BioWare Uses Stock Photo for Tali in Mass Effect 3

| 7 Mar 2012 20:10
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Some Mass Effect fans are incensed that an in-game image of Tali is based on a stock photograph.

In the last year or so, BioWare has shouldered its fair share of criticism. Casting Jessica Chobot as a voice actor and the failures of the leaked Mass Effect 3 endings are just a few signposts of the massive gamer rage leveled at the company from Edmonton about its sci-fi epic. Now that Mass Effect 3 is out, the public is ready to heap more criticism on BioWare's latest opus by pointing out the use of a piece of altered stock photography in the game.

Mild ME3 Spoilers ahead. Stop reading now or forever hold your peace.

The character of Tali'Zorah wore a mask throughout Mass Effect and its sequel. We've never seen her face, until Shepard finds a photograph of the quarian without the mask in ME3. Somehow, a few gamers remembered seeing the image of a brunette female with the sun behind her in a catalog of stock images from Getty, a service that supplies images for all creative endeavors. Several angry posts were made on BioWare's forums and various gaming outlets with links to both the original image and comparisons pointing out the similarity. Many decided this was unforgivable.

Matthew Leete photographed the original image and licensing it costs at least $15, which BioWare conceivably did before artists there altering it to look a bit less human. The image comparison in the spoiler tag below clearly shows a few markings on Tali'Zorah's chest and white eyes to denote her as a quarian.

Major STORY spoilers in this image:

Cue vitriol. Gamers on the official BioWare forums were miffed. "Bioware, really?" asked "smithguy" after posting a comparison image. "We're supposed to think this is okay??"

"This is obviously very lazy on Bioware's part," said user "dkohalloran" before he chalked this terrible act as another black eye against the studio. "Let's just say I'm glad that their betrayal of their original fanbase is coming to bite them back in the ass. The writing for this game is completely terrible."

Statements like the above make it hard to understand exactly why people are upset. According to some, BioWare is lazy for using an image service instead of crafting the image from scratch, while others seem to use this as evidence for something else they didn't care for, like the writing. Could have BioWare have used a custom image? Yes. Does using a stock image diminish your experience of the game? No.

Now, if you want to quibble about how Tali doesn't look like how you imagined her, well, you might have a point there. Perhaps characters who are masked should stay that way. I'm looking at you, Samus Aran.

Source: BioWare forums

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The problem I have with the photo is that the lack of effort completely ruins the Quarian lore in the game. I could care less about the whole "I love Tali" thing. I shagged Ashley in the first one, Jack and Tali in the second one, and Liara in this last one.

1. She has human features when she has been described differently elsewhere. Mass Effect: Ascension, (the infamous) page 235: "The other cheek gaped wide, as if someone had slit it lengthwise from lip to what passed for the quarian version of an ear."
2. The hand wasn't shopped properly to fit Quarian physiology.
3. She is outside on a planet. Since losing their home world, Quarians have lived exclusively within the migrant fleet's ships, only venturing out for their pilgrimage.
4. She is without her suit. Since being restricted to space, Quarians have a compromised immune system and any exposure will cause near to actual death. She even explains this within ME3 saying that even with the geth integration, it would still take years before Quarians can go suitless.

They've also put hours into videos explaining how they come up with concepts and races....
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2011/04/22/mass-effect-3-creating-garrus.aspx
@ around 5:35 he mentions that Tali did have hair, and that it was shorter as she aged and matured.
@ around 7:25 he talks about Tali and understands the expectations.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2011/04/25/mass-effect-the-origin-of-species.aspx
Just more movies of the depth they put into each race and the concept art.

They obviously had concept art for Tali. After a complete lore buildup over 3 games, a single picture contradicts everything.

The picture kinda disappointed me. Not with regards to how it looks though, more just with the general vibe of laziness/rushed work I get from it.

The ending kinda disappointed me because....well, you all know.

But fuck it, it's still a great game and I still love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqL68fLpwYk
Seems BioWare responded.
*Dances away wearing a top hat and waving a cane*

JoelChenFA:

Daystar Clarion:

icnfde:

Wait, isn't this the same guy that praised Dragon Age II for it's "innovate gameplay and masterful storytelling"? Not a direct quote obviously, but the review was practically gushing. And we're supposed to trust this guy's opinion because...?

You couldn't be more ignorant if you tried. The fact that you said this makes me question whether or not you're an actual fan of the Mass Effect series at all or you're just a paid shill all dolled up on corporate endorsements from big daddy EA. The fact that a company actually spent money sending copies of their game into ****ing space only to cheap out on the graphics and art depart is spectacularly lazy design, intensified even moreso by the fact that this is supposedly a modern AAA developer.

If I had a quid for every time somebody hinted that part of the escapist crew are being payed for their reviews, I'd be a very rich man.

Say what you want about his argument, but please, stay fucking classy.

You would have even more if its a Quid for everytime someone claimed escapist didn't pay them or videos / articles and such.

Which gives me hope for the majority of members on this site.

Daystar Clarion:

icnfde:

Greg Tito:

Statements like the above make it hard to understand exactly why people are upset. According to some, BioWare is lazy for using an image service instead of crafting the image from scratch, while others seem to use this as evidence for something else they didn't care for, like the writing. Could have BioWare have used a custom image? Yes. Does using a stock image diminish your experience of the game? No.

Wait, isn't this the same guy that praised Dragon Age II for it's "innovate gameplay and masterful storytelling"? Not a direct quote obviously, but the review was practically gushing. And we're supposed to trust this guy's opinion because...?

Does using a stock image diminish your experience of the game? No.

You couldn't be more ignorant if you tried. The fact that you said this makes me question whether or not you're an actual fan of the Mass Effect series at all or you're just a paid shill all dolled up on corporate endorsements from big daddy EA. The fact that a company actually spent money sending copies of their game into ****ing space only to cheap out on the graphics and art depart is spectacularly lazy design, intensified even moreso by the fact that this is supposedly a modern AAA developer.

If I had a quid for every time somebody hinted that part of the escapist crew are being payed for their reviews, I'd be a very rich man.

Say what you want about his argument, but please, stay fucking classy.

You would have even more if its a Quid for everytime someone claimed escapist didn't pay them or videos / articles and such.

Everyone has said it all before and there's pretty much no need to add anything more to the discussion... but I wish to weigh in with my opinion all the same.

1) The act of using a stock photo is just downright lazy.
2) Tali is a huge fan favourite (including me) and Bioware know this. Using a stock photo is also downright disrespectful.
3) It's not even a GOOD photoshop.
4) I didn't have an opinion on how she looked because frankly I never really wanted to know, but they didn't even make much effort to make her look distinct. She's essentially just a human with white eyes and some lines on her skin.
5) Hair? Really? Living in a suit like that all your life would make such long hair inconvenient and no doubt makes it harder to maintain a sterile environment. I imagined they would all be rather bald.

Bad call Bioware, bad freaking call.

MASTACHIEFPWN:

AVATAR_RAGE:
I have a question!

How can it be Tali's face if the Quarrians don't remove their suites?

They go to the quarian home world about 2/3rds of the way into the campaign, and apparently Tali takes off her mask there.

Then how is the stock photo Tali's face or is it just the internet being the internet?

Caramel Frappe:
*scissors were here*

Hey, no worries. Now you know, and really, while the ending is absolutely god-awful horrible, its short, making it kind of easy to ignore. The best bits do outweigh the bad in terms of gameplay. Story-wise, I still feel the end is nigh-unforgivable without some change/epilogue/deeper meaning and explanation, but overall, its still a great game with wonderful character interaction.

And trust me, the second playthrough with a character is much, much better. You not only know what you want and don't want to do in terms of decisions, but you can get your guns and armor back after the first trip to the Citadel. You'll need to manually change it back, but its still nice to have them back early on.

SPOILER AHEAD

MASTACHIEFPWN:
Why couldn't they have used this picture?
image

Saw this after posting, and also earlier today while browsing other threads. That piece of art is awesome, and would of been much better.

Not saying I was too crazy about the reveal in the first place.

Dead_Lee:
Why am I pissed off about this?

Because Bioware had a memorable character and after five years they couldn't be bothered to do her justice.

It's this lazy artwork, their practice of cutting corners and their terrible copy-pasted level design that makes bioware an awful company.

Alright, I read page 1, some of page 6, and didn't really give enough of a shit to dig through the rest of this collection of crap. The quote above is generally my opinion.

Yes, I'm a devoted talimancer. From staring at those hips in Mass Effect 1 to finally getting some in Mass Effect 2. To this. I could write a long ass paragraph on this, but I'm tired.

Simply; I'm disappointed Bioware. Very disappointed. *sniffles*

I'm going to pretend it never happened. Not going to ruin one of my favorite fictional characters. Not because Bioware turned to shit.

AVATAR_RAGE:
I have a question!

How can it be Tali's face if the Quarrians don't remove their suites?

They go to the quarian home world about 2/3rds of the way into the campaign, and apparently Tali takes off her mask there.

Why couldn't they have used this picture?
image

And what up with the new captchas?

Caramel Frappe:
*snip-Keelah se'lai*

Ah, I see. Judging by your spoiler, I'm guessing you didn't get the chance to make peace between the two, did you? Well, as a tip for your future playthroughs, you need to have a certain amount of 'peace points', and a rather high reputation. Four bars worth, I believe.

Personally, I love the emotion of the best outcome between the Quarians and Geth, not to mention it gives the ending, which will not be elaborated here, a giant middle finger. That, and it greatly helps the Quarians in the long run.

And my captcha is tesla coil? Strangely appropriate.

...This is controversy...? I don't understand why people do this...

@witty name here the second link shows what i always imagined tali would look like, i wonder if i can put into the game as the picture rather then that lazy hackjob.

Ok, so I think I can safely say that ME3 critics has officially divided themselves into two camps:

1. Those who are searching for reasons to complain because the Mass Effect games are overrated in their opinion
2. Those who have legitimate criticisms

For those of you who would like to avoid all the hate and anger spewed on every forum about ME3, here's a quick guide into how to discern whether you are running into Type 1 or Type 2 People.

Type 1 People bitch about Day 1 DLC despite the fact that it's not essential to the overall game, and complain that you have to pay $870 for the "full game" when the full game costs $60 and everything else that is DLC related is bonus material you can choose to buy at your own discretion. They complain about sending copies into space because the promotion idea was offensively stupid to them, and they make broad generalizing statements about how the art and gameplay aren't any good when information about using a stock photo appears.They tend to either boycott the game entirely, proving they have absolutely no backing for many of their comments (not saying there aren't legitimate reasons to boycott if you really hate EA, but those aren't the people I'm talking about), or talk about how much they hate the game but have played through every ending within a week of its release.

Type 2 People are frustrated about how the endings don't feel right (i.e. don't match the tone the series has established up until this point) and don't provide the closure they should. They are fine with stock photography in certain cases, but feel as if more attention should have been paid to the characters with whom they've formed a relationship, and they're pretty respectful while discussing this type of thing. To get to this point of criticism, they've usually played through the game and enjoyed parts of it very much, but were saddened by some major missteps along the way.

This thread has reminded me that the Type 1 people will always be louder and more obnoxious than the type 2 people, which in turn hurts the entire gaming community that could have learned a lesson from this whole thing if everyone had simply remained logical and respectful. But no, this is the internet, so we have a whole bunch of people that just want to complain from a place of superiority they've never had and never will.

icnfde:
Actually, forget the horrible photoshop job on Tali, I want some of the drones to explain this one:

Are you in the desert.. cause I see a camel toe

OT:

I'm not scanning through 200+ replies to look for it, but I think they shoulda paid this guy to come up with a full body for her.

I clicked preivew and it came up. I know sometimes the boards likes to trick us into thinking it does.

But really, they should've done that.

Personally I am just disappointed in how phoned in this thing was. If they couldn't set aside some time to create the picture (which I highly doubt, having your art team create a photo should be fairly easy to do) or they couldn't agree on what to make the quarians look like, they should have left the question unanswered. The stock photo also leaves us with a lot of plot holes. Who took the picture? Why is she outside her environment suit? when did she find time to take a photo on the quarian homeworld while no one was paying attention? Lastly the picture itself is just terribly doctored. She looks like she lost her last two fingers and not that she has three is probably my main complaint. It makes me disappointed but it didn't ruin my romance with Tali or the rest of the game. Just don't get me started on the ending

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