BioWare On Writing TOR: “Everybody Gives Their Thumbs Up, Then The Writers Start Writing.”

Star Wars: The Old Republic is enormous. Not only in terms of places to go and enemies to slice in half with one’s light saber, but the story itself, which has to both provide a compelling framework in which players interact, and make certain to give a unique experience to each and every one of the many thousands of players. That means a hell of a lot of writing. To find out what goes into that, the good people over at PC Gamer spoke to BioWare’s Daniel Erickson, lead writer for TOR, who reveals interesting insight into how the process of video game writing differs from film or books.

It starts with the plot summary which is very much like a story idea pitch. That’s written very much like a classic story – they’re going to do that in word and paragraph and whatever… We’re gonna go through that, we’re gonna see if it’s just a good story in general? Does it have the right things that you need for a Star Wars story: are there great characters? Are there great twists? Is it overly predictable?

So far, not that different from film. However, the way the technology team affects the process is where thing diverge considerably.

They go through with a fine-toothed comb and look at everything that’s required. They look at the pacing, and look at how it would feel in the world, and they’re gonna give us feedback and say, ‘this whole scene here where you have 700 people here, and they’re all going to fly in the air and then get juggled and then turn into tarantulas? We don’t have a way to do any of that.’

There’s much more and it’s worth a full look over at PC Gamer.

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