Join Date: May 1999
(cracks his knuckles)
1: Why was there no multiplayer?
1. Multiplayer was a casualty of 2 things - lack of time and LEC's insistence that the game be simple. As we all know, most multiplayer games nowadays are being developed for hardcore gamers, and that was something LEC did not want for TPM. We all knew that we didn't have enough time to do a multiplayer version that could stand up to the likes of UT or Quake, so it was given the axe. We did make a hacked-together multiplayer version, but unless you made the 'naughty naughty' cheat mandatory, it wasn't as fun, especially because the lightsabers couldn't reflect blaster bolts in our Frankenstein version.
2: Why wasn't a more simpler level designer used?
2. We built a level design tool that let us re-use pieces all over the place, saving memory, and thus eliminating in-level loading. The cube-based system gave us a lot of flexibility for detail, but the downside is that we REALLY had a tough time making realistic outdoor terrain, as you see in Swamp, Gardens and the Tatooine levels.
3: How come it wasn't made editable like JK
3. In truth, one of the reasons why we DID go with the cube-based system was because we intended to make the level editor available, and thus people could swap pieces and levels. That changed when we added so much functionality to the tool that it became INCREDIBLY complex, and then realized that if we were going to release it, it would need a manual, and we were all WAY too busy trying to get the game done to spend time writing a manual. Also, when LEC decided to do a PSX version after all, they wanted to make sure that the PSX version had exactly the same features as the PC version, so it opened up a whole new can of worms in terms of how to swap levels etc.
4: Where was the force? It sure wasn't with Obi-Wan
4. In following LEC's insistence that the game be as simple as possible, we opted to have just the Jedi double-jump and the Force Push (used also for pushing levers and buttons from a distance, like the Jedi telekinesis), in addition to sabre blocking. Those Force powers were the only ones from the script that we knew about; the Force Run seen at the beginning of the movie surprised us all when we saw it, but it was too late to add features at that point.
5: You guys KILLED the sabre dueling. It was extremely dull. How come you didn't make like a seperate block and attack button.
5. We did indeed work with making the Sabre dueling much more complex, with high- and low-blocking, in addition to overhead slashes and attacks and so forth. The system got axed in early 1999 when it became pretty complex. It almost resembled a rock-paper-scissors situation, where Maul would attack, and if you guessed wrong you took damage, you guessed right HE took damage, etc. and it just didn't feel right. At the same time, LEC took a look at it, and apparently thought that it would be too hard for the casual gamer to figure out, making Maul impossible to beat unless you spent a lot of time working on it.
6. How come you didn't make animations for all the models so we could play them? I wanted to go around as Darth Maul and Jar Jar.
6. Time time time. I personally built, textured, and animated every one of those models, and it was amazing that we got it done at all. To make animations for all characters...I'd STILL be working on them to get them done. I have a Mace Windu model that uses the Jedi anims, but that's about it.
7. How come no Gungan Battle? That would have been fun.
7. We toyed around with building a Gungan battle, but we knew at that time that NO ONE would want to play Jar Jar for a level. Yes, we anticipated Jar Jar's near-universal loathing. Also, again, our tool doesn't do terrain well, and in a big flat plain, it would also be tough to judge where you're at in the top-down view. After the game was released, I actually designed out a Gungan level that would have had Captain Tarpals as the lead character, but I never had time to go any further with it.
8. I wish the Mos Espa track actually went all the way around. Makes ya wonder where the podracers actually raced to.WHY?
8. We were told by LEC not to include any kind of 'real' podracer action, because they didn't want to take anything away from SW Racer. It also would have included building a new movement system. If we had included the Tank and STAP movement schemes, then perhaps we could also have done podracer stuff, but we barely made ship date as it was.
9. Coruscant was rather boring. Instead of having a great time exploring, you spent most of it in the boring lower levels.WHY?
9. What exactly would you do up top? Exploring is nice, but in an action/adventure, you gotta have goals, and you gotta have goals that require lots of action. Coruscant isn't exactly a lawless society, we needed to come up with SOMETHING to do, so we decided that there should be an 'underworld' where you can kill and be killed without the knowledge of the police. The problem was, in the movie, virtually NOTHING happens on Coruscant except a lot of talking, so in an action game, it made it rather difficult to come up with something to do. One of our running jokes was that part of the level was going to be the Galactic Senate Bumper Cars seen in the movie. We also toyed with the idea of a Taxi chase through the skylanes using the same movement engine as the STAP, but, you guessed it, it got the axe when time got tight.
10. How come the levels were for the most part small? Mos Espa would have been hilariously fun if it were twice as big with like 10x the amount of people.
10. I might disagree slightly with your characterization of 'small levels', but in terms of keeping us from having to load stuff on-the-fly and not having the game slow down, the levels had to be within certain size restrictions. And having 10x the people would MASSIVELY slow down the CPU as it calculated the AIs of all those people. Some of the AIs were quite complex.
[This message has been edited by Zanzibar (edited May 16, 2001).]