The interview, conducted by PC Gamer, revealed that the team working on Mass Effect: Legendary Edition had used existing mods from the website NexusMods to act as a ‘benchmark’.
“We actually early on looked at some of those,” Project Director Mac Walters said of the thousands of fan-made mods, “and said, ‘OK, well, this is our minimum bar and from here we have to then go bigger, right?’ Obviously they have limited access as a modder to the assets that are in there. We have full access to them.”
Environment Director Kevin Meek also commented on the impact pre-existing mods had on the development of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. “They’re getting these great results with the A Lot of Texture mods and those other up-res ones,” he said, “so that actually started us down that kind of the path with some confidence.
“We knew we could go in and hit base-level AI up-res on all the textures and receive the same amount of visual upgrade or even more than the mods because we have a lot of advantages they don’t have. We get to work on the uncompressed source, full-resolution textures. Whereas what they have, it’s been crunched down, it’s been compressed, it’s put onto a disc, and then they up-res off that.”
Exploring these fan-made versions of their world also helped the customisation of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition’s characters take shape. “There’s a lot of really popular mods about adding different types of hairs to Shephard,” Meek said.
“People are really into wanting some new casual outfits as you’re walking around,” he noted. “Things like that, they kind of helped give us again a bit more confidence. Yeah, it is worth it to spend a little bit of time to create some new hair options and some new clothing options.
Just last week (May 6), BioWare revealed the display and framerate options for Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, confirming that players will be able to toggle between two modes at any time on all platforms.