Dan Borth of Red Fly Studio Discusses Cancelled Darth Maul Game in Reddit AMA
Before the Disney merger with LucasArts, Red Fly Studio was working on a action adventure game featuring Darth Maul. Now, Dan Borth, studio founder, took to Reddit to talk a bit about that project and his hopes to bring it back through EA’s Star Wars licensing deal.
Asked about age and backstory, Borth stated that it would involve a,
Young Maul age 9 or 11 to right before Episode 1. We wanted to show what he went through to become a Sith. Showcase the torture the Emperor put him through. Show how you as the player would have made the same mistakes and ended up a Sith.
On the difference between Sith and Jedi,
The Jedi are incredibly flawed in their opinions on not getting involved but getting involved and spying on people and using their abilities to get what they want. They are just like the Sith but don’t admit it – the Sith admit it.
Appears that this dream project has been consuming all of their current time,
BTW we are currently working on a full next gen demo of all things Maul to show to the powers that be. It’s been a lot of work on our off time.
We have been burning a candle for this game since it was killed in hopes we can get it turned back on again. IF that is to happen we need to approach EA with a demo that will impress them. I think we have that or are close to it. Still it is completely not up to us.
The game might have included the Clone Wars TV show’s narrative, which saw Maul return.
The story had gone through some of what they were doing in Clone Wars at one time as he was being paired up with Savage Opress. So yes at one time it was being slated for that time frame
On combat the studio looked at Batman: Arkham Asylum a lot for inspiration,
Combat was a challenge but we settled on a reverse fear mechanic and combat that was similar to Arkham. In our story he rarely fought characters with lightsabers – those had to be Jedi and we had to explain who they were and Maul had to keep his existence a secret.
The reverse fear mechanic had Maul using fear to control opponents – you chose to drop down out of no where and behead a guard because you saw the rest of the guards were susceptible to fear so when you did that they would scatter and the AI would kick in. Some of them would run into walls and even wound or kill themselves. When you were trying to plot against opponents that was pretty tough you would not do that. They would stand their ground and engage so it would be better to pick them off one at a time. It really was a great layer to everything and fit his character completely.
We wanted Maul to be vicious and stealthy. Decapitations had to be there. There was talk about it actually being an M title. That was really cool.
The story ideas were pretty all over the place, mostly due to the lack of guidance originally given by LucasArts. This was then followed by George Lucas coming in and making requests.
We had tons of new Jedis (to kill) and bounty hunters plus new locations. When we moved into the story of Talon and Maul then we had a lot of new Sith to design. The story we came up with was that Maul was against the idea that there could be thousands of Sith warriors so he was completely against the new Sith. His allegiance with Talon was to benefit himself and get close to destroy them all. His character had to be an atheist about the Sith and lost his faith or a Fundamentalist about it and go back to the Rule of two.
We didn’t meet Lucas for a while. I don’t know to what extent all the decisions that led to some of the Lucas Art’s failures were his. He employed a lot of powerful people and they were very, very risk adverse. Ultimately the final story Lucas wanted was “challenging” to say the least.
There was also a separate gameplay function where you controlled Maul’s probe droid that is seen briefly in The Phantom Menace scoping out Tatooine.
Yes! Utilizing his probe droids was a big part of his infiltration abilities and you playing as them was a welcomed break from combat. So it was completely puzzle driven: Shut this down, hack this computer, open this door, gather info. his Bloodfin was just a blast to play. We have that in unreal 4 now and it looks amazing.