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Messages - Matt

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121
The Wookiee Arcade / Re: Star Wars 1313
« on: September 30, 2013, 08:28 PM »
Why would Boba have different outfits? Wouldn't he have gotten his armor from his dad?

Because video games.

122
The Wookiee Arcade / How LucasArts Fell Apart - Kotaku article
« on: September 27, 2013, 04:24 PM »
This entire generation has been a waste for Star Wars games. This article goes a long way in explaining why.

How LucasArts Fell Apart

It's long, so I won't quote the whole thing, just some most of it:

Quote
It’s impossible to pinpoint a single reason for the demise of LucasArts, but an outside observer might look at the revolving door of presidents—three in the four-year period between 2008 and 2012—and wonder how anything got done. Instability ruled the realm; every high-level turnover came with layoffs and cancellations and a total shift in company direction led by whoever would take over next.

Some ex-LucasArts staffers lay blame on the presidents themselves. Others finger executives at LucasFilm for refusing to take the risks needed to make games that people would consider worthy of the Star Wars name. A number of ex-LucasArts staffers pointed to Micheline Chau, who was president of LucasFilm up until September of 2012, as the main factor for the company's decline—and the explanation for the revolving door of LucasArts presidents.

Sources describe Chau as the gatekeeper for George Lucas, and two high-level ex-LucasArts employees both said she had a tight control on Lucas's schedule. She would run rehearsals with the staff before they could meet with Lucas, sources said, and she would micromanage what the team could say and when they could say it.

"[Lucas] understood the nature of play—and games—but we didn't have the time with him that we needed," said one person familiar with high-level meetings at LucasArts.

“It never felt like people at the top cared about making great games,” said another person connected to LucasArts. “A lot of awesome projects never went anywhere because, ‘it’s not gonna make enough money.’”

Quote
Although some saw 1313 as an Uncharted clone—and even today, that's how some people look at the cancelled game—one person familiar with development of the game emphasized that the newly-implemented jetpack changed the design entirely, adding a vertical element to the action and platforming that gave things a fresher feel. Even George Lucas was high on the project, especially after the E3 acclaim.

Then, in September 2012, everything changed. LucasFilm enacted a hiring freeze, according to four people who were there at the time. All marketing plans were halted, and the company went into silent mode. Production continued on Star Wars 1313, but without the capacity to continue hiring the staff they needed, the team was crippled.

The freeze also led to endless questions revolving around Star Wars: First Assault, a multiplayer shooter that had also changed shape multiple times since it first began development in 2010. Created because George Lucas wanted to compete with the gargantuan Call of Duty series, First Assault was originally a large-scale shooter set in a time period after Return of the Jedi, according to two people familiar with the game.

Then, following direction from executives at LucasFilm, the game moved back to the Clone War era. This was a common theme at LucasArts, sources say—First Assault, which was code-named Trigger, shifted and evolved because of ever-changing direction, just like 1313. The goal posts just kept moving.

Trigger eventually morphed from attempted Call of Duty killer to multi-step project designed to reintroduce Battlefront to the world. The first game, First Assault, was set to be unveiled in September of 2012 and released in the spring of 2013. The second step was a project called Version Two, designed to show off vehicle prototypes and other Battlefront elements that didn't make it into First Assault.

But when LucasFilm enacted the hiring freeze, they also put the brakes on those marketing plans. Nobody could talk about First Assault, even when the box art was accidentally revealed on Xbox Live at the end of September.

People were baffled. “Everyone took it badly when we were told we couldn't announce or do our beta,” said one former member of the First Assault team. They kept working, but ex-First Assault staff say they had no clue whether or not the game would actually come out.

A month later, it all suddenly made sense. On October 30, 2012, Disney announced that they had purchased LucasFilm. The acquisition had been in place for quite some time, and LucasFilm had enacted the freeze in preparation for the reign of Mickey Mouse.

Yet the hiring freeze didn’t end. And over the next few months, even as LucasFilm made public declarations that everything was "business as usual," staff started to leave the company, and morale was low.

When LucasArts shut down, both Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault were cancelled. It was a heartbreaking experience for those still with the company. And it wasn’t the only one.

Canceled games mentioned:

Quote
  • Star Wars 1313
  • Star Wars: First Assault
  • Star Wars: First Assault Version Two, which according to one source grew from the remnants of a project code-named Wingman that was going to be a Wii U title modeled after the old TIE Fighter and X-Wing games.
  • open world GTA-style game set on Coruscant
  • Untitled Indiana Jones game, canceled in 2009
  • Caveland, a 2D physics-based shooter
  • Day of the Tentacle remake
  • Smuggler, a game designed for cross-platform multiplayer that would let you play as a customizable character within the Star Wars universe, smuggling and trading between Facebook, tablets, and consoles.
  • Outpost, the Star Wars take on Zynga's FarmVille that would let players build empires, one click at a time.
  • Death Star, the iOS game in which you'd get to control your very own version of the Empire's iconic space station.

Quote
There was the online service that would be LucasArts’ very own version of Origin, EA's network for distributing games and servicing online multiplayer. Like Origin for EA, this LucasArts-branded network would help the company distribute Star Wars games and in-app purchases. According to one person familiar with plans for this network, it would have launched alongside Star Wars: First Assault, which would have had some sort of microtransaction store.

All of these games were connected, and they were all part of one big ecosystem, according to people familiar with goings-on at the company. Eventually, as seemed to be a pattern at LucasArts, they were all axed. Of course, cancellations are not abnormal in the iterative world of game development, where projects shift and disappear all the time. What made LucasArts different was the studio's tendency to cancel finished projects—games like Death Star and Outpost had already gone through QA testing and were very close to being shipped, according to two sources.

"Projects get canceled all the time," a person familiar with LucasArts said. "You'd hope that your process can identify problem projects before they're finished."

So LucasArts spent most of their final years concentrating on two big games—1313 and First Assault—and the smaller project, Version Two.

“Every couple of years, George Lucas would get re-engaged for a period of time,” said another person connected to LucasArts. “The whole company would pivot around George’s interests. And then it would fizzle out.”

The Deal That Fell Through

Could LucasArts ever have been saved? Rumors came hot and heavy following the shutdown, and in April, I reported that EA had considered buying the storied studio up until a combination of factors—like the SimCity disaster and CEO John Riccitiello’s departure—led to the deal falling apart.

More people have come forth to corroborate those EA negotiations, and according to two high-level sources, EA's deal would have financed both 1313 and First Assault—LucasArts would've stayed where it was, working under EA supervision.

According to one person familiar with goings-on at LucasArts, other big publishers considered buying the company as well.

"There were various things on the table," said that person. "Buying 1313, buying the studio, just doing a deal for that game. Multiple people made offers to help finish and publish 1313."

One publisher made an offer that was "above the budget of 1313," according to a person familiar with negotiations, but LucasFilm wouldn't take the deal—licensing out a game like Star Wars 1313 just didn't mesh with their strategies for the upcoming movies, and some top executives were much more interested in putting together a next-gen Battlefront, which EA would go on to commit to.


In hindsight, it’s become rather clear that Disney never wanted to keep LucasArts as it was in 2012—on the day of the LucasFilm deal, Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a conference call that his company would be “likely to focus more on social and mobile than [they would] on console,” referring to console video games like the ones made at LucasArts. Still, most staff remained with the company, swimming onward against the current.

Three different ex-LucasArts employees have told me that in March of 2013, staffers were told they'd "be taken care of"—that is to say, they didn't have to look for other jobs. This was because higher-ups at LucasArts were convinced that the EA deal was coming together, even when it became clear that Disney had no interest in financing their games.

Still, some saw that the end was near—especially when employees were told not to mention Star Wars: First Assault by name even after I'd published details about the game on Kotaku—but up until the last day, there was hope.



I'm hopeful that, say, five or ten years from now, we can look back and say that the Disney/EA acquisition was the best thing that ever happened to Star Wars games.

123
The Wookiee Arcade / Re: Star Wars 1313
« on: September 25, 2013, 03:30 PM »
I don't know if you oughta read this, Jesse:

IGN: Star Wars 1313: Boba Fett Concept Art and Story Details

Quote
Recently, a source showed IGN a 15 minute demo of 1313 that would have debuted at this year's E3. While footage in the demo was still in development and much of it was still using incomplete assets, it was the most extensive look at 1313 we've ever seen, and all of it included Boba Fett in action.

We can’t show you that full demo just yet, but we can tell you how it played out and what the game was about, plus reveal new pieces of concept art that give us the best glimpse yet at how Star Wars 1313 evolved before its cancellation.

    Quote
    • Star Wars 1313 would have begun with a prologue on Tattooine. Various bounty hunters seen in the game would have worked for different crime bosses, and Boba Fett unsurprisingly served Jabba the Hutt. Here we see a young Fett very early in the game, long before he even has his Mandalorian armor, instead wearing only his most basic outfit.
    • Since Star Wars 1313 was meant to take place between the prequel and original Star Wars trilogies, Fett’s armor would have evolved throughout the story, changing and becoming stronger, more familiar, as he progressed.
    • Coruscant was meticulously detailed, with structures seen here made up of derelict ships and spare parts (including TIE Fighter wings if you look closely). It’s not hard to make out a Corellian freighter here (though our source assured us it isn’t the Millennium Falcon), and you can see the gigantic scale of the environments the development team intended.
    • Our source explained that at one point in the story, Fett would also end up in layer 1314. While 1313 is a corrupt metropolis controlled by crime families, 1314 is a rarely-explored slum that has been shrouded for years in complete darkness. Part of the story of Star Wars 1313 would have seen Fett fighting his way through layer 1314 in search of his bounty.
    • The main thrust of our demo saw Boba Fett chasing a Trandoshan through a sprawling marketplace in level 1313. As Fett chased after his target, he ran through several storefronts, including a sort of butcher shop that featured sliced-open Tauntauns hanging from the rafters. The crime families of 1313 were using these Tauntauns to smuggle spice to other planets, a plot point that our source tells us would have been central to Star Wars 1313’s story.
    • Behind Fett is a droid companion that would have fought alongside him as his partner. We’re told that this droid would eventually have betrayed Fett, but that early in the game they fought side-by-side.

    (click to view full-size)




















    124
    Watto's Junk Yard / Re: TeeFury
    « on: September 25, 2013, 02:32 PM »
    Today's (9/25) shirt is a nice E.T./SW mashup:

    http://www.teefury.com/

    A buddy of mine just made a similar shirt with a BTTF theme:



    There's more information on his Facebook page (BTTFParts). All of the proceeds will go to a charity which helped victims of the tornado here a few months ago.

    125
    TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars: Detours
    « on: September 18, 2013, 12:11 PM »
    Seth Green did an AMA. Someone asked him about Detours.

    Quote
    [–]Issac_Twamblee 74 points 20 hours ago

    Seth

    Can you shed any light on what happened with Detours?

    [–]IamSethGreen 164 points 19 hours ago

    So there's actually been quite a bit of talk about this, but Detours is just on hold currently. We have 39 finished episodes and around 62 finished scripts. But that entire show was created before the decision to make more Star Wars movies, so our show (which was created by George Lucas) is an animated sitcom in the world of Star Wars, so we had a lot of conversations with Kathleen Kennedy about Star Wars in not just the next 3 years but the next 30 years, and when you're in as privileged a position as we were to be able to work on Star Wars content with its creator, you get a great sense of responsibility to the whole. I was introduced to Star Wars as a child and it was without any ironic or comedic lens, so I saw Darth Vader as scary, and I saw all of those messages very very clearly. We didn't think it made any sense, in anticipation of these new movies coming out, to spend the next 3 years with an animated sitcom as 3 generations' of kids first introduction to the Star Wars universe.

    I've had a lot of parents approach me in the last few years where they showed Robot Chicken or Family Guy Star Wars before they showed them regular Star Wars. The writers on Robot Chicken and I are seeing this a lot. The same way we were introduced to classic music through Bugs Bunny or Tom & Jerry, kids are taking our ironic interpretations of He-Man or other pop culture icons and never having the opportunity to meet them sincerely. It's a really bizarre thing to wrap your head around, and because I've witnessed it firsthand, it made me more thoughtful about what we were putting it out.

    I do feel that Detours is a timeless bit of entertainment. Media distribution is changing so quickly, so dramatically, that can you even imagine what distribution of content will look like in 5 years? In a day and age when Netflix series are nominated for the top accolades TV has to offer, what is to say what it will look like when the new Star Wars movie comes out? So Detours can sit on a shelf until the Star Wars movie comes out without losing any of its lustre, because what we've created is very funny, very smart and like I said before, timeless.

    It's timeless, y'all.

    126
    Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Top 5 Hotties
    « on: August 27, 2013, 11:42 AM »
    I posted this a long time ago.



    Today, I finally saw a pic of the back. If I had known it was so woefully-inaccurate, I never would have posted it in the first place.



    Sorry, y'all.

    127
    Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Everything eBay! Scams, questions, etc...
    « on: August 24, 2013, 02:04 AM »
    She replies:

    Quote
    "I DON'T KNOW WHY THE BUYER IS VERY INCONSIDERATE.AS I'VE SAID MISTAKES DO HAPPEN.HE ADVERTISED THE SHOE AS FIT SOLE 2 SAMPLE. I GUESSED HE INTEND TO CAUSE CONFUSION TO CUSTOMERS.I RETURNED THE SHOE AND PROVIDED A TRACKING NUMBER AND STILL DOES NOT WANT TO REFUND MY MONEY.I DO NOT KNOW WHY HE IS SO INTERESTED WITH THE $73.22 WHEN IN FACT HE DID NOT LOST ANY. I LOST $8.75 SENDING BACK THE SHOE.I AM WILLING TO PAY HIS $3.75 FOR HIS EXPENSE SENDING THE SHOE.HE ALSO OVERCHARGED ME WITH THE SHIPPING WHICH IS $6.00"

    I will reimburse the $73.22 myself under the condition that this person uses it to enroll in a remedial writing course at the community college of her choosing.

    128
    Who dies AFTER they go to rehab though?





    Etc., etc. . . .


    129
    Watto's Junk Yard / Re: The let's get JediMAC to post again thread
    « on: August 2, 2013, 11:32 AM »
    I ate some JediMAC and cheese last night in his memory.

    130
    The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars Episode VII
    « on: July 30, 2013, 09:20 PM »
    And please, I'd rather see quality actors that are homely then a bunch of beautiful robots who cannot emote their way out of a wet paper bag.

    Darth Buscemi.

    131
    SEVEN HUNDRED HOBO NAMES

    (This being the twenty-second of seventy installments.)

    211. Fatman and the Creature (note: there was no creature)
    212. Cecelia Graveside
    213. Hoosegow Earl French
    214. Stymie Stonewrist
    215. Roadrunner "Meep Meep" Fabong
    216. Bruised-Rib Johansson, the Beefer
    217. Joachim Bat-in-Hair
    218. Food-Eating Micah
    219. Rubbery Dmitry, the Mad Monk
    220. Honey Bunches of Donald

    132
    I don't even really follow Star Wars collecting all that much anymore, but. . .




    133
    I like the idea of Mom Skywalker raising Leia for a couple of years and then offing herself due to her severe depression over the whole situation.  Would've been way too heavy for a movie targeted at kids, but it fits better with Leia's dialogue in Jedi and would have made more sense than whatever that ending was that we actually got.

    On the Yoda thing, I caught the tail end of Clones on Spike last weekend--neat/movies/TV--and the Force faceoff with Dooku wasn't all that bad.  But then Dooku says that line, and the fanwank begins.  Yoda jumping and spinning around like the Tasmanian Devil ruins all the dignity he had in Empire and Jedi, and even Phantom Menace.  It makes me sad to see what they turned that character into.

    I try to pretend like the prequels never happened, but sometimes it's hard, y'all. #InRecovery

    135
    HuffPo: 'Star Wars' Prequels Were Mapped Out By George Lucas & Lawrence Kasdan In 1981: Exclusive Excerpt From 'The Making Of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi'

    This is remarkably close to the final product in 2005, except for everyone being able to use The Force, Yoda not fighting, and the twins/Leia's real mom thing.

    Quote
    REVENGE OF THE JEDI STORY CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT, JULY 13 to JULY 17, 1981—SUMMARY
    Participants: George Lucas, Richard Marquand, Lawrence Kasdan, and Howard Kazanjian
    Location: Park Way House
    Note: Many of the ideas here are conceptual only and should not be considered as canon in the Star Wars saga.

    THE STORY OF ANAKIN

    Lucas: Anakin Skywalker starting hanging out with the Emperor, who at this point nobody knew was that bad, because he was an elected official.

    Kasdan: Was he a Jedi?

    Lucas: No, he was a politician. Richard M. Nixon was his name. He subverted the senate and finally took over and became an imperial guy and he was really evil. But he pretended to be a really nice guy. He sucked Luke’s father into the dark side.

    Kasdan: The Force was available to anyone who could hook into it?

    Lucas: Yes, everybody can do it.

    Kasdan: Not just the Jedi?

    Lucas: It’s just the Jedi who take the time to do it.

    Marquand: They use it as a technique.

    Lucas: Like yoga. If you want to take the time to do it, you can do it; but the ones that really want to do it are the ones who are into that kind of thing. Also like karate. Also another misconception is that Yoda teaches Jedi, but he is like a guru; he doesn’t go out and fight anybody.

    Kasdan: A Jedi Master is a Jedi isn’t he?

    Lucas: Well, he is a teacher, not a real Jedi. Understand that?

    Kasdan: I understand what you’re saying, but I can’t believe it; I am in shock.

    Lucas: It’s true, absolutely true, not that it makes any difference to the story.

    Kasdan: You mean he wouldn’t be any good in a fight?

    Lucas: Not with Darth Vader he wouldn’t.

    Kasdan: I accept it, but I don’t like it.


    Lucas: Well, anyway, Luke’s father gets subverted by the Emperor. He gets a little weird at home and his wife begins to figure out that things are going wrong and she confides in Ben, who is his mentor. On his missions through the galaxies, Anakin has been going off doing his Jedi thing and a lot of Jedi have been getting killed—and it’s because they turn their back on him and he cuts them down. The president is turning into an Emperor and Luke’s mother suspects that something has happened to her husband. She is pregnant. Anakin gets worse and worse, and finally Ben has to fight him and he throws him down into a volcano and Vader is all beat up.

    Now, when he falls into the pit, his other arm goes and his leg and there is hardly anything left of him by the time the Emperor’s troops fish him out of the drink. Then when Ben finds out that Vader has been fished out and is in the hands of the Empire, he is worried about it. He goes back to Vader’s wife and explains that Anakin is the bad guy, the one killing all the Jedi.

    When he goes back his wife, Mrs. Skywalker has had the kids, the twins, so she has these two little babies who are six months old or so. So everybody has to go into hiding. The Skywalker line is very strong with the Force, so Ben says, “I think we should protect the kids, because they may be able to help us right the wrong that your husband has created in the universe.” And so Ben takes one and gives him to a couple out there on Tatooine and he gets his little hideout in the hills and he watches him grow. Ben can’t raise Luke himself, because he’s a wanted man. Leia and Luke’s mother go to Alderaan and are taken in by the king there, who is a friend of Ben’s. She dies shortly thereafter and Leia is brought up by her foster parents. She knows that her real mother died.

    Kasdan: She does know that?

    Lucas: Yes, so we can bring that out when Luke is talking to her; she can say that her mother died when “I was two years old.”

    I sure wish Lucas would have stuck to his guns on the Yoda thing.  One of the hokey-est things in the prequels.

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