Jedi Academy Questions & Answers
We had the opportunity to send a few questions in to LucasArts about the upcoming game Jedi Academy.
The questions were answered by Kenn Hoekstra, Project Administrator, at Raven Software.
TFN Games: What will be the differences, if any, in terms of missions and maps between the XBox and PC versions?
Kenn Hoekstra: Vicarious Visions is working with us to develop the X-Box version concurrently with the PC version, so the two will be essentially the same content wise. For this product, we’ve tried to keep everything in sync so the experiences end up being the same on both platforms.
TFNG: Will there be downloadable content for the XBox?
KH: No, the Xbox version will contain all the missions, multiplayer maps, skins, and weapons that the PC version does.
TFNG: There have been reports that you will be able to choose roles to play, such as infantry, or demolitionist. Can you elaborate on this?
KH: In the siege multiplayer game type, there are several classes to choose from with different advantages, disadvantages and abilities. Each class has something to contribute in a given game, and some classes are required to get past certain areas on the various maps. Some classes will be able to hack open locked doors, while other classes will be able to re-supply and heal teammates. It should allow for some great cooperative team play as each class will be helpful in attacking or defending an objective.
TFNG: What recognizable faces make appearances, and do they aid our character throughout the missions, or just guide us?
KH: There are several recognizable faces from the Star Wars films in the game. As in JKII, there will be levels where some of these characters join the player on their mission. For example Kyle Katarn and Luke Skywalker will guide you through your Jedi training at various points, and you’ll run into Chewbacca somewhere along the way. Other characters are being kept under wraps right now, we don’t want to ruin the surprise.
TFNG: Can you explain the interface seen in the recent screenshots?
KH: On the left side of the screen, the green bar and green number represents your personal shield level, if any. The red arc and red number on the left represent your health. On the right, the outside blue arc and number represent your force power/energy. The orange number represents your ammo count for your in view weapon.. The inside blue arc shows what saber style you’re using…fast, medium or strong, represented by the darker arc/icon inside the arc. With vehicles and/or Tauntauns, the stats in the middle represent health or shield, weapon information and ammo levels.
TFNG: What species’ will we be able to pick?
KH: You will be able to choose between Human male or female, Rodian male, Twi’lek female, Kel Dor male and Zabrak female during the character creation process.
TFNG: How have you tried to refine the saber combat from Jedi Outcast?
KH: The saber combat model has been greatly expanded and enhanced. From the outset, the player will be able to choose from different saber handles and blade colors. Later, the player can choose additional fighting styles and even new saber types such as Darth Maul’s double-bladed saber. From a combat standpoint, we’ve essentially doubled the number of moves (attacks/defenses/jumps/acrobatics) that were available in Jedi Outcast. Saber combat will be the true focal point of Jedi Academy.
TFNG: Can you alter saber lengths? How about detach the double-bladed Darth-Maul styled saber into two?
KH: Choosing saber length is not an option. Turning the double saber into two sabers was considered, but we decided against it because that defeats the purpose of choosing the two-saber fighting style. It was a balance issue we debated for quite some time. In some of the E3 demos, a few journalists mistakenly assumed this was a feature of the game, but it was just a cheat implemented so all the saber styles could be demonstrated for the press.
TFNG: How will the lightsaber stances and different sabers be balanced, and can you give us any information on new stances or special maneuvers?
KH: Each saber has its own unique set of standard attacks, special moves, and acrobatic moves which should allow the players to choose the style that best suits their play style.
TFNG: Any word on Co-Op Multiplayer Missions?
KH: Capture The Flag and Team Deathmatch are cooperative multiplayer modes making a return in Jedi Academy. We also have the new gamestypes of Siege and Power Duel. Siege is an objectives based gametype with a class system and vehicle support. Power Duel is a variation on Duel which lets two players fight against one player (instead of the standard one on one) a la Darth Maul vs. Obi Wan and Qui Gon from Ep I.
TFNG: Will the vehicles in the game be available in Multiplayer, as either bots or in-map useables?
KH: Yes, Siege will feature usable vehicles.
TFNG: In terms of Multiplayer modes, are there plans to remove any, and can you give any hint as to new ones?
KH: We have removed Capture the Ysalimiri, Jedi Holocron and Jedi Master since we found them not to not be very popular in terms of number of people playing on the net. We added the new modes mentioned above to replace them.
TFNG: How will the multiplayer force system compare to Jedi Outcast?
KH: The force system is similar to the Jedi Outcast system with a host of neutral powers along with dark side and light side abilities, which counter-balance one another. During the character creation process, you will be able to customize your character, your lightsaber, your saber style and your force powers.
TFNG: Given the reported "mod friendliness", will there be an inbuilt "scalability" on player models, so, for instance Yoda, Jawa, Pit-droid or Ewok MP characters created by fans can be in-game at the correct scale without resorting to a 3rd party mod?
KH: Using our skeleton, you can most likely fit Yoda or an Ewok to it with no problem. We also have other skeletons in the game that you will be able to fit geometry to. There is a scalability of the skeleton just as in the last game. Our new character creation system will allow modders to make their own clothing/skins which can be mixed and matched with existing skins from the game, or other mod created clothing. Any new sabers created by the community will drop right into the saber selection screen as well. The ability of the mod community to create custom characters has really been beefed up with the new system.
TFNG: Will there be model exporters for other modeling software- like Blender, Milkshape, or Gmax-outside of the cost-prohibitive 3d Studio Max?
KH: We have no plans to create exporters for tools we don’t use in our day-to-day production.
TFNG: Will you release the Single Player SDK?
KH: The scope of the tool and SDK releases for Jedi Academy are still undetermined.
Massive thanks to Kenn and Ronda!
Questions asked by Tom Night, with help from Chris Hanel, Jon, jp-30, pat-fett, JediIgor, and the guys at JediKnightII.net