Dev Blog – Star Wars: Commander 2 Year Anniversary!
Happy Anniversary, Commanders! Over the past two years the Commander team has worked hard to bring you a variety of new content and features. To celebrate this milestone, we reached out to the Developers and asked them to share their favorite feature (so far!) and memories of the last two years!
My favorite content that we’ve released is the squad war hologram table. It was a lot of fun making it feel right and the art team did a great job making it visually impressive.
I remember when shield generators went in for the first time. The whole dynamic of the game changed and became far more interesting than the prototypes had been.
-DWF, Sr. Software Engineer
Honestly, worldwide launch was my favorite moment. I jumped onto Commander a month before they entered production and seeing all the hard work finally reach a player base that was excited, interested, and had a good rapport with us forum devs really made it all worthwhile. It made me from just a fan of Star Wars, to someone who has actually gotten to touch the Star Wars canon and lore.
Star Wars Celebration, Anaheim. I never really thought I’d ever have a bunch of people wanting to meet me or take photos with me, I never thought I’d get to speak publicly about a game I care so much about, and I never thought that I’d get a chance to meet so many amazing fans like myself. It was really a moment that took childhood dreams and made them a reality, and I still miss the talks and people I connected with there. I still have some of the photos taken with fans cycling on my desk, cause the moments just make me feel all sweet and bubbly inside.
Favorite feature – Squad Wars! It really brought everyone together to coordinate and fight, talk, donate and benefit from the loot we got from winning.
After being featured in Commander Cast, I was contacted by old animation teacher from college who saw my video and loved the game. (He had no idea I worked on it and had been playing since the game was released with his kids.)
-CB, Lead Animator
I particularly loved releasing the original Droideka Sentinel, along with Kada Jahr and all the Contraband-related content. It was really fun to invent a story around where it came from and how/why it exists in the Commander universe.
The moment that stands out for me was being recognized for creative excellence for developing and implementing the Halloween event “The Sickness”. This was very early in my design role on the team, and I feel like it set a precedent for narrative and world building quality in our game.
-JRC, Lead Designer
Favorite content we released is squad wars by far. Nothing gets me more excited to play well, and do right by my squad who is always there for me. It’s intense at moments when both sides fight over buff bases, and the final points in the war remain. Squad wars requires teamwork, skill, and patience which are all defining pillars for Star Wars Commander.
My favorite memory was the planets release, and just seeing how excited the community along with everyone in the office was. As soon as it went Live everyone in the office was instantly moving to new planets, excited for the next big step in their Star Wars Commander journey.
-DK, Sr. Quality Assurance
For sure Undead Troopers. They just looked so cool.
When the team went on a paintballing team building trip. It felt like we really gelled as a team after that day.
-WY, Sr. Quality Assurance
My favorite content release was, of course, The Force Awakens stuff that the Star Wars Commander players got to see a little before the movie came out. I can’t wait to have Rogue One content in the game too!
A particular moment that stands out for me is every time we’ve released new battle features: the early PvP matchmaking system, the planet-based conflicts and the new squad wars feature. They all happened at very different times in the history of the development of Star Wars Commander but they’re connected by the big expectations we had in such large scale features and the great feedback we got from our players for them.
-SC, Lead Backend Engineer
Planets! For two reasons: we all put a lot of sweat into it, and it really expanded the gameplay and variation in the game.
For us in Tech Art, it had to be the Unity 5 upgrade- we were able to replace our tools, our whole pipeline, while the game was live AND while working on another release without breaking everything. 🙂
-KSP, Principal Technical Artist
The launch, and seeing Commander displayed on the big screen in times square.
-SMH, Sr. Technical Artist/Maker of Shiny Things
The release of Planets, was my favorite. It was the biggest feature I worked on till that point. Also it was something I was excited about, finally I got get off Tatooine and explore the Galaxy.
The day we launched the game world wide. I had joined the team only a short time before, but I still felt the excitement and anticipation as the game went live across the globe.
-PJS, Game Engineer
Galaxy view and the ability to transport to new planets. It brought our players into the entire Starwars Universe in a much more compelling way. It enhanced their ability to explore and allowed us to do all sorts of cool new, planet specific things, I.e. Snow on Hoth, water and sulfur pools on Takodana, dust storms on Erkit.
-AG, Sr. VFX Artist
Planets! The Star Wars universe is filled with so many iconic locales, and letting players explore and experience more of them was something we’d always known we wanted to do (and we were pretty sure our players wanted to get off Tatooine as well). Helping the game expand to a truly galactic scale was a really fulfilling process.
-DF, Lead Production Manager
The content I am the most proud of that we’ve released in the past year is Squad Wars by a country parsec (it’s a measure of distance, people.) At the time, Commander players were going through great pains to arrange their own squad wars: coordinating on the Commander forums, relocating to the same planet in game, keeping score on shared spreadsheets… all this meant it was a great thrill to finally put the feature in game and deliver something big that we knew the fans were hungry for.
Testing the war within the team was a great experience as well. Early versions were prototyped on shared spreadsheets (we called this “spreadsheet wars”) with battle victories based on what amounted to weighted die rolls. We projected the sheets on monitors in the office to track progress. I spent a lot of time running around to coworkers’ desks to coordinate attacks while we held the advantage. Despite the fact that we were only looking at test and numbers in cells, the game was still a lot of fun, which gave us confidence that the final feature would really shine.
Squad Wars was also the first feature we teased in-game before release. It was great to see the reaction on the forums as we began to leak out information about it. All excitement and speculation… felt great.
-CD, Sr. Producer