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MMOG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Final  (rel 09/15/10)  | Pub:Sony Online Entertainment
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Matthew Higby Interview

By Garrett Fuller on July 09, 2010 | Interviews | Comments

Matthew Higby Interview
MMORPG.com: 

Tell us some history behind the making of Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures.

Higby:

SOE and LucasArts have a long-standing and successful partnership that really helped open the door to CWA getting made. While Free Realms was in development, a group from LucasArts was able to see an early demo and from there folks on both sides began getting really excited about the possibility of bringing together the Star Wars universe and the tech that had been developed for Free Realms.

Clone Wars Adventures really came to fruition shortly after Free Realms launched and the team began working on our CWA prototype in August of 2009. Since the beginning we’ve been working really closely with the some great folks at LucasFilm and LucasArts to craft the most authentic and exciting Clone Wars experience possible. The dev team at SOE is made up of some of the most talented and hard-working people I’ve ever met and they’ve accomplished more in the last few months than I’ve seen most games do in years.

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MMORPG.com:

What lessons have you learned with Free Realms that you are bringing to the making of this game?

Higby:

Most of the team on CWA worked on Free Realms, so we all started with a great understanding of what we absolutely wanted to carry on to CWA and what we didn’t. Some of the biggest lessons we learned on Free Realms had to do with the most basic elements of the game, things like camera, controls, basic interface and itemization. These elements have been completely redesigned for CWA. We’ve also focused more on the action-packed, explosive style features that fans of Clone Wars would expect.

One of the biggest differences players will notice is the world design, in Clone Wars Adventures players socialize, explore and launch games from the an easy to navigate Jedi Temple, rather than from a variety of locations all over an open world.

MMORPG.com:

Even though the game is geared towards a younger audience the trailer looks like it has a lot for older players, can you tell us about the design for gamers of all ages?

Higby:

When we’re designing the game we always keep our core audience of 6-14 year-olds in mind. All of the base-level content is designed to appeal to and be easy to pick up for that audience. We’re providing for a lot of additional layers of complexity, difficulty and replayability through “challenge” modes, difficulty settings, earning trophies and completing collections.

MMORPG.com:

How will players go through Jedi training?

Higby:

All of our minigames are skills based. And, Lightsaber Dueling and Speeder Bike racing are two examples of minigames that players will not only be able to play against iconic Clone Wars characters but also test their skills in multiplayer against their friends.

MMORPG.com:

Will players be able to interact with their favorite characters from Clone Wars?

Higby:

Absolutely. Players are able to create their own legendary Jedi hero alongside the most iconic characters in the Clone Wars universe, joining forces with Anakin Skywalker, Commander Cody and Obi-Wan Kenobi to name a few. You can face off with Mace Windu in a lightsaber training duel or jump into the cockpit of your own Jedi Starfighter to bust through Separatist blockades with Plo Koon on your wing. We’re working really hard to make sure that every activity has a tie-in to these awesome characters and incredible events that unfold in the series.

MMORPG.com:

Can you talk at all about the business model for the game?

Higby:

Clone Wars Adventures will be free to play with an optional Membership and micro-transactions. Our Membership model will unlock tons of extra content, items, customizations, pets, housing options, areas of the world. As an example of how this would benefit you for a specific game, you might get access to 3 stages of our Republic Defender tower defense game as a free player, as a member you’ll get access to an additional 12. Micro-transactions will make up a small percentage of items, but there you’ll find some of the coolest and most recognizable items such as Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber or maybe your own R2 droid pet.

MMORPG.com:

The announcement today mentioned this Fall as a release, can you tell us about your schedule for Beta, Launch, etc.?

Higby:

We’re not getting into specifics right now we will be sure to keep you and all of your readers informed as we finalize all of the details!

MMORPG.com:

Who is working on the game for SOE? Is it being design in San Diego or Austin? Do you have any words from the team you wish to share?

Higby:

The majority of the game is being developed in our San Diego studio by many of the same talented folks who worked on Free Realms. Our card battles game is being worked on out of our Denver studio and we even have a couple contributors in our Seattle and Austin studios. The game really is a company-wide effort for SOE, combined with all the help and support we’ve been given by LucasFilm and LucasArts it’s been an amazingly fun and exciting so far. When the CWA launches this fall, fans of the show are going to see all of this hard work come together into what is sure to be the coolest and most exciting virtual world the galaxy has ever seen.

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