Former Uncharted Creative Director Amy Hennig discusses how she and Visceral Games are working together to ensure the mysterious new Star Wars game is "authentic".
It can be difficult to keep a secret in the video game industry, especially when an upcoming IP is firmly rooted in the lore of one of the most popular multimedia franchises of all time. Somehow, however, ex-Naughty Dog Creative Director Amy Hennig and the team at Visceral Games have managed to do just that with the mysterious Star Wars game the studio is developing. For a game that will already have a passionate fan base before it ever hits shelves, Visceral has done a remarkable job keeping nearly everything about its new Star Wars title under wraps.
It's because of Visceral's tight-lipped policy of secrecy that whenever news actually does emerge regarding the new Star Wars game, it's a pretty big deal. Beyond the hype that always accompanies a series as revered as Star Wars, EA poached both Hennig and ex-Ubisoft Director Jade Raymond to work on the project, and with that kind of assembly of talent the expectations for the game are sky-high. At a panel during PAX West, Hennig addressed some of those expectations, primarily her own:
"It's all about the new stuff, the new characters, the new story, the new locations, the new creatures, the new tech. All of this stuff has to sit authentically alongside the Star Wars that we're so familiar with."
Authenticity was the main point Hennig stressed during the panel, as the Visceral Games dev said during the panel that Visceral is working very close with some of the Lucasfilm creative staff to define "what is authentic Star Wars and how [does Visceral] make more?". That kind of careful, methodical attention to detail could be a key factor in making Raymond's earlier claim that Visceral's Star Wars game is groundbreaking a reality rather than hyperbole.
While Visceral's new Star Wars game is still a few years away, the studio obviously has a clear concept regarding what kind of game it wants to design, something that has resonated with fans of the series who are almost frenzied in attempting to learn more about the mysterious title. While Hennig didn't offer up that much new information, she did offer up the core design philosophy behind the game, something that should leave fans feeling like their beloved franchise is in capable hands:
"Our goal in this game is to tell an authentic Star Wars story in an interactive context. That carries with it a whole lot of rules and baggage, that we have to kind of deconstruct, reconstruct, and honor."
There might not be much in the way of concrete information regarding Visceral's take on the Star Wars universe yet, but what little we do know indicates it could be a game of the year contender when it is finally available. That's obviously a stretch right now, and any number of things could change during development, but the way Visceral and Hennig have handled the new IP in the media so far has created those lofty expectations - now the studio will have to deliver.