Daniel Erickson, BioWare’s lead writer on Star Wars: The Old Republic, has offered his ideas on what consititutes an RPG.
Turns out, it’s not Final Fantasy XIII.
Speaking with Strategy Informer, Erickson was asked about how story and gameplay were brought together in SWTOR, to make it feel less of a grindfest or too linear, usuing FFXIII as an example.
Here’s what he had to say:
“Well, before I address the main point I just want to take a slightly more controversial route: You can put a ‘J’ in front of it, but it’s not an RPG. You don’t make any choices, you don’t create a character, you don’t live your character… I don’t know what those are – adventure games maybe? But they’re not RPG’s.
“Without the systems, you’re nothing. One of the things we’ve always been aware of is that a lot of people play Baldur’s Gate to death, and those people who play it 3,4,5 times aren’t story guys, they’re D&D guys.
“We know there are going to be people here for Star Wars combat, for PvP all that… and actually, what we were originally going to do was just have standard MMO combat. Two guys swinging at each other, but not interacting. It didn’t feel like Star Wars though, and it wasn’t fun.
“So we went back and prototyped this run-and-gun, lightsabers touching, choreographed combat sequences in real time. The director always holds everything we do to this ‘standard’ – does it look and feel like Star Wars? If no, fail”.
SWTOR is out next spring, and you can check out our latest interview with the game’s executive producer, Jake Neri, through here.