With the transition away from news about the story pillar of The Old Republic starting to ramp up, this week’s update brings us a Developer Blog from Principal Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert. The blog outlines Bioware’s approach to creating the overall feel of an MMO, either from the “world” philosophy or the “game” philosophy. Both approaches differ greatly, wherein the world approach focuses on an open sandbox and players’ imaginations, and the game approach tightly holds players hands through a fine-tuned experience.
Schubert went on to explain that the Austin development team approaches MMO development with a third philosophy: community. The community-oriented approach allows them to bridge the gap between world and game, providing opportunities for players to both interact and explore the world around them, and also to be engaged in stories surrounding their characters and the galaxy as a whole. From the article:
“To me, as an MMO designer, community is the whole ball of wax. Let’s face it, if you wanted to play just a ‘game’, you’d be off playing a single player roleplaying game. If you wanted a ‘world’, maybe you’d play a life-simulation game. But community – well, that’s the whole ‘massively multiplayer’ part of MMO. When you look at it this way, ‘community’ is at least as important as ‘game’ or ‘world’ in this debate.”
This should at least help to calm the fears of some fellow gamers about the focus thus far on single player content. While he couldn’t give any specifics, Schubert noted that we will be hearing from both him and “other systems designers in the coming months as we talk about the systems and features that are getting locked down inside of the game”. Some of these features include crafting, where he said that they want to allow players to create items in the game that will benefit the community as a whole, rather than just the individual.
The entire entry is a great read and you can expect us to cover in more in depth in episode 17. Read “Community: The Third Element”