Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings Q&A

We get the inside word on the progress of the next Indiana Jones game, which will include a blast from the gaming past.

Indiana Jones has more adventures by himself than your average military squadron, and the famous fictional archaeologist is at it again in the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings. Arriving on the Wii, DS, PSP, and PlayStation 2 later this year, the game will follow Dr. Jones on another globetrotting adventure, this time in search of the titular Staff of Kings. Old-school Indy fans will also appreciate a special treat in the Wii version of the game, which you can read about in our conversation with producer Matt Vella and associate producer Johnny Szary.

GameSpot: When did development on the game begin? How is this game tied to the next-gen Indy game mentioned at E3?

Matt Vella/Johnny Szary: It follows the original story created by LucasArts and mentioned at E3 a couple years ago.

GS: How did you settle on a story and setting?

MV/JS: The story was a collaboration between design and management here at LucasArts. There was a very strong desire to do an original Indy story--something that we could hang our hat on so to speak. The settings just naturally evolve out of the adventure and Indy's quest to find the Staff of Kings.

GS: Did you consciously try to take the movies and games into account?

MV/JS: While the Staff of Kings is an all-original story, we did want to build the game around those truly classic over-the-top adventures that Indy finds himself in around the globe. We do have a few homages to the films strewn throughout the game, so anyone who has seen the movies should get a kick out of them.

GS: Did the platform decisions affect development?

MV/JS: Because we wanted to utilize all of the available features that each of the platforms allows, we went about designing the game from the ground up on the DS, PSP, and Wii while using the same overarching story. This allowed us more freedom to really perfect the gameplay that would make the game stand out on each platform: stylus-based combat on the DS, amazing use of physics-based puzzles on the PSP, elaborate environmental HotSet usage on the PS2, and innovative gesture system for the whip on the Wii.

GS: We haven't heard much about the game's story other than that it's centered around the Staff of Moses and is set in 1939. What can you tell us about the story? Will we see some familiar faces from Indy lore?

MV/JS: The story is done very much in the classic style of Indiana Jones, with Raiders of the Lost Ark as its greatest inspiration. The story received input from both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Indy is chasing down a new nemesis by the name of Magnus Voller, who is hell-bent on getting his hands on the staff before Indy does.

For the single-player game, you'll see all-new characters and faces, which we're really excited about. The co-op mode is actually strung together in a unique storyline, and that is where you'll run into a familiar face.

GS: Who's handling the music?

MV/JS: When you hear the original John Williams music from the Indy films, it just gets your heart racing, so we just had to incorporate those pieces into the game. Additionally, our music supervisor, Jesse Harlin, went to the vaults and found some really great music from the Adventures of Young Indiana Jones TV series that we used as well. Finally, to bring more uniqueness to this story, composers Gordy Haab and Ray Harman created some really great original pieces that have odes to the classic John Williams music.

GS: What locations will the game send players to?

MV/JS: Indy will travel to locations in Sudan, San Francisco, Panama, Istanbul, and Nepal. We're really happy with the variety of the environments; each one offers unique gameplay and ambience. While in those environments the player will do things ranging from exploring temples to having wild shoot-outs with tomb robbers.

GS: How will the game differ between platforms in terms of gameplay?

MV/JS: On the DS the player will use the stylus for navigation, puzzle solving, and combat. Additionally, the microphone is used in both single-player and multiplayer cipher labyrinth gameplay. The PSP utilizes Havok in physics-based environmental challenges where the gameplay can be different each time you play it depending on what you do. On the PS2 you'll be able to use the analog stick to bring whipped enemies in close for a little payback. And on the Wii the player will "be" Indiana Jones by utilizing the gesture system of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. You'll be able to steer vehicles, fly planes, drive tanks, and escape sudden death in a raft. Players will also be able to play co-op with a friend in a separate storyline as well as unlocking two- to four-player versus mode. And last but definitely not least, you are able to unlock the classic Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis game and play it for the first time ever on the Wii platform!

Indy and his trademark whip will be in full effect in Staff of Kings.

GS: What about content? Will there be any unique content on the different platforms?

MV/JS: Indy explores the catacombs underneath Paris in that DS-exclusive location. On the PSP version the game begins in 1922 when Indy is just a young lad exploring ancient Mayan ruins with a schoolmate who will eventually become his archnemesis. On the Wii version you'll be able to drive a motorbike, fly planes using the Wii Remote like a flight stick, drive tanks, and escape sudden death in a raft by rowing.

GS: How did the inclusion of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis come about for the Wii game?

MV/JS: This idea was brought to us by the developer Artificial Mind and Movement. It seemed like a great fit for the Wii, and of course a natural for bonus content on Staff of Kings, so it was a very easy decision for LucasArts to make. We're really happy with the way it came across, and we feel that gamers will be pleased with the results as well.

GS: Thanks for your time, guys.

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Discussion

40 comments
popttsawj2
popttsawj2

So the PSP version is different from the Wii version eh?

agehaelhaym
agehaelhaym

"...you are able to unlock the classic Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis game..." Does that mean we will get Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure as well? :D When does it come out in AU?

tarbun
tarbun

Might be a tad samey for other consoles but I am looking forward to this as a Wii owner. Bring it the on!

cyw1988
cyw1988

Tomb Raider anybody??

leonardomaciel
leonardomaciel

Damn! Fate of Atlantis! Hopefully this can mean a new entry in series like Full Throttle and Monkey Island for the Wii! I just love those games and the Wii seams like the perfect platform for a revival of the genre.

DarthspartanA15
DarthspartanA15

Heck Yes!!! new Indiana Jones. like jaydekitten said I would buy this just for Fate of Altantis. I also love the theme music for Indiana Jones. from what I read I think I will probably end up playing this on the Wii. Sounds like the Wii may just get another really good game.

anthonettex
anthonettex

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jaydekitten
jaydekitten

I will buy this game for Fate of Atlantis alone! Someone seriously needs to revive the Point n' Click genre because the selection of games that have been released lately are pretty bad =)

Patch5129
Patch5129

i'll rent this first, I have a crippling fear of tacked-on Wii motions. Making the games slightly different but with the same story is cool. And adding Fate of Atlantis is a deffinate bonus. But as a PS3 owner too I want a high def Indy Game too.

Shadowsouled
Shadowsouled

I'd buy the Wii version for Fate of Atlantis alone! I LOVED that game! So excited!

enrique_marrodz
enrique_marrodz

After Last Crusade I was very sad Fate of Atlantis didn't came to my ST. I'm not yet sold on this game but I have to agree that, besides the main game, this unlockable seems great for the Wii version!

bfull1478
bfull1478

Ok, I can see that there are a bunch of people my age on here. Fate of Atlantis was one of my favorite games of all times. I remember playing that on my 486. Looks great!!!

sonynhater
sonynhater

the ds point and click looks the best of the bunch

Templar_Bladema
Templar_Bladema

@ryanjd7: I think they wanna give the PS2 one last game people can talk about before it goes out in a blaze of glory. I still have a ps2 around with a LARGE library of games ranging all genres and all types of reviews from critics. I believed it to be one of the best, and easiest to work, consoles since the SNES. I might get a Wii just to get two Indy games in one disk.

ryanjd7
ryanjd7

I just check Lucas Arts.com This is rediciulous. Why is the game being published or the Ps2 Last generation Console? What happened? this game was suppose to come out on the Ps3 and 360

ryanjd7
ryanjd7

Fate of Atlatis, was a fun game, it was mainly puzzle solving, with point and click of the mouse, and interacting with people via a list of composed responses. it was back in the day of the floppy Disc! remember them? Is this related at all to the Game they where developing for the 360 and ps3? The one with the "Euporia" System?

ScionofEntropy
ScionofEntropy

The game itself looks pretty darn good. There seems to be a lot of excitement over this Fate of Atlantis. I haven't played it (or actually heard of it) myself, so I'm eager to find out just what the buzz is all about.

07pops07
07pops07

wanring the below poster is a extreme fanboy you have been warned....

Masebuster
Masebuster

This whole thing is stupid. Indiana Jones could make an awesome game. But they keep on bring out these lame barely thought about games out. The best next gen Indy game is LEGO for gods sake. The day they come out with a truly good Indy game will be the day I die...Of happiness of course. And screw the wii. Xbox 360 is the true next gen. Make it for a real console

SilentCard
SilentCard

I don't care how good/bad Staff of Kings will be, I'm getting the game just for Fate of Atlantis!!! Great deal, Lucasarts!

sadlersongs
sadlersongs

The Fate of Atlantis is such a great game! Too bad that won't be unlocked for the PS2. "Doesn't look half bad for the Wii," as a couple of people have said but there are a LOT of games that great as screenshots but turn out looking like garbage. Let's hope this is not the case. Wii SUCKS! Seacrest, OUT!

MayorJohnny
MayorJohnny

I'm very excited about this game! I plan to buy the PSP version. :D

peach79
peach79

Doesn't look half bad for the Wii. Plus it will come with Fate of Atlantis? I've always wanted to play that, sounds like a good deal.

blackhawk101
blackhawk101

Holy crap- when I read Fate of Atlantis will be unlockable I nearly had a heart attack. That is the most awesome idea in the history of awesome ideas

gormo4
gormo4

@riou7 sup riou xD looks alrite.

Lyca
Lyca

I hope this isnt another april fools joke...as they cancelled the last game that I was looking forward to. I wont get my hopes up until I see it instore. Loved Fate of Atlantis it was the first game I ever completed whilst at work ^_^

riou7
riou7 moderator moderator

looks good

CrackerMcGee
CrackerMcGee

Indy wasn't a young lad in 1922, he had already been through WWI, he would be 23 years old.

SaberStrike
SaberStrike

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

SaberStrike
SaberStrike

I will buy this for Fate of Atlantis alone. I love seeing these graphic adventure games making a slight comeback on the wii!! Broken Sword just came out, Pajama Sam and Freddie Fish for the kids... I like!

tenfour
tenfour

Have the PS3 and 360 versions been canceled? There's no mention of them.

TexasAnMGrad2K
TexasAnMGrad2K

Worth the buy just for the old school point-n-click Atlantis alone. I sure wish Lucasfilm Games and Sierra would release a back catalog compilation of all their games for the Wii. Imagine firing up Monkey Island or King's Quest on the old Wii!

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

Awesome! I knew a realistic Indiana Jones game was going to come at some point. And I'd love to give fate of Atlantis a shot.

Wikipedian
Wikipedian

Look foward to this, hopefully, it will be a good licensed game. Hopeful

chego720
chego720

Fate of Atlantis? Holy crap, now I need this game. How did this just come out of nowhere for me anyway? An Indy game on Wii sounds like a great idea, hope the actualy Staff of Kings is fun.

rjp15
rjp15

The inclusion of Fate of Atlantis pretty much guarantees a buy for me:)

illm4t1c
illm4t1c

I'm stoked... Fate of Atlantis is one of my favorite games of all time. So much nostalgia with that one. glad to see it making an appearance again.