DICE's Patrich Bach on The Future of Star Wars: Battlefront!

Here's the latest interview with DICE about the upcoming title Star Wars: Battlefront.  The interview has been translated from Swedish, so read carefully and keep in mind that some things don't translate very clearly from Swedish to English.  Check out DN for the original interview, and don't forget to follow by email to stay up-to-date on all my posts!

Sagan gets his continuation in Stockholm. Swedish gaming company Dice has been commissioned to make the game that accompanies the upcoming film trilogy - something that made people burst into tears of happiness.

Twelve people are gathered in a ring around the object on the floor.

- Can I take it? asking a man devotedly.

The object - a handmade scale model of the AT-AT machines appearing in the movie "The Empire Strikes Back" - is both "limited edition" and "artist proof": certified and in limited edition. For collectors and "Star Wars" geeks, these factors have features of any Ebay search. And this location, the game studio Dice on the ninth floor of the glass house on Katarinav├Ągen, teeming with "Star Wars" buffs.

Consider then the joy when it became clear that Dice was honored mission of Disney and Lucasfilm to get to do the next "Star Wars" game, "Battlefront". According to the company's press officer dropped some of the employees in tears when the news became official.

And the better it got. The mission included the trip to the Lucasfilm Archives, the museum-like, climate controlled institution in Nicasio, California, where they keep the original physical models from the first three films. The actual R2-D2 used in the film, all the X-Wings and Tie-Fighters. These were then photographed by the order to be recreated with the most detail in the game.

- It was a sacred moment to walk around there and look. A mixture of religious mood and panic fear of accidentally touching something or destroy heritage. There were plastic gloves if something were to be moved, says Patrick Bach, executive producer and studio manager for Dice in Stockholm, where he sits leaning forward on a couch next to the window with a panoramic view over the French Bay and Skeppsbrokajen.

How much creative freedom are conclusions regarding the tune of pop culture's most prestigious brand? According to Bach is a major benefit of the project that Dice wants the same direction as Lucasfilm.

- They have said about the new movies that they should be 'more' Star Wars' than 'Star Wars' has been in the past, "and we are faced with the same delicate question: how do you make something new that must be old? But we have the same goal, which is very pleasant. If we wanted to make your own "Star Wars" would perhaps have caused conflict, if for example, we began to create their own sound to the spaceships. Now it is no discussion: "It should sound like this." People who heard the voices of nearly 35 years is not so keen on it to sound different, everyone knows how a lightsaber sounds.

To developing a product in the "Star Wars" universe can be seen as both a blessing and a curse. Few other tales have such devoted followers, with such strong views about how things should be managed and be. Something that George Lucas himself came to notice after the last three films, from "The Phantom Menace" to "Revenge of the Sith."

- The fans had such a firm attitude about what was right that not even the show's creators were able to meet their requirements. It does not yet exist, people will always have a definite opinion about, it's the same problem as when filmatiserar a novel. When a fantasy visualized by someone else, it will be a mismatch against reality. You can not win a-such a discussion. What we know is that we will not compromise with the original. We are very loyal "Star Wars" films.

This loyalty has taken the form of the team traveled to the environments in which the films were made. The planet Hoth (Norway), the planet Endor (the California redwood forests), the planet Tatooine (Tunisia's desert). Everything to make the games graphical representation of the Worlds as authentic as possible.

- We have attempted to push the graphics so far that we feel that we can recreate realistic environments. Instead of starting with computer graphics, so we start with a real environment. This places demands on our charts that they have to understand how reality works, rather than to be good at it purely technical. One must understand light, contrasts, angles.

Is there any reference or rulebook you have available to get everything right?

- Well then, Lucasfilm have staff whose sole job is to know everything about "Star Wars" universe and give us all the info we need. They come with very detailed feedback. It can be about such small things as how a clasp looks at a particular helmet in a particular film.

Just "Star Wars" franchise has not been managed so well earlier in the game story.

- No, I agree. Without denigrating specific products, it has well varied from very poor to very good. But I see it this way: It's a perfect starting point for us, the best position you can have!

At this writing echoes the company's hallways and office holiday empty, but hectic times ahead - although Bach is coated with gagging around what the deal is worth, how many people are working on the project or even when it will be released.

And even if they were just here in glass house is 300 people, with additional studios in Fatburen in Stockholm, Gothenburg and in Los Angeles, so underline Bach that Dice does not have any interest to grow significantly.

– The goal for us is to be as small as possible. An effective team is always less than an ineffective team. Our goal is to keep the studio as tight as possible and focus on the right people and capabilities, not just load up lots of people. We are 300 people here, but with the projects we are doing is we are not a person too much.

So you have no plans to move operations overseas?

– Certainly not. When we are so successful in Sweden, why should we risk it by moving somewhere else? That we are good at making games has to do with our culture and our way of thinking. When we work with people in other countries, it is apparent that we are a little different. We are more involved in the product, no matter what stage of production you belong to, we have a more open climate for feedback, anyone can think whatever. We have a degree of consensus that does not exist in other gambling houses, it is our safety valve.

You also have a tradition to start from nejs├Ągandet that approach. How does it work when you work together with American companies?

– Surprisingly good, actually. It may be perceived initially as an naysayers do not want something: We call ourselves "no, but" voters. You put the head on the scaffold when one says no, so the goal is to at the same time try to present a proposal on how something in place can be done better.

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