VideoGamer.com: Moving on to the next-gen versions of the game, Force Unleashed uses Euphoria and DMM, which isn't about physics, or is it?
CS: Havok is the physics engine that drives everything. Havok is of course incredibly robust and an incredibly well done physics solution. Euphoria and DMM are more like elements of the world. They have to behave within Havok. That was definitely the largest challenge of the entire game, was getting Havok, DMM and Euphoria to hold hands and stick along together, because they didn't want to at first. Euphoria is definitely not a physics solution but it implies some physics information. It has to be transferred to Havok, how fast is this body being thrown through the air moving? DMM the same thing, as these objects tear and break apart, each one of those objects individually has to be controlled by Havok. So it was something that was very difficult for us to do.
Euphoria is in the purest sense an animation system. It's a system of simulating the way the body reacts. The really cool thing about Euphoria that I always love is we say that it's simulating how the human body reacts to stress but Euphoria actually comes from the film industry. What you want in the film industry is not how a human body actually reacts but how a stunt man would react, because we've all learned by watching movies how someone reacts to force. That's all stunt men. So when you see someone actually reacting to force in a candid video it's not anything like it looks in the movies and it doesn't register as real. We've got to the point where films feel more real than reality. So we have the Euphoria actors behaving like stunt men. So they're actually simulated stunt men, not simulated people. That was an interesting distinction that we had to make.
DMM is the other side of the coin, it's a simulation of physical objects, how they break and they tear. That was something that was very difficult to get Havok to understand. Finally we've got to the point where they all play hand in hand nicely.
VideoGamer.com: I know that it was mentioned that there is no difference between the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, but that sounds really processor intensive...
CS: It's incredibly processor intensive!
VideoGamer.com: Does that mean the PS3 with the Cell is the better version?
CS: It was a little easier with the PS3. However the Xbox 360 is a very capable machine and in the end they behave in exactly the same way with the exact same performance with no drop in frame rate. Small things like loading time we were able to optimise across each system. So although they're not identical they appear identical to the user which is the end result we wanted.
VideoGamer.com: I wanted to ask you about the story, and how you've gone for the gap between the two trilogies and implemented an apprentice for Darth Vader. Have you been keeping an eye on what the hardcore Star Wars fans have been saying about it in forums?
CS: Absolutely. Here's the thing about the hardcore fans. They know Star Wars better than almost anyone. However, that almost anyone is a couple of guys that work at Lucas Films in the licensing department, where they have a massive database where absolutely every element of the story, Lando's eye colour, and where was Princess Leia at a certain point of time, all that information is tracked very meticulously. I mean they know the name of characters who were wearing a helmet in the back of a canteen suite. All that stuff is understood and it's a known quantity. They won't let us do anything with the story unless it fits. And if they're a little concerned about it then we figure out a way to make it work. So the story is actually going to fit.
One of the main concerns I hear people say is how can Darth Vader have an apprentice? It breaks the rule of two. He's already the Emperor's apprentice, that's not how it's supposed to happen. But we know that the Sith aren't very good at following their own rules, because we've seen that the Emperor had two apprentices before Darth Vader approximately at the same time, Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus, and Darth Maul. And we know that Count Dooku, with the Clone Wars cartoon, had an apprentice of his own at the time that possibly the Emperor was unaware of. So we know that they're already breaking the rules. That's again why we had a secret apprentice. So everything in the story has been carefully passed through licensing so we understand exactly the impact on the plot.
VideoGamer.com: Last question. We've got a release date. Are you guys planning a demo on Xbox LIVE and PSN?
CS: I'm not certain about the specifics, but we definitely want to get this game out into people's hands. There are people who are excited about it, who are going to play it right away, whether they play it (the demo) or not. But I think that something that is wonderful is that the gameplay itself is so engaging, people who aren't Star Wars fans or who aren't even hardcore gamers, once they get their hands on some of the gameplay and how it works, are really going to be won over by it.
VideoGamer.com: So you guys are planning a demo?
CS: Yeah. We definitely want to get it out there.
VideoGamer.com: Great. Thanks for your time.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is due out for Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii and Nintendo DS on 19 September 2008.