E3 06: Star Wars 2007 Tech Demo Impressions

It isn't a game yet, but the Force is still strong with this one. We get a look at a technical demonstration showing LucasArts' next-gen direction with the Star Wars series.

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LOS ANGELES--LucasArts has already demonstrated with its publicly announced next-gen Indiana Jones game that it wants to employ innovative underlying technology, not just innovative graphics, in its next-generation games, and it reinforced that commitment today when we got a look behind closed doors at its next Star Wars game, due out next year on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Or at least, we got to see an interactive tech demo showing off some of the forward-looking technology that the company will be using. Lucas reps wouldn't commit to the nature of the game at this early date, but they indicated plans to bring the Force to life in radically explosive new ways.

From what we could tell, that translates into using physics and material systems to break a bunch of stuff. The next Star Wars game will use two pieces of technology LucasArts has developed in conjunction with third parties, called Euphoria and "digital molecular matter." The former is an environmental awareness system that will let artificial intelligence characters interact in ways like dynamically grabbing onto a ledge when falling. The latter simulates a wide range of materials realistically, which is a lot more impressive than it sounds. But let us explain.

The demo program was set in a "Star Wars natural history museum" where the player could fly around to various little demo kiosks made out of different materials. There were a couple of big wooden boards, one glass tactical layout showing the Death Star, a statue of a Jedi, and a life-size Jar Jar encased in carbonite (yes!). The player could throw whiny little R2 units at whatever material was there to see how it would behave, and then watch it break or fall over in a wholly realistic fashion. The wood board splintered differently every time, as did the glass breaking. The statue was actually made out of granite, while its base was a brittle crystalline material, and throwing an R2 unit at the statue would knock it from its base relatively unharmed, while launching one at the crystal would shatter the base. Lastly, the player hurled R2s at the Jar Jar piece, which was currently set to "metallic," and we watched it dent realistically. The material properties for that object were then changed on the fly to a jellylike substance, and it immediately sagged under its own weight and stretched around just like you'd expect. This stuff is more easily appreciated in person, but trust us, it looked really cool.

Next up was a gargantuan rancor skeleton, in the fashion of any good natural history museum's dinosaur skeletons. We saw how the skeleton would break apart at the joints when impacted, even taking down some obelisks scattered around its base. Above the skeleton was a framework of wooden beams, and it was here that we saw the second component, Euphoria, demonstrated. The player began to throw stormtroopers at the beams, and their innate environmental awareness caused them to grab on and hang with one hand, or two hands, or not at all. It was all totally random, according to Lucas reps, and the effect looked pretty convincing to us. After enough of the troops caught onto the beam, it began to bow in the middle under their weight and finally snapped in two, sending splinters and stormtroopers plummeting downward.

Finally, the demo driver took us out into an early environment from the actual game, which was set on the Episode III planet of Falucia. The gigantic pieces of fungus stretching up from the ground had a rubbery quality to them, as a number of hurled R2 units proved, and they bounced and swayed back and forth with very convincing realism. This section also gave Lucas reps a chance to demonstrate one of the fruits of their recent collaborative relationship with premiere special effects house Industrial Light & Magic. The developers of the new Star Wars game have adapted ILM's dynamic level-of-detail system to eliminate the unseemly pop-in effect that occurs when higher- or lower-detail models are swapped in as your distance from an object decreases or increases. This is accomplished by dynamically generating more or less geometry in real time, rather than swapping static models, which we got to see in action when the object was switched to a wireframe view.

Finally, we saw a CG concept trailer that indicated the direction LucasArts wants to go with this new game. The footage showed a number of unnamed Jedi characters essentially obliterating groups of stormtroopers and the environments around them with Force powers, sundering the ground and nearby objects and sending the bodies flying with mere thought. It looks as though the developers have a lot of the tools in place that they need to make this sort of gameplay a reality, so we'll look forward to seeing if they can acutally make it happen when more of this new Star Wars game is shown in the coming months.

Discussion

52 comments
BladeWolf12
BladeWolf12

I am getting this game the moment it comes out

LordJinChaos
LordJinChaos

I can't wait for this game, it's gonna be awesome.

socrates
socrates

It looks very promising,but WHY there isn't a PC title?did anyone ask Mr Locus ??!!

Nayab
Nayab

Errr...this is a E3 06 article.

Master-David
Master-David

Cant wait till this game comes out! Its gonna be so COOL!

vakrelund
vakrelund

Looks awsome...just hope it lives up to the expectation.

jb2011
jb2011

i just preordered this game. I hope it is amazing.

H_U_M_E_R
H_U_M_E_R

I can't wait untill this game comes out. This game will be the game to buy for the year.

vending_guy
vending_guy

I would also love it if this games was for a more mature audience. Blood would be nice.

riseofnations36
riseofnations36

Good thing i have a ps3.I'm totally psyched for this game

Roland1225
Roland1225

Anyone else doubt this will be out this year?

musicalmac
musicalmac moderator

I'm really excited to see what this can do for modern games. I like this news very much.

maltor124
maltor124

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

maltor124
maltor124

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

nicfromspace
nicfromspace

I think this might be like jedi academy 3!!!!!!!!!!

elvis12345
elvis12345

I think they should just make KOTOR3. KOTOR 1 and 2 were two of the best games ive evered played and tehy need to make another one.

MY_Pedro2
MY_Pedro2

I like the idea, and it would be interesting to see what kind of special traits the Mandalorians would possess. Hopefully Revan would not be too overwhelmingly powerful.

GhostStalkerX1
GhostStalkerX1

ok what do you guys think of Star Wars BattleFront Zero that takes place during the mandalorian wars (you learn of this during KOTOR) and like BF 2 you can use jedi heros n stuff but in this case you can use revan as a hero etc etc what you guys think????

sage_spartan
sage_spartan

Any Star Wars Game on the 360 that has elements from both KOTOR and JK along with the major grphics capabilities, combine that with "COMPLETE" costomisation of character (not like SWG that sux, and cause i live in AUS and we cant get it there) and you'd have an epic.

Frag_grenade
Frag_grenade

I dont care if this is not a Kotor game but with all the great role playing elements that kotor brought to the table+no turn based fighting+amazing graphics and AI= Best starwars game ever and definite canidate for game of the year

CarlitosWay
CarlitosWay

This game is probably the game that will wipe off KOTOR off the charts of greates games. Ive seen the leaked video at least 100 times, and i never get tired of watching it. This game is officially the only reason ill ever get 360/PS3. I hope they dont take anything from KOTOR because that series is done with. Start off something new LA, we need it. Cant wait to see more stuff :)

grope2
grope2

i want another star wars knights of the republic, they have been the best ones so far, not much for the third/first person shooters or the space battles, the role playing games have much more to them.

Whimplenton
Whimplenton

I agree with CaptainCorndog in that the game should be realistic in a sence that the movies provided: You swing a lightsaber at a stormtrooper and he should get chopped in half or have an arm fall off or whatever is in conjuntion with where you hit him.

CaptainCorndog
CaptainCorndog

It would make me really happy if they made this game a lot more intense and violent. M rated suppose? It wouldn't be totally out there considering Episode III recieved a pg-13 rating. For ages i've played star wars games from Tie-Fighter to Dark Forces etc. Even all the games up to this point have been very... let me say, child fanbase friendly? Just for once, i'd like to see a very dark, evil, force involved game. For too long i've played Star Wars games with no blood at all, or very, very little. Hopefully they can spice things up this time around. *Crosses fingers*

Chefjase
Chefjase

The game sounds amazing. They showed the unamed jedi force power sequence and demonstrated Euphoria with a wooden bridge and Indiana at Comic-Con. I hope they release the museum video and the other sequences soon, It's worth seeing multiple times. And I also think they should make an Obi-Wan 2...anyone...anyone, no, ok then, JK forever!!!

delta1238
delta1238

nope guys, it's an entirerly different game, no kotor, jk or battlefront III, but a game without serie, as it's set in between ep III and IV.

shawny688
shawny688

im a hug star wars fan so i think its going to be awesome and i can wait until it comes out!

gta11
gta11

Sounds Awesome!!!!!!!!!! : } : )

darthflavor
darthflavor

What do you think the time frame will be? It would almost have to be in the new Jedi Order time frame, because there were only a couple of Jedi left to throw storm(clone)troopers around after Order 66. Maybe rogue Jedi that were'nt killed? Hmmmmmm....... tasty!

mrdiscoman
mrdiscoman

So.... when do WE get to see the video from the demo of the glass and wood and falling storm troopers?

froggy19
froggy19

first star wars game ive ever looked forward to

Ammo-ReD
Ammo-ReD

Looking forward to this one!!! Love all the SW-games; KOTOR, JK, SWG, Lego SW, SW:BF 1 & 2, and of course SWG!!! :D Really miss a good lightsaber fight in a game since Jedi Academy...

LucasJodoKast
LucasJodoKast

looks like JK to me, hope so anyway i never liked KOTOR (id rather be controlling the action rather than the conversation with Starwars games) Monkey Island is a different story

frickinkid
frickinkid

OMG THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! PLZ MAKE IT BE A NEW KOTOR that would be so amazing......

tigerfan17
tigerfan17

This game will be awesome even if it isn't a JK or KOTOR series game.

Nathey13
Nathey13

This has to be a Kotor game I heard rumors of Kotor 3 and I reacon this could be the one!! :D

quigonjinn23
quigonjinn23

Let master Quigon predict this one lol this one is gonna bring new balance to the force :P lol

protik
protik

force is very strong with this i hope it can break the quality of the sith lords

overlord5
overlord5

Flying storm troopers, Felucia ,broken wood and glass hmmmmmm sounds good to me