Former Jedi, on the run
Join Date: Jan 2007
Current Game: The Old Republic
An interview with Bret Recter and Steve Sansweet at wondercon 08, some info we know some we dont, sorry I didn't just link it but it was in amongst about 20 or so pages, mostly about things other than Star Wars...
"SS: And now itís my pleasure to introduce an old friend, a former editor of the Star Wars Insider, and assistant producer on The Force Unleashed, Brett Rector. Tell us, what are the basics of The Force Unleashed?
Brett Rector: Well, basically you play as Darth Vaderís secret apprentice, and itís all about over-the-top Force powers. Anything and everything you can imagine that we can do in video games, weíre going to try to do with this game. So, it takes place between Episodes III and IV, weíre going to be a little vague right now as to exactly when, so thatís the time period so youíre going to see a lot of familiar faces.
SS: Do you really get to pull a Star Destroyer out of the sky?
BR: Yes you do. Thatís one of the seminal moments of the game. Itís really cool right now. I think you guys are really going to dig it.
SS: The Force powers seem so over-the-top. Itís not quite what you see in the movies. How do you justify that, or explain that?
BR: Basically, early on in the project, we looked at the very first Clone Wars cartoon and saw how they were dealing with Force powers. Because it is a video game, George allows us to do these things with the medium. He understands. Heís a savvy person. He understands that we really need to take these things to 11 to really pay off on that. Itís not breaking continuity; itís just a new way of envisioning Force powers. And itís a lot more fun for the game. You guys are really going to dig it.
SS: Give us an update on exactly how The Force Unleashed is coming along at this stage.
BR: We patched our Alpha Stage right before Christmas.
SS: What exactly is an Alpha Stage?
BR: Itís where we have code and content complete and no major bugs are in the system. Right now ó I just came in from work, the whole teamís there Ėoptimizing, bug fixing. We really want to deliver on this game for you guys, the fans, and itís something that weíre really proud of. So itís coming along great.
SS: It is. They walked me through it, some of the game play, about two weeks ago. Iím not a huge gamer. I donít have a lot of time to game, but I got to tell you, I was blown away by it. It really is exciting. You really do become part of the Star Wars galaxy. How heavily was George involved in the creation of the game? In the story of the game?
BR: He was very closely involved in the very beginning, especially as far as what characters we could use. The continuity of the game. He really wanted things to fit in nicely with what was going on. He didnít want anything too outside the realm of Star Wars. He was trying to rein us in and giving us comments like, there should be 20 percent comedy and there should be a love interest. So, we have PROXY and JunoÖ
SS: Whoís PROXY?
BR: PROXY is the apprenticeís droid sidekick.
SS: Waitasecond. PROXY is a love interest?
BR: WellÖ depending on what program you run. No. No, Juno Eclipse is the love interest.
SS: How come a video game was chosen over some other form of entertainment for this next chapter in the saga, between III and IV.
BR: I think that with the rising popularityÖ video games are so mainstream right now. I think everyone has at least one console in their house whether itís an Atari 2600 or a PS3. With the new hardware these days we can actually present a movie-like experience to the audience, to the consumer. Even more, you get to participate in that experience. You donít just get to sit back and watch Anakin use Force powers. Youíre playing his apprentice and youíre using Force powers.
SS: One of the reasons the game has been a little delayed, as I understand it, is that there two or three new technologies that all are done by different companies that have to be merged because everything touches everything else. Do you want to explain a little of that?
BR: Basically with new hardware you always have to build a new tool-set.. So to develop for the XBox 360 and PlayStation 3, not only do we have to have a new rendering engine, we also want to add these new technologies. One is Pixelux, which is Digital Molecular Matter or DMM, and the other is Euphoria, which is Natural Motion. Pixelux allows us to create realistic tables, chairs, buildings, structures made out of wood, cement, glass, whatever. And we can create these things where you can make these things break in real-time realistically so itís not just a canned animation, itís something unique every time. And the same applies to Euphoria, with Natural Motion. Itís kind of a BioMechanical AI
SS: So itís actually the characters Ė
BR: Yes, the characters are going to move uniquely. Theyíll reach out and actually, stormtroopers will grab one another and hold on to Ö Iím sure some of you saw the Penny ArcadeÖ
SS: ďLove Among the Troopers.Ē
BR: Iím sure you guys liked that one. Thatís posted all over the office. So, itís a way to imbue the characters with life-like qualities and a more realistic experience.
SS: One of the things that impressed me was the hugeness of the environments.
BR: The environment art in this game is incredible, especially the open air environments. Theyíre huge sprawling landscapes, and weíre able to imagine these landscapes as we could in a movie, and we can present them as such.
SS: Why donít we show them the gameplay? You want to describe what we see in the first clip.
BR: The first clip is the XBox 360 version. Youíre in the TIE fighter construction facility. Itís your first mission. Vaderís ordered you to go find a Jedi Master and hunt him down and dispense of him, and along the way, youíre supposed to leave no witnesses. So youíre going to notice the apprentice killing stormtroopers as well as the other insurgents. Thatís why heís turning on his own here, because Vader doesnít even want the Emperor to know of you.
SS: Letís take a look.
Video clip rolls: The Force Unleashed gameplay.
SS: Wow. Thatís actual game play.
BR: Actual game play. Thatís right.
SS: So, are we going to see any familiar faces in the game?
BR: Yeah, we have a few since weíre so close, right after Episode III and near Episode IV, so youíll see we have Shaak Ti in the game. Vader of courseÖ
SS: The Jedi who couldnít be killed.
BR: THatís right. And we get to kill her.
SS: Well, itís a game. You never know how itís going to turn out.
BR: Princess Leia. Bail Organa. A few guest surprises here and there.
SS: How about the locations? Any weíre going to recognize.
BR: Weíve got Kashyyyk and Felucia from Episode III, and a little moon or space station called the Death Star may make an appearanceÖ
SS: A lot of people are very interested in the Wii and the lightsaber action. Is this the game theyíve been waiting for?
BR: Basically weíre releasing on pretty much every platform this summer. So PS3, Xbox360, the DS, the PSP, the PS2, and the Wii. The Wii game is going to follow closely what our game is, so itís not a lightsaber game per se, but we consider the lightsaber to be a Force power, so it is The Force Unleashed, so that will be part of the gameplay mechanic. And what makes the Wii great is that you will use the nunchuck to use Force-powers, and the regular controller to swing and manipulate the lightsaber. And it will also play nicely into the two-player duel matches that weíll have on the Wii so you can battle a friend. Weíll probably have some Expanded Universe characters in that version, itís coming along great.
SS: Can you share any secrets with us?
BR: Secrets? We have secrets at Lucasfilm? We disclose everything, Steve! I donít know how many of you people saw the Vanity Fair, but it made an allusion to the fact that you can play as Darth Vader. And yes, you will in fact be able to play as Darth Vader in the first level so itís kind of a way to get the player into the game and using all the Force powers. Heíll move the way you expect Vader to move. Heís not going to run. Heís going to walk very briskly. We have continuity in mind. Weíre all fans on the team, and Haden Blackman, the Project Lead, is really steering us in the right direction, so yeah. Vader is going to move like you would expect Vader to move. Itís great.
SS: We have one more clip of the game to show. Which is this one?
BR: This is the junk planet Raxus Prime, which is an expanded universe planet, and youíve been sent to dispatch the Jedi Master Kazdan Paratus, who is another unique character in the game. Heís kind of thisÖ he has the ability through the Force to manipulate junk and create junk golems. So you kind of battle a bunch of junk golems and you face off against him in the final battle. Heís a little stir crazy where he talks to himself and his junkÖ
SS: Much like you at your desk.
BR: Yeah, I think Haden got inspiration from me at night staring out the window. And you might even catch a glimpse of some junk Jedi. Heís pretty neurotic.
SS: Why donít we take a look.
Video Rolls: The Force Unleashed gameplay on Raxus Prime.
SS: Very cool. Brett, thank you very much.
BR: My pleasure. Thank you very much, everybody."