Late last week, DailyGame was graciously invited to LucasArts to get some extensive hands-on time with Fracture, the company’s terrain-deforming shooter set to release in just over a week. Although our impressions of Fracture are under embargo until next week, we were able to sneak out of LucasArts with some incredible photos of the studio itself.
Like many children of the ’80s, we grew up loving sci-fi movies that, by and large, had special effects generated by Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). In that sense, our trip to LucasArts was like visiting a sci-fi Mecca — and we’re sure many of our readers would have felt the same way. With that in mind, while we were touring LucasArts HQ, we took a whole host of photos in an attempt to “bring our readers along for the ride.” Below are the best of those photos, along with a brief recap of our LucasArts studio tour. Enjoy!
After hours of flying in planes and riding in taxi cabs, a handful of journalists along with yours truly boarded a shuttle bus headed to the fabled LucasArts campus and studios in San Francisco. We had all been invited there for a Fracture game-review event, and we were all promised a short tour of the place as a bonus. I couldn’t wait.
Security was understandably tight. We had temporary badges given to each of us and had to use them frequently throughout the place. At every entrance and at various places in the hallways, LucasArts has placed scanners like those you’d see at a drug store. Just swipe your badge, wait for the light to turn green, and pass on through.
I, somehow, managed to mess it up at the very first gate and set off the alarm.
The LucasArts representatives (and all of the journalists) had a good laugh and told me to be a little more patient when multiple people were passing through the gates. Patient? In this bastion of special-effects goodness? No way.
Everywhere you go in this place, sci-fi art is all around you. On the way to the Fracture presentation, we were taken to a small library that overlooked a large playground that acted as the studio’s day care. No pictures were allowed of the daycare, of course.
We also passed a library, which was exactly what you’d expect in one of George Lucas’ libraries. And yes, that’s Boba Fett standing there.
Everywhere throughout this building, little toys occupied a lot a space. In every office I managed to peek in, there were toys that I’m sure a lot of people would kill to own.
From here, they took us to a soundproof theater to watch a demonstration of Fracture. Now when I say soundproof, I really mean soundproof. Maverick PR’s Matt Frary warned us that the insane silence would start to drive us crazy, and he was right. It was a huge, dark theater, about the size of a “real” movie theater. The extreme lack of any background noise really did start to make my ears ache. When we stepped out, a lot of us agreed that hearing background noise again was a very good thing. Next, we were off on the tour!
This painting had an interesting effect on all of the journalists, with many (jokingly?) claiming they suddenly felt cold. Others said they really wanted to move on with the tour. The eyes just seemed to follow you, and it really was creepy.
There were other Ghostbusters things as well, highlighted by a few Slimer models.
As we walked into another building through another skywalk, we passed a wall of interesting pictures:
Each of the pictures on the wall represented a movie on which ILM has worked. Some of the pictures were staggering; I couldn’t believe the number of films with which this group has been involved…
…like Back to the Future 3 up here (1 and 2 were probably somewhere else on the wall). As time went on, the studio began throwing special effects into the group photos:
I wish I could have taken a picture of every single photo on the wall, but those darn LucasArts people kept pulling me along. On the skywalk, there were just so many things to gawk at.
Anyone remember what movie this dragon is from? Here’s a hint: it was voiced by Sean Connery.
I had no idea they’d worked so closely on the special effects of so many movies. Art, pictures and paintings were everywhere.
LucasArts has even gone to hanging things from the ceilings from different movies. This prop, for instance, is from the film Inner Space.
They offered “bonus points” to anyone who could guess what movie this ship comes from:
Walking down another hall we passed some Jurassic Park models.
Keep in mind, this wasn’t a slow, leisurely tour. We where there to see Fracture, so I had to take pictures as I was walking by.
As our quickie tour was starting to end, I couldn’t help but drift a little. I’m nosy like that.
Wandering yet again while we were waiting for the testing-lab door to unlock, I noticed some offices off to the left. Hmm, what do we have over here?
Oh look, planes! That’s where I would like to work. When I head toward my desk every morning, I’d like to walk past a statue like that. Before I could step any farther, though, the LucasArts guys tugged my collar. “Hey, Rob! Where ya going? Get back here, man!”
I begrudgingly went back with the group and stood there waiting with everyone else. Even in the smallest of hallways, where you normally wouldn’t see anything interesting at all, there was art.
We sat down and played hours of Fracture (review coming soon), and I got a good feel for the game.
We made our way back afterwards, and as we passed through the library, I managed to catch a picture that would make a Star Wars fanboy cry:
The courtyard at the LucasArts campus has an amazing view, and looking at it, I can see why George Lucas picked this place to build his new studio headquarters.
This tour provided some great hands-on time with Fracture, but it also gave us an amazing behind-the-scenes peek at the workplace of the creative geniuses behind the special effects for so many movies and videogames.
As Yoda would say, “May the Force be with You.” If you’d like to see more pictures, stop on by our forums, where we’ll be posting more images in the days ahead.
— Robert Dusseau