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BioWare devs talk SWTOR combat animations, answer PvP questions

Jef Reahard
09.16.11
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Grab yourself a tall glass of blue milk, Star Wars fans, as BioWare has released a lengthy new edition of its Studio Insider feature to carry you through your Friday afternoon.

The update features principal lead animator Mark How talking about -- wait for it -- animation! To be more precise, How tells us all about The Old Republic's combat animation, and he even tosses in an interesting video clip that features different stages in the development of a Jedi force leap and a Republic trooper full auto firing animation.

How also gets into the challenges inherent in melding the lightsaber battles from the Star Wars films with the design limitations of an MMORPG. "Players do not enjoy having character control taken away from them because of an action or animation," How explains. "It was particularly challenging to develop animations that allowed for visually appealing combat while still allowing the players complete control over their characters." How successful were BioWare designers in this regard? That remains to be seen, but you can get a feel for their approach by reading How's blog.

Finally, this week's Community Q&A feature continues the combat focus, and lead PvP designer Gabe Amatangelo has the answers to a few burning questions from the TOR faithful.

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