Travellers Tales: We'd been working for some time on ideas for a new kind of LEGO video game. We were convinced that there were qualities in the LEGO experience which would translate into exciting game features. And of course we all knew, loved and played with LEGO Star Wars. It would obviously be the perfect universe for us to play in - but for a long time we'd all just assumed just the link-up with Lucasfilm would be impossible, until Tom Stone, our Managing Director, simply asked the question "Well, why not?", and we took it from there.
How exactly does the Lego component fit into the game. Will people build things with lego bricks or is it just a case of the whole game being built out of lego?
TT:Hmm. It's not that literal. This is a LEGO game, LEGO in every aspect; and couldn't work the way it does, were it not a LEGO game. But that doesn't mean that it's a recreation of the plastic LEGO building experience. It draws upon some characteristics and qualities of "real-world" LEGO play, but translates them, and adds new elements, into the video game world. For example, as a Jedi, you can use the Force to dismantle and transform objects in the world which are made of LEGO elements. That's an awesome game power; not something you can do in the real world, but still something which is essentially a LEGO experience. The game-world isn't made of plastic; our hero characters are LEGO Star Wars Jedi, not plastic models. But everything's still LEGO.
It's been said that the game will focus on the first three episodes of the movies, will there be any variation to the storyline at all, will there be side 'quests' that may have not been seen in the films?
TT:We follow the story of those movies; we have the same characters in the same environments, with the same battles - but, yes, if you take the time to explore then you'll get a new perspective on the action. There are many hidden areas to discover.
How will the multiplayer component of the game work? Is the game like an RPG in the style of something like Champions of Norrath or just an all out action game?
TT:At any point in the game, a second player can join in the action. As a pair, you can switch characters, co-operate or fight other just as you would when playing on your own. It's a really fluid, instantly accessible and fun experience.
Can you elaborate on gamer's ability to use characters in scenes they weren't used in the film? How hard was it to get Lucasfilm to agree to this?
TT:That's right: you unlock and build up your collection of characters as you progress through the game, and you can then tale any of those characters into any of the scenes you've completed, even scenes from movies in which they didn't originally appear. We call this "Free Play", and it's something we were really keen on from the start, as an original LEGO game feature. And, as you suggest, we were initially a little worried about how the folks at Lucasfilm would react to the possibilities this feature enables. But like everything else in the game, they were just incredibly supportive. Because, you know, "It's LEGO!"
Will the voice actors be the actual movie actors or fill ins? Same question for the sound effects.
TT:We've been privileged to have a dedicated team at Skywalker Sound producing our sound effects and music; not only some of the most accomplished technical specialists in the field, but also with a wealth of experience in the world of Star Wars. They've drawn upon the full movie sound library to work their magic.
Will there be any differences between Xbox and PS2 versions of the game?
TT:We take advantage of some Xbox hardware features, including a full 5.1 sound mix; but from a gameplay point of view the two versions are identical.
The game is set to ship before Episode III hits cinemas. How has Lucasfilm reacted to this and has this limited what you can put from Episode 3 into the game? If so why was the decision made to not wait till the film comes out.
TT:Well, it's not a question of Lucasfilm "reacting" to anything; they quite rightly have complete control over the Star Wars offering, and we've worked very closely together at all levels throughout development. We take you all the way through the new movie Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, as a natural part of our goal to span the whole new trilogy.
Is there anything you wish to say about the game which has not been covered.
TT:I really hope you enjoy the game!
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