We’ve got Star Wars: Battlefront II coming our way in just a couple of months, but die-hard fans may remember a project called Star Wars: 1313, a mature-themed adventure that was in the works over at LucasArts. Following the acquisition of the franchise by Disney, the company closed, and 1313 never came to be, but the stories from developers still exist.
One of the designers for the game, Matthias Worch, recently spoke out on Twitter regarding the cancellation of 1313. He did this following the release of Jason Schreier’s Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, which features an chapter that talks about LucasArts’ ambitious project.
While we don’t have the book, we do have Worch’s full breakdown of what happened straight from his Twitter page, which you can read below.
“Reading the Star Wars 1313 chapter in Blood, Sweat & Pixels triggered some complex emotions, and not just for reasons you might imagine. The book sheds light on what it’s like to make videogames *as a creator*; how hard it is, how complex it is, how personal it is. I’ve upheld a long-standing policy of not contributing to behind-the-scenes reports. Maybe it’s time to (kinda) break with tradition:
“Maybe my personal life experience, which I haven’t publicly shared before, can illuminate life in game development just a bit more. So, I wasn’t in the office when Disney acquired Lucas on Oct 30, 2012. I got an SMS about it, sitting at a hospital, waiting for my wife. I was deep in SW1313 prepro, we were there for a routine early ultrasound for our 2nd baby. The Disney thing added a wrinkle to both. That became especially true a bit later when the ultrasound didn’t just reveal my baby’s heartbeat, but also that of her twin sister. (I might not be able to accurately explain the feeling of finding out that you’re pregnant with twins, on top of a toddler. But…It feels a bit like you’re drowning, and somebody hands you a baby.)
“Making games is a constant battle against uncertainty. Doing so while Disney is acquiring your company and with 2 babies in the pipe…Did I mention the drowning?
“Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be an exercise in self pity or acknowledgement. I’m not here to describe *actual* hardship. But it is context for what I’m trying to explain to you next: that where you see a finished game, a game developer sees a lot more. Where you see a very cool Star Wars game that tragically got cancelled, my memories are move involved, and my thoughts about…those last few months of SW1313 development are not just memories of a game that could have been. I remember feeling dazed and confused and asking our leads group to cover for me while I was dealing with ‘personal life stuff’.
“I remember two multi-day emergency trips to Kaiser to stop early labor, because it was definitely way too early to meet our children. I remember interviewing during that 2nd time (post Lucas closure), and the effort to keep continuous health insurance for the family. Every game developer has these kinds of life stories on top of actual game development memories. This is just my personal account. At the end of game credits you usually find the names of ‘Production Babies’. I understand if that section barely registers. But the next time you see it, it might serve as a reminder of the lives that are attached to the game you’ve just been playing. It might be a reminder of the memories that a team of game developers associates with that game.
“This is 100% true for non-game-developers as well, of course: life experiences shape our memories. Just providing my example, in games.I have many good memories of the last few months of Star Wars 1313 dev as well, by the way. I remember arriving in Hawaii just a week after the Disney news, on the evening when Obama won his reelection campaign. I remember sketching a combat showcase level & sneaking into the office over xmas to make it as a surprise for when everybody returned. I remember an entire LD team rallying around it & creating ever-better levels lfor the next few weeks, for the team to play & review. I remember adding the jetpack feature during those last few months, which added a whole new dimension to our arenas. I remember a team that stuck together until the very end and kept making SW1313 more awesome, because everyone believed in one another.
“Man… for all the uncertainty and waiting, those were good times. In the end, things always work out. The cancellation of Star Wars 1313 led to me making Mafia 3, a game I’m really quite proud of. Why? Well, for all of the obvious reasons, of course. But also for a bunch that you might not immediately imagine.”
He closed out with the tweet below, which simply states “The End”. We’re happy to see that Worch was able to work on something else, but, man, are we missing what 1313 could’ve been.
33/33 (The End) pic.twitter.com/LyqACpOfXJ— Matthias Worch (@mworch) September 12, 2017
Star Wars: Battlefront II releases on November 17th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.