PSU Interviews Loz Doyle on LEGO Batman: The Videogame

  • Posted September 18th, 2008 at 11:17 EDT by

The world of gaming was first introduced to LEGO Star Wars in 2005. That title was then followed by its entire trilogy and saga. In order for Traveller's Tales to top the Star Wars saga, they took on the whip-loving Indiana Jones and his own trilogy of adventures. Finally, LEGO is bringing a new type of hero to the lego gaming scene, Batman. PlayStation Universe had the chance to talk to Loz Doyle, head producer on LEGO Batman: The Videogame, about some of the deeper aspects of the next installment into the LEGO franchise as well as what was next in line for Traveller's Tales.

PSU: At E3, you guys mentioned that creating Harley Quinn from the ground up was one of the coolest experiences working on the LEGO franchise thus far. Are there any other areas of Gotham that you guys are particularly proud of or excited about?

Loz Doyle: We've incorporated just about every area of Gotham you can think of into the game, so in terms of locations, certainly! The fairground in the Batman comics is one that's continually mentioned, and is at its most vivid in 'The Killing Joke' (an office favourite). We've taken that colourful and detailed fairground in its entirety and injected it with LEGO charm, it’s eye popping. Then there's the mass of characters in the game. Part of the magic of our character unveils has been comic fans envisaging their favourite admirable Hero and Villain's transformation into lovable LEGO elements.

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PSU: The worlds behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones were very simple to keep family friendly and bright. Gotham, however, has much darker tones. Was there any difficulty keeping Gotham City on the same playing field as pick up and play, family-friendly fun like the titles that precede it?

Doyle: LEGO is still at the heart of the game. We're breaking bricks here, so in literal terms it’s always going to be a daft block busting foray. We would have been in trouble if we lost the light hearted atmosphere though. We had to insist on keeping Gotham beautiful for the fans, but also steer away from the darker elements of the Batman universe. Comics became inspiration for keeping the colouring light. We looked at how purples and blues were used in place of blacks and grey's. More research than you can imagine went into the game. So, in Gotham cathedral you'll see we've got a dazzlingly bright pallet of colours shining through the Gothic windows. I think players interpret the LEGO games as they want, if you're a kid, this is your LEGO playground, if you're a Batman fan, welcome to living breathing Gotham City.

PSU: During the E3 hands-on I experienced, you guys mentioned that an important aspect to the title was making each character fun to play with. With such a large overall cast from the Batman universe at your disposal, do you feel you met this goal 100%, or are there still a couple of characters leaving a bit to be desired?

Doyle: Not a single character leaves anything to be desired; we've taken each personality and injected them into LEGO moulds. The challenge was retaining all of the characters drawn and acted movements from the reference material into hundreds of combat, idle, creeping and running animations in game. Combat is by far the most exciting. Signature moves such as Banes backbreaker are critical to the rivalry between him and Batman! We want players to make statements about the game such as “oh it would be great if you could do Bane’s backbreaker” and be utterly satisfied when you find that you can. Some of the team’s favourites include Two Face's stud flipping idle animation, and Harley Quinn's tuned acrobatic back flip. With over 50 characters there’s just so much to see!

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PSU: Batman has always had more than a handful of storylines, yet Traveller's Tales went with the option to create an entirely new story for gamers and fans of the series to enjoy. Do you think this helped better the title, or do you guys enjoy having a framework to ... (continued on next page)

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