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DevBlog: Animation and Lightsaber Duels

Posted by Keith Cross on Jan 05, 2009  | Comments

DevBlog: Animation and Lightsaber Duels -

The folks at Bioware have posted a new article by Mark How, the Principal Lead Animator for Star Wars: The Old Republic, where he talks about what he does as an animator.

Star Wars™ is one the most memorable movie experiences of my childhood. The visual experience of it was unlike anything else of that decade. It was a movie phenomenon that sparked the imagination of every person who watched it. I’m dating myself now, but as a kid, I remember playing with the Kenner Star Wars toys back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I had an overly buff version of Luke Skywalker who had a lightsaber that retracted in and out of his arm and a pretty awesome version of Darth Vader. I remember playing for endless hours recreating every scene in the movie. Now, years later, I have the opportunity to help recreate that experience and dive deeper into the character development that we know and love so much. Back in the day, moving Luke’s super buff arm in an up and down and smashing lightsabers together gave the impression that they were engaged in combat that mimicked the movies, but today’s video games give us the opportunity to magnify that experience by 10,000 fold.

Combat is extremely crucial to the success of most video games and Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ is no exception. By referencing the films, we are able to create dynamic and exciting combat, but we are also challenged by the films themselves to deliver that same experience in a user controlled environment. The core of combat in Star Wars movies has always been centralized around the iconic saber battles. And what would a Star Wars game be without fantastic lightsaber battles?

Read more here.

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