After years of waiting, developer Petroglyph Studios and publisher LucasArts finally delivered a good Star Wars strategy game with the release of Star Wars: Empire at War. Now Petroglyph and LucasArts are returning to the franchise for an upcoming expansion, Star Wars Empire at War Corrpution. FiringSquad got a chance to chat with Petroglyph's lead designer of the expansion Chris Rubyor to find out more about their plans for Corruption.
FiringSquad: First, Star Wars Empire at War got solid reviews and is one of the best selling PC games of 2006. Overall is Petroglyph and LucasArts pleased with how the game turned out?
Chris Rubyor: The response has been incredible. The fans have been great and we appreciate all the letters and feedback we received. We truly look forward to building upon the Empire at War franchise and making great strategy games.
FiringSquad: What were the development team's main goals when it became time to work on the expansion pack?
Chris Rubyor:Before Empire at War shipped, we had many long discussions with LucasArts about the expansion pack and whether or not to build off the sides we already had, or do something totally new. We came up with a few ideas, such as exploring what happens to the Galaxy post-Endor, toying with Clone Wars, and so on, but the concept that really seemed to capture the attention of fans and LucasArts was exploring the galactic criminal underworld.
Once we figured out the overall concept for the side we focused our efforts in creating a faction that felt new, yet familiar, to the Star Wars Universe, but still designed its game-play style to feel unique among the existing factions.
FiringSquad: How hard was it to come up with the third playable side for Corruption?
Chris Rubyor:I would say the hardest part was making sure that our story, hero characters, new vehicles and technology did not break or cause serious ripples within canon lore. In addition, we had to make sure that all these new elements are fun to play and adhere to the game-play style of the original EAW.
FiringSquad: What are some of the development team's favorite new units in the expansion?
Chris Rubyor:We all have our favorites, but of the many possible combinations there are two that I truly love to use. The Underworld employs the use of Defilers during tactical combat. These units can place explosives on enemy and friendly vehicles and remotely detonate them at any time. With the help of a unique cloaking transport (F9TZ), the Underworld player can load up infantry units with bombs and sneak them into an enemy base. Once deployed, they can use their Defiler to remotely detonate those bombs.
I also really enjoy Tyber Zannís battlefield bribe ability. There is just something really satisfying about using your enemiesí weapons against them. Coupled with Tyberís personal cloaking field, this battlefield tactic is all the easier.