Friday, 17 September 2010

Developer Dispatch: Designing the Light Side

Today BioWare has a new video for us, a Developer Dispatch where the developers talk about designing the Jedi classes. But first, today is also a Fan Friday with community art, new forum icons, new wallpapers (from the Hope cinematic trailer) and new poll questions. The most interesting bit though is, as usual, the Developer Corner in which Senior Concept Artist Ryan Dening describes the process of creating a piece of concept art. In particular it's concept art for a Republic Capitol ship that needs to be able to measure up against the Empire's (Old Republic period) Star Destroyers. Here's an excerpt:
When creating this design, my major inspiration was drawn from the medical frigate and rebel transport; those ships are some of the coolest looking because of their odd shapes and 'greebles'. I tried exploring some ideas based on these, but incorporated smooth, cleaner looking shells that related to other ships we'd already designed. I also wanted to make sure this ship felt somewhat tied to the Endar Spire from KOTOR.

In the end, I think we got something that hits the notes we were going for and looks really cool modeled in the game.

I started with some rough thumbnail sketches (left side). Once we decided to make the ship bigger, they all felt too small or similar to existing ships (left side). I took some of the elements I liked and did a couple new designs that had the mass and feel we were hoping for. Ultimately, we went with the ship design highlighted in red (right side).
I think that the final concept design looks very interesting and I can definitely see that going up against a Star Destroyer. Though it does lack the... simplicity of a basic Star Destroyer it'll be quite interesting to see how this turns out when modeled in 3D. Anyway, read the entire Fan Friday at the official website.

But as said, today also gives us a new Developer Dispatch video. Here is the official news:
Guided by the Light Side of the Force, the Jedi are the ultimate defenders of peace, justice, and the Galactic Republic. The developers of Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ are taking great care to ensure that Players can experience the classical Jedi fantasy represented in the films by such iconic characters as Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, and Yoda.

At the same time, choice is at the heart of The Old Republic and Players can also explore many other ways they can take their Jedi characters. Whether that means walking the path of the Dark Side like Anakin Skywalker or simply adopting a unique combination of fighting styles, a variety of options will be available.

Watch Developer Dispatch: Designing the Light Side, and learn about the process involved in creating the Jedi classes for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I can't say that I agree with all the choices that BioWare has made for the classes, particularly the Jedi classes. One of the problems I find myself facing is that I'm often caught between the type of story a class tells and the kind of gameplay a class has; either I don't like the kind of story the class seems it will tell and do like the kind of gameplay it has, or I don't like the kind of gameplay it has and do like the kind of story. I'm hoping that I can make a Consular (whose kind of story I do like) that doesn't use a double-bladed lightsaber (a kind of weapon I detest and wish that BioWare had kept it just to the dark side) and doesn't focus too much on healing either (as I don't like playing pure healers). Even so the dispatch was quite nice to see and it did make me more excited about the Jedi classes and stories.

The video should be available for download later today (it isn't yet as of this writing). But you can already watch it on the website.

Speaking of videos and staying strictly on the Republic side, earlier this week Machinima had an exclusive smuggler trailer video. Check it out:

The video shows what looks to be a peek at the Smuggler's stealth gameplay as well as what looks to be a Wookiee companion (no surprise there). And I kinda have to laugh at the Smuggler mentioning that he has the best ship, considering that all class ships are supposedly equal in abilities (same weapons, same speed, same maneuverability, etc). Though maybe it's for a large part self-deception on the side of the Smuggler. A well, it's a nice video.

And that's it for now.

[link] to Smuggler trailer at YouTube (from Machinima).

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