This game is about playing fast-paced, non-stop space battles with a squadron of some of the most famous pilots and iconic starfighters from the Star Wars saga.Craig Derrick
Pre-registration for Star Wars: Starfighter Missions is still ongoing having begun in June, with many fans and players anticipating the game, developed by Joymax Corp. Read on for an interview with lead producers Sun-gu Park of Joymax, and Craig Derrick, Managing Producer at Lucasfilm Games, about the key features, gameplay, current development, and fun facts of the first Star Wars mobile flight shooter game, Star Wars: Starfighter Missions.
Many Asian Star Wars gamers are super excited after the first announcement. What features do you believe Star Wars: Starfighter Missions has that differentiates it from the existing Star Wars games?
Craig Derrick: We’re pleased that excitement with fans and gamers is growing for Star Wars: Starfighter Missions, and are looking forward to everyone playing it soon. There are quite a few aspects and features that make this game unique and different than other Star Wars mobilegames we’ve developed. Still, for me, the ability to take multiple starfighters and swap them in and out of the heat of battle is what really sets this game apart from other Star Wars games. This feature allows players to strategize how they will complete missions. This was also a nice way to tie back to what we see in the films such as Red Squadron, which included Luke Skywalker’s Red 5, during the Battle of Yavin where the Death Star was destroyed.
We are curious about why you chose starfighters from the Original and Sequel Trilogies among many eras of Star Wars.
Craig Derrick: This game is about playing fast-paced, non-stop space battles with a squadron of some of the most famous pilots and iconic starfighters from the Star Wars saga. To do that right, you have to give the player a hangar full of these beautifully rendered starfighters, introduce them to pilots from all over the galaxy, and let players strategize how they want to build their squadrons. So, we started with starfighters from the Original Trilogy to allow fans to live out their dreams of flying the iconic starfighters that they grew up seeing on the big screen. So at the start of the journey in Star Wars: Starfighter Missions, players will be able to fly ships like the Millennium Falcon, Slave I, X-wings and TIE fighters. From there, our focus was to get some of our newest, most exciting vehicles into the hands of players which is why we decided to include ships from the Sequel Trilogy as well.
How was working with Joymax and bringing an authentic Star Wars experience to Star Wars: Starfighter Missions?
Craig Derrick: At Lucasfilm Games, we always take great care when working with our collaborators all over the world, so early on, our Producer, Peter Cesario, along with our creative team, worked closely with the team at Joymax to help ensure that Starfighter Missions looked, felt, and sounded like a truly authentic Star Wars game.
Luckily, the team at Joymax is full of huge Star Wars fans, and are very familiar with the stories and characters from the various films. Another pleasant surprise we had early on in development was learning that one of the producers on the team had previously worked with us on another Star Wars game. This allowed both teams to immediately work collaboratively, so anytime we can save time teaching Star Wars, the more we can spend coming up with great game design ideas and features.
Lastly, for the general Star Wars fans out there, who might not typically pick up a video game, what do you think they would find interesting in Star Wars: Starfighter Missions?
Craig Derrick: Starfighter Missions is a gorgeous looking mobile game to play with an incredible roster of starfighter pilots and vehicles, but I think that Star Wars fans, in particular, would love taking part in iconic battles from the films. Now you can experience controlling a snowspeeder on Hoth or flying towards the Death Star anywhere you can take your mobile phone.
You have developed numerous games at Joymax. How did you feel when you first heard that you were going to be making a Star Wars game?
Sun-gu Park: I was very thrilled and excited! I grew up watching the Star Wars saga. I was a big fan of Star Wars and enjoyed not only the movies, but also Star Wars games. One of the reasons I decided to become a game developer is because of how much I enjoyed playing Star Wars games. It was a dream come true finding out that I would be making a Star Wars game for a new generation of Star Wars fans and gamers.
It is interesting to see the customizing system and upgrade system for starfighters. Usually, these features are seen in RPGs. Can you tell us how these features and systems will affect the gameplay?
Sun-gu Park: While we wanted Star Wars: Starfighter Missions to be an action packed game similar to classic shooter games, we also really wanted players to enjoy a deeper experience instead of just making the levels harder as they progress. Unlike in classic shooter games, players will be able to obtain new starfighters, upgrade them, and either skin their starfighters to their liking or choose to remain authentic to the films. For example, players will be able to earn Han Solo’s classic Millennium Falcon and as they level it up in campaigns, they will be able to get new skins. My personal favorite is a cool skin that makes the Falcon black and green instead of the usual gray.
Players will also be able to upgrade their favorite starfighters and put together strategic squads based on their next battle.
Are there are any particular roles or abilities for each starfighter that players can collect?
Sun-gu Park: Starfighters in Star Wars: Starfighter Missions have special skills that are dependent on the model and the class of the starfighter. For example, interceptor class starfighters have excellent mobility and fire guided missiles to attack enemies. Bomber class starfighters lack mobility, but they fire proton torpedoes that can inflict massive damage to large enemy ships. And there are also fighter class starfighters which are balanced starfighters with balanced ability.
Furthermore, there are hero class starfighters, the iconic characters from the movie such as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, which have special Force abilities as part of their skills. The characters that use the Force will give players extra time to react to incoming enemies and have unique skills to take out enemy starfighters in a single shot.
Allowing players to enter battle with their wingmen is a unique feature of this game. Are there any tips to get a high score and recommended combination of starfighters?
Sun-gu Park: In Star Wars: Starfighter Missions, players will enter the battle by strategically forming their own squadron with different starfighters from different classes and swapping them in and out during battle. This is a feature you do not see in most classic shooter games, but strategizing which starfighters to use is vital to whether or not player will win or lose. Players must build the best squadrons by considering the class and individual abilities of each starfighter.
Also, when players swap starfighters during the battle, tag skills of starfighters are activated, which can deal massive damage to enemies. To achieve the highest score, when facing many enemy ships or large ships with strong defense, players can turn the tide of battle by utilizing the tag skill. When the power of the squadron is enhanced after the tag skill is activated, players can expect a more powerful attack by also using special skills.
There has been a lot of positive reaction to how high quality the graphics in this game and it’s obvious that there was a lot of attention to detail on how realistic the starfighters and planets look. What other features do you think players will gravitate towards when they download the game?
Sun-gu Park: We went through a lot of different ways to stylize what you would see in Starfighter Missions, but ultimately we wanted to show Star Wars as you would see it in the films so with help from Lucasfilm, we were able to re-create the starfighters with high-quality 3D graphics.
Moving forward, we are preparing to provide deeper social content where players can team up together and work towards shared goals.
We hope that the game improves and grows together with players who love our game. We will do our best to provide content where players can set continuous objectives and use cumulated in-game resources.