CCC: How did you guys approach the source material when planning this game from start to end? Is there a specific way that you guys looked at certain scenes and decided that comical elements would work better here than in other scenes? Can you give us an abridged explanation of how you guys dissected the Original Trilogy and “Lego-ized” it?
David Perkinson: There’s no formula – we tried to convey all the main plot points, and very naturally picked out key moments from the movies which we wanted to bring into our storyboards. We chose levels based on familiarity and the best opportunities to deliver great gameplay coupled with the tongue-and-cheek spin on Star Wars. Every time we approached a scenario, we’re instinctively putting a LEGO twist on it. Character personalities become exaggerated and we incorporate slapstick visual gags.
CCC: In The Original Trilogy, players will get to mix-and-match their favorite character’s body parts to create completely new characters. What is your guys’ favorite mixed character in The Original Trilogy? Which parts of what characters would you guys use to make this character?
David: It’s really all about putting an alien creature’s head – Chewbacca, Yoda, whatever – on top of slave Leia’s body. It’s so delightfully creepy! Chew Vader, Princess 3PO and Obi-Han are all funny too!
CCC: Can you give us a good example of an expanded puzzle that uses teamwork in The Original Trilogy that players wouldn’t have seen in the first Lego Star Wars?
David: Mos Eisley has a great one. You’ve got four characters in your party – Ben, Luke, R2-D2 and C-3PO – and each plays a key role in putting together an AT-ST you need in order to progress through the level. First, you need Threepio to open a door, but he can’t get up there because he can’t jump. Using Ben or Luke, you can bust open a trash can that features pieces to build a ramp for Threepio. Once the door is opened, Ben or Luke can piece together the head. Then there’s another door that Artoo can open, and Ben or Luke can do the same thing. There are also other pieces that Ben can grab with the Force. Once everything is available, Ben can use the Force to piece together the AT-ST.
CCC: The adaptive difficulty option sounds interesting. Where did you guys come up with the idea and how does the difficulty adjust within a given stage? Can you describe the mechanism that the computer uses to determine the difficulty?
David: Adaptive difficulty is one of the key new features of LEGO Star Wars II and comes directly from feedback we got from the first game. Many people felt like it was too easy. So with LEGO Star Wars II, as you play the game, the better you get the harder the game will make itself. This will give more advanced players the challenge that they want, while not alienating less experienced gamers. It’s also important to point out that adaptive difficulty is something you can turn on or off.