How effectively costumed are characters of the fantasy video game “Dragon Age: Inquisition” and how do these costume designs contribute to believable characters and fantasy worldbuilding
Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014), is a popular fantasy Role Play Game (RPG) developed by Bioware. It is the part of a trilogy of games and has been awarded many accolades for its successful release. It has critical acclaim and a cult following among RPG fans and casual gamers alike. It is a visually impressive game, but this dissertation aims to evaluate the specific success of the costumes within Inquisition and how it supports the characters and worldbuilding. It critically analyses the design appeal, relevancy and effectiveness of the costumes against character origins and narrative roles. By focusing on Inquisition, it narrows down the vast field of research to a manageable state. Inquisition is a large-scale video game with many diverse characters and cultures and offers a unique range of costumes to critique. This dissertation will analyse the effectiveness of the designs using visuals and information from the game itself, The Art of Dragon Age: Inquistion (2014) and the lore books The World of Thedas Volume 1 (2013) and 2 (2015). The technical success of these costumes within the rendered game will be evaluated by outcome and design phases, including how Inquisition costumes its enemies using colour theory and symbolism. The effect on gameplay is examined thoroughly. It will evaluate the roles of the characters and the created world state against the costume designs presented and analyse the materials appropriately in the context of the game. The outcome will be a judgement on the specific effectiveness of the costumes within Inquisition using the outcomes of this critical analysis and usage of costume theory, leading to a greater understanding of video game costuming and its importance.