mass Effect 2.

  • There have been over 900,000 code and content submissions (so far) during the Mass Effect franchise development.

The Main Menu in Mass Effect 2 was revised three times.
  • The final boss was originally called ‘Baby.'
The first breakable object in Mass Effect 2 was an explosive fire extinguisher which is now only used in the Krogan’s acquisition mission.

  • There are 52 custom load screens used through out the game.

  • Our Scrum Teams were all named after fake action movie names, such as Fighting Fishdogs, Meteor Apocalypse, and, of course, Meteor Apocalyptical Redemption.

  • There are over 25,000 lines of conversational dialogue in Mass Effect 2.
If you went through each main path of conversations end to end, you would be sitting in your chair for over 25 hours straight.

  • The model ships in commander Shepard’s cabin are scaled down versions of the full-sized cinematics ships from Mass Effect 1. They are the most expensive per pixel objects in Mass Effect 2.

  • The development team’s final team wide meeting was held at The Palace, a venue usually used for boxing matches.

  • Corey Gaspur (combat designer) is the team’s reigning Street Fighter champion.

  • Team BioWare came in first place in the Game Industry’s 2008 TFT2 Studio Rumble tournament.
Raylene Deck, a level designer, spent the most amount of time working on a single area of the game (2,161.43 hours)
We had more then 10,000 hours of automated testing performed during the debugging phase of Mass Effect 2.

For other Tidbits entries, click the desired game name: Shadow Complex, Borderlands, DJ Hero, Scribblenauts, LEGO Indiana Jones 2, Prototype, Fallout 3, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Ghostbusters, Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes, Overlord II, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Red Faction: Guerrilla