Star Wars: The Old Republic Studio Insider #2

A new "studio insider" feature is up on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic website, and this time we hear from BioWare animator Andrew Lauretta about the process of creating the game's cinematic animations before jumping into another community Q&A with world designer Jesse Sky. A snip from each:
There are some crucial differences between motion captured animation and animating by hand. Motion capture is exactly what it sounds like: the actor's motion is captured using the suit and is translated into data that we can use to make our characters move. As a result, the animations we get are very natural and realistic. To animate something by hand means the animator will pose the character like they would an action figure. Essentially, we create a series of poses with a little help from the computer to smooth out the movement between poses.

Before we head to the motion capture studio for a shoot, we have to be very selective when choosing which actors we want to use. If we need to capture a lot of combat moves with Lightsabers, flips, jumps, and dives, we choose actors who are professional stunt persons. If we need more subtle motions and gestures for our conversations, we'll go with someone whose strengths lie in acting. In addition to their skills, the actors must be of a similar size and frame as the characters in the game.


Q: How exactly will class roles inside Flashpoints work? Will it be like in WoW or similar systems with fix systems, in which only damage dealer can deal damage, in which only tanks can block and only healer can heal? - Sarnave

A: This is an area where we try to distinguish Flashpoints from dungeons. While boss fights often require traditional tank and healer roles, some sections of Flashpoints are paced in such a way that healers can switch into damage roles and tanks can get a bit more reckless.

Q: Do mobs respawn in a Flashpoint after a certain time, or do they "stay" dead? - MilOuZ

A: Enemies do not respawn in Flashpoints. The story is too tightly focused for respawning enemies to make sense, and it would have undesirable gameplay consequences.

Q: Are classes adaptable enough in order to complete a Flashpoint with a any group (e.g. 4 Jedi Consulars, possibly with the help of certain companions)? - Ashlack, Akbar

A: You will need a well-balanced group to complete a Flashpoint. You'll find some very unique and powerful combinations of Advanced Classes, but if you stack several players with the same role, you're not likely to fare well.