Star Wars Battlefront II has had quite the controversy surrounding it even before the game launched. Despite that, the story campaign in the sequel for the revival of the Battlefront series was stunning, and some of the recreations found in-game were incredibly detailed and spot-on. While many are upset over EA's pay-to-win model for the title's multiplayer, others were excited to see more of their favourite universe seen in Star Wars Battlefront II.
Art director Steve Uphill recently sat down alongside producer Robert Wyle and designer John Stanley from Criterion Games to talk a little bit about their work with Lucasfilm regarding the latest Star Wars title. More specifically, they dove right in about the particular Fondor Dock design.
When asked why they wanted to develop Fondor Dock in-game, Steve Uphill said "We always wanted to develop some type of dock and LucasFilm proposed that we focus on a level around Fondor, which is an Imperial Industrial system.We were really excited about this, as Fondor is a planet that hadn’t been shown in film before. So we had an opportunity to get creative and visualize how this location could appear."
The research that went into the in-game translation came from looking at Star Wars space stations from the franchise, and paying special attention to the Shield Gate seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The team took inspiration from aircraft characters, drew up a design, and upon LucasFilm's approval - got to work.
"For us, the Fondor Dock is a crowning moment. There were other challenges that came out well, such as the Resurgent class Star Destroyer, which was a momentous task that turned out to be a fantastic looking level."
"There were challenges finding the right balance between art, design, Star Wars authenticity and readability to players," Uphill stated about the challenged faced during this process. "Fondor Dock is a big structure and the section players get to fly around is probably three or four times the size of a Star Destroyer. For us, it was a case of designing something that looks great from a distance with a real imposing Imperial feel but also looks great close-up."
Stanley added, "Motive Studios also use this level for the campaign, so we had to make sure their single player scene worked with our Starfighter Assault multiplayer scene in the same location."
Wyle also pitched in about the particular design, "The Dock’s tunnel was an interesting design challenge. Imperial Structures have a very distinct look. They’re very uniform; they don’t use much decoration; and they are very grey. We wanted to develop a tight space with obstacles, but players would need to understand it’s visual language – for example: is this an obstacle I should go towards or avoid?"
Overall, the hard work, research, and implementation worked out beautifully. The creation process can be painstaking at times, especially with a franchise as revered as Star Wars. To learn more about their creative process, you can see the full interview with EA right here.