For the most part, the LEGO Star Wars franchise has remained in the realm of blockbuster movie adaptations. Many fans have played the LEGO Star Wars trilogies, be it the original or the prequels. They’re also gearing up to revisit the entire Skywalker Saga in 2022. However, now is the time for LEGO Star Wars to branch out and it is doing so with a new game on Apple Arcade.
Released earlier this month, LEGO Star Wars: Castaways is set on a mysterious planet somewhere in the galaxy. Players will venture to an uncharted island, meet new characters, battle arenas, race Microfighters against other players, experience simulations of classic Star Wars moments, and learn more about this new setting. All of this will be done with a new custom LEGO Star Wars minifigure.
To learn more about what players can expect from LEGO Star Wars: Castaways, Shacknews spoke to Lee Kuburis and Jacques Durand from Gameloft Montreal. We asked about the Castaways timeline, the social element, and more.
Shacknews: It’s often fair to ask this of any Star Wars project these days, but when does Castaways take place?
Lee Kaburis, Senior Producer Gameloft Montreal: LEGO Star Wars: Castaways was designed with the intention of allowing it to grow with the Star Wars universe. This is because the original narrative story does not tie us to a specific Star Wars movie release and Star Wars content. With that in mind, the narrative framework allows players to revisit content from the past (with iconic Star Wars characters, vehicles, and locations). It also allows us to include any Star Wars content that may be released in the future.
Currently, only the lore of the original trilogy is covered in the game, but the game’s scholars (and us game developers) are working to add more of the Star Wars universe to the game.
Shacknews: This game is described as the first “LEGO Star Wars action-adventure social game”. What exactly does this imply?
Jacques Durand, Creative Director of Gameloft Montreal: This new LEGO Star Wars game is the first of its kind in that it encompasses a solid story that allows the player to explore and discover new levels while mastering the game while allowing players to do so solo or with other players online. In fact, this game was created with the social aspect as the main pillar of its intended experience. Twenty players can meet in the same community center, and players can play cooperative or competitive game modes with up to three of their friends! Of course, the Apple Game Center Friends API makes it easy to find your Game Center friends in the game.
Our Gameloft team has strived to give players the opportunity not only to relive iconic Star Wars moments as their own unique LEGO Star Wars minifigure, but also to experience a new story of discovery on a Shipwreck Island, forging their own way in the variety of game modes available to them.
Players can choose to do simulations, reenacting iconic events in Star Wars history. They can also complete epic space battles, or they can fight in the arena of the Hippodrome, fighting other players, hordes or iconic Star Wars enemies, or they choose to hang out in the social center, to communicate with other players via emotes, vibrant dance moves or play fun mini-games!
Shacknews: What do we know about the characters in the Castaways? Who are they and what brought them to this secret planet?
Durand: Well, actually, every player is a castaway! This game will surprise anyone who is used to the very narrative and narrative Star Wars games that have been released so far. It’s an open-ended, non-linear game where you can express yourself and create your own unique castaway using LEGO bricks, creating your own story in the Star Wars universe on Castaways Island, made entirely of LEGO bricks. You will of course meet other castaways on this island. Some are other players and some are non-playable characters (NPCs). TU-TOR is one of the main NPCs you will come across. Indeed, she is a protocol droid left behind by the Ottegan, an ancient civilization who wanted to know everything about the galaxy. Over time, however, the task was too much for TU-TOR alone, and corruption began to spread as the archives TU-TOR was left to take care of.
Another main NPC in the social is Laurasta Vertoa, the guardian of space battle sims. She dreams of flying in space, so she uses data from the archives to create space simulations where she hones her flight skills and challenges the island’s castaways. Bossig the Hut, another main NPC, can be found near the racetrack. He also “borrows” data from the archives, but uses it to create virtual arenas that allow him to watch entertaining battles between other castaways. Despite his far from altruistic motivations, Bossig creates completely new places thanks to his immense creativity.
Shacknews: What kinds of classic Star Wars moments can players experience in this game?
Kaburis: We currently only have the original trilogy built into the game, with more in the works. The type of Star Wars moments we selected in collaboration with Lucasfilm were based on a few guidelines that we felt would provide players with the most immersive, memorable, and engaging experience possible. We wanted to give players the ability to relive classic Star Wars moments as their own unique characters via holographic simulations.
Level design was an important consideration when selecting these Star Wars moments, as this type of design is essential to player immersion and engagement. As such, we particularly focused on the replayability factor of the event and location, the existence of physical LEGO toy sets that represent that event / location, and the variety of sets and backdrops. within our selection (eg desert, spaceship, forest, etc.).
We chose the original trilogy as our starting point because of its broad appeal to audiences young and old. It’s been around for 40 years and these 3 movies are often an entry point for the Star Wars fan base. Likewise, Star Wars content has been most represented in LEGO toys.
Shacknews: How many customization options are available and can you give us some examples of how we can customize our characters?
Durand: We currently have hundreds of different heads, legs, torsos, faces, and gear, but even the content of this list may change, so it’s difficult to give a precise answer to this question. As with LEGO’s core values of freedom of customization, anything you can do with a physical minifigure you can do in-game.
You can follow the rules of the Star Wars universe … or you can break them. Classic Star Wars gear is available in-game, allowing players to cosplay their favorite Star Wars characters, create new ones from the dark or light side … or mix it all up to create something never seen before. previously in the Star Wars universe.
Shacknews: What kind of content have you planned for Castaways after launch?
Kaburis: Although we developed LEGO Star Wars: Castaways for Apple Arcade, we kept the future in mind every step of the way. We see this game as a prime location to showcase Star Wars content, whether it’s from the past, present, or for many years to come. That being said, our goal over the next few months will be to build on the solid foundations of the game, such as improving existing progression systems with regular content updates, providing players with new opportunities to grow. and to move forward, and of course, by strengthening re-engagement. around key IP beats.
LEGO Star Wars: Castaways is now available on the App Store for Apple Arcade.