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And now, some answers!

October 5, 2009

Alright guys – Jedi Mudkip here with your questions below. Dave and Shara have taken time out of their busy schedules to give them the attention they deserve. Give it a read – the game hits this coming Wednesday, and we are more then happy to provide you with dozens upon dozens of reasons to purchase it on your respective platform!

Now, onto the Q&A!

I realize it’s awfully early to ask, but do you see additional adventures taking place in the world of Lucidity? And/or will the engine/dev tools be used again for another project?

Shara says:

Hi Graham: Engine/dev tools being reused? Definitely. John Elliot, our team’s Engineering Supervisor (which is Lucas speak for Lead Engineer), has a roadmap outlining all of our tech goals, both in the short term and the long term. The Lucidity question is a little less clear 😉 We love the world of Lucidity, and see loads of potential for it. We really need to see what the response to the game is first, so we’re hoping people take to it.

I’m interested in knowing how long did it took to develop the game, and what are the origins of it’s concept (in other words, where the idea came from?).
Thanks!

Dave Says:

The concept for the gameplay actually came out of this company-wide event we did at the end of last year, called DreamWeek: the whole, entire company stopped what they were doing and formed into teams of 10 people or so – including folks who don’t usually work on the development side of things, like Marketing & Finance. Then each team created a game in a week, using whatever tech, tools, and art they could scramble up. It was an incredibly inspiring experience. In fact, one of the guys on Lucidity – Chip Sbrogna – was part of the original DreamWeek team. Shara will be posting a Q&A with him in a couple of days.

The gameplay in the original prototype was pretty compelling, and we took that prototype around the beginning of the year and used it as the starting point to build a game. From there we expanded the core gameplay, developed the visual style and all the other little things that are required to create a fuller experience. Keep your ears peeled, we’ll be posting a series of podcasts soon to get more into detail on that subject!

I’m interested in the timeline, too. It seems like Lucidity had a blindingly fast turnaround from announcement to release. Was the whole project that quick? How long did it take the game to go from conception to development to announcement to release?

Shara says:

Hey Joey: Yeah, it was a pretty short development. This is the same team who did the Monkey Island Special Edition too, so you can imagine how hectic things got around here for a while 🙂

I’d like to know what Lucidity means to each of the development team members and what they believe it means to LucasArts.

Dave says:

This is a great question – maybe one that warrants its own blog post to do it justice! We’ll work on that. It’s just too much to answer here, especially on behalf of the entire team.

I’d love to know if you guys are going to develop a Mac version?

Jedi Mudkip says:

It’s not on the plan right now, but with a successful product, you never know the possibilities.

The game is 2D, but I suppose the engine allows the user to change the output resolution (as it happenend with Monkey Island Special Edition). Does this mean you’re using a 3D engine to display the 2D assets?

Dave Says:

The engine does support 3D – and in fact, Sofi and many of the enemies in Lucidity are 3D (just made to look 2D to match the storybook-like art style). In the trailer, you can actually see the 2D and the 3D interacting. Sofi, a 3D model, sitting on a 2D bed. This created some interesting design challenges for the artists and animators, which you’ll hear about in the upcoming podcasts.

When will Lucidity (and/or SMI:SE) come out on PSN? Is there a hold-up on the business side?

Jedi Mudkip says:

– See the Mac answer above 🙂

How long will the game last? More specifically, how many levels are there and how long do they take to get through?

Jedi Mudkip says:

There are 43 levels total – 27 to get you through the story thread and find out what happens to Sofi and her Nana, and 16 that you unlock along the way. Some of the levels are pretty darn challenging, but it’s worth persevering to watch the story unfold. The story levels can probably be conquered in 3 hours by a new player with ultra-perfect reflexes… but for some of us, it will take much, much longer.

What games (and films/books/art/music) have the biggest influence on Lucidity?

How challenging is it for us seasoned gamers?

And finally, the question we still want to know the answer to:

Is it a really evil-looking doorstop?

Shara says:

Gosh, that’s a lot of questions!

1. The team was inspired by kids’ storybooks. We were also inspired by a desire to capture a feeling of being in flow, which David talked about in an interview with Destructoid. The art, game design, and music all work together to impart almost a trancelike feeling in the player, where it’s not as much about winning and losing as it is about the experience of keeping moving.

2. Our designers are pretty seasoned gamers – there’s definitely enough challenge to keep you interested. It starts out with a mellow ramp to ease you in, but gets pretty fiendish as you get near the end!!

3. Uh, never mind 😉

Will there be leaderboards? And how are they set up?

Jedi Mudkip says:

Yes, there will be leaderboards, which keep track of the number of levels you unlock and fireflies you collect.

I hope I’m not too late with my questions, but I’ll better try anyway.

Was it ever considered to make Lucidity more like the old adventure games, or was it always the goal to create the game like it is now? (I would also be very interested in possible other forms the game may have had before settling on wat it is now, or other game-ideas or gameplay elements that where dropped in the end).

Shara says:

We always had the goal to keep Lucidity true to its DreamWeek roots. The idea of not directly controlling the character was super-interesting to the team, and one we wanted to explore. The gameplay itself is so simple that, while the designers certainly played around with some additional mechanics (power-ups and a teleporting piece were both flirted with for a while), there weren’t many ideas that actually got cut.

What was the biggest challenge in making Lucidity?

Jedi Mudkip answers on behalf of Shara and Dave:

We tried to record a few minutes of a conversation here. It didn’t work out like we planned. I can, however, tell you the gist of it. LucasArts, for a long time, has been doing blockbuster titles, and shifting gears to do something like SOMI or Lucidity is difficult in itself. With SOMI, the game was there already, but with Lucidity, it is a completely new (from the ground up) experience for everyone in the company.

It’s been challenging, but incredibly rewarding for everyone on the team. It’s been awesome to watch them go through the trial and tribulations of something so new for the company, and everyone here has had a hand in it in someway (like me and this blog!), so it’s been a blast.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2009 2:22 am

    You guys rock! I love seeing such active community involvement 🙂

    And thanks for answering my Mac question (I imagine quite a few of your LA staff use Macs :)).

    Another very enjoyable read. I wish the game was coming out tomorrow!

    • Phillip permalink
      October 6, 2009 8:51 am

      “I wish the game was coming out tomorrow! ”

      Isn’t it? Did I miss something???

  2. Pachinko permalink
    October 8, 2009 10:05 am

    Instead of saying how great the game is why don’t you put one out that works! There are many people on the steam forums having major issues in vista.

    (JMK:
    Pachinko –

    I tried hitting reply, but instead apparently hit quick edit. I’ve tried to remember what you wrote and put it above)

    • Jedi Mudkip permalink*
      October 8, 2009 10:48 am

      Pachinko –

      We are aware of a small number of users having these issues, and are working to address them. For some it was a minor issue. We should have a FAQ online on the steam forums – I’ll get that to you when it hits. Double check that your Steam client is NOT running in compatibility mode (right click the icon to be sure). That’s solved most peoples issue.

    • Jedi Mudkip permalink*
      October 8, 2009 12:22 pm

      http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=984011

  3. Kobun permalink
    October 11, 2009 8:17 pm

    Lucidity is such a beautiful game, but I do have issues with the control method. The randomness of the pieces can be infuriating, particularly during the second act when the overly aggressive enemies are too quick to punish you if you don’t draw the right item at the right time. Is there any chance whatsoever of seeing a patch which could alter the gameplay to something more manageable and/or a difficulty setting that’d prevent enemies from killing Sofi?

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