Behind closed doors LEC were showing of their massively online multiplayer game: Star Wars Galaxies. They are truly aiming high with this project. The game is comparable to a prettier version of Everquest, mixed with... lots of other games. Players join a server with thousands of other players, they can mine for minerals, work in a bar for money, become mayor of a town, run errands for other players, take up bounty hunter contracts from NPCs or gamers who want other gamers dead or you can just wonder out into the desert and kill stuff. This game allows you to play any way you want, if you don't want to be killed, then don't play the game to fight, use it as a political simulation game.
You can travel between worlds to import stuff, and initially the only way to do this will be to buy passage on a transport. Soon after the game comes out, an add-on pack will allow you to buy a Starship and fly around in space. This game is enormous. It also looks nice and has some nifty little features. The sun casts a realistic real-time shadow on everything, and there is a realistic day-night cycle. Everything is bump mapped and made to scale (we saw At-At walkers, Jawa transports and classic Tatooine buildings) Also scaled were distances, on Naboo you could see 2-2km into the distance.
When chatting to other players, gestures can be used to great effect. When you type in a smiley :) the player's model smiles. You can wave and shrug, and more than likely, scowl.
The Game takes place shortly after the original Star Wars film (Episode IV). The Death Star has been destroyed and Darth Vader is wandering about terrorizing the rebellion. You can ally with either the rebellion or the Empire in this game, and you can meet MPCs of classic Star Wars characters including Luke, Han, Jabba and Vader.
Players can choose from a selection of highly customizable races to represent them in the game, each have their own characteristics that make the species individually skilled. For instance the Mon Calamari can spend a lot more time underwater than other characters. The game sounds incredible, and if they can pull it off successfully online I'll be impressed and may even go start a town on Naboo someplace.
We end today's belated report with, as promised, TODAY'S FACT OF THE DAY which is in fact 2 facts: We met with Bill Tiller today who revealed some things of interest about CMI. The CMI Manual features a screenshot of Puerto Pollo which wasn't used in the game, the reason being that when Guybrush was superimposed over it, it was too obvious that he had been superimposed.
The second interesting fact is that Puerto Pollo was originally designed to be covered in battle damage, cannon holes, burned stuff etc, but when Bill Tiller came to draw the town, it wasn't. Reason being, he simply forgot to do it! He drew the town and forgot the damage. :)
We love Bill.