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Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords Questions & Answers

If you're a frequenter of our Games Forum, you saw our topic asking for questions for the Developers of KOTOR2. (And if you don't post there, let this be an encouragement for you!) Well the answers are back, and we've got some new information on the sequel to the game that took enough awards to make a fort out of them.

Hello, thank you for taking time out of your day to answer these questions. First lets start off by telling whats your position and what is it that you do for KOTOR 2?
My name is Chris Parker and I'm the producer for Obsidian Entertainment on Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. As the producer my primary responsibility is to make sure everybody on the team is doing what they are supposed to be doing to get the game done. I also do a lot of technical design tasks like asset implementation or data wrangling.

In addition to Chris Parker, Chris Avellone, Obsidian's Lead Designer, was able to answer a few questions for us.

Prime_ asks, Will there be more camera control than there was in KOTOR (zoom, vertical movement, etc.)?
[Chris Parker] There will be more camera control, but only a little bit more. We used the first person camera in KOTOR quite a bit and thought it would be nice to have similar tilt available while running around the game world, so we added that in. For the most part however, the camera will be similar to the camera in KOTOR.

VanidarSkywalker asks, In another interview you said that you are exploring the nature of the mentor-apprentice relationship. Does this mean you're going to give the PC a chance to have an Apprentice?
[Chris Avellone] Can't really say much about it at this time except to say we're exploring a lot of levels of the mentor-apprentice relationship. We'll see.

Excellence asks, Many of the light side Force powers in KOTOR weren't as aggressive as the dark side powers, like choking or lightning strikes. Mostly they were passive, like freezing or dazing enemies. As a result of this, dark side powers could inflict more damage. Will the Force powers of the new game be more balanced, or will the Light Side powers continue as mostly defensive?
[Chris Parker] We are adding in a bunch of Force powers, but the Dark Side powers will still do a lot more killing than the light side powers. We don't really see that as a matter of balance - it's a fundamental of the Star Wars universe. As Yoda said, the Dark Side isn't more powerful, it's just quicker and easier. He also made note of the fact that anger and hatred were components of the dark side - and that naturally leads to more brutal killing powers.

SoloCommand asks, Many people are concerned about the game being a clone of the original, especially with your plan of tweaking the original. What's to stop this game being a simple clone of the previous game, and how do you feel you'll manage to better BioWare's original?
[Chris Parker] The game will feature the same game mechanics as the first game because it's a sequel - and to be honest, most people seemed to really enjoy how KOTOR played. But the player is going to be playing a new character, going to completely different worlds, and playing through a very different story. We are also changing some of the mechanics while adding in new items, feats, force powers, etc. Our goal is to create a compelling story with memorable characters, and provide the player with a great experience. We started development of this game at the exact same place KOTOR I started - with a list of "hey, this is the kind of cool stuff that I want to see in a Star Wars game". It worked well the first time around.

Tysplo13 asks, Besides Dantooine, will any planets from the Movies or EU make an appearance?
[Chris Parker] This is something we'll be releasing a lot more information about in the future as we get closer to shipping.

TFN asks, What type of downloadable content will you be looking to release via X-Box Live?
[Chris Parker] This is something we'll be releasing more information about in the future as we get closer to shipping.

TFN asks, In the first KOTOR, some players, myself included, went through the game playing with only the more powerful Jedi in their party. How will you entice players to play with the other, less powerful party members?
[Chris Parker] We looked at a few different things that should help with this. First, we wanted the ranged weapons to be more powerful, so many of the characters have new feats or special abilities that will make these better. And there are a number of different upgrades to make them more powerful than you could in KOTOR. Second, we have a number of quests in the game that can only be performed by specific characters while other characters are doing something else. As an example, think of Episode 4 where C3P0 and R2D2 had to hang out in that control room while Han, Chewie and Luke went off to find Leia.

rogue_wookiee asks, What are some of the new species and weapons we'll see in the game?
[Chris Parker] We haven't added a ton of new weapons, although there are new variations and a lot of upgrades for the existing ones. One example of a completely new weapon is Mira's (a female bounty hunter) wrist launched rockets which basically work like grenades that explode on impact and travel a lot faster. As for species, we've added quite a few aliens into the game - KOTOR had most of the prominent Star Wars aliens, we've tried to add any they didn't have and then spent the rest of our time trying to increase the variety of humankind in the game.

TFN asks, How will the mini-games advance the story, if at all, and what new mini-games can we expect to see?
[Chris Parker] We've tried to make the mini-games, except Pazaak, tie in with the story where it makes sense. And in all cases, we've made those story-based mini-games completely skippable because a lot of players didn't want them in the game at all.

TFN asks, In addition to Force Persuasion, and the previously mentioned Force Sight, will there be any attempts to integrate the Force Powers into General Gameplay, in addition to combat?
[Chris Avellone] Battle Meditation can have an event-level effect on mass battles, and you can use Mind Trick to distract enemies as you're sneaking by them - it makes stealth-based missions easier on thief-like characters. We're keeping a lid on the others for now and see what we're able to put into the game.

Thank you for answering these questions and on behalf of TFN we would like to wish you the best of luck with the development of KOTOR 2: The Sith Lords

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