page contents Don't Miss: How a band of modders restored Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The News Headline

Don't Miss: How a band of modders restored Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II

Obsidian’s Knights of the Outdated Republic II: The Sith Lords holds a abnormal position within the Celebrity Wars online game canon.

KOTOR II was once significantly acclaimed on its 2004 liberate, with bizarre and morally ambiguous characters who felt extra at house in a Fallout recreation than the George Lucas-verse. However it did not obtain the similar common reward as its predecessor.

Company points in time resulted in many insects, and court cases that the tale felt “unfinished.” Its plot wrapped up in no time and ended on a mysterious cliffhanger; modders later came upon whole storylines that had been integrated at the disc however had no longer been carried out. Maximum gamers assumed that KOTOR II would stay an unpolished gem except Obsidian was once in a position to revisit it and fill in one of the vital gaps.

Then on July 22nd, all of that modified. Writer Aspyr Media, accountable for porting video games to non-Home windows platforms together with OSX, Linux, iOS and Android, up to date KOTOR II on Steam for the primary time in 10 years, and with it got here a a very powerful patch notice: reinforce for Steam Workshop mods, and with that, The Sith Lords Restored content material mod.

Now any KOTOR II participant can set up this fabled mod with a easy button push, and play the storylines that had been prior to now deserted. The paintings of 1 devoted modder neighborhood has fleshed out a fallacious masterpiece, and their paintings is certain to carry newfound consideration to this recreation. (It is already drawing reward from KOTOR II’s lead narrative fashion designer, Chris Avellone.)

“I don’t really feel like I ever ‘personal’ a recreation I paintings on. It’s one thing to be shared, progressed upon, and every time conceivable, noticed from a brand new standpoint that provides the name new existence. – Chris Avellone”

The mod contains a large number of worm fixes, new spaces, and discussion choices that flesh out the tale in the primary recreation. It was once in truth in construction since prior to 2009, when it was once first launched in open beta via modder Zbigniew Staniewicz, aka Zbyl, along with his modding spouse Darth Stoney.

Staniewicz was once a large fan of the KOTOR sequence, and sought after to play the lower content material  once he heard about it. “I additionally concept ‘completing up’ the sport would make me tremendous well-known, however I could have overvalued the dimensions and succeed in of the KOTOR neighborhood,” he jokes.

Staniewicz and Stoney’s first variations of The Sith Lords Restored, constructed at the again of study and paintings achieved via different modders, added what they believed to be a part of a identified listing of lower content material discovered at the disc. “It became out our listing didn’t come with even part of the trivial stuff ignored of the sport,” he says. “It was once all the time thrilling and from time to time sudden to understand how a lot more there was once buried in there.”

Staniewicz was once joined via modder Hassat Hunter as construction on The Sith Lords Restored persevered. Hunter began out within the mod neighborhood worm trying out and educating himself the discussion modifying equipment for KOTOR prior to signing directly to paintings on The Sith Lords Restored.

Hunter’s pastime for solving KOTOR II’s insects grew right into a need to dig out the entire unknown tale content material and provide a “true” model of KOTOR II to the gamers.

“We didn’t simply need folks to enjoy the lower content material, we needed to present folks the KOTOR 2 that are supposed to were,” Hunter says. “I don’t suppose someone anticipated to nonetheless paintings on it 5 years later, or that finally we’d soak up a better scope, albeit in steps.”

Doing this sort of restorative mod paintings isn’t only a means of cleansing up insects and extracting unused fashions although. As Staniewicz and Hunter describe their procedure, it turns into transparent that they wound up doing quite a lot of design paintings too, development on Obsidian’s paintings from a decade prior.

Doing this sort of restorative mod paintings isn’t only a means of cleansing up insects and extracting unused fashions.

“For instance in the first actual closed beta of [the mod], it’s good to end the HK murderer droid manufacturing facility with out firing a unmarried shot,” says Hunter. “That simply didn’t are compatible the tale of the HK droids although, to not point out that it was once extraordinarily dull. The manufacturing facility went via a large number of transitions, however I believe the present model works rather well.”

A lot of the restored content material displays the core of what made KOTOR II so odd as a Celebrity Wars recreation. HK-47, a murderous murderer droid from the primary KOTOR, started his existence as a fan-favorite personality within the context of a extra conventional hero’s tale (or villain’s tale relying at the participant’s selection), however like many different plot issues from the primary KOTOR  he and different characters advanced underneath the ethical lenses Obsidian took to the Celebrity Wars universe. KOTOR II spends a considerable amount of its lower and uncut content material analyzing how droids form the arena of Celebrity Wars, and the way the best way maximum species deal with them leaves them in an excellent place to accomplish acts of villainy or heroism overpassed via maximum.

KOTOR II’s lead narrative fashion designer, Chris Avellone, has loosely saved up with modder’s growth over time, with the HK Droid Manufacturing facility being one of the vital largest items of content material he’s happy gamers can enjoy. “Whilst we had HK-50 and HK-51 droids within the recreation, I all the time…meant the participant or even HK-47 itself to really feel angry via their presence,” he says

“This was once meant to make the general war of words with them the entire sweeter when HK-47 will get to show the tables on its upstart “successors” via the use of their programming that they inherited from him as a weak spot,” he provides. “There’s a ‘panicked’ collection within the excised content material the place the HK-50s determine this out, and I all the time supposed it as a scene to make the participant grin.”

In different places, Kreia’s lower traces fortify her as a personality who possesses characteristics of each the Jedi and the Sith, repeatedly judging the participant regardless of which aspect of the Drive they offer in to, and the Sith are proven extra to be a sophisticated, nuanced political crew fairly than an embodiment of uncooked evil. All of those concepts are a long way got rid of from their movie incarnations, and aren’t even the type of storytelling that Disney has counseled in its online game tie-ins realesed after the Lucasfilm acquisition.

Hunter says that Aspyr approached them a month prior to it deliberate to push out KOTOR II on Steam (most commonly to open up ports for Mac and Linux), however wasn’t in a position in the beginning to correctly say why they had been eager about chatting with the KOTOR II modders.

After they realized of Aspyr’s plans although, Hunter and Stanwiecz dove in to patch the mod to be Steam Workshop able.

“They beautiful a lot laid down for us what we needed to do to make [the mod] paintings for the Steam Workshop so the whole thing may move as clean as conceivable at liberate,” says Hunter. “And now confidently we will do away with the entire ultimate insects and annoyances nonetheless on this model, and be within the distinctive place to sort things we couldn’t as modders. I will be able to’t say that we or someone else anticipated this to occur presently or date, in order that was once a sexy great marvel.”

For its section, Aspyr Media’s number one function was once to incorporate Steam Workshop amongst a big batch of featured updates, together with controller reinforce, Steam Achievements, and playability on Linux and different platforms. Product supervisor Michael Blair explains that they knew the mod could be an enormous characteristic to have on release, which was once why they reached out to Staniewicz and Hunter to get them on board. 

“To ensure that our QA workforce to check ‘are living’ content material from months of running in this replace, we moved our Steam branches from beta to are living 2 days prior to release,” Blair says. “All through that point, we allowed the mod workforce get admission to and directions on how you can get their mod up within the Workshop, and ensured it remained hidden from public view. Our workforce then examined it prior to we hit ‘move’ at the release.'”

Obsidian’s handiest involvement within the recreation’s replace appears to be unofficial. Hunter says Obsidian lead programmer Adam Brennecke voices a personality on this planet M4-78EP, however that connection got here from speaking to him all through a Pillars of Eternity (Obsidian’s newest RPG) promotional flow, no longer any reliable endorsement.

Regardless, Hunter and Staniewicz each are floored via the sure comments that they’ve won for their paintings, and are happy extra gamers could make their mod a core a part of taking part in KOTOR II. For his section, Avellone stays extremely joyful via the collaborative spirit of the modders pulling his outdated determine of the shadows.

“I like it, and I’ve a lot admire for the Overall Recovery mod and any modders prepared to experiment with gameplay and narrative facets to our titles,” he says.

“I don’t really feel like I ever ‘personal’ a recreation I paintings on, it’s one thing to be shared, progressed upon, and every time conceivable, noticed from a brand new standpoint that provides the name new existence.”

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