Many SWTOR gamers have questions about the race choices in the game and why we can only play certain races. One of the biggest questions “Why can’t I play a Wookie?” Well, good for us, VideoGamer.com has a telling interview with BioWare writer Alexander Freed (a personal fave of mine since I had the chance to meet him this summer). In this interview, Freed tells us a little more about the races in SWTOR and why many of them are so human-looking.
Basically, it all comes down to relatability. Freed says:
“You know, the reason for our humanoid range of species, it’s a matter of relatability to a large degree. The further you get from human the more difficult it is for players to get into their mindset, the more difficult it is for all the other characters in the game to relate to them the same way. There are enormous technical obstacles, there is building all the lip synching, all the emotion into the face of the human is incredibly difficult and time consuming, doing that for something like a Wookiee – and we couldn’t half do it, we couldn’t let Wookiees be only a third as expressive as humans. At that point we’re just giving up.”
Freed explains in the interview that if you can’t create a good story with a race then it’s just not worth making the race playable. While it might sound good in theory, the player would only be disappointed with it, thus affecting their overall view on the game itself as well.
“It’s not the aesthetic of it, it’s the whole package. It’s being the barbarian from some planet who is stronger and wilder than everyone else and who is only half understood. That’s what people love about Wookiees. We don’t have anything against that storytelling, it’s not a moral opposition to not having inhuman characters but in order to do it right you need to write a story around that character.”