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Mass Effect wins big at Elan video game awards

Mass Effect, which was developed by an Edmonton company, won the game of the year award at a glitzy award ceremony Friday evening honouring the best in film animation and video games. The science fiction game that portends of coming trends in the gaming industry stole the show at the second annual Elan awards held in Vancouver.

Drew Karpyshyn, the lead writer on the game, said in an interview it had a script similar to what you would find in a major movie, only much longer.

In fact, with 22,000 spoken lines and 30 hours of animation, the script is the equivalent of 20 movies. The difference between this and a regular movie is that the game player decides what twists and turns he or she wants the characters to take. "The player controls the direction of the story," said Karpyshyn, who predicts this type of plot-driven action will be the wave of the future.

He said the concept for the game was developed about four years ago. It took about 2 1/2 years to make and involved the work of about 140 people, with four to five writers working at any given time.

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