Train2Game News: MMOs represent “toughest part of the game industry” says SWTOR lead designer

MMOs are the most difficult genre for game developers to be successful in. That’s the view of Star Wars: The Old Republic associate lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi.

“The MMO is the toughest part of the game industry without a doubt and we live in tough economic times in general,” he told PC Gamer.

“We have a very large development team still, definitely one of the biggest in the industry, and we have a very complete and detailed plan for the rest of the year.” the BioWare man continued.

“The players don’t really care about all that, behind closed curtains, but they want what they’re paying for which is a service with new content, new systems, that’s what they’re asking for and we listen to them. That’s what we mean to deliver.” he added.

Train2Game spoke to Emmanuel Lusinchi last year, in an in-depth discussion which covered development of Star Wars: The Old Republic, what his role as associate lead designer involves, and advice on getting into the games industry. Read it here on The Train2Game Blog.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest Star Wars: The Old Republic news.

Do you agree with Lusinchi about MMOs being the hardest games to develop? That said, would you like to work on one in future?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Bioware would test more if they made Star Wars: The Old Republic again

Train2Game students will be aware that Bioware launched their long awaited MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic last month, after many years in development.

Now, in an interview with TORWars, Bioware co-founder Greg Zeschuk has revealed that if given the chance, Bioware would do it all again, but in hindsight, there are things they’d do slightly different during development, including much more testing.

“I think we would definitely do it over again given the opportunity, or a time machine.” said Zeschuk, who along with fellow Bioware co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka spoke to The Train2Game Blog about the studio last November.

“I think we can see a lot of things we could have done differently given the benefit of retrospective vision, but I also don’t think we would have changed many decisions. It would more have been a process of refinement and fine tuning to our plans.”

Train2Game Blog readers might recall that Bioware put massive importance on testing Star Wars: The Old Republic, but Zeschuk believes they should’ve done even more of it in order to help develop the game.

“Certainly testing even more than we did, and doing so earlier would have been a good goal.” he said.

“ I also think in retrospect we would have been able to weight some of our technical decisions differently given that we ultimately knew what worked after the fact and what needed a lot of work; there was no way of knowing that in advance, but in retrospect that would have helped quite a bit.” Zeschuk concluded.

Of course, Train2Game offers a course in games QA testing, which you can find out more about here.

For more about the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic, read our interview with Bioware Associate Lead Designer Emmanuel Lusinchi right here on The Train2Game Blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Zeschuks comments?  What do they say about the importance of testing throughout game development?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: TORWars via VG247]

Train2Game news: Get involved with Star Wars: The Old Republic Beta Test

Train2Game students can get their hands on a Star Wars: The Old Republic beta thanks to EA providing tens of thousands of beta codes to various outlets of the UK gaming press.

The Star Wars: The Old Republic beta keys, give Train2Game students the opportunity to take part in an upcoming beta weekend where EA and Bioware plan to stress test their servers ahead of the MMO’s December release.

While the Train2Game blog doesn’t have any Star Wars: The Old Republic beta keys to give away itseld, you can pick of thousands up from UK outlets including CVG, NowGamer, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Just choose one of the links, then follow the instructions to receive your key for the Star Wars: The Old Republic beta weekend. The exact time for the STWOR beta will be revealed by email at a later date.

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, Bioware have spoken about the importance of playtesting to game development.  Meanwhile, for an in-depth look at the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic, check out the Train2Game blog interview with Associate Lead Game Designer Emmanuel Lusinchi

Train2Game blog readers will be aware that beta tests are an important part of video game development as thousands of beta testers can find issues that may slip past a handful of QA Testers.

And in an interview with the Train2Game blog, End of Nations Senior QA Tester Karl Tars said that getting involved with lots of beta tests for one studio is potentially a way to get into the games industry.

So what are you waiting for Train2Game? Sign up for the Star Wars: The Old Republic beta now.

Have you been involved with beta tests before? Will you get involved with this one?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum

Train2Game news: There will always be subscription based MMOs say Star Wars: The Old Republic devs Bioware

Train2Game students may be aware that many MMO titles are switching to a free-to-play model, one wherein revenue is made by microtransactions rather than monthly subscription fees.

However, while many games in the genre are going free-to-play, the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic – scheduled for release in December – is going to stick to the traditional pay monthly model.

And while many developers are switching to free-to-play, SWTOR developers Bioware believe that gamers will always be willing to pay a subscription fee for a quality product.

“I think there will always be a place for premium content at a premium price and that’s one of the differences,” Bioware co-founder Greg Zeschuk told Industry Gamers.

“Free to play is very much about trial, about ‘Hey, I don’t know what this is, I don’t have confidence that it’s any good, but I’m willing to take a look at it,’ versus ‘I know this is good, from a trusted source, and it’s the biggest license in the world.’ So it’s a different value proposition,” he said.

Fellow Bioware co-founder Ray Muzyka believes that increased competition from free-to-play titles is good for the games industry.

“There’s more competition for entertainment dollars now than ever before from social and play for free, and all sorts of entertainment, which I think is actually really healthy from an entertainment industry perspective”

However, he agrees with Zeschuk in that the subscription model will remain popular, but the games have to be worth it.

“But I agree with Greg that there’s a space for a certain number of premium products that are subscription based or whatever the premium pricing model is. But they have to merit it, they have to earn that from a consumer trust perspective and delivering and exceeding expectations.” said Muzyka.

Of course, he believes that Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of these games.

“I think The Old Republic is definitely in that triple-A premium category. That’s the feedback reading from the players and data testing.”

Earlier this week, the Train2Game blog reported on the importance of playtesting in the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

For an in-depth look at the development of SWTOR, read the Train2Game interview with Associate Lead Game Designer Emmanuel Lusinchi

So Train2Game, do you believe the subscription model for MMO still has a future ahead of it? Or will free-to-play titles become the dominant force?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Industry Gamers]

Train2Game news: Bioware on the importance of playtesting during game development

Train2Game students will be aware testing a game is an extremely important part of game development. But according to Bioware, it isn’t something that should be left to the QA Testers or Beta testers alone, rather the game developers should be constantly involved in the process too.

That’s according to Star Wars: The Old Republic project lead James Ohlen who was speaking to Gamasutra.

“The thing about it is, it’s important to get people to test your game, but the beta tests are more for finding out if your technology’s going to stand up, and finding some small tweaks and changes.” he said when asked about playtesting.

“But all the big changes that we’ve been making were planned from way before, because we’ve been playing the game ourselves. If we didn’t figure this stuff out, we’d be terrible game designers. So, internally we figured out a lot of the problems early on.

However, Ohlen pointed out that Beta testers still have a role to play in game development.

“But at the same time, it’s good for fans to feel like they’re having an impact, and sometimes they do”

“Sometimes they do point out information that is a little bit surprising, but nothing hugely surprising. There’s been surprises on the project, but mostly they’ve come from us playtesting this stuff.” the Star Wars: The Old Republic project lead concluded.

For a more in depth look behind the scenes of Star Wars: The Old Republic, check out the Train2Game interview with Associate Lead Designer Emmanuel Lusinchi.

Star Wars: The Old Republic will be released in Europe on 22nd December 2011.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on testing games? Do you agree that it’s an important part of a game developers job, no matter what role they have in the industry?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Gamasutra]

Train2Game at Gamescom: Interview with Star Wars: The Old Republic Associate Lead Designer Emmanuel Lusinchi

 

Train2Game was at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany from 17th August to 21st August. We caught up with Star Wars: The Old Republic Associate Lead Game Designer Emmanuel Lusinchi to discuss a variety of subjects.

These include, tailoring game design for an MMO, keeping the narrative in check with the Star Wars universe, the importance of community testing and the reasons behind PvP sport Huttball.

Lusinchi also revealed how he started in the games industry and gave Train2Game students advice on how to get in. Read the full interview below, or listen to it on Train2Game Radio. Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Kinect can’t do a good lightsaber game says Sony engineer

Lightsaber battle

The man behind the PlayStation Eye thinks the upcoming Star Wars game for Kinect won’t be up to much.

SCEE Software Engineer Anton Mikhailov told Eurogamer that “There’s no way Kinect can do a good lightsaber game”.

And while Sony and Lucasarts have yet to announce a Star Wars compatable game for the PlayStation move, Mikhailov boldly claims “It’ll be damn better than Kinect’s.”

When asked about the possibility of a PlayStation Move Star Wars game, the SCEE Software Engineer replied: “I’m not in the product planning division so unfortunately I can’t tell you much more about that, but technologically it’s 100 per cent feasible.

“We can overlay objects over the controller in AR. You’ve seen that in Start the Party, and swords are a really popular one. The fidelity is certainly there to do all sorts of Star Wars kid-style action. You can very well do the lightsaber.”

He went on:

I’m usually not very aggressive, but I will say it’ll [Move’s Star Wars game] be damn better than Kinect could ever do.

“There’s no way Kinect can do a good lightsaber game. Just never. Unless they give you a stick. If they give you a stick then they can do OK, but then they’re going to ruin their whole no controller motto.

“I’ve seen the demo but it’s so scripted, and wasn’t it like, faked?

“Technologically I find it hard how you can do a lightsaber, because there are so many ambiguities, and it’s nearly impossible to track the angles of your wrists.

“I can sort of see them doing it, like hold your hands together and move like this [holds them out in front of his body], and then from the x, y, position and for the angle. If anyone’s listening, you guys should try that. That would probably work all right.”

Earlier this month, Sony said that the PlayStation Move has greatly exceeded expectations.

So Train2Game, what do you think about the Sony mans comments? Is he right? Is the PlayStation Move naturally more suited to the motion control required for swinging a lightsaber around? Or is this just pure trolling of Microsoft and the Xbox 360?

You can leave your thoughts on a PlayStation Move Star Wars game here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II demo available now

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

The Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II demo is now available on Xbox Live for you to try. Don’t worry PlayStation 3 owners, you’ll be able to download a demo of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II on the PlayStation Network from tomorrow.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is the follow up to the 2008 original. The events of the sequel take place seven months after the events of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and year before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, the player once again takes the role of Starkiller, Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice in the first game.

LucasArts recently released a suitably cinematic trailer for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. It contains light saber wielding action, Starkiller, Darth Vadar, Yoda, Force Powers and Bobba Fett.  You can see the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II gameplay trailer below.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is scheduled for release in Europe on October 29th, for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, and Nintendo Wii.

A  collectors edition of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II will also be available, containing:

  • Star Wars: Force Unleashed II video game in a collectable SteelBook case
  • Three exclusive challenge mode levels
  • An exclusive Ralph McQuarrie concept “Deak Starkiller” skin
  • An exclusive Lightsaber crystal
  • An exclusive MIMOBOT® designer 2GB USB Flash Drive
  • Digital art book, featuring insights into the art of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
  • Game script by Haden Blackman
  • Themed wallpapers

In a strange twist, last month LucasArts revealed hat Monkey Island’s Guybrush Threepwood will be available in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. How the mighty pirate is unlocked remains unknown.

For more Star Wars action, you can check out this trailer for upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.

So Train2Game, if you own an Xbox 360 gamer, have you got your hands on the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II demo yet? If so how is it? Did you enjoy the original? And are you interested in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II?

As usual, leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.