The celebrated creator and writer of the first three Uncharted titles, Amy Hennig has been working away as Creative Director on a new Star Wars games for over two years now. Speaking at this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration she dropped some hints about what we might see from the still unannounced, Visceral-developed game.
Opening up about the game during a panel (via GameSpot), Hennig first reiterates what we already knew about the title. The game will be a third-person action adventure, not unlike Uncharted. “We’re writing an original Star Wars story with new characters, locations, tech, creatures, you name it. All of it has to sit authentically alongside the stuff people know now,” she states.
But Hennig has put a lot of thought and research into what it means to be a Star Wars story. “The process that I’ve been using is really similar to what I did with Uncharted, to be honest. If you’re trying to re-create that classic–in [Uncharted’s] case–pulp action adventure experience, you need to deconstruct the films so you know how to reconstruct them in an interactive context as gameplay.
“The end goal is by the time the player has finished playing they feel like they really did play a Star Wars film. So I’ve done the same thing for Star Wars. What does that mean? It’s getting the structure right. It means you have to understand where the act breaks fall, where all the obstacles and reversals fall, and the set-pieces.”
“The end goal is by the time the player has finished playing they feel like they really did play a Star Wars film.”
But in her studies of the films she’s really grabbed on to two main things. First, “it means getting the tone right. It’s what my writing partner Todd [Stashwick] calls breezy urgency. It’s the idea that there’s sort of a swash-buckling charm to the thing. There’s humor and buoyancy but at the same time there’s stakes and jeopardy.”
And second, “these are always ensemble stories … People would say there’s other characters in something like Indiana Jones, but they’re side characters. In Star Wars they’re co-protagonists, so if you think about the original trilogy it’s as much Leia’s, Han’s, and Vader’s story as it is Luke’s… and the same thing is true of our game… It’s not a lone-wolf story because that’s not Star Wars. Your characters have to be a coordinated ensemble acting in the moment and in parallel. If you think about the film and the Death Star, they only escape because everybody does their part in parallel.”
The interesting wrinkle comes in when you begin trying to do that same thing in an interactive context. “[Characters are] always outnumbered and outgunned, so they have to be smarter than their enemies, more improvisational, and work together,” Hennig explains. “The challenge for us is to figure out how we enable that in gameplay so that the player really feels that experience, so that it’s not just part of the story but also the gameplay.”
Visceral’s Star Wars game is due out sometime in 2018. We got our first brief look at it last month at E3. Among the other Star Wars news from Celebration, we also learned the details of Battlefront’s next DLC, Death Star. DICE even announced Battlefront’s fourth DLC will be based on Rogue One.