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The Force Is Strong With This One

Read the Mix Profile on Sound and Design for Star Wars The Force Unleashed Video Game

The highly anticipated Star Wars™: The Force Unleashed (www.theforceunleashed
) videogame will be available on September 16 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 systems. The LucasArts-developed next-generation game casts players as Darth Vader’s “secret apprentices” and takes gamers deeper into the Star Wars galaxy; the action happens largely during an unexplored era that takes place between Episodes III and IV.

Continually on the cutting edge, LucasArts employed newly developed technologies to create a more realistic visual landscape: Digital Molecular Matter (by Pixelux Entertainment) lets developers work with the actual physical properties of matter so that glass shatters, plants bend and wood splinters as it would in the real world. Euphoria (by Natural Motion Ltd.) brings a more “human” quality to the characters, adapting their behavior on the fly and resulting in a different pay-off every time the game is launched.

“Sound design on a Star Wars game is always a big challenge because the bar has been set so high by Ben Burtt and John Williams on the films,” says David Collins, the game’s audio lead designer. “Also, The Force Unleashed is the biggest audio project in LucasArts’ history to date. The biggest compliment we can get when a Star Wars game is released is when reviewers say, “Yep, the sound comes straight from the films.” The Force Unleashed was a labor of love for the audio team, and we can’t wait until consumers get to play it and hear it in September.”

The game is the first internally developed title for next-gen consoles and represents the first in-game collaboration between LucasArts and Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), two companies now under the same roof at the new Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco’s Presidio complex.