Long before George Lucas thought about retirement or selling his entertainment companies to Disney, he
DICE has shared an inside look at the sound design in its upcoming shooter Star Wars: Battlefront. In a detailed essay, audio director Ben Minto explains the challenges behind designing ambient sounds for several planets in the Star Wars universe. Places like Tatooine and Hoth, for example, each possess their own distinct ambiance.
For Hoth, Minto's team focused on wind. They traveled to multiple locations in Scandanavia, sampling frigid gusts from Sweden and Norway. When wind alone proved insufficient in creating an appropriate atmosphere, Minto recorded the howls of a wapiti elk, a creaking door thrown open by a storm, the inside of a cave underneath a frozen waterfall and more. For those interested, a somewhat finalized version of Hoth's ambience lies at the bottom of the article.
Tatooine, on the other hand, was less about weather and more about its inhabitants. Although Minto again recorded wind, the emphasis shifted to wildlife. In the near finished Tatooine ambiences after the article, animal sounds take center stage behind a quieter breeze.
Many of these sounds come from the locations where George Lucas filmed the Star Wars movies. While Minto appreciated visiting the original sites, he cares more about the opportunity to record in nature. "Being there in person," he states, "and experiencing those surroundings makes it easier when trying to recreate that feel in the studio."
Listen to the sound samples below. Hoth is on top, and Tatooine is on the bottom.
Star Wars Battlefront is widely considered to be one of the most anticipated games of 2015. With that in mind, EA may have made one of the most compelling cases for picking up an EA Access subscription yet, as head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, confirmed that the shooter will be made available to EA Access subscribers on Xbox One before launch.
Players can pick up an EA Access subscription for $ 4.99 a month or $ 29.99 for the entire year. In addition to giving players the ability to play games from EA before launch, the subscription also grants a 10% discount on all digital purchases of EA games on Xbox One, as well as unlimited access to several games in EA's Vault. As of now, the service is exclusive to Xbox One.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) July 20, 2015
Star Wars Battlefront hits PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for everyone on November 17. If you'd like to check out our impressions of the game from when we played it at E3, you can head to our preview here.
EA has continued to make its case for picking up a subscription to EA Access. While unlimited access to an ever-expanding library featuring titles like Titanfall and Dragon Age: Inquisition likely does a decent job of pushing people towards subscribing, it's opportunities like this one that have the most potential to bring in the real numbers. Even if it's only for a month, it would be surprising if the numbers of EA Access don't spike a little this holiday season.
Star Wars: Aftermath won’t release until September 4, but you can find the prelude and first chapter online right now. The novel picks up right after the destruction of the second Death Star and explains exactly just what happens between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. It seems The Battle of Endor wasn’t the Empire’s last stand after all.
The excerpt was posted to publisher Penguin Random House’s website earlier, but has since been pulled. Thankfully, the chapters are still up on Star Wars' official website. You can read them in their entirety here.
Disney is hard at work to fill fans in on the events that occurred between the end of Return of the Jedi and the upcoming seventh film, The Force Awakens. In addition to this new novel, a mobile RPG called Star Wars Uprising is in the works that will take place in roughly the same timeframe.
Star Wars: Aftermath is written by Chuck Wendig and will release on September 4.
During Hasbro's Star Wars Panel at the San Diego Comic-Con today, a small galaxy's worth of shiny new figures were announced. One of them is this nearly life-sized TIE fighter from Star Wars: Episode VII.
Black Series TIE pic.twitter.com/9mLanc9MNK
— Pete at #SDCC 2015 (@ThePeteAwakens) July 10, 2015
With a convenient human for scale, that TIE fighter looks pretty impressive. Here's an up-close glamour shot, complete with an "elite" TIE pilot and blaster pistol:
New Force FX lightsabers were announced as well, with "new tech and stands" according to the Star Wars live blog of the panel. Take a look:
On the next page, some surprise announcements about Hasbro's Black Series…
LucasFilm's Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel at San Diego Comic Con delivered everything but a new trailer for the upcoming film. Director J. J. Abrams said that they will release a new trailer this fall, and although he didn't have new footage ready to show to to the con's attendees, he didn't want to leave them empty handed. Seconds later, the lights dimmed, and over three minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from Force Awakens played, showing many familiar faces, and some new ones we didn't expect to see in this movie.
After the footage concluded, almost every key cast member from the film came out on stage to talk about Star Wars and answer fan questions. The lineup included Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill. At the end of the panel, the thousands of people in the auditorium were invited to a surprise live Star Wars concert. Sounds like a damn good time.
You can check out the behind-the-scenes footage below.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
Almost every piece of Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise cannot be sold until September 4 (also known as "Force Friday"). Toy site Yakface reports that LucasFilm has apparently made an exception with Hasbro.
The toy manufacturer started selling its 6" Black Series First Order stormtrooper this week at San Diego Comic Con. If you aren't attending the show, this prized collectible goes on sale on July 28 on Hasbro's online store. We don't yet know if this action figure is limited in quantities, so make a note on your calendars to check Hasbro's site on this day. The stormtrooper is selling for $ 24.99 at the con.
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens due later this year, expect to see stormtroopers and Jedi wherever you look. Kabam is showing off its own take on the franchise, with the first Star Wars Uprising gameplay.
This mobile title takes place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens in the Anoat Sector (that’s the bit of galaxy that includes Hoth and Bespin). There are different roles you can assume and gear you can deck your character out with to take on the remnants of the Empire.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
The gameplay above appears to have a bit of Diablo in it, which looks like a great fit. You can register for the beta on the game’s website. Once you’ve done that, you can vote for content that will be available at launch.
Lucasfilm has announced a new Star Wars anthology film,
which will tell the tale of a young Han Solo.
Lucasfilm announced the first standalone Star Wars anthology
One – last March, which focuses on the rebel's mission to steal the
plans for the original Death Star. Today's newly announced film doesn't have a
title yet, but stars everyone's favorite intergalactic scoundrel, Han Solo.
Lawrence and Jon Kasdan are penning the screenplay, which fills
in how Han Solo became the charismatic smuggler that everyone knows and loves.
Lawrence Kasdan co-wrote The Empire
Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi;
his son Jon's writing credits include The
First Time and In the Land of Women,
as well as Freaks and Geeks.
Perhaps even more promising, Christopher Miller and Phil
Lord will be directing the film. The duo have turned a number of potential
cinematic disasters into quality movies, including 21 Jump Street and its sequel 22
Jump Street, and The Lego Movie.
The Han Solo movie is currently scheduled to release on May
25, 2018. Could the movie have anything to do with Visceral's long-teased Star Wars game that also appears to feature Han Solo?
Update: EA has filed a copyright claim, removing the footage from YouTube. We suspect more will pop up throughout the weekend. We'll share them if they emerge.
If you want to check out this Alpha footage from the Star Wars Battlefront, you might want to click the play button now. It’s likely not going to be up for very long.
What you’ll see (if you were fast enough), is a mission on Hoth. The soon-to-be banned user plays as a Snow Trooper on Hoth, tasked with keeping uplinks offline.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
There is also some AT-ST footage, if walkers are your thing. Star Wars Battlefront will be out this fall. The Alpha, for those who received an invitation, runs through Monday, July 6. For more, check out our impressions from E3.
If you miss this one, chances are people will be posting footage throughout the weekend. We'll try to get you as much as we can.