Interview: Cameron Suey

We talk with The Force Unleashed producer Cameron Suey about the upcoming expansions and The Ultimate Sith Edition. Needless to say, here be spoilers.

With the new downloadable content (DLC) available for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and a bonus level being included with The Ultimate Sith edition of the game, SciFiNow caught up with producer Cameron Suey at the Presidio in San Francisco last week in a joint interview with The Observer to talk about the freedom of straying from Star Wars canon, and the advantages of working on games within games.

In the Tatooine and Hoth DLC levels, The Force Unleashed takes the ending of the original game where Starkiller kills Darth Vader and becomes the Emperor’s new assassin, changing the landscape of the Star Wars universe forever. Such freedom with the licence is unprecedented, and screenshots from the DLC can be found after the interview.

App_Hoth_064Some very impressive stuff we saw in there.

Oh cool, thanks! This is definitely the stuff I’m most proud of doing. It’s amazing.

It must be quite nice not having to build a new game from the ground up, but expanding on what you’ve already done with the experience behind you?

Yeah. The first DLC we did took place in the middle of the storyline, and it’s quite typical for DLC to fit itself within the overall storyline. But creating a new storyline, one that was radically different from the original game, in an alternate universe, that was just a blast.

It’s amazing that you have the freedom to actually do that, because there’s a lot of control over the Star Wars story.

Absolutely, we have a licensing department that keeps a very strict control for a very good reason – you create a universe that’s consistent and it’s more authentic for people. But since we get to be outside that we’re like “Can we… can we kill Boba Fett? Is that cool?” and they say “Yeah, sure, go for it.”

When you were creating the original Force Unleashed, was that considered in the canon?

Definitely in the canon, yes. Every little element of that had to be checked by licensing, and every time we create a new character, even tiny characters like the hunter on Kashyyyk, his whole back story has to be vetted to make sure it matches, so everything is very carefully controlled.

So you have the DLC for Tatooine released recently, and the Hoth level is on the Ultimate Sith Edition?

Yes.

Do you have plans to release Hoth as a DLC at a later date? Or do you have to buy the Ultimate Sith Edition?

We… haven’t made any comment about it at this time. For the time being it’s a bonus level.

But obviously some fans are going to be disappointed because they’ve been buying the DLCs, and now they have to buy it all again just to get this bonus level?

I totally understand, but we…  we just haven’t made a comment yet.

Was this decision one of the motivations for including all of the physical extras you get with the edition?

Yeah, we wanted to give people who hadn’t purchased the game yet a starting point, and something that was attractive to them and had something unique going for it. But we’ll definitely listen to everyone’s concerns.

But you’re not commenting at this time?

No comment at this time.

Next: Working with the team, expanding the storyline, and the George Lucas question.