Monday, March 1, 2021

The hardest part of making The Mandalorian

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As Lucasfilm's creative art manager, Szostak is involved in some ways with almost every piece of Star Wars media — including video games — although he tends to focus more on Lucasfilm's in-house projects.

“The Lucasfilm Games teams know that they can come to me with any specific questions or legacy photography [or] concept art reference needs that they have,” Szostak tells Looper. “They do run their designs by Doug, to make sure they are not straying too far off of the established path or stepping on the toes of a future design or idea they might not yet be aware of.”

However, other key members of the Lucasfilm team do have a background in video games, including lead character designer Brian Matyas. According to Szostak, this ended up being a big help when it came to managing The Mandalorian‘s tight turnaround times.

“Triple-A video games are made at such a high, almost-photorealistic quality that the design process for them is fairly indistinguishable from that of feature films,” Szostak explains. “Those designers can transition into working on a project like The Mandalorian fairly easily. They are also used to the deadline pressures that come with working in TV.”

There are other gaming influences, too. Much has already been written about the Volume – the digitally-enhanced set that The Mandalorian films on, which is powered by the popular Unreal video game engine – and both developers and fans have noticed lots of similarities between The Mandalorian and the canceled video game Star Wars 1313, which starred bounty hunters. Ultimately, of course, The Mandalorian stands alone — although it's possible that work on both 1313 and Underworld informed the series, as it did The Clone Wars and Rogue One — but still, the series' debt to the gaming industry is undeniable.

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