GDC 2010
Hands On: Star Wars: The Old Republic

Greg Tito | 16 Mar 2010 23:30
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Of course, I picked the most bitchy dialogue responses - purely for scientific reasons - from the short text descriptions but the things that my character actually said didn't match up exactly. That allowed a kind of set-up/punchline effect where you know what's coming but you still get a laugh when you hear it. The voice-acting felt natural and I was happy that the actress delivering the lines really fit the character that I playing. I began to wonder if they recorded multiple actors and actresses for each slider on the character customization screen. If so, that's a lot more voice acting than I at first thought the designers would have to do, but Neri and his team solved the problem by casting actors who were just extremely versatile.

"There's one voice actor for male and [one for] female," said Neri. "When it comes down to casting, it becomes really important to find a really cool, universal voice that can be dynamic, get into different situations, and can deliver lines and feel credible no matter the [dialogue] decision you make."

How do you get one voice to match up to each player's expectation of what their character sounds like? "It's about picking the right voices," Neri said. "We're doing the best we can to make sure that we have really cool voices that can be used across the big body type to the small body type to the different races, et cetera. It's a challenge, but we're aware."

There's a lot of potential with The Old Republic and everyone is talking about how it may take the life of another certain game, but Neri is tired of hearing the term.

"We hate the phrase WoW-killer. I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense really. What we're trying to do is make a really cool game that we think people would want to play and that's our first and foremost goal," he said. "We didn't set out to kill WoW, just as I don't think [Blizzard] set out to kill anybody. We set out to make a good game that we can be proud of and let the chips lie where they may."

There's still a lot we don't know about The Old Republic. LucasArts is being incredibly tightlipped on PvP or endgame other than that they are aware that players want those things in the game. If you want any more proof that LucasArts loves a secret, look no further than the fact that their office in San Francisco is on an ex-military base and that we were "escorted" when going to the men's room. You can read about Russ Pitts' adventures at LucasArts here.

Hell, Neri couldn't even tell me how long the game has been in development. For all I know, it could have been being worked on since Knights of the Old Republic shipped in 2003.

I sure hope not, because based on what I saw, the team has a lot more polishing to do before The Old Republic is complete.

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