Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Exclusive Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Interview
Written Friday, July 25, 2008 By David Creech

Recently we had a chance to get some alone time with with Haden Blackman, project lead for Star Wars: The Force unleashed at Lucas Arts, and we did what any fanboy would, ask him some questions!

Luckily for you, we documented these questions for all to feast their eyes upon! So read on for some Star Wars gaming goodness.

David Creech: The destructible environment made possible by Digital Molecular Matter and the Havok Physics system sounds like an incredible combination...Can you briefly describe how the game uses this environment?
Haden Blackman: We basically tried to make every area in the game feel like a "Force playground" with lots of stuff to grab and throw (using Force Grip), push around, throw enemies into, and break. It also led to some really interesting gameplay mechanics - you can actually use the Force to blast through doors, for example, rather than try to "find a key."
David Creech: Breaking new ground can be difficult. Has the dev team run into any real mind benders using these new technologies that you can discuss?
Haden Blackman: This was by far the most difficult project many of us have ever worked on. Just getting all of the physics simulations to recognize and communicate with one another was a huge challenge. One of our initial problems was the fact that physics simulations, by their very nature, are based on real-world physics and conditions. But, in TFU, we're pushing the laws of physics beyond "reality." Our Force Push moves with such velocity and hits with such impact that it would literally vaporize a human being in the real world, but we're a game and we want to create the sense that your bowling over or knocking enemies backwards. When we first integrated the technologies, enemies and objects literally "exploded" in game, or objects would be moving so fast that the simulations didn't register them - a stormtrooper might pass through a glass window rather than break through, for example. We had to work really hard to ensure that the simulations provide "authenticity" - making you feel like you have an impact on the environment and enemies, in a way that feels true to Star Wars and (most importantly) fun - without necessarily being "realistic."
David Creech: Euphoria sounds like a truly innovative engine for managing artificial opponents. Can you expand on its capabilities a little, and how SWTFU uses them to create a unique game?
Haden Blackman: Euphoria allows us to infuse characters with a central nervous system, so that they have "authentic" reactions. When you throw an exploding barrel at a stormtrooper, he might duck, jump out of the way, or try to protect his head. When you grip an enemy, he might grab onto objects or other characters around him and hold on for dear life. This basically ensures that every time you push, grip, throw, knock down, or defeat an enemy, it looks different. It also results in a lot of unexpected surprises.
David Creech: Have the achievements been developed yet? If so, can you discuss one or two of them that strike you as particularly interesting?
Haden Blackman: We have developed the achievements, and we have quite a few. There are achievements for progressing through the game - stuff that everyone will get just for playing the game and completing various levels. We also have powers related to your Force power use, your creativity with your Force powers and attacks, and completing various secondary objectives. For me, our "Frenzy bonus" achievements - basically, defeating a huge number of enemies in short order, in the most destructive ways possible - are the most challenging. And, we have a few "secret" objectives that are just fun for players to find.
David Creech: Star Wars fans can be quite passionate at do you anticipate they will react to the multiple endings and how they relate to the story of the movies?

Haden Blackman: I hope they like them... I think that the endings are true to the spirit of the story, and really show the consequences of your choices, even if they don't all fit perfectly into canon. 


User Comments

Forum Posts: 3272
Comment #1 by Otisbum
Friday, July 25, 2008 @ 07:19:36 PM
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Kudos to Creech for getting this together.

Short interview, but it's making the game that much more exciting for me. Potentially game of the year material here.

Forum Posts: 9418
Comment #2 by Creech
Friday, July 25, 2008 @ 07:52:46 PM
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Took 6 months of begging to get the answers to those! LOL!

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Comment #3 by Otisbum
Friday, July 25, 2008 @ 07:56:10 PM
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No offense to x360a, but I was shocked when I saw "Exclusive" and "Project Lead".

What would this site be without you guys out there kissing butts and buying lunch for these important people?

I ? David.

Forum Posts: 3272
Comment #4 by Otisbum
Friday, July 25, 2008 @ 07:58:13 PM
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Aww, it messed up the heart in that last sentence. :(

Forum Posts: 5267
Comment #5 by Krazie
Friday, July 25, 2008 @ 08:52:13 PM
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Creech you do realize we've had the achievements on the site for like over a month now right? :-P

Forum Posts: 29
Comment #6 by adamr999
Friday, July 25, 2008 @ 09:46:23 PM
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Forum Posts: 314
Comment #7 by dudecrazy108
Friday, July 25, 2008 @ 10:15:29 PM
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Cant wait for this game.

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #8 by Froinator15
Friday, July 25, 2008 @ 10:40:36 PM
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this is gonna be sick

Forum Posts: 536
Comment #9 by StephenJ360
Friday, July 25, 2008 @ 11:06:17 PM
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Haha, that is kinda funny that he asked about the achievements. But it's okay, good job, Creech. I'm real excited about the game, and I was kinda worried about the Force powers, but not so much now.

Forum Posts: 122
Comment #10 by Expressbishop
Friday, July 25, 2008 @ 11:26:22 PM
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Interesting :)

Forum Posts: 286
Comment #11 by LSmith92
Friday, July 25, 2008 @ 11:59:04 PM
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Euphoria FTW!

Forum Posts: 3699
Comment #12 by Lordvader178
Saturday, July 26, 2008 @ 04:08:43 AM
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Ohhhhhhh Creech. Short. Short but sweet.

Forum Posts: 19
Comment #13 by Sean Banty
Saturday, July 26, 2008 @ 01:28:45 PM
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I can't wait for this game... *DIES*

Forum Posts: 348
Comment #14 by mptuk
Saturday, July 26, 2008 @ 03:34:49 PM
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definately something to look forward to cant wait now i wasnt sure about this force powers thing as you could use it all the time unless its limited will have to wait n see

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Game Info
Lucas Arts


US September 16, 2008
Europe September 19, 2008

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