Ten years ago this month, my very first anim test for Mass Effect. Yup, Commander Shepard was originally a woman: pic.twitter.com/FhC2E0FSrA- Jonathan Cooper (@GameAnim) January 9, 2015
"For those asking, I repurposed mocap from Jade Empire," Cooper said in a follow-up tweet. "Shepard was always planned to be both male & female after JE's pre-set characters."
In 2011, BioWare reported that 13 percent of Mass Effect 1 and 2 players chose to play as a default male Shepard and 83 percent of players customized the character somehow – of those, just 18 percent chose a female version. Most marketing materials for the Mass Effect games featured a male Commander Shepard, but BioWare made an effort to feature a female Shepard in advertising Mass Effect 3. Of course, the only true Commander Shepard is whichever version you take on all of those wild space adventures.
Cooper shared a second early animation test, this one of Shepard testing out the parametric incline system. "A parametric incline blend based on checking ground normals. Some games still don't do this," Cooper tweeted.
And another one. A parametric incline blend based on checking ground normals. Some games still don't do this. pic.twitter.com/BNwvp1LXDY- Jonathan Cooper (@GameAnim) January 9, 2015