Speaking at PAX West, one of the main minds behind Dead Space developer Visceral Games’ upcoming Star Wars project shed some new light on the game, albeit in a high-level manner only.
As reported by DualShockers, Hennig started off by saying he had to be careful about what she could say, considering the game hasn’t been fully detailed yet. She did say, however, that Visceral, which is owned by Electronic Arts, is working “really close” with the Lucasfilm story team and leader Doug Chang.
The goal, fans may be happy to know, is to create an “authentic” Star Wars game–and then go further. Visceral’s Star Wars game will tell an original story within the iconic sci-fi universe, though it remains to be seen what that story is and who its key players are.
“Authentic Star Wars can mean that we get the AT-ST right, right? And of course we have to do that too, but it’s all about the new stuff, the new characters, the new story, the new locations, the new creatures, the new tech,” Hennig teased. “All of this stuff that has to sit authentically alongside the Star Wars that we’re so familiar with.”
Hennig previously worked on Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series as a writer and director. There are “a lot” of similarities between Uncharted and Star Wars, but there are obviously some big differences, too.
“So I thought that some of the rules I had used making Uncharted no longer applied,” she said. “In Uncharted or in Indiana Jones you actually kinda stick with Indie the whole time. There are times you cut away, but it’s always something that informs you on what he is doing, like Marion in the tent. In Star Wars you’re always cutting away to the bad guys, and seeing what they’re doing: ‘Meanwhile, back at the villain ranch…'”
One of the challenges, from a design perspective, that this brings about is what Hennig called the “privileged observer problem.”
“When we watch a film, we’re the privileged observer, right? We’re not the protagonist,” she explained. “Their struggle is illuminated by the things we can see that they don’t. Suspense and all that kind of stuff. How do you do that in a game where you’re supposed to identify with the protagonist and cut away the things that they don’t know?”
Finally, Hennig talked about how Visceral’s Star Wars game will, like the films and other games, make the protagonists feel like underdogs, overcoming odds seemingly stacked against them.
“They have to work together and they have to be cleverer than their enemies,” she said. “Therefore, how do you turn that into gameplay. How do you take that idea and then deconstruct it as mechanics, sequences, that then play to that core principle. That’s the challenge of making these kinds of things.”
EA showed off a brief look at Visceral’s Star Wars game at E3, including the image above. Based on the Imperial banners and the Star Destroyer in the background, you can probably assume the game is set sometime before the The Force Awakens, but does it represent an occupied Jakku, or something even earlier in the Star Wars timeline? According to Motive Studios head Jade Raymond, Visceral is taking the game in “groundbreaking directions.”
This game is just one of the new Star Wars projects on the way from EA. DICE is currently at work on Star Wars Battlefront 2 in collaboration with Motive. Check out this post to see a rundown of all the Star Wars games currently in development.