Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings Q&A

We get the inside word on the progress of the next Indiana Jones game.

by

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.

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

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!

The famed fictional archaeologist is on the hunt for yet another mysterious artifact.

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.

Discussion

33 comments
aimanmymbusuk
aimanmymbusuk

hey, i can' wait to play ben10 alien force vilgax attack,transformers fallen.ghosbusters,harry potter half blood prince. what i know ghosbusters will be release this tuesday right......

melante
melante

"The story was a collaboration between design and management here at LucasArts" What!?!?!? Since when stories are written by managers?? To each his own job, dudes! If this game fails due to a silly/poor story line, I hope the "smart" managers will not fire the writers/designers...

rob_dAmAgE
rob_dAmAgE

nothing can take out the ps2! my personal favorite console. it's crazy, i've got my 360, an xbox, a bunch of even older consoles- but time and time again, i come back to my ps2! so many games, and so many more to come! long live the ps2!!!! definitely going to get this indy instalment!

starduke
starduke

I just purchased a new ps2 for $100. So, I'm glad that they are still making games for it. I wasn't about to spend the money to buy any of the next gen consoles when I could get a perfectly good ps2 for a lot less. There are plenty of already existing ps2 games anyway. I am definetly going to buy this when it comes out, depending on how good it is, of course.

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

Hope Indiana Jones plays well on the PSP which is in need of a great game. Indiana Jones is one of my favorite movies so this might be a good buy. Only time and the reviews stand in the way.

dmonee
dmonee

At first I was a little weary, but you know what, good for anyone who stll plays PS2. I hope it's great. There are still games that look and play great for the PS2. FF XII, God of War 2, Persona 4, MLB The Show, and hopefully Indiana Jones. The PS2 seems like its picking up some steam again. Once we think it's done, here come new releases

waraga
waraga

so sad its not on next gen platforms

squaredude44
squaredude44

Looks pretty nice, really hope the motions for the wii are very user-friendly!

jesserocks777
jesserocks777

This looks pretty sick! I like Indiana Jones. I hope this game doesn't suck.

thrasher510
thrasher510

another good reason why i kept my ps2.

ealham
ealham

I love indiana jones i cant wait any more

Lisaanne30
Lisaanne30

Awesome looking graphics and glad it will be out for the ps2.

sub7column
sub7column

man, those graphics sure look good for Wii

trrrrrrrr
trrrrrrrr

Yeah !! I love Indiana Jones ,i have waited for this to happen on the PSP.Hopefuly they will also make a Star Wars Game in Style of Jedi Knight someday.

MontyPython4-r
MontyPython4-r

I'm happy it will be on PSP :) One more game on my list!

spirit_obscura
spirit_obscura

This is on these platforms? Although I'm glad that it's on psp and ps2 but some years ago they showed this realistic physics and graphics that only next gen can handle. EDIT: my mistake. so the next gen one is different and they are makin one specialy for these platforms. cool.

acfjosh
acfjosh

i will also get this on both Wii and PSP, itll RULE

awwitz
awwitz

yey, its going to be on the ps2!!..cant wait!!

Malhound
Malhound

RIGHT AFTER THE LEGO GAME.

warrenmats
warrenmats

i love indiana jones. espetially the movies i cant wait for this game!

1indifan
1indifan

Alright, another Indy game!!!!!!!

rodney130
rodney130

I really hope this one is going to be good! If it is, I'll probably get it for both the Wii and the PSP. TBH, I didn't even know it was coming out for the PSP until I read this article. I read about the Wii version in Nintendo Power, and as of now, it seems like it is going to be pretty good.

Blackhedgehog13
Blackhedgehog13

YES another indy game is all this world needs!!! go indy go indy go indy!!!

Mc_Trickz
Mc_Trickz

Yeah!!Cool,i hope that the game will be a superb one!!Let's hope so my friends!

Gamelova08
Gamelova08

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

Gamelova08
Gamelova08

More Indy! the adventure isn't over yet!

The_Wolf22
The_Wolf22

This sounds like it's going to be exactly what Indy fans have been waiting for. It's like an Indy version of TFU.