May the 12th be with you
Star Wars has now taken over the month of May, so it’s a good time to look back on the awesome Star Wars video games released over the years. In a new deep dive article on Game Developer, the original concept and storyboard artists for Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast discuss what their experiences were like.
Some of the artists got their start in comic books and other mediums and were learning to use new techniques and technology for the first time. Of course, since Jedi Outcast was released in 2002, technology at the time wasn’t always so easy to work with…
Concept artist Jeffrey Moy: I would draw the panels, on paper, because we didn’t have tablets at the time and I can’t draw with a mouse, then I’d scan them in and then cut and paste them into a file while writing the description for it. I’d print them out to give to Robert Love so he can then use them for the animator and what camera moves he needed to program.
Kevin Schmitt: This was before advanced video conferencing so I would fly up to the Raven offices and meeting with that team often. Sitting in the large meeting room and going over their progress was always very exciting. They always had all these new beautiful concept sketches on the table… You could tell they were all true fans and really excited and appreciative to work on the franchise, as I was.
In another passage from the article, artist Jake Simpson recalls some of the limitations that were put in place for them. It sounds like Jedi Outcast could’ve been a bloodier experience!
Jake Simpson: Originally, we did expect to have some blood spurts for removing arms and so on, and we did produce one demo where a lot of that was turned on, only we’d left the original massive blood splats from Soldier of Fortune in, instead of the much restrained spurts that were supposed to replace them. To say LucasArts was unimpressed was very understating it. They basically just said “No blood, anywhere” after that. We had to put in scorch marks when a light saber attacked anyone going forward, the idea being that the lightsaber itself cauterized as it cut.
Below, find an assortment of the great concept art that eventually led to the final designs of Jedi Outcast. If you’re interested in learning more, you can read the entire article over at Game Developer. For Star Wars fans and anyone interested in how video games get made, it’s worth a look.