Stay on target The Deadliest Assassins in Video GamesThe Best Buddies In Science Fiction To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the first Mass Effect, former Bioware animator Jonathan Cooper tweeted out a few fun facts about the now-classic title. The strangest one being what inspired the game’s iconic over-the-shoulder camera angle used for conversations. It wasn’t a movie or even another video game, but Ricky Gervais’ TV show, Extras. That’s right, Mass Effect was directly inspired by a spin-off of The Office.4. The close over-the-shoulder camera style I used for conversations in Mass Effect was inspired primarily by Ricky Gervais’s The Extras. This is not a joke – that entire series was built on awkward, close conversations. pic.twitter.com/YHHBqnucu7— Jonathan Cooper (@GameAnim) November 20, 2017Looking at the pictures Cooper posted in that tweet, one can’t help but laugh. They totally look like shots from Mass Effect!Another interesting fact is that Mass Effect was originally going to have black bars on screen during conversations. This was typical of Bioware games released up until that point. In the end, Cooper and his friends won the “heated argument” and removed the black bars from conversations. This decision was certainly for the best since conversations blend seamlessly with the rest of the game.7. BioWare traditionally used black bars to denote interactive conversations, but we won a heated argument to remove them for Mass Effect to blur the line between interactive dialogue and cutscenes. This allowed us to seamlessly weave interactivity into dramatic cinematic scenes.— Jonathan Cooper (@GameAnim) November 20, 2017Cooper finished the thread by talking about lip-synching. Mass Effect was perhaps the first game in history to have fully localized lip-sync in all available languages. This is obviously a detail most wouldn’t know about since they wouldn’t normally play the game in another language. Regardless, this is a nice touch that certainly makes dialogue more authentic no matter what language the user chooses.10. In perhaps a first – Mass Effect had fully localized lip lip-sync in all languages, possible only because the systemic lip-sync was entirely procedurally-generated. (I only learned this after my later Quebec colleagues enthused about the French version).— Jonathan Cooper (@GameAnim) November 20, 2017It’s strange to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Mass Effect during the same year EA effectively put the series on ice. Fans have asked (i.e. begged) EA for a remastered trilogy. There are no plans for a current-gen re-release of the beloved franchise, but it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Let’s keep our fingers crossed EA listens to the people. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.