Thumb 20th Anniversary Flashback Feature December

A glimpse into some memorable LucasArts moments from the people who combine their talents everyday to produce, develop, test, publish, market, distribute, and sell our games.

Kevin Schmitt - Lead Level Designer

"I have always been a huge Star Wars® fan. When I was growing up, I saw the movies whenever I could, had all the action figures and vehicles and would play Rebels vs. Empire with my brother until my parents yelled at us to go to bed. I kept all my toys and remained a fan all the way up to college. Then one year, my parents gave me the Star Wars radio drama on CD for Christmas. I loved Star Wars all over again. I watched the movies over again, I read books on the making of it and played Star Wars video games as much as I could. I started to hear rumblings about new Star Wars films being considered and knew that I had to take my architecture degree and go design sets for ILM. I decided to move out to Marin County after graduation. I had no money, no job, nothing....

When I got out here, I realized that there were a whole bunch of Star Wars related companies in this area. I wrote letter upon letter to each of them for months until I finally got a call back from LucasArts asking me if I wanted to come in for an interview. Wow, the company that made those great games might let me make up stories and adventures in the Star Wars universe. Finally, the day came, I had my interview and it looked like I was going to get the job. I was so excited that I was going to be working on a Star Wars video game. How cool is that?!

When I arrived my first day on the job, I sat next to two people who were in the middle of designing levels for LucasArts' latest PC game, Star Wars Jedi Knight® and LucasArts' first game for the Nintendo 64, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire®. It was awesome, sitting there with talented people working on awesome new games where you could wield a lightsaber or drop hundreds of Stormtroopers with a BlasTech DL-44! My training lasted for about a week and with each passing day the anticipation grew. I watched as a level designer ran through amazing areas slashing at Rodians and Trandoshans left and right. "Oooo, this is going to be so cool!" I said to myself. When my training was over, I was moved to a new location, set up with a new high-end computer, given a bunch of supplies and told I was going to be working on a game set in the...old west. Huh? What? "How does Star Wars fit in the old west?" I thought. Well, it wasn't a Star Wars game, it was Outlaws®, which has since become one of my favorite first person shooters to date and led to some of the best multiplayer matches I have ever had.

The Star Wars gods didn't let me down though, later in the year at the company holiday party, I was sitting at a table when somebody asked if they could sit down. I looked up and it was George!!"

Jason Horstman - Director of Sales and Operations

"When we first shipped Star Wars: Dark Forces®, we had just begun selling directly to retailers and our order processing system was primitive to say the least. We manufactured what for us at the time was an unprecedented quantity of product. The game shipped and then reorders came in like crazy - customers ordered it faster than we could build it. Just when I'd think we finally had enough product built, I'd hear "Hey, we're out of inventory again and I can't ship this order." So, I'd build twice as much the next day thinking that surely would be enough. But, by early afternoon I'd inevitably hear "We're out of inventory again." This went on for about two months. At the end, we were all exhausted but happy that customers enjoyed the game so much. Seven years later, we're still shipping Star Wars: Dark Forces in one form or another."

Brian Carlson - Intranet Webmaster

"When I worked in Product Support and Outlaws was in production, we had multiplayer games going at every break. First, the email would arrive with the heckles, and then we would all jump into a game. There were always three or four James Anderson's running around, and a few good custom taunts added. We got pretty loud most of the times, and were told to keep it down many times. We were always happy to get in some extra testing during work hours. Good times! Good times! "

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