View Full Version : Bioware Interview

10-17-2002, 09:36 PM
Interview with Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk of Bioware

1 – Why choose Xbox for the platform for KotoR?
Greg: We chose the Xbox for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic because we believe it provides the optimal RPG experience for our audience. We want to supply our players with the best gaming experience possible and the Xbox is the machine to do it thanks to its impressive hardware and features.

2 – What has been the coolest thing you've done with the Xbox so far?

Ray: The Xbox is a very good system and frankly, there are too many great features to list all of them. Certainly the graphics are great – visuals on the Xbox look better than any other next generation system – and the inclusion of a hard drive and broadband connection in the Xbox create a tremendous number of possibilities as well. As to what the coolest thing we’ve done with the Xbox…tricky question…I’d probably have to say that we’ve made a strategic decision as a company to create some amazing roleplaying games on the Xbox – both Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (to be published by LucasArts) and also the as-yet-still-secret RPG (set in a new BioWare-created IP, to be published by Microsoft exclusively for Xbox) are going to be amazing games – some of the very best RPGs out for *any* console when they come out!

3 – We see you have experience developing for PC, DreamCast, and PS2. Why the Xbox for the Star Wars title?

Greg: As I mention above we believe the Xbox is simply the best system for the game. Because RPGs are so detailed and require such depth of hardware you want worry as little as possible about your implementation of technology. The Xbox solves a number of issues for us because of its processing power, graphics pipeline and hard drive. For example, the hard drive allows us to pack more content into the game and create richer environments player. The Xbox is the perfect platform for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

4 – What can you tell us about your 'untitled' Xbox title and any future titles in this Bioware-Microsoft contract?

Ray: The untitled Xbox roleplaying game title is extremely cool! – it’s in a genre/setting that may surprise people a bit, but which will really appeal to console gamers. It’s a game that Greg and I and many others at BioWare have wanted to develop for a long time – so we’re really excited by the new BioWare-created world that the game is set in, as well as by the innovative gameplay that the game will feature. We haven’t released a lot of information about the title yet and probably should wait to reveal anything more than that until we release information together with our publishing partner Microsoft.

5 – What is great about developing on the Xbox, vs the other platforms?

Ray: Thus far everything about the system has been pure pleasure – the hardware is straightforward to develop for, and exceptionally powerful, and the technical support from both 1st and 3rd party support from Microsoft has been very good. We’re also excited by the opportunity to create some landmark games in the roleplaying genre for a 1st generation console.


10-17-2002, 09:37 PM
Interview with Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk of Bioware (Continued)

6 – What problems/challenges have you encountered on the Xbox vs the
other platforms?
Greg: We haven’t encountered any problems that could be considered unique to the Xbox. Due to our prior console experience we’ve been able to skip the usual issues that PC developers often experience when working on the console for the firs time. Overall we’ve been extremely happy with our experience developing on the Xbox (so much so that we’re working on another Xbox game with Microsoft).

7 – Currently, looking at the so-called console war, Sony’s machine seems to be winning in terms of sales. But what console do you think will win by 2006 in the terms of original games, sales, online and best graphics?

Ray: Sony has had a major head start in terms of time on the market, and their system has a lot of good games out now as a result. In terms of technology, the Xbox is arguably a better system though – personally, I have an Xbox, Gamecube and a PS2 as well, since I like to play all the great console games as soon as they come out! Ultimately, the factor that is most important for any system is the software that is out – and all of the next-gen systems have a lot of good games in development now. BioWare’s goal is to develop the roleplaying games that set the standard for console RPGs in the future, and the Xbox is a great platform to make great RPGs.

8 – What games are currently in your consoles, and have any games influenced KOTOR?

Greg: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has been influenced by a number of games – we play a lot of console RPGs and we try to synthesize new game elements from our favourite parts of other games. We’re also trying to include some of our favourite aspects of PC games (particularly some of the things that BioWare is known for including strong story, party based adventuring, and party interaction). Our goal with KotOR is to create a solid console RPG with some of the best features from PC RPGs to help advance the genre. We’re very happy with the results so far.

Personally I’ve been playing Robotech on Xbox (and prior to that I finished Buffy and Dead to Rights). I’m also nearly done Final Fantasy X on the PS2. Ray has been playing Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance on the GBA lately.

9 – This new, untitled xbox game sounds extremely promising, will it take full advantage of the xbox hardware?

Ray: Yes – we can promise that the RPG we have in development with Microsoft will be cutting-edge in terms of its graphics quality and also in terms of its gameplay. The hard drive will allow us to create a living, dynamic world, and we are exploring how we can integrate the Xbox Live features provided by the built-in broadband modem. We’ll have more information to share about this new RPG in the upcoming months!

10 – What do you think of Microsoft’s plans for Xbox Live compared to the other console’s online plans? If you had to pick one console to go online with, which would it be and why?

Greg: We believe Microsoft is very well positioned for the online space with the Xbox. You just can’t beat the fact that every single Xbox comes with a possible connection to the net. As a developer you don’t want to gamble with a system being net enabled if the hardware required doesn’t ship with the system. We’re really excited to see what happens in the online space on the console as it represents a whole new set of possibilities for developers.


10-18-2002, 03:03 PM

10-18-2002, 03:08 PM
Good post Knight. Keep 'um comin'.