Damion Schubert on SWTOR's Story Challenges

"You wake up a year later?" Yeah...

Bioware's Damion Schubert found himself in an interesting pickle on his latest project - as a systems designer, write some story for Star Wars: The Old Republic that embraced all the best parts of MMORPGs while also keeping the experience fresh for single player. And he's opened up a bit recently to Gamasutra about how he did that, including the ups, the downs, and the humorous. 

"We had too many quests," says Schubert. Players had trouble keeping track of the storylines, and quest delivery mechanisms would have to evolve to avoid the problem of overwhelming people with too many quests per hub. Unfortunately VO was often recorded and localized before problems with the quests emerged. For example, in one case a nearly-defeated boss springs back to knock the Jedi Knight out, and the player is meant to wake up on another planet a year later.

"What happens to your group in that situation?" Schubert points out. "It just didn't make any sense. It's something that works great in a single-player game but in the context of the MMO is a lot more problematic."

I'm imagining a team of five players getting knocked out for a year and honestly buying it as a storytelling element and having a good giggle. 

Julian "Mirai" Williams


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