My 17,000 word feature on the 50 best PC first-person-shooters is 100% objectively correct, with once exception – due to a multiversal non-causal timeslip event, the existence of Star Wars: Republic Commando was removed from all reality for just a moment. Unfortunately, that moment just happened to be the moment that I otherwise would have noted it down for inclusion in the list. Imagine my horror when the multiverse reverted to normality and my memories of the last great Star Wars shooter came flooding back. I tried to make belated amends by noting in the feature’s postscript that RepCom was officially placed at position 17.5, but I felt further restitution was necessary. I’m very lucky: an opportunity has presented itself.
Brett Douville, lead programmer on LucasArts’ surprisingly charismatic squad-based FPS, one of few good things to come out of Stars Wars’ prequel doldrums, has begun a livestreamed oral history of Republic Commando. He plays the game, he talks about its creation, the design thinking throughout, its constraints, and aspects he’s not so sure about in hindsight. The first instalment has been archived on YouTube, and I guess I’ll stick it right about here:
Admittedly, having to simultaneously and noisily gun down a galaxy’s worth of battledroids and whatever those insect-guys are called doesn’t make for the smoothest-flowing narration, but it’s nonetheless a bounteous clutch of anecdotes and insights into how a big-studio game gets made.
Douville, by the way, went on to work on Fallout 3 and Skyrim, and is now doing his own thing.
I AM VERY SORRY REPUBLIC COMMANDO