It might seem as if designing a stage for Star Wars: The Old Republic
's upcoming expansion is pretty easy. After all, Galactic Starfighter
doesn't ask for much -- just throw some stuff in a field and let ships shoot at each other, right? According to a new development blog
by designer Chris Schmidt
, it's not nearly that easy, starting with the rather obvious assertion that just flying around in a blank arena would be boring. Stages need to replicate the feel of a pitched battle, and that means careful design.
Schmidt explains that each level starts off with brainstorming about the environment, followed by a 2-D mockup to give a rough estimation of where various points of interest will be located on the final map. From there it's up to the art and modeling teams to fill in a rough layout with interesting visual elements and things to fly around for interesting gameplay. Take a look at the full blog
for a deeper picture at what it takes to design these elaborate dogfighting arenas.