Respawn Entertainment has been on track with their last few releases, Titanfall 2 was a hit and the story was incredible, the game itself being powered by a spin-off on the Source Engine.
After experimenting and developing the engine further in-house, for the new Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order they wanted to play it safe and move over a custom source build of Unreal Engine 4. Still driven by C++ they could natively integrate their own feature set into the game production, without the downtime of developing a full engine from scratch like most other companies seem to be heading toward these days.
The big change in development was the move from a first-person shooter view to a full-body third-person view with exploration and traversal mechanics. This means a whole new camera, animation, logic, graphics, rendering, and design system needed to be changed over.
While the word was quiet from the developers for a while, the fans started eagerly shifting in their chairs we saw the first gameplay trailer and everyone was blown away, so many questions were flying around, considering the track record with EA’s Star Wars game as of late.
Nevertheless, Respawn Entertainment stood tall and confident with their choices and yes, it delivers.
The animation is buttery and smooth. The signature Star Wars look prevails in every glorious frame. It just looks the way a Star Wars game should and I’m sure the fans will be pleased.
The Engine! Tell us about the Engine!
Well, the hyperdrive is a core component to Millenium.. oh not that kind of engine. Okay, well as I said the engine is a custom source build of Unreal Engine 4. Their code engineers have added various features to the engine, such as what looks to be a custom animation system, allowing for more seamless animation transitions and movement, the addition of adjusted graphics rendering.
While there might not be that much that needs adjusting as the Unreal Engine is already a vast production-proven set of tools, the team can always create ready-made artist-friendly inclusions for design and AI placement. Such as custom connection to Houdini for prop placement variations, custom vegetation painting, and texture painting solutions. In house particles that meet the strict Star Wars requirements, many of these kinds of features would need to be developed and implemented into their custom build.