San Francisco -- After making three "LEGO Star Wars" games, you'd think Traveller's Tales would have it down pat by now.
But lightsabers and Batarangs aren't quite the same thing.
"LEGO Batman: The Videogame" producer Loz Doyle told me at the Game Developers Conference last month that the team is still working on what the Wii version's control scheme will be like. "We've been messing around with the different ways we can do the Batarang," he said. "We don't want people throwing their Wii-motes out the window. I can just imagine mothers calling us up. We are working on it."
So while I didn't a chance to see the Wii version of the game, Doyle gladly demo-ed the Xbox 360 version for me in a W Hotel suite, a block away from GDC.
With Doyle having worked on all three incarnations of the "LEGO Star Wars" games, I wondered what it was like for him to transition to a new IP. "It was quite strange at first because I've been doing 'Star Wars' since 2003 or something, so then I had to switch to a completely different universe and different characters," he said. However, Doyle and co. were allowed more creative freedom this time around, since the games aren't strictly based on movies like "LEGO Star Wars" was.
The game is broken up into 18 levels, with three different story arcs (six levels per story arc) featuring the standard two-player, drop-in/out cooperative play (online co-op play is available for the Xbox 360 and PS3). The stories were penned by Traveller's Tales, with approval from Warner Bros. and DC Comics after they were written. "It seemed only natural that the over-arching story was a big breakout from Arkham Asylum," Doyle said. "Once they broke out from Arkham Asylum, they break off into three groups, which enables us to have three stories that aren't linked to each other."
They weren't inspired by any one medium: "I think everyone on the team has at some point watched all the films, the TV series, the animated series, read the comics," he said. "We've got some massive Batman fans up at Traveller's Tales, so that was really useful. But yeah, I don't think we took particular inspiration from a specific film or TV show, it's more that we kind of looked at a character, and we built the story up based on how that character would behave."
While I didn't get my hands on the controller, I did bombard Doyle with questions as he played through some early levels. Read on...