LucasArts History: No Star Wars, everything is fine


In the previous post, we learned about George Lucas, the founder of LucasArts. In the next article, Moi will introduce LucasArts’ first titles.

It must be said that LucasArts had a lot of bad luck when it was first formed. It all started before George Lucas decided to found Lucasfilm Games (the predecessor of LucasArts), Atari, one of the biggest game companies at the time, bought the right to produce games based on the Star Wars franchise for 10 years. .

LucasArts history:

So Lucasfilm Games, the gaming division of Lucasfilm, doesn’t have the right to develop games based on his cult franchise. This is also the reason why Lucasfilm Games had to explore and create brand new games, including many names that have achieved great success.

The 1980s were full of difficulties but with creativity.

In 1984, Lucasfilm Games sent the first two games, Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus, to Atari’s Marketing department, and just a week later, the beta versions of these two games were leaked out, which affected. huge revenue and also caused the relationship between Lucasfilm Games and Atari to split.

If we look at the positives of this, both games receive a lot of praise. In 1985, Lucasfilm Games released two next titles, titled Koronis Rift and The Eidolon. Both games inherit and continue to promote the Fractal technology developed for the Rescue on Fractalus game.

Perhaps Fractal sounds a bit strange, Vietnamese people often call it a shape, the more pictures that you zoom in, the more details you realize it has. LucasArts used morphs to create the game environment in Rescue on Fractalus, Koronis Rift and The Eidolon.

Lucasfilm Games’ next title was Habitat, an MMORPG that was put into Beta testing in 1986 on the Quantum Link platform (later changed tobecomes America Online). However, Habitat has not been officially released because Quantum Link has not been able to provide enough bandwidth for this game to function properly.

Also in 1986, Lucasfilm Games released the first warfare simulation game, which was the battleship game PHM Pegasus. Despite eating a lot of bricks, this game also sold more than 100,000 copies.

Labyrinth: The Computer Game (developed based on the movie of the same name) was released in 1986, this was the first adventure game that Lucasfilm Games created. Labyrinth laid a solid foundation for the company’s series of other adventure titles that would follow.

1987 marked the first time Lucasfilm Games made his own game and released himself with the point & click adventure game Maniac Mansion. This is also the first game to use SCUMM, the game engine commonly used in later Lucasfilm Games’ adventure titles. Unfortunately, although considered a game that has changed the adventure game series, Maniac Mansion’s revenue is not very good.

Here I want to talk a little more about SCUMM, it is Ron Gilbert created because he found programming the game Maniac Mansion too annoying. Actually SCUMM is a combination of game engine and programming language, it allows players to switch between different characters and solve various problems in the game.

In 1988, Lucasfilm Games released three titles. The first is the battleship game Strike Fleet with more tactical than his brother PHM Pegasus. The second game was called Battlehawks 1942, the company’s first aircraft shooting game.

Finally, the adventure game Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, this game has received a lot of mixed opinions, some people think that this is one of the best adventure games of all time but there are also people. think that this game is still pretty much minus points.

Lucasfilm Games continued to maintain its form when it continued to release four games in 1989, including Pipe Dream, a game “sewer connection” quite familiar to Nokia users later, I still remember the version on the phone. is called Canal Control.

The second game titled Their Finest Hour, an airplane shooting game that allows players to choose between 8 different types of aircraft, has made this game very well received.

Finally, the first two ndiana Jones games from LucasArts, the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade adventure game with the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game. Both have achieved great success, but the action game version has to eat a lot of bricks because the content has nothing to do with Indiana Jones.

The brilliant 90s

During this time, there were 3 major events happening with Lucasfilm Games. First, after the company restructuring in 1990, Lucasfilm Games officially changed its name to LucasArts. Second was the introduction of iMUSE, a software for synchronizing audio with images and converting music in games, in 1990.. Finally in 1991, LucasArts regained the rights to the Star Wars game from Atari and marked the explosion of the Star Wars franchise of LucasArts.

In the 1990s, LucasArts continued to release a series of popular adventure games such as Monkey Island series, Indiana Jones series, Full Throttle (1995), Day of the Tentacle (part 2 of Maniac Mansion was released in in 1993) and Grim Fandango (1998).

There are many opinions that it is the adventure games of LucasArts that have made more people interested in the game, so that the game industry has grown strongly up to now. This was also the booming period of the Star Wars franchise with more than 20 titles released since LucasArts took back the production rights from Atari in 1991 to the end of 1999.

The 90s was probably the most brilliant time for LucasArts when the company continuously released a series of titles for a lifetime. In the next article, Morm will introduce in more detail about the outstanding titles of LucasArts in the 90s, please remember to follow.

Continue…

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