Posted by Raine Hutchens on Jun 14, 2012

LucasArts Turning To A New Division To Make Star Wars 1313

As far as the gaming division of LucasArts goes, it’s not been such a great ride lately. It’s been nearly two years since we’ve seen the last Star Wars game (not including SWTOR because BioWare took up that mantle), and when the last LucasArts endeavor launched it disappointed many fans. The Force Unleashed II failed to deliver on the same excitement and gameplay that its previous title built. Not only was this a letdown, but then LucasArts suffered cutbacks to its development staff back in 2010, causing fans’ hope to diminish.

With the announcement of Star Wars 1313 many fans wondered just how the development team would pull it off. When footage for the game was seen at E3, it blew a lot of fans away. How exactly did LucasArts achieve this with so much going on? Simply put, they went to the movies.

That’s right, the crew setting to work on 1313 has been put together with people coming from all of the various sections of LucasFilm. These fellows are putting a lot of man hours into the game, and though they may be working on the game it’s still technically being produced by LucasArts. Director Doninic Robilliard spoke with Kotaku saying, “We’ve managed to bring in some other talent from Industrial Light and Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and LucasArts Animation. But the difference this time with this collaboration is we’ve actually got those guys on team, using our tools, and working in our engine.”

Previously other divisions of the company would help on a project for a short time, then retreat back to whatever project they’ve got going. Robilliard commented on this process as well. “In previous games where we’ve worked with the other parts of the company, I don’t want to say it was like chucking things over the fence. But if you had a department working on the cutscenes, they would just do that in isolation. However, because this cinematic game relies on the experience being seamless between the gameplay and the cutscene, we brought them in-team. And when we’re dealing with problems of the game, the ILM guys, or the Sky sound guys, or the animation guys, they care about how we would normally do it in a game. So they will bring in their expertise and say, ‘If it was a film we would probably light it like this.’”

It looks like LucasArts is serious about busting out a new title that will help put them back on the map. The company is bringing in plenty of talent to provide a brand new experience with the game, and so far it’s looking good. Robilliard continues to explain that the game was built from the ground up, and the collaboration between both LucasArts and LucasFilm was a great decision. Judging by the gameplay I’ve seen so far, I can agree with him. Though some fans still waver, Star Wars 1313 could be a giant step back on the path to raise LucasArts out of the swamp.


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