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Star Wars: The Old Republic Interview Transcript
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 03:28pm 15/06/09 | Comments
AusGamers interviewed BioWare Austin's Gordon Walton about all things Star Wars: The Old Republic. Here is a full transcript of the video interview...

To view the video of this interview, be sure to hit this link.

AusGamers: We're here with BioWare's Gordon Walton. Gordon, can you introduce yourself please and give us a tiny little spiel on Star Wars: The Old Republic?

Gordon Walton: Sure, I'm Gordon Walton. I'm the co-general manager of the BioWare Austin Studios which is building Star Wars: the Old Republic.

AGN: So we just sat through the demo - it looks absolutely amazing, but one of the first questions I had from it was the scale of things here. I mean, you've got all this voice-acting, all this story stuff, the conversation wheel coming back in - so much. Has any of that effected the overall scale of the game? The idea behind a MMO is a really massive world that is ever expanding; have you guys had to streamline the game as a result (of the scale)?

Gordon: Not really, what we decided to do from the beginning was ask "could we make the right experience?", and what flowed out of that was the scale. So in a Star Wars universe, you've got to have scale. For example, in our case we have thousands of speaking roles which means hundreds of voice-actors so we don't get repetitious and we really get the right voice behind every role. Because all those characters in the game have to be emotionally compelling. And if some are good and some are not so good, it's not going to work. Everything has to be good or great.

AGN: Speaking of emotionally compelling, that seems to be the key point here; you want players to feel like everything they do within the game will have a lasting impact - which is something most other MMOs don't. What was your philosophy behind that and how much did you omit? Or did you guys just go all out? It sounds like this is a pretty expensive project...

Gordon: Well it's substantial. What we are doing is not inconsequential; it's very labour intensive because clearly we are a content-based game, which means we have tonnes of hand crafted content. So every class story has hundreds of hours of entertainment involved in it, which means it really is KOTOR 3 through to 25. In fact, we've already determined our game has more content than all the BioWare games ever made at one time.

AGN: Wow, that's pretty ambitious. I know you guys probably aren't going to talk about this yet, but is the scale of this project going to affect pricing, how many servers you initially release etc?

Gordon: Well I don't think it's going to affect how many servers we do and we really haven't talked about our business model yet. But I think our business model will be something people will be really satisfied with.

AGN: Can you run us through some of the technology behind the game. It's a pretty impressive looking title and there are a lot of MMO's out there that kind of scale things back to a chief point so that a variety of players can come in no matter what rig they're running. Is this going to be labour-intensive on people's machines?

Gordon: Well no. We plan to run on fairly normal machines for players rather than requiring highest-end hardware like we've seen on some other releases. We want to run on a broader range of machines so we can basically welcome more players into our world.

AGN: What about missions where there are ultimate effects on how your character is perceived and treated in the game-world? Are there story-arcs that come from that? Will players be able to go back and redo those missions again like you can in other MMOs, or is there going to be a drive, almost like a single end-game point, is what I guess I'm asking?

Gordon: Well in your personal saga, which we would call your class missions, no you can't go back and replay those unless later on you started another character of the same class. So when you make a decision for your character class, it has consequences. There are other quests which you can replay within the world but they are not the ones that are on your personal character story-arc.

AGN: Coming from Knights of the Old Republic, will there any throwbacks to fans of that series, like, maybe decisions they made in that game that are going to pop up in this?

Gordon: Well I definitely think you'll see some echoes of the past. That would be the way I put it.

AGN: Awesome, thanks very much Gordon.

Gordon: You're very, very welcome.