Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Friday Featuring SWTOR

This weeks Friday Feature goes over some of the most recent fan art straight out of the forums of The Old Republic.

More and more we are seeing fans do request driven art works, which seems to be a good way for them to make friends, connections, and money. Many new players and aspiring artists have tried their hands over the last few weeks. This has included many of the less skilled participants, which really has brought a shine to the artworks of the more experienced contributors.

However, that is not to say that even fan art from the most handicapped of participants is not worthwhile. As can be seen from their numerous Friday Features on the subject, developers use the fan art for inspiration, and to see what players ideally want the game to be like.

One thing that has yet to be done is a centralised database for the different artists and their work. Perhaps it would be a good weekend project for fans with a little knowledge in web design. An accompanying forum would also undoubtedly be quite popular, and could be used to attract many of the players who currently keep their trolling to the forums.

For the next few months leading up to release there are sure to be many more artists bursting onto the scene, which should encourage new works, hopefully deviating from the endless characterchures produced so far.

It seems that Friday features have focused almost solely on Fan art and blogs, which will hopefully change as the game edges closer to release.

A Fan's impression of their future character.

A Fan's impression of their future character.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - July 5, 2011 at 17:04

Categories: Misc   Tags: , , , , ,

Fan Friday Once Again

Fan Fridays are always popular within the SWTOR community, and this week’s was no exception.

As the game’s release date draws ever closer more and more artistically inclined fans are coming into the community, which has seen a huge amount of original (and exceptionally good) artwork flood the forums.

Out of the kindness of their hearts the Bioware blog writers acknowledge many of the most outstanding works in their weekly posts, which thankfully helps to encourage similar artists to show off their talents.

Also featured are some of the games most popular blogs, which even though they attract visitors away from the main site, help to increase general interest in the game none the less.

This weeks article featured one of our spin off blogs, SWTOR Life, which was started by the SWTOR Republic team as an outlet for more trivial news and speculation we did not feel appropriate for this main site. In this role it has so far done a great job, and on the occasional week it might even draw similar numbers to this, our main site!

As release looms more blogs will come out, many of which will attempt to copy the old and more mature websites already in place. As many in the blogger-sphere know this is almost inevitable in any new area, so we shall patiently await whatever ideas are thrown our way.

For next weeks friday feature, a leaked internal E-mail from Bioware revealed a new article the likes of which, I quote, ‘ Players have never seen’. This seems like something great to look forward to, but also brings a foreboding message, as this could easily be a turn for the worse, rather than good.

Lets just hope that with new information will come the same quality seen to date, and that the avid fans will continue with current efforts to produce an ever growing wealth of concept art!

A fan's idea of a holocron.

A fan's idea of a holocron.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - June 10, 2011 at 15:43

Categories: Gameplay, Misc   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Environment Polish

Just today the Bioware developers over at SWTOR released a long article on the way in which they polish environments, characters and objects in Star Wars The Old Republic.

This includes many aspects, ranging from as simple as making the models, to adjusting their textures, finishes and interior and exterior lighting properties. It is vital that the visual designers have all these factors perfectly in balance, otherwise the Game can be hard on the eyes and run extremely poorly.

The number of objects on screen as well as light sources has a direct effect on Frame rate. In fact, it is pretty much the deciding factor in how many fps (frames per second) a players computer will be able to produce. Therefore, to ensure a game which is as smooth to watch as it is to play, developers must analyze all possible environments to ensure that none will excessively lag, or even crash players computers.

The development team also answered a huge wealth of questions, mainly regarding the planned classes of SWTOR. These rectified many issues players had with the game and told us many new facts about game play:

-Healing spec’d classes will still have considerable damage capability, so will be viable in Solo play.
-Different companions will become available as the game progresses, so players won’t grow too bored of their smelly old Wookiee.
-Companions will be upgradable with different armour, weapons and special attacks.
-Armour can affect the class an combat technique of players, such as with Jedi Knight.

All in all Bioware has taken a positive step forward over the last week and a half to ramp up their customer relations, which has brought them back to the front of the online gaming community.

Environments in SWTOR should be easy on your eyes AND your computer.

Environments in SWTOR should be easy on your eyes AND your computer.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - April 22, 2011 at 22:58

Categories: Gameplay, Misc, Testing   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Animating the Old Republic

Combat animation in The Old Republic

Combat animation in The Old Republic

Like any computer-graphics oriented program, SWTOR relies heavily on convincing animation to make things rum smoothly. There are many human and near-human characters in the universe of The Old Republic, and all of us are very used to watching humans move, and the ways in which they do so.

Early in the gaming industry, animations of humanoid characters doing even simple tasks like walking were incredibly difficult, and rarely looked natural to players. Animation has been steadily improving since these early times however, so today there are many techniques to make scenes in games run flawlessly, and have characters move about the set without looking awkward.

Star Wars the Old Republic will be no exception to the woes of natural animation, so the developers have spent many man hours making characters move seamlessly in all situations. There are a number of different things they must do to master this.

First of all cut scenes, short films within the game, must have a very high quality of animation as that will be all the player is focusing on. For these normal techniques used in the film industry can be used, and we should be able to feel like the motion is fluid and continuous.

The other major implementation of animation comes in general player movement around the virtual world. Players have to walk, run, jump, dive and who knows what else, and these should transition from one to another without too many problems. There will always be some issues with this, as in the virtual world there are infinite combinations of different movements, as well as ones which would be impossible in real life to take into account. However, if developers focus on the common movements they should be able to make the game look convincing, and we should not see issues such as rubber banding, running on the spot, and super speedy character spinning which are the hallmark of many MMORPGs, such as Star Wars Galaxies.

Recently a SWTOR devleoper released this blog post, which shows that they are currently well and truly on top of most of these issues, and from the sample videos character movement looks very appealing.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - March 19, 2011 at 15:08

Categories: Gameplay, Testing   Tags: , , , , , , ,