Sith Temple concepts and community Q&A

Bioware’s Concept Artist Diego Almazan takes us inside the process of creating the concept art for a Sith temple. Almazan Starts with a basic idea on the mood he wants to set for the temple. “I wanted to keep in mind that this temple is as much an ancient prison for the dead as it is a tomb or necropolis. It’s dark, eerie, and foreboding, so I started with some basic shapes and colors that work in those ideas.“

Almazan goes into how he uses large shapes and organic details to further create the mood he wishes to bring to the temple. Diego’s task is more than just designing a temple or building; his design goes straight to the level creation team where they take them and turn them into reality. Almazan then adds details and a color change to the Sith temple to simplify the transition from design to creation. Diego says, “Up to this point the material had been a bit ambiguous, so I proceeded to add chips, cracks and discoloration to show how the stone has aged over time. I made the sculpture at the top a bit more faceted to push the stone look, while the pattern on the overhang was changed to be more decorative. The pillars add a nice aggressive touch, and function as a lock for tombs that should not be opened.” Diego Almazan then adds spider webs, both old and new, to show age and that critters still lurk the halls of this Sith temple. He adds yet another color change to bring back more of that dark feeling in his final cut of the concept art for the dark and ominous Sith temple.

This Friday Bioware also releases it’s monthly Q&A, questions from fans answered by executive producer of Star Wars: The Old Republic and Vice President of production, Bioware Austin, Rich Vogel. (It’s fair to say the response from the community, as evidenced by the comments on the Q&A, was rather lukewarm – Ed).

The first question asked is will force users be overpowered in comparison to non-force using classes. Bioware answers that whether your playing Warzones or Flashpoints, “there will be good reasons to play every class – it’s our intent that no one feels punished for playing the class they love. “ says Rich Vogel.

The next question asked concerns the treatment of the Consular, “Will Consulars be pigeonholed into one role? “ asked by Brian. Rich Vogel answers by bringing up the multiple roles each class can take and reassures the community that the role your hero takes will be that of your choosing.

Community member Benjamin asks ”How friendly will this game be for solo players in the endgame? “ Vogel replies that there will be plenty to do for soloers, even if they do not wish to participate in Flashpoints or Guilds, Bioware wants every play style to have plenty to do at endgame. Another question asks if player choices will affect faction alignment, Vogel says “At this time, we don’t plan on allowing characters to change faction as part of the class story. One of the main reasons for this is that it would interfere with your class story’s continuity.” Kes, a member of the SWTOR community, asks what range of hardware SWTOR will run on. Rich says “It’s important to us that The Old Republic can look great and run well on a wide variety of hardware configurations. To that effect, we’ve done as much as we can to create a compelling, detailed world that can scale easily based on your hardware’s abilities.”

The last question is one that I have been curious about myself and was asked by community member Philip “Is there a jump button?” Vogel replies “Absolutely! If you can’t jump, that takes away a lot of the “realism” of exploration.” For the full Story and the Fan Friday update, which included new concept art, smilies, and forum avatars, go here

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