Creative director and former Uncharted writer talks about “getting the structure right”.
Not a lot is known about Visceral Games’ untitled Star Wars title. Rumours spread of it being an open world third person action RPG but those were quickly shot down. Thankfully, for a recent panel at Star Wars Celebration (via GameSpot), creative director Amy Hennig shared more information on the development process behind the story and characters, drawing comparisons to Uncharted (the first three games which she wrote) in the process.
“The reason [we’re collaborating with Lucasfilm so closely is] we’re writing an original Star Wars story with new characters, locations, tech, creatures, you name it. All of it has to sit authentically alongside the stuff people know now. The process that I’ve been using is really similar to what I did with Uncharted, to be honest. If you’re trying to re-create that classic–in [Uncharted’s] case–pulp action adventure experience, you need to deconstruct the films so you know how to reconstruct them in an interactive context as gameplay.
“The end goal is by the time the player has finished playing they feel like they really did play a Star Wars film. So I’ve done the same thing for Star Wars. What does that mean? It’s getting the structure right. It means you have to understand where the act breaks fall, where all the obstacles and reversals fall, and the set-pieces. [You need to know] what are all the component parts that make up a Star Wars story.”
While it might not be much to go by, especially when it comes to what kind of story and gameplay can be expected, the comparisons in tone to Uncharted could be a hint. “It means getting the tone right. It’s what my writing partner Todd [Stashwick] calls breezy urgency. It’s the idea that there’s sort of a swash-buckling charm to the thing. There’s humor and buoyancy but at the same time there’s stakes and jeopardy.”
At this point, we wouldn’t have a hard time believing Visceral’s Star Wars is an action adventure title set in the same universe. Hennig also talks quite a bit about the ensemble of characters in Star Wars Rebels and the upcoming Rogue One. Hopefully there’ll be more information in the coming months to go by as far as gameplay is concerned.