Given the runaway success of the Lego Star Wars games and Warner Bros.' recent announcement of a Lego-fied (Lego-ized? Lego-ficated?) action game based on the Batman franchise, it's no surprise that LucasArts is readying yet another Lego extravaganza, this one starring everyone's favorite swashbuckling archaeologist, Indiana Jones. Heck, the good Dr. Jones even made a cameo appearance in Lego Star Wars...and there's also that new movie coming that you may have heard about. We spoke to LucasArts producer Shawn Storc to find out what will be crammed into this new game.
GameSpot: Where did the idea to do a Lego version of the Indiana Jones movies come from?
Shawn Storc: Indy is a natural fit for a game like this that encourages exploration, adventure, and cooperative gameplay, as well as a healthy dose of humor.
GS: How will the gameplay differ from Lego Star Wars?
SS: The characters in the game are much more in tune with their surroundings and are much more physically active as they encounter puzzles, traps, and enemies. For example, you can pick up objects in-game and use them to battle enemies, solve puzzles, light fires or barrels of gunpowder. On top of that, characters are quite athletic and can now climb ropes and swing on vines, swim, and shimmy hand-over-hand across ledges. All of these open up a variety of gameplay options we were previously unable to offer players.
GS: Is the game using the LSW engine or an all-new one?
SS: The core technology is based on the same engine, but with significant upgrades to allow for the new gameplay elements previously described. That's also not to mention the fact that the game is visually striking and really communicates the unique environments that Indy has the good fortune to visit.
GS: Will there be online co-op?
SS: Nope. Of course, we hope families will continue to enjoy co-operative gameplay in their own homes.
GS: What has the team learned from the LSW games that's benefiting Lego Indy?
SS: We have all learned how to work better together under pressure to deliver on the core experience of the films and really fulfill the fantasy of being able to play these memorable characters as Lego minifigures.
GS: What are the challenges in Lego-izing the Indiana Jones movies?
SS: The main challenge was aligning the movie experience with the actual gameplay environment. In short, we had to figure out how we make these little plastic figures move more like real people, demonstrate athletic ability, and really take the interactions to the next level.
GS: Will there be any content in the game based on the upcoming film?
SS: As much as we would love to use content from the new movie, our focus remains on the first three original adventures of Indiana Jones.
GS: How did you pick what parts of the film to make levels out of? Were there any you wanted to but didn't or couldn't due to time or design choices?
SS: The team used the same approach as was used in the LSW games: look for the pivotal and memorable events in the films and either allow players to relive them through their interactions with the game, or use them to communicate the unique brand of humor that the team at Traveller's Tales does so well.
GS: Will there be the same kind of collectibles?
SS: Absolutely. As an archaeologist, Indy is all about collecting treasures. After all, that is what drives all of his adventures!
GS: Will there be gold bricks and assorted hidden unlockables?
SS: Of course, but as you can imagine, they will be uniquely tailored to fit seamlessly within the Indy world.
GS: Will there be a hub or store where you can open stuff up?
SS: Yes, the player will be able to move about the game hub, which is inspired by Indy's academic surroundings at Barnett College.
GS: Will there be any LSW cameos, since Indy was in LSWCS?
SS: It wouldn't be fun if I gave always all the secrets now, would it? Players should keep a watchful eye out for a variety of subtle and not-so-subtle references to LSW.
GS: Will the game be different on the portable systems? Will they have added functionality or connectivity to the Wii or PlayStation 3?
SS: The DS experience complements and builds upon that of the console versions. As players saw in LSW TCS on the DS, there will be a variety of interesting touch-screen interactions throughout normal gameplay, as well as a range of unlockable stand-alone minigames designed specifically for the touch screen. Try as we might, interaction with their bigger console siblings just isn't in the cards this time around.