Creating Death Star-Level Crises In Star Wars: The Old Republic

The Old Republic world designer Jesse Sky and his team are responsible for creating Flashpoints, moments of group-based galactic crisis in the game on the same level as the Death Star battle. No pressure.

We got our first look at Flashpoints last week in a video highlighting the team-based instanced adventures that punctuate key moments in The Old Republic's fictional timeline. This week world designer Jesse Sky explains how his team go about creating these epic adventures, from brainstorming to combat design.

How does one create moments rivaling the Death Star infiltration from the original Star Wars in a massively multiplayer online game? Try breaking the Death Star battle down into MMO terms.

A Flashpoint is a galactic crisis, something so threatening that even the most stalwart heroes must bring allies. The Death Star was a Flashpoint. Luke and Obi-wan spent a few minutes LFG in the Mos Eisley Cantina where they enlisted the aid of Han Solo and Chewbacca. Together, they infiltrated a moon-sized battle station to rescue Princess Leia. Things didn't go quite as they expected; difficult choices were made along the way. That's a Flashpoint in a nutshell.

What the team does is brainstorm ideas, much like a bunch of fans might do while waiting for the dealer's room to open at a science fiction convention. The writers take those ideas and shape them into something workable. Once everyone is in agreement the writers start crafting dialog and the world builders start planning out the mission.

It's all about story in The Old Republic. Everything in the Flashpoints is driven by the need to put the players in the middle of a heroic (or villainous) tale of space adventure, built for fans by fans, like Jesse Sky.

I played the original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic alongside my roommate in college. We tried to imagine how cool it would be to join forces and take on greater challenges together. I never dreamed it would actually happen, much less that I'd be working on it. It's called a Flashpoint, and it's gonna be great.

You can check out the full blog entry over at The Old Republic website.

Building Flashpoints [Star Wars: The Old Republic]