Star Wars: A New Hope

It is a dark time for Star Wars. Games like Clone Wars: Republic Heroes and The Force Unleashed II have been tanking, and Star Wars Kinect isn’t faring much better off of initial demos. Lucas Arts has been downsizing, and they don’t have a lot of new games on the slate at the moment.

It would seem that, if I had to hazard a guess anyway, that the company and development partners are suffering from a severe lack of creativity. And, I’m sure, after the multitude of games that Star Wars has inspired it might be difficult to come up with more game types circulating around the same six movies.

And yet, sometimes all you need is a set of fresh eyes. A new perspective. Arthur Nishimoto, a student at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago, got an idea, and decided to give it a shot. Either this attack on mediocrity was going to work… or this was going to be the shortest offensive of all time…

Holy. Bantha. Poodoo.

The only question on my mind, now, is when do I get to try this thing? That looks awesome!

The fleet commander game was developed as a not-for-profit student experiment, so it was allowed to use Star Wars ships and sound FX.

I think the most striking development here, aside from the sheer staggering size of the battlefield and the number of simultaneous units on screen, is the unique HUD that the players are using to operate the game. It seems simple enough that passing children can play the game, and yet complex enough to micromanage packs of small ships and weapons systems on the capital ships and cruisers.

The touch-screen is great for multiplayer, also. But immediately this system struck me as a great candidate for a single player Kinect game. Synch the touch screen controls with motion recognition, and you could manage a fleet from the comfort of your couch by waving your hands, and lifting fingers in the air.

Lucas Arts, THIS is the way you need to go. Star Wars Kinect is fine, but its for the (not particularly picky) kids. Now, here, is something for your adult fans.

  • Don Jaime

    That does look badass indeed.

    Even if it isn’t for profit, I’m surprised Lucas didn’t send his Cease and Desist troopers.

    Still…. I doubt Kinect could handle something like this. I just imagine frantic chaos as you get blown to hell because there’s too much lag for commands or they’re constantly misinterpreted by the sensors.

    If by some strange chance something like this does come out with Kinect support though, and if you’re playing as the Empire, you’d best be able to force-choke inept captains and admirals. I’d probably buy a Kinect just for that.

  • RurouniQ

    Yeah yeah yeah, this is cool and all, but when are they going to make games based on the Zahn trilogy??!!

  • Maul

    I think that hope died when the Prequels came out and weren’t anywhere near as good. You think Lucas would let himself be upstaged by B-Canon?

    Honestly, though, the issue with that is Lucas Arts relies on nostalgia. All the levels are Hoth and Bespin and movie settings because a wide audience already knows them as Star Wars locations. Once in a while you get something like KOTOR that has some balls and uses new elements in the established universe, but too often its just the movie trappings… again and again and…

  • Maul

    If its free, it will typically fall under ‘Fair Use’ and you can’t get sued for it. Not worth the expense of lawyers. Besides, at the moment, its just free advertising for Star wars.

    The Kinect, at E3, showed itself to have a surprising amount of sensitivity and speed with certain titles. Of course, just as often we saw bugs, lag, and crashes. It makes me wonder if the issue lies in the hardware or the software…

    The big problem is just crap games for it, though. Designers have trouble working with the interface in a world of FPS titles. I think something creative like this would be a better fit.

  • Justin Shaikewitz

    I want to see a battlefront 3 but I guess thats not going to happen…

  • Maul

    I don’t know what happened to that thing. It was a successful franchise, too. It swapped developers several times, I have to wonder if it just got too messed up in the process.

    Maybe someday, there’s money to be made in it, yet.