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LucasArts Should Hire This Man

Arthur Nishimoto created the Star Wars game we didn't know we wanted.

The collective nerd gasp from the Internet to Arthur Nishimoto's touch-based Star Wars game probably tells you everything you need to know about LucasArts' handling of the franchise in recent years.

Nishimoto is a computer science masters student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He's been working on Fleet Commander on and off since summer 2009, back when it was an undergraduate undertaking.

There are plenty of science fiction universes to pick from, but there's a reason he chose Star Wars.

"Being a Star Wars fan," said Nishimoto, admitting the obvious, "as well as working in the lab that made the computer graphics for Star Wars in 1977 probably had an influence."

The computer graphics for the original Star Wars film were conceived in the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, the same lab that Nishimoto finds himself working in regularly.

In the age of touch-enabled devices, Fleet Commander looks like a no brainer of a concept, with players manipulating a massive space war through sweeping finger gestures and generous use of radial menus. Nishimoto cited Mass Effect, The Sims 2 and Crysis as likely influencers of his own creation, sprinkled in with futuristic interfaces seen in movies like Iron Man.

The game itself was played on a 20-foot monitor, dubbed the Cyber Commons, which is comprised of 18 LCD displays tiled to create an absolutely massive 8160x2304 resolution screen.

"The Cyber Commons wall is often billed as the classroom of the future where the whiteboard or projector is replaced with a very high resolution wall," he said. "We're trying to answer questions like 'how do you interact with the display in this environment' so in 10 or 20 years when the technology that drives the wall is more widely affordable."

Everyday folks can't exactly afford such a massive screen, but they do have iPhones and iPads. While Nishimoto isn't in a legal position to start publishing Star Wars games on the App Store, he's behind an iPad virtual canvass project that you've also probably seen passed around the Internet before.

And if neither of those struck your fancy, maybe his tribute to Discs of Tron will.

After watching the video, it's hard to imagine Nishimoto will have any trouble finding a job. In fact, LucasArts would probably be smart to pick this guy up as soon as humanly possible.

"I've received a few e-mails that have expressed interest in my work," he said, "including some from LucasArts."

He's even got the right attitude about the prequels for a prospective LucasArts employee!

"We can pick apart the details all we want, but overall I enjoyed the prequels," he professed. "They don't quite match the level of the original trilogy, but it was fun to see the Jedi in their prime."

Nishimoto expects to graduate in a year or two. The response to his videos has been so tremendous--278,605 for Fleet Commander alone, as of this writing--that he'll be documenting his work more thoroughly going forward.

Next up? He's creating an interactive 3D model of the starship Enterprise bridge featured in the first four Star Trek films. You can follow his progress on this and other creations at his website.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek

The collective nerd gasp from the Internet to Arthur Nishimoto's touch-based Star Wars game probably tells you everything you need to know about LucasArts' handling of the franchise in recent years.

Nishimoto is a computer science masters student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He's been working on Fleet Commander on and off since summer 2009, back when it was an undergraduate undertaking.

There are plenty of science fiction universes to pick from, but there's a reason he chose Star Wars.

"Being a Star Wars fan," said Nishimoto, admitting the obvious, "as well as working in the lab that made the computer graphics for Star Wars in 1977 probably had an influence."

The computer graphics for the original Star Wars film were conceived in the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, the same lab that Nishimoto finds himself working in regularly.

In the age of touch-enabled devices, Fleet Commander looks like a no brainer of a concept, with players manipulating a massive space war through sweeping finger gestures and generous use of radial menus. Nishimoto cited Mass Effect, The Sims 2 and Crysis as likely influencers of his own creation, sprinkled in with futuristic interfaces seen in movies like Iron Man.

The game itself was played on a 20-foot monitor, dubbed the Cyber Commons, which is comprised of 18 LCD displays tiled to create an absolutely massive 8160x2304 resolution screen.

"The Cyber Commons wall is often billed as the classroom of the future where the whiteboard or projector is replaced with a very high resolution wall," he said. "We're trying to answer questions like 'how do you interact with the display in this environment' so in 10 or 20 years when the technology that drives the wall is more widely affordable."

Everyday folks can't exactly afford such a massive screen, but they do have iPhones and iPads. While Nishimoto isn't in a legal position to start publishing Star Wars games on the App Store, he's behind an iPad virtual canvass project that you've also probably seen passed around the Internet before.

And if neither of those struck your fancy, maybe his tribute to Discs of Tron will.

After watching the video, it's hard to imagine Nishimoto will have any trouble finding a job. In fact, LucasArts would probably be smart to pick this guy up as soon as humanly possible.

"I've received a few e-mails that have expressed interest in my work," he said, "including some from LucasArts."

He's even got the right attitude about the prequels for a prospective LucasArts employee!

"We can pick apart the details all we want, but overall I enjoyed the prequels," he professed. "They don't quite match the level of the original trilogy, but it was fun to see the Jedi in their prime."

Nishimoto expects to graduate in a year or two. The response to his videos has been so tremendous--278,605 for Fleet Commander alone, as of this writing--that he'll be documenting his work more thoroughly going forward.

Next up? He's creating an interactive 3D model of the starship Enterprise bridge featured in the first four Star Trek films. You can follow his progress on this and other creations at his website.

Staff
Posted by jonnybob

For more monkey island?

Edited by VarkhanMB

Those videos are downright mindblowing. The Enterprise bridge is an incredibly appealing idea to me!

Edited by Sinful

doing good pat....so far

Posted by Korolev

Looks really good. Sort of reminds a bit of Gratuitous Space Battles, except that you can actually control the ships in real time with Arthur's game, which makes it much better.

Hope he gets a job with anyone other than Lucas Arts, because Lucas Arts haven't been a good developer for a long, long, long time.

Posted by probablytuna

Interesting stuff. I would like to see what he comes up with in the future.

Posted by Jimbo

So basically Empire at War?

Posted by XcL

In the future all starcraft will be played like this.

Posted by crusader8463

The first video was just empire at war, but with touch screen controls and didn't look nearly as fun to play. That said, I want a new Empire at War game!

Posted by SomeJerk

Still not 3D enough to handle my dream of an ultimate Legend of Galactic Heroes game :<

Posted by Juicebox

What And Outsource more jobs?

Posted by yeah_write

This made me think of Ender's Game. It's so weird when reality starts to catch up with your imagination.

Posted by rmanthorp

If only LucasArts cared about Star Wars beyond Kinect.

Moderator
Posted by TheClap

Star Wars: Rebellion 2. Who else wants it?

Posted by Meltbrain

Wow. That is pretty amazing.

Edited by Slumberpunch

Sign me up!

Posted by Mento

For a second I thought it was Star Wars Flight Control HD. Maybe Firemint should hire him instead.

Moderator
Posted by KillyDarko

This reminded me that the world needs a sequel to Empire at War...!

Posted by Vexxan

I'm kinda in the mood to watch some Star Wars right now.

Posted by Mjolnir

@Jimbo said:

So basically Empire at War?

Seriously, this just looks like a more in-depth version of EaW, which in my opinion wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

Edited by Mr_Skeleton

Wow, the apm of these guys is really low.

Posted by Metal_Mills

@Jimbo said:

So basically Empire at War?

LucasArts should hire this man and make EaW 2.

Posted by Kyreo

@XcL said:

In the future all starcraft will be played like this.

That would be crazy... but awesome.

Posted by White

Holy crap that screen must cost like a bazillion dollars!

Posted by Lyfeforce

The Cyber Commons wall is often billed as the classroom of the future where the whiteboard or projector is replaced with a very high resolution wall

As someone who works with tech in conference rooms/classrooms all day, The idea of that tech just made me drool a little.

Posted by CosmicQueso

@Lyfeforce: Seriously, the amount of time spent in a conference room would be so much more engaging/exciting/creative etc etc with that kind of tool. In like 30 years I'll be like "back when I started my career we had these big white boards you drew on with markers and we thought it was amazing!"

Posted by Jimbo

@TheClap said:

Star Wars: Rebellion 2. Who else wants it?

Star Wars: Rebellion / Supremacy was amazing.

Posted by Brendan

I am going to feel so old when I tell young ins someday about how my elementary school classroom used chalkboards. Dear lord.

Posted by Turambar
@Juicebox said:
What And Outsource more jobs?
Uh, what?
Posted by MeatSim

They made a touch screen version of Empire at War basically.

Posted by RazielCuts

So this is just a big Flight Control? 

Posted by KoolAid

@Korolev said:

Looks really good. Sort of reminds a bit of Gratuitous Space Battles, except that you can actually control the ships in real time with Arthur's game, which makes it much better.

Hope he gets a job with anyone other than Lucas Arts, because Lucas Arts haven't been a good developer for a long, long, long time.

It's funny you should say that. I actually worked on a game much like this for the iPhone and we removed the ability to trace ship's paths out because players were being overwhelmed.

Granted... these screens are a little larger then the iPhone screen, so we would have probably made some different design decisions if we made it for this platform. =)

Posted by JeanLuc

That man's pretty clever. I would love to see his ideas become more fully realized.

Posted by Death_Unicorn

I loved Empire at War...

Posted by patrickklepek

@Mr_Skeleton said:

Wow, the apm of these guys is really low.

I love you.

Staff
Posted by Rolyatkcinmai

It's really impressive stuff.

Just pointing out that these days, 278,000 views on Youtube may as well be nothing though. Pretty sure the Giant Bomb clip of them mocking "Maybe? NEVER!" has over 100,000. And that's an out of context rip from a podcast.

Posted by LocoRocker
Posted by John1912

That look boring as hell....Im not really sure why....Doing the same thing as a mouse.

Posted by Brake

Starting the wait for a monitor wall in my house ... now!

Posted by Silver-Streak

This man gives me hope for the next generation of Game Designers when the current league of Super Designers step down.

Posted by csl316

Chicago, woo!

Posted by kalmis

@Jimbo said:

@TheClap said:

Star Wars: Rebellion 2. Who else wants it?

Star Wars: Rebellion / Supremacy was amazing.

Yes. Was just thinking of SW Rebellion the other day.

Posted by prestonhedges
Uh, guys, standing and using a touchscreen is something that top men have looked into and found incredibly un-ergonomic. People don't like to stand and use something for long periods of time. It's why tablet computing is big and touch-screen desktops aren't. It's also why the remote control was invented.
 
It's a neat tech demo and all, but it's not THE FUTURE.
Posted by MisterMouse

man, he is set up for after college.

Posted by blacklab

I can see this being huge in Korea.

Posted by Mikemcn

@Mjolnir said:

@Jimbo said:

So basically Empire at War?

Seriously, this just looks like a more in-depth version of EaW, which in my opinion wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

Not even more in depth, just a different interface.

Posted by sins_of_mosin

I don't care for it to be touch screen but a game where I try to take over the galaxy is always cool.  I've been hoping Star Trek or Star Wars would put out a galaxy conquest game.
Posted by Winternet

Talk about having is life figured out.

Edited by Darkecho117
Posted by CastroCasper

Screw motion gaming, If I can have a wall of touch screens in my living room Ill be happy.

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