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CharlesBoyd
06.22.2017 , 02:37 PM | #218 Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. Next  
Quote: Originally Posted by DarthSpuds View Post
Would it be possible for us to have a genuine example of that, even if it is from something a few years back.

So we can see a) what was planned, b) what feedback was received, c) how that feedback led to changes, d) what was actually released.
This is a great chance to talk about story, and how folks' feedback on story is integrated. Let's use KOTFE, the monthly chapters, and KOTET as the example.

A) The original plan was that we would have a trilogy of "Knights of" expansions focused on dealing with Valkorion and his Eternal Empire, with episodic chapters between them. The major story beats would occur in the expansions, while the episodic chapters would be just that: episodic, mostly stand-alone beats focused on returning companions and side stories.

B) The most common issues that we saw from the community feedback after KOTFE and the first few monthly chapters were:
  1. The story felt dragged out (monthly chapters in particular)
  2. At least partly due to #1, the companion-focused chapters were not as well-received as the KOTFE ones (although desire to get companions back remained high).
  3. Many players felt that there weren't enough choices in the storyline with big enough impacts/consequences, or that those impacts/consequences were delayed so far that they didn't feel meaningful or connected.
  4. Some folks simply didn't like the core premise. Introducing a new empire, expanding on Vitiate/Valkorion, players frozen in carbonite for five years, missing companions, etc.

C) Changes that were made as a result of that feedback:
  1. We compressed the story such that it would be completed in Knights of the Eternal Throne.
  2. Later monthly chapters were modified to focus more on the core storyline, and less on companion returns.
  3. The writers constructed the storyline of KOTET specifically to offer bigger choices that would pay off in visible and interesting ways.
  4. This was the core creative vision of the entire thing, so there wasn't much changed here - it wouldn't really be feasible. That's not to say that we ignored this feedback or don't take it seriously; it's just that any creative endeavor has some core concept at its heart that can't be changed without scrapping everything. This was the story direction that excited us as creators and fans, so it's the one we pursued even as we made the above changes along the way.

D) The end result: the overall storyline was cut down by more than a third so that it would play out more quickly, while simultaneously introducing more choices and consequences. Companion returns had to be put on the backburner to achieve these changes, and my original plan to do entire chapters for each of them just aren't feasible at this point, so we're currently working on plans to get them back as expediently as possible. (If I sound a little sad about that part in particular, I am, but I think it's perfectly reasonable that folks are out of patience on that one )

Overall, story is one of the most difficult areas to implement feedback, since we've usually constructed the next several beats by the time players see any of it and provide feedback. But hopefully this post helps to demonstrate that we still try very hard to implement feedback-driven changes into story regardless of the challenges.

Keep the great posts and thoughts - and especially feedback! - coming
Charles Boyd | Creative Director
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