Thank the Enkindlers! Encompassing an entire galaxy's worth of alien beings, uncharted worlds and tattooed psychopaths, Mass Effect's bible doesn't exactly make for light reading. "We probably spent 6-12 months with a team of designers, artists and so on doing concepting, world building, design and character iteration, timelines, and the history of the universe," BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka recently told IGN. The "IP bible" is consulted for all Mass Effect games, he explained, comparing it to an "iceberg that's down there, giving it weight and gravity, credibility and depth."

Echoing earlier statements made by BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk, Muzyka pointed to the franchise's considerable backstory as a viable source for "future extensions, ancillary products, things like that." Things like that may include spin-offs like Mass Effect: Galaxy for iPhone, novels, further expansions to Mass Effect 2, and, obviously, Mass Effect 3.

Sadly, if there's one thing the Mass Effect bible can't teach us, it's the virtue of patience. Who wouldn't kill for the next part of the trilogy right now?

This article was originally published on Joystiq.