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05.20.2011

STAR WARS: The Old Republic Fan Friday

With each Fan Friday, we shine the spotlight on some of the many talented and creative members of the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ community. We continue this with some awesome fan art from you, the fans.

This month the Fan Site Spotlight shines on SWTOR Life, one of the many fan sites that came to Austin for the recent Fan Site Summit.

Additionally, we have a new batch of smilies and avatars for you to use on the forums!

Don't forget to check out this month's Studio Insider for a detailed look at how creating and mixing music and sound effects factor into how you experience combat in The Old Republic.


Community Creations

Star Wars™ has been an inspiration for countless fan creations from every corner of the world, and our community has played a role by contributing some fabulous work of their own.

Don’t hesitate to share your creations with us on the community forums!

Fan Art

Longtime community member Kelzack came up with this self-described "rough sketch" of a Rancor on a desolate planet. You can check out some of his great work, including a touch up on this image, in his thread.

Forum member Nick of Time posted this cartoon-styled image of a Jedi Consular in Nick of Time's Art Thread.

In SteveTwo's Holocron Archive community member SteveTwo shows us his 3D rendering of an ancient Sith Holocron!

 

Fan Site Spotlight

This month, we’re proud to feature SWTOR Life in our Fan Site Spotlight. In addition to being a great source of news regarding The Old Republic, SWTOR Life has also produced very unique tools for the community, including a forum signature Lightsaber generator. Serge “Mikto” Stanarevic took the time to answer some questions about his fan site.

Tell us about the origins of SWTOR Life. When did it start up, and what drove you to create the site?

The first version of the site was started back when the official Star Wars: The Old Republic website was announced. The moment I found out about the game and who was making it I knew I had to somehow get involved. I am an avid gamer, with my preference over the past 7 years being MMOs. Being a web developer also helped me decide in which way I wanted to get involved.
At first I just needed an outlet for my creativity, whether that was writing news posts and articles or doodling a webcomic related to The Old Republic. As more information about the game started coming out and my interest grew, I created SWTOR-Life.com and decided to really get myself involved in the community. I was lucky to find like-minded fans including Derek Green, aka SWTORCrafter, who partnered up with me. Over time we had Grant Davidson, James Felts, “Mr. Warlock” and “Force Meridian” also join in various capacities, and this is the current staff on SWTOR Life.

What is it you enjoy most about running SWTOR Life?

There is really never a dull moment when reporting about Star Wars: The Old Republic. BioWare has been releasing info every Friday for two-plus years now and with all the developer activity on the forums and extra coverage of special gaming events, almost every day we can talk about something new. I guess that the most exciting thing is that a lot about the game has not been revealed and discovering how a particular system will work, and sharing the discovery with The Old Republic community at large gives us great satisfaction.

SWTOR Life has some amazing features on the site, like a signature creator. Any other projects you have planned you’d like to share?

There is also a Star Wars: The Old Republic-themed webcomic in the works that we are really proud of. I can only imagine our crew skills coverage by “SWTORCrafter” becoming more in depth. Grant is also planning on video streaming his marathon gameplay sessions once the game is out and we plan on having that stream on the site 24/7. There is some Bounty Hunter-specific coverage in the works as well. We are also planning a Star Wars: The Old Republic-themed meme generator as this is one of the things our site is better known for.

What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to start a fan site?

Patience! Running a fan site is hard work. I have seen so many good people start a site and abandon it after several months just because they didn’t have patience. We had our doubts as well, but always soldiered through. It is also a very multidisciplinary hobby at its core. If you aspire to be more than just a random blog then you have to take control of web development, web design, journalism, multimedia editing (picture, video and sound), community relations and much more. It can eat up all of your free time and some work time as well. It is a very demanding hobby, but it can also be very rewarding. When you see the rest of the community quoting one of your articles for general game knowledge or commenting on what you had to say, you know you’re on the right track and that you are actively participating in the community. If you are not a true fan of the game and don't have love powering you it can be very difficult to maintain the interest and intensity.

What are you most excited about in Star Wars: The Old Republic?

All of us have different aspects of the game that are our favorite. Some of us like PvP, some crafting and I for one am a fan of BioWare stories. From everything we have learned so far the game has layers upon layers of different mechanics that will create a single epic experience. When talking to the team we always find that being a part of the wholesome experience will be rewarding.

You recently came out to Austin to visit the BioWare studio. What would you say your favorite part of the visit was?

Can I say everything? The visit had three great aspects. Being able to be around BioWare people and freely talk to them, playing the game for nine hours and meeting all of the other fan sites. For both Derek and me it was absolutely amazing to actually meet all those people from BioWare in their awesomely creative work environment and still find them to be genuinely humble and approachable. It is one thing to hear about BioWare being a great developer and great working environment. It is completely different going there and actually seeing all of it put to practice. We are happy that we also got a chance to form our opinions from actual prolonged hands-on time with the game. And finally, being around all those other fans and seeing how our passion really is shared, and being able to exchange great stories. They were all priceless experiences.

For someone who’s new to your site, which feature would you recommend they check out first?

We are very proud of our articles and editorials. We have niche articles, like those on Crew Skills and then we have articles about various other game systems. These are all created by the fans for the fans and I've always loved that about our site.

Events

BioWare and LucasArts are excited to announce that The Old Republic will be attending the following events this year: San Diego Comic Con, GamesCom, Penny Arcade Expo, EuroGamer, New York Comic Con, Paris Games Week, and DreamHack. Be sure to get your tickets early!

We’ll be releasing more information as we get closer to each convention, so be sure to check the Events page for more details.


Concept Art

A Bounty Hunter stalks his prey in the muddy marshlands of Hutta. Visit the Concept Art section to download this image at full resolution.


Forum Smilies

We’re happy to introduce a new batch of smilies to be used on the community forums. This new set highlights the Rakata, an ancient race that ruled over the Infinite Empire thousands of years before the rise of the Galactic Republic!

To use one of these or any other forum smilies or icons, click “More” in the Smilies section on the right side of where you make a new post. From there, simply decide which icon you want to use and click it to put it in your post.


Forum Avatars

Long ago the Dashade struck fear into the hearts of even the most powerful Force-users, Jedi and Sith alike. Khem Val is one of the last Dashade in the galaxy, kept in stasis deep in the tomb of Naga Sadow. He and the young slicer Mako are now available for you to use as your avatar on the Forums!

To select one of these avatars, log in, go to My Account, and click Avatar from the list of options on the right-side menu. Once you've done that, click through the pages of avatars until you find the one you want.


Polls

We want to know! You can find these polls in the Surveys and Polls section of the website.

 


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