Partnerships to Rule the Galaxy

April 14, 2007

Get an Insider's look at the making of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed every two weeks from Assistant Producer Brett Rector. Formerly editor-in-chief of Star Wars Insider magazine, Brett's been a collector and fan of Star Wars since 1977.

In the last diary entry, I wrapped up what the team went through to get Star Wars: The Force Unleashed green lit through its initial concept phase. So now that we had a pre-viz, concept art and a solid outline for the story, the next important phase (which is quite the understatement) was to figure out how we were going to bring The Force Unleashed to virtual life. Now if the team were building a game for, say, the current-gen platforms such as the PlayStation 2 or Xbox, life would have been grand. However, we're entering the age of the nex-gen systems, and the stakes are a little higher.

As most of you may know, making games for completely new systems is a marathon, not a sprint. Developers have to rethink how they make games to factor in the additional processing power and features that are capable within each new system, and then figure out how best to maximize their efforts to fully realize the hardware's potential. Here at LucasArts we are striving to push the boundaries and take gaming to the next level -- we want to do things that no one has done before and show people things they have never seen before. In the case of The Force Unleashed, we want to take Star Wars games to new heights and deliver an experience that is unparalleled in any game.

As mentioned above, as well as in the second diary, it was up to us to figure out how to take the vision of the game and make it a reality. We quickly recognized that the key here was "collaboration." While we have built the company around the best engineers, artists, and designers in the business, there are certain technologies that we just couldn't create on our own within the given timeframe we have to make Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. In instances such as this we have to send out our own versions of probe droids to find technology partners that can get us where we need to go.

Two such companies you've recently heard a lot about, and that you can read about in the Game Info section, are Pixelux Entertainment and Natural Motion. The challenge for the team, specifically our engineers,art technical directors, and designers, is to integrate and optimize these technologies into the game engine. What is shown in the videos associated with the articles only scratches the surface to what is possible. As we continue to develop the game, LucasArts will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible with Pixelux and Natural Motion, and I can guarantee that the results will amaze you. That's all for this installment. Be sure to check back soon for more on the development of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

- Brett Rector    

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