Last week, my partner hit Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. I haven’t vanished Fallen Order yet, truthful I watched a adjacent chunk of nan sequel from beside him connected nan couch. But astir two-thirds of nan measurement done nan campaign, he thrust a PS5 DualSense controller into my manus and urged maine to build my ain lightsaber.
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That half an hr I spent fiddling pinch nan game’s extended customization was an incredibly satisfying gaming experience, for illustration thing other I’ve knowledgeable successful immoderate different Star Wars crippled earlier it. It’s a immense testament to Respawn’s dedication to delivering 1 of nan champion Star Wars games of each time.
Though you tin autumn successful emotion pinch Jedi: Survivor because of its endless opportunities to service lewks, its perfect operation of each nan Star Wars eras, its “last bully save” mechanic that saves you from screwing up excessively badly, aliases nan simple truth that it’s a really, really bully game, I fell successful emotion pinch its hyper-tactile lightsaber, blaster, and BD-1 customization mechanic. So successful love, successful fact, that I had to scope retired to Respawn and find retired nan process down creating Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s extended and wildly gratifying customization.
Hanging retired astatine nan Jedi: Survivor workbench
This acold into Jedi: Survivor, my partner has unlocked a alternatively awesome postulation of colour palettes and cogwheel components—so much, successful fact, that I’m instantly overwhelmed. What feels for illustration a gentle push of nan joystick startles me, arsenic respective lightsaber pieces rhythm into nan halfway of nan screen. “Okay, truthful it’s a spot confusing,” my partner warns. I look astatine him, my eyes begging for help. “I’m utilizing nan crossguard stance, you tin spot that successful nan apical correct corner. But erstwhile I break it into 2 sabers for dual wielding, nan near extremity is wherever 1 beam comes out, nan correct extremity is nan other.” My eyes show him that this hasn’t helped. “Just messiness astir pinch it,” he insists.
I commencement each nan measurement astatine nan left: The beam of 36,000°F ray that will emanate from nan hilt. I displacement 1 colour over, because I want it to beryllium golden, and gleefully recognize that nan hum emanating from nan ray beam has changed successful pitch. (“This was a game-specific creation characteristic successful Jedi: Fallen Order arsenic good but it was a batch much subtle…we wanted nan sounds per colour to consciousness moreover much typical truthful we tried making nan quality a batch much evident truthful group would announcement correct away,” Jedi: Survivor elder sound designer Oscar Coen told Kotaku complete email.)
After messing pinch nan leaf color, I displacement complete to nan emitter, wherever nan leaf will emanate from; it pulls distant from nan remainder of nan lightsaber pinch a satisfying sound. I flip done my options, settling connected nan Hunter emitter, which feels beardown but decidedly feminine, almost elven. I overgarment it a light, metallic green, for illustration matcha.
I displacement done to nan different components, adjusting nan perspective of nan crossguard, swapping retired his silver-colored, masculine components for pieces that look for illustration they beryllium successful this universe’s High Republic era. I tin customize each inch of nan weapon, from nan move that will unsheathe nan leaf to nan very bottommost of nan hilt. I make judge nan remainder of nan lightsaber is simply a operation of somewhat worn, aureate metal, and that aforesaid matcha green. It is undeniably gorgeous. I wish I could person it successful existent life. I put nan controller down, satisfied. “Nope, you still gotta do your blaster and BD-1,” my partner reminds me.
Of course, they each person to match, truthful I springiness my blaster and my bot nan aforesaid earthy, feminine touch. When I’m done, each 3 rest, sparkling connected nan workbench, looking for illustration they beryllium to a beautiful but deadly Jedi. The process of customizing each of my weapons was truthful satisfying, I commencement complete again from nan beginning. I don’t request to play conscionable yet.
Respawn’s Jedi: Survivor customization process
Achieving tactility and legibility pinch Jedi: Survivor’s limb and bot customization was a important portion of Respawn’s improvement process. After nan occurrence of Fallen Order, nan squad noticed really celebrated societal media posts showcasing circumstantial lightsaber builds were, and knew they “had to present connected this experience” successful nan sequel, according to Lead UX/IX designer Jordan DeVries.
“Because of nan important summation successful portion categories and types, our original UI concepts focused connected thing much for illustration nan acquisition astatine Doma’s Shop, pinch a zoomed-out, high-level overview of your lightsaber and a grid of each of your collected parts—in early testing, players wanted to spot their full postulation successful a tangible way, alternatively of nan much absurd icons from Jedi: Fallen Order,” he explained. “We ever had nan UI conception of floating lightsaber pieces successful our backmost pocket; while this lets you get up adjacent and individual to each part, location was a interest that players couldn’t spot overmuch much than 4 different parts, fto unsocial their full collection.”
They forged connected however, and decided to instrumentality pinch nan thought of floating lightsaber parts you could combine bit-by-bit. “The tradeoff was perfectly worthy it,” DeVries said. “Being capable to ignite nan lightsaber connected nan chair itself besides went a agelong measurement successful keeping nan acquisition tactile. And erstwhile mixed pinch nan deft mobility from our animators and nan sound effects of each portion seating together, arsenic good arsenic nan applicable engineering of our 3D modeling team, nan resulting acquisition is thing we’re incredibly proud of.”
But there’s moreover much going connected down nan scenes to thief guarantee that nan acquisition feels for illustration you are, indeed, a Jedi utilizing nan Force to switch lightsaber parts successful and out.
“I wanted to guarantee that nan subordinate is ne'er waiting for an animation to decorativeness aliases a portion to settee into place, erstwhile they switch a portion aliases navigate to a different category,” said method designer Michael Wong. “To execute this, we blend accepted fixed animation pinch codification driven movement. For each input nan subordinate presses, an animation plays connected an invisible skeleton of nan lightsaber, which is utilized arsenic a line for codification to move nan individual pieces into their due place. This allows nan workbench to respond responsively to nan player’s whims.”
The Respawn squad intelligibly went to awesome lengths to guarantee Jedi: Survivor’s lightsaber, BD-1, and blaster customization felt for illustration you were really a powerful Jedi tinkering distant astatine his workbench—and it pays disconnected successful spades. I haven’t moreover started my ain playthrough of nan acclaimed sequel, but I can’t extremity reasoning astir really it felt to build my ain saber, really it was nan closest I’ll get to nan shop astatine Galaxy’s Edge (I’m not paying to spell location and build that thing). When making a Star Wars game, you can’t skimp connected nan mini stuff, and nan workbench and each its mini components has a monolithic effect connected Jedi: Survivor’s magical feel.