Im probably not supposed to do this....but for you lot that cant be bothered to get it here it is....
LucasArts Host: It's time for the chat to begin. We're now joined by LucasArts President, Simon Jeffery. Welcome, Simon!
Simon Jeffery: Hi. Welcome to tonight's chat. We're happy so many people can join us and are looking forward to touching upon a variety of topics related to LucasArts. We want to keep the questions and answers fairly general. Because of the length of the chat we won't be able to go into great detail on product-specific questions. Looking forward to a lively discussion!
LucasArts Host: Here's the first question!
indyman1899: What's the biggest challenge of being the president of LucasArts?
Simon Jeffery: The biggest challenge is keeping everyone happy! The balance between Star Wars games and original product, plus consistently upping our product quality.
Bret: Mr. Jeffery, what's your current rank in the Jedi Order?
Simon Jeffery: My current rank in Jedi order is merely Padawan...
RAL_Thrawn: You've said that the focus right now is on Star Wars games, and that you will be working on other projects soon. Are there plans for new games in other series, such as Indiana Jones and Monkey Island, or are there completely original games in development?
Simon Jeffery: We are working on a number of original titles, some of which will be very familiar to you. We certainly haven;t forgotten about Indy either...
MattFXB: Why has Lucas Arts decided on making Star Wars: Obi-Wan an Xbox Exclusive?
Simon Jeffery: We decided to make Obi Wan an XBox exclusive after several years in development on PC because it simply had evolved into a console game rather than a PC game. We felt htat the XBox had the right performance level to allow us to finish the game as originally intended.
jkiinet_Swoosh: When should we hear information about upcoming Episode 2 titles?
Simon Jeffery: We will be announcing our Episode II titles during the winter this year.
Bret: Mr. Jeffery, is LA planning on releasing any Space Sims in the near future?
Simon Jeffery: Space sims are a big part of our legacy, and we will continue to develop them on pretty much all formats going forward - yes!
ed_silvergun: A lot of people seem to think that the PC is dead as a gaming platform. What do you see as the platform of the future, and how will LEC cater for multiple platforms in the future?
Simon Jeffery: The PC is very much alive and kicking as far as we're concerned, and we will be supporting it as far out as we can predict! We now support most frontline formats (including online) and will continue to do so as long as they remain viable.
telarium: With the departure of the original LucasArts music composers and the promise of new original games, will LucasArts continue its emphasis on amazing musical scores? And what is the status of new music composers to replace the ones who left?
Simon Jeffery: Music has always been a big part of the high production values we put into our games. We have recruited some incredibly talented new musicians, and you'll get to hear their work in the near future.
RAL_Thrawn: LucasArts seems to be trying to establish a better dialogue with the fan community. Are their plans to support editing communities for new releases such as Outcast and Galaxies? And even for games such as Jedi Knight and Mysteries of the Sith?
Simon Jeffery: Thanks for noticing our new efforts with regard building and supporting our community. We appreciate everyone's enthusiasm. LucasArts is diligently working toward accommodating the desires of our fans to allow for a greater level of interaction with our Star Wars games and original titles. We can't provide any specific details right now, but you'll be hearing more about our plans very soon. We think you'll be happy when we roll out news about it.
jkiinet_Swoosh: Can you give us a timeframe as to when the veil of secrecy with Knights of the Old Republic will be lifted?
Simon Jeffery: We will start to actively work with BioWare on building community around Knights of the Old Republic this fall. We're really excited about building a true RPG, and about doing a game set in the Star Wars universe in a previously unexplored timeframe.
daysofouroutaws: Outlaws is one of the best games on the zone. Are you considering updating the game?
Simon Jeffery: We just posted a patch to Outlaws on our website, and it seems to be getting some good download activity! Outlaws is one of our favorite old-timers. We have no firm plans for a sequel right now, but would like to think that there will be something in the future.
Qui_Lan_Hett: for people getting into industry of game design how much on average does it cost to make a game?
Simon Jeffery: A high-end game with strong production values will generally cost anywhere between $3m and $6m. Some can cost a lot more than that.
Cosus: How do you see a recession effecting the gaming market an your company? Do you feel that the gaming industry will be the first to go, or be one of those "escapes" that people will still invest time and money in?
Simon Jeffery: Historically, entertainment industries have fared well in times of recession, as people have more leisure time on their hands. We are naturally very concerned about the global economic situation, and the high-cost of gaming systems. If people can't afford to buy hardware, they can't buy games. As of now, LucasArts is not noticing any downturn, and with new systems like Gamecube and XBox coming along, there is some optimism.
Bret: Mr. Jeffery, when will the PC version of StarFighter be released?
Simon Jeffery: Starfighter will be released on PC shortly after the Holidays.
Trapezoid: Any hopes of my heroes Steve Purcell or Tim Schafer returning for anything?
Simon Jeffery: lunch!
bmd: I am a huge fan of rebellion and if you look on the zone it has a major following, especially for a 4 year old game, I want you to consider a sequel. What are your thoughts on that
Simon Jeffery: We don't have any firm plans for a direct sequel to Rebellion, but will continue to make strategy games.
Piett: After star wars galaxies is made, do you plan to make any other massively multiplayer games?
Simon Jeffery: Galaxies will be an ongoing project - not consisting of a single game, but many in the long-term. Online gaming is a big part of our future.
NateTXB: what improvements are being made to the Xbox version of Obi-Wan that couldn't have been accomplished on the PC?
Simon Jeffery: It wasn't so much a case of making improvements to the XBox version that couldn't be done on PC - it was more that the style of gameplay was better suited to a console than a PC. Control mechanics, combat etc.
Phrozer: What non-Lucasarts games are you currently playing?
Simon Jeffery: I'm currently playing Black and White on PC, Red Faction, GT3 and Twisted Metal Black on PS2, and Sonic Adventure 2 on Dreamcast.
CROC: Do you still plan to make games for the single user without internet access?
Simon Jeffery: Absolutely we will continue to make single player games. Many game styles aren't appropriate to multiplay, and many people enjoy solo gaming.
Phantom89: Do you have several discussions with George Lucas before you launch a game? In other words, does George Lucas closely monitor the plots of the games, or does LucasArts make up the stories?
Simon Jeffery: George Lucas is involved in all of our high-level decision making around games - both Star Wars and non- Star Wars. Whilst he's not involved in the day to day business, he takes a great deal of interest in everything we do.
v_nolvak: in monkey island 3 there was a gag about 3d, and then came monkey island 4 in 3d (there you go) and in monkey island 4 there is a gag about multiplayer so Monkey Island 5 - multiplayer???
Simon Jeffery: Maybe you know something we don't!
Chas_2001: Out of every LucasArts game EVER! Which one would you say is the best?
Simon Jeffery: I can't say which LucasArts game is the best, but I can say that the Monkey series are my personal favorites.
stu_the_monkey: Are you enjoying this??
Simon Jeffery: Yes, though some of the side chat is kinda 'interesting'
Home_Sliced: If you could make the ultimate game specifically tailored to you favorite gameplay style(s), what would it be like?
Simon Jeffery: Star Wars Galaxies!
Simon Jeffery: AND Knights of the Old Republic...
Martellare: Are you interested in playing a game online after the chat?
Simon Jeffery: as someone just said in one of the rooms, I need to get home for my dinner
Liberty: Is LucasArts planning to sell their merchandising in Europe? I want a Monkey Island mug!!!!
Simon Jeffery: some of our international licensees (such as Ubisoft who made the Monkey Island mug) are making more of this kinda stuff available on their websites. We'll see more of this going forward.
inpheaux: Is it safe to assume that the zone won't be the main vehicle for setting up games of Jedi Outcast, considering that the Quake3 engine has a built-in dedicated server system?
Simon Jeffery: We're still exploring a bunch of different vehicles for setups RE: Jedi Outcast. Nothing is really decided at this stage.
RogueJawa: Is it true that the MSN gaming zone will be dropping Xwing vs Tie from thier game line up? Please make every attempt in your power to keep it on the zone, XvT is a awesome game and there are too many people that play it on the zone to let it slip to the depths of dead games.
Simon Jeffery: That's the first I've heard of that. We'll look into it.
Liberty: If LucasArts like to make Star Wars games, and fans want more graphic adventures... Why not to make a Star Wars graphic adventure?
Simon Jeffery: It's a concept that has been kicked around here for many years - we just haven't come up with the right idea yet.
CROC: What is the definition of a successful game in your eyes?
Simon Jeffery: A game that gets great reviews, pleases the fans, and ideally - sells well! Starfighter on PS2 and EMI on PC are good examples.
Psy_Man: Which next-generation console do you like/most anticipate the most, first as a developer, then as a gamer?
Simon Jeffery: We like and support the PS2, Gamecube and XBox for different reasons. Which is why we are actively supporting them all.
obiwan01: Are you planning to release more Gamecube games?
Simon Jeffery: Yes!
AnakenSolo: What is your favorite main character in a game?
Simon Jeffery: Manny and Guybrush
Piett: Can you give us some details on more Gamecube games please? :-)
Simon Jeffery: All I can say now is that next summer we have some pretty exciting Episode II product... Liberty - you can go to bed now!
telarium: Other than talent and skills, what traits do you guys look for in potential employees?
Simon Jeffery: Passion is the number one thing we look for in prospective employees. You can't make great games if you don't care passionately about it.
ATCFlorida: How many episode 2 games are planned to launch right after the movie comes out?
Simon Jeffery: We are less concerned with releasing a number of games at the same time as the movie - we are more interested in making the games strong and appealing. So, less Episode II games than Episode I games.
Tean: What games get played most around LucasArts headquarters? -when you're on break ;-)- Also, what are the chances of seeing a co-operative mode for Jedi Outcast?
Simon Jeffery: Counterstrike is still the favorite after-hours game. We are still looking into co-op on JK II.
Martellare: Will all computer games that come out have increasingly larger demands on the computer's CPU/graphic abilities, or is LucasArts developing games that are less taxing on the system for users who don't have the most recent computers?
Simon Jeffery: Not all games will have high-end system spec requirements. Galactic Battlegrounds is a perfect example is targeting a 266 minimum.
biggest_fan: we really enjoy these chats--why doesn't LucasArts do them more often? it would be nice to be able to chat with lead developers of all the major games as well as with you on a more regular basis
Simon Jeffery: We love them too, we do them monthly, and will keep them going. Look out for a Rogue Leader chat soon!
LucasArts Host: I'm afraid we're all out of time for today's chat. Thank you so much for joining, Simon!
Simon Jeffery: Thanks everyone, this has been great. Look forward to doing it again soon, Simon.
LucasArts Host: Thank you for joining us here at LucasArts.com! We'll be hosting another chat soon -- stay tuned to LucasArts.com for details. Thanks again for stopping by!