Star Wars: The Old Republic Interview

Gamasutra has published a five-page interview they did with BioWare Austin lead writer Daniel Erickson about the emphasis the team is putting on Star Wars: The Old Republic’s story elements.

How big is that team?

DE: We’re well past a dozen.

Just writers?

DE: Just writers. Dedicated writers, writing for years and years. One of the things I mentioned in the other pieces [is that] we have more story content than every other BioWare game ever made combined, so it is the largest project.

We realized at one point that we were doing enough content, just dialogue, to fit in dozens of books. It’s pretty mind-blowing!

Does that seem like an undue expense for an MMO? Does that require any convincing to EA? Because, given the history of MMOs, there’s no empirical proof that it’s necessary.

DE: Absolutely, and remember that my background comes from being trained as a producer at EA. So, one of the great things is that EA is a very different EA than it was when I worked there originally. The entire way games are made has changed, the label system has completely changed — how you get things approved.

Electronic Arts came and purchased BioWare, because of the games and the way that BioWare makes games. They have been massively supportive, to the point of opening up the connections to all of the other people that they work with, and all of the other great, amazing triple-A developers who are now under the EA Games label.

We can talk with them and bounce ideas off and find out how to do stuff, but at no point has anyone ever come to me and said — okay, yes, they’ve come to me and said, “You’re budget is what?” But nobody has ever said, “Why are we doing this?”

BioWare’s marching order has always been up on the wall in red and gray. When you go into orientation, it says, “To make the best story‑driven games in the world.” It’s been that for a decade, and they’ve never moved away from it.

So, when we say, “Hey, this is what it takes to make a great story‑driven game that you’re going to play for eternity,” then yeah, you’ve got to put the effort forth.

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