The third game in the franchise, Dragon Age Inquisition marks a departure from the previous games by using the Frostbite engine Developed by DICE, Frostbite is most known for its use in the Battlefield series of games.
The majority of preproduction was spent bringing the entire team up to speed on the new tech. My primary responsibilities during this time were to learn the new lighting system, which was at it’s core a deferred renderer based around Enlighten by Geomerics, and educate and help the rest of the environment team as to how best leverage it and correctly create assets. I also spent time with the shader system, terrain system and also the general functioning of the engine.
I created several prototype levels to help shakedown and learn the tools and towards the end of preproduction worked closely with design to being whiteboxing levels for the game. I also did a large amount of lighting work geared not just towards the technical shakedown but also to help establish consistent lighting schemes and color palettes which would be carried forward during production. I also continued to function in a technical support role for the environment team as well as interfacing with graphics and tools programmers as issues arose.
I rejoined the Bioware team in mid-2014 on a short term contract to help assist in the significant amount of cinematic lighting required to ship the game. As I was already familiar with the Frostbite tools I was in a unique position to quickly ramp up and begin producing content in the short time remaining before the final art lockdown. This contract work ended at the end of September, 2014 and I completed lighting work on roughly 80% of the cinematic content in the game, with scenes ranging from dragon fights to romances.