The original MMO set in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars Galaxies, is ending its online existence this December, making way for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Contracts expire and so too must the occasional online community.
Star Wars Galaxies designer Raph Koster, also notable for being lead designer on Ultima Online, offers his take on the game scheduled to "sunset" later this year, a eulogy of sorts, with a dash of post mortem. The former Galaxies designer adds his take on how the game might have been a bigger success, right from the get go.
"Here's what I would have done differently," Koster writes. "I would have made sure the ground and space games were launched all at once. I would have given the game another year to develop and really polish it quite a bit. I think we created one of the most unique and amazing games ever created in the MMO space. It is the sandbox game. Nothing else even comes close to what we did there. I would have really taken our time and polished combat right so we never had to do the [New Game Enhancements, an overhaul of the game in 2005] ."
That said, Koster says he was "proud to have worked on it," calling the eight-year-old game "quite profitable," full of influential gameplay mechanics and entertaining for millions. He even addresses the game's much talked about... dancing.
"...Which everyone made fun of," Koster says. "But as far as I am concerned, it may have been the biggest and best contribution, the one that spawned a jillion YouTube videos and may well be the lasting influence the game leaves behind, an imprint on all the games since: a brief moment where you can stop saving the world or killing rats and realise the real scope and potential of the medium."
More at his official site.
SWG is shutting down [Raph Koster's Blog]