Tuesday, October 19, 2010

David Collins Interview

Playstation.com has posted a new interview with the lead sound designer .
Feel the Force of Star Wars with David Collins, lead sound designer at LucasArts.

After working on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, what's the most exciting thing about coming back to work on the sequel?

The story is really cool to me. Having the chance to revisit those characters, take them in a new direction and deal with the mystery behind cloning in the Star Wars universe. Cloning has always been a bit of a mysterious subject; can you clone a Jedi, for example? Has it ever been done? Maybe, but not successfully - and what does that mean for Starkiller and his psyche?

It's a much more personal story than the first game, which was about redemption after Starkiller started off as a rebel hunter. In the second game the hunter becomes the hunted and you're a fugitive, running from Darth Vader.

Was it a nice surprise to see such a positive reaction to the first game?

It was - when you work on games you always do your best job, whether it's a huge hit or not... I've worked on games which some people have never even heard of! Everything about The Force Unleashed was a very challenging experience. I remember feeling that if we pulled it off then we could do anything, and would love another shot at it - which we got in the sequel. And watching people's reactions is just fantastic.

Did you feel any pressure in being part of the massive Star Wars franchise?

Absolutely. I'm a huge Star Wars fan and gamer, so putting those two together puts a lot of pressure on because I know what I want to hear and experience as a gamer. The Star Wars games I played when I was a kid inspired me to want to join LucasArts, and once I was there I wanted to do a great job.

There's a lot of pressure when you're working on one of the most famous franchises in the world but you have to love it and we certainly do.

What sort of challenges did you encounter working on the game?

Obviously we wanted to up the ante in a lot of ways in The Force Unleashed II. The first thing we wanted to do was go back and address a lot of the feedback from the first game. We put in a new rendering and graphics system, improved the targeting and camera viewpoint for the player, improved the Artificial Intelligence and, all across the board, we went for a better, more focused experience.

It's really coming together - it looks absolutely gorgeous on PlayStation 3 and we have more experience with the system now to really utilise its power. And it's the same team which created the first game, so we can just go in and fix all these things because we have the experience, and that's the right way to go with a franchise.

What has been your favourite aspect of working on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II?

Besides the story, I'd say getting the chance to revisit the game mechanics, tighten them up and realise the further potential and the concept behind it, which is unleashing the Force. We're reimagining Star Wars in the way we wanted but it's still true to the licence. We've never seen Force powers like we have in The Force Unleashed II.

We have a new power called Jedi Mind Trick, which is ideal when you're up against a lot more enemies seeing as we can get a lot more of them on-screen at the same time now. So when you cast Mind Trick on them, sometimes they'll throw themselves into harm's way or they'll attack each other... it's quite funny.

One of my favourite experiences was doing the audio for one of the trailers. It was so true to the moves you can do in the game, and just watching it on-screen and people's reaction to it during E3 2010 was so satisfying. I loved that, because if I wasn't working on it I would be rabidly consuming it myself!

Is there anything else you want to add about your experience on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II?

I really hope people enjoy it and enjoy where the story goes. We're taking it in an exciting direction and I love these characters. I'd encourage people to experiment with their Force powers as much as they can. There's so much cool stuff you can do in the game, with over 50 different lightsaber combos alone, all sorts of grapple techniques that no one's seen before, and a much tighter and focused experience

50+ Lightsaber combos? This is looking pretty EPIC! Only one week untill the Force is Unleashed a 2nd time!

Heads up to Lucas Arts forum member pogona2010 for finding this interview

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