'Star Wars Battlefront' Will Launch With 12 Maps, DICE Explains How Iceland Became Inspiration For Sullust [IMAGES]

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated May 04, 2015 05:10 PM EDT
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There was plenty of concern over the amount of content that would launch with Star Wars Battlefield, and the developers are trying to show there will be plenty available.

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They have taken the opportunity provided by Star Wars Day to announce that the game will launch with 12 multiplayer maps, several more than initially discussed. A post on EA's site discusses some of the work that has gone in to creating these maps, including a trip to Iceland.

"When the DICE team first set foot on the Icelandic surface, parts were bubbling, giving off short yet intense bursts of heat," the post says. "The solid ground gently rumbled, reverberations felt from head to toe. They stood still, looking far and wide only to see eerie streams of smoke rolling across the horizon and over awkward arrangements of gigantic black rocks. The air was cool but surprisingly calm, as if life was non-existent. It was in this moment that they knew this was what players need to feel when trudging through the cold, dark, and unstable terrain of a previously unexplored planet and bringing this to Star Wars Battlefront would be one of their biggest challenges yet."

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Iceland eventually became the inspiration for Sullust, a volcanic world mentioned by Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi but never actually shown in the movies. A lot of photography work went into capturing the feel of Iceland, a process the team had used for Endor and Hoth as well. But in those cases, the team was able to travel to the real locations used in the films--for Sullust, Iceland happened to fit the bill.

"It's very barren in a beautiful way," said Lead Environment Artist Andrew Hamilton. "It hints at all the features in our concept and all the content we needed to gather...all the materials, rock shapes and even the lava. We used the source material that we gathered from Iceland to shift and bend to the design detailed in our concepts, which was very fun and difficult process. This was different than content captured from locations of Endor, Hoth and Tatooine which could be used right away."

That's probably a lot of extra work most of us didn't consider, I would imagine. Sullust sounds like an intriguing location, and hopefully their efforts are reflected in the game. Star Wars Battlefront is set for release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on November 17.

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