Star Wars: The Old Republic Developer Blog and Concept Art

Star Wars: The Old Republic writer Ian Ryan announces that the game's writing is complete (is an MMO ever "complete"?) before talking about the polishing process that he and other writers have been involved with long after they put their pens down.
There are no less than seventeen planets in The Old Republic. Each one was conceptualized with a rich story, built by our talented world designers then lovingly brought to life by our art team. However as the game's final pieces fall into place, some areas don't perfectly reflect the stories that take place within them: a field is peaceful when it should be battle-scarred, or a residential district lacks the feel of a neighborhood.

As writers, we know the stories and the worlds they play out in. Armed with that knowledge, we set out to provide feedback on each planet's art as it relates to story. While other teams continue working hard to finish The Old Republic, the writers log in to play the game. A tough life, but someone has to do it. We begin our art passes, giving notes and suggestions to highlight the mood, function and story content of particular areas. For instance, if a luxurious cantina was built in the middle of a devastated warzone (not that we've seen that so far...) the writers would ensure that got changed.

For a glitzy example of one of our art passes, let's go to Nar Shaddaa. Nowhere else in the galaxy is flash, glam and crime so prominently displayed - and often on the same street corner. The writing team had great fun in building stories for a world where the rich and privileged rub shoulders and strike deals with the galaxy's criminal underbelly. But when the writing was over, we returned to the lavishly seedy streets of Nar Shaddaa to complete our art passes.

If Nar Shaddaa is the Hutt version of 1970s Las Vegas, the Promenade represents the grand extravagance of the Vegas Strip. The first incarnation of the Promenade was impressive but subtle, a far cry from the glitzy and exorbitant tastes of the Hutts. The risk of a spontaneous party breaking out was slim to none. Here's an image of the '˜old' Nar Shaddaa Promenade:
Additionally, you'll discover a new piece of concept art at the bottom of the site's latest "Fan Friday" feature.