Friday, 27 February 2009

First Issue of Threat of Peace Released

BioWare just released the first issue of their "Threat of Peace" online comic. It is three full-color pages and it looks like there will be six issue in total (which would suggest 18 pages altogether).

Here's the official news:
Check out the first issue of the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ online comic, Threat of Peace™. Dark Horse has joined forces with LucasArts and BioWare™ to create a new comic series, published online, to introduce fans to The Old Republic. The comic features action-packed, character-driven episodes written by BioWare’s Rob Chestney and published by Dark Horse.

War between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire has gripped the galaxy for decades, but the sacking of Coruscant and a subsequent peace treaty are changing everything. As the Republic scrambles to re-establish order, the Sith Empire moves quickly to consolidate power within its new dominion. Behind closed doors, however, individual Sith Lords engage in a quiet but deadly power struggle, and discord breaks out among the Jedi as they wrestle with the moral implications of the new galactic balance. During these chaotic days, the stories of several critical characters interweave as they pursue their passions, stand up for their convictions, and ultimately lead the galaxy back to the brink of a catastrophic conflict.

Issues of the comic will be released twice a month. Stay tuned and follow the storyline to its dramatic conclusion which sets the stage for the players’ entrance into the game. Read the first issue of Threat of Peace now!
It's a decent comic, if a bit short. The art looks quite nice, but there isn't much story yet. Definitely worth a look.

And quite curious about the rest of the comic, which is of course the point.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Drew Karpyshyn moving to Austin

Drew Karpyshyn, lead writer at BioWare of KotOR, Mass Efect and Darth Bane (novels) fame is moving to Austin, Texas and continue his work for BioWare in their Austin studio (you know, the one developing Star Wars: The Old Republic).

Here's the entry from his homepage:
Okay, one more bombshell… in 6 weeks I am MOVING from Canada down to the U.S. of A. That’s right – goodbye Edmonton, hello Austin, Texas.

Why am I moving to Austin? Hmmm, let me think. Year round golf. Driving distance to the Spurs home games. Houses that cost half of what they do here in Edmonton. Taxes about half of what I pay in Canada. $49 flights to Vegas. The question isn’t why am I moving; the question is what took me so long?

But fear not, because I’m still going to be working for BioWare. You see, BioWare has a (fairly) new studio down in Austin working on a little game called Star Wars: The Old Republic. So, does this mean I’m done with the Mass Effect series? No! I’m still working on Mass Effect 2, and I’ll continue to be part of the writing team even while I’m down in Austin.

However, at some point, I’ll be transitioning over to the SW:TOR writing team.
In other words he'll continue his work on Mass Effect 2 for a while, but will then transfer over to write for SW:TOR.

Thought that might be interesting.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Hutta Concepts

Last Friday BioWare posted four new concept art images of Nal Hutta. Nothing too exciting, but perhaps worth a look anyway.

Hutta Rockwalls

Hutta Mansion

Hutt Palace Entrance

Underworld House

Next to that they also added ten new avatars to their forum.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Explore Nal Hutta - Planet of the Hutts

Another Friday, another Star Wars: The Old Republic update. This time we get a peek at the Hutt Homeworld of Nal Hutta. It includes new screenshots, new concept art and a description of the planet.

Here's the news text from BioWare's site:
We’re thrilled to announce the next playable planet in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, the Hutt homeworld known in The Old Republic timeframe as Hutta. Nowhere in Star Wars™ lore has Hutta been so richly realized, and players will be able to explore the first true interactive realization of the “Glorious Jewel”.

Read more about Hutta and its rich history including the long standing tension between the rebellious Evocii natives and the greedy, power-hungry Hutt Empire.

View the concepts of Hutta’s harsh, polluted environments and see how the development team brought Hutta to life in these screenshots.

Stay tuned to the Star Wars: The Old Republic website for the latest information.
The description article is quite short, concluding with this paragraph:
The Hutts are the lords of Hutta’s demented society, and all other races, even official foreign emissaries, are seen as expendable fodder in the Hutts’ bloated, wormlike eyes. Even the most infamous bounty hunters are hesitant to venture on the Hutts’ home-turf, and no sane person would ever come to Hutta willingly without the most crucial need.
Sounds like a high-level world to me. Though not really a place I'd want to visit regardless of what level it is (I never liked the Hutts, though that's probably the point).

Concept Art


Once a lush environment

Marshes of Hutta

Noxious Swamp


Hutt Palace

A Hutt

Drainage Pipes

Cantina of the Hutt Palace


And that's all for now. Enjoy. :)

Monday, 9 February 2009

BioWare Blog: How the Content Team Makes it Happen

This Friday BioWare also posted another blog entry, this time by Dallas Dickinson (Senior Content Producer) about what all goes into creating the content for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Here's a brief excerpt:
Our Content Team actually consists of many sub-teams: Writing, Worldbuilding, Scripting, Environmental Art, Combat Design, Combat Art (animations and f/x), Combat Programming, Gameplay Systems Design, UI Art, Gameplay Systems Programming, Audio and of course Quality Assurance. Each of these teams has a huge amount of work to get done, and they all need to coordinate on a per-planet basis. We are very committed to early playability and testing to make sure we are making a fun, complete game.

If nothing else, he sure manages to make it sound like his job means a lot of work.

Threat of Peace Announced

Friday BioWare announced a collaboration with Dark Horse comics to release a number of web comics (for free no less) featuring a storyline of the events leading up to Star Wars: The Old Republic. Here's the announcement:
Dark Horse has joined forces with LucasArts and BioWare™ to create a new comic series, published entirely online, to introduce both the gaming and comics worlds to the upcoming massively multiplayer online game Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. Debuting this month, Star Wars: The Old Republic - Threat of Peace will feature action-packed, character-driven episodes written by BioWare’s Rob Chestney and published by Dark Horse. The stories will span the three decades from the pivotal signing of the Treaty of Coruscant to critical events at the beginning of the game.

To view the official press release, click here. And to get a sneak peek at the series, click the image to the right.

Sounds like it could be interesting to read. They've said to expect the first one by the end of this month, so not too long to wait.