One of the biggest technical challenges Respawn faced when creating Jedi: Fallen Order was not, apparently, rendering its star's head of well-conditioned hair. It was creating Star Wars' simple, iconic wipe transition.
"The wipe in film is so easy—well, I don't know if it's easy, but in film you just take two different pictures and you have them both and you just wipe them across—but in games, you have to render both of those things at the same time," said lead technical designer Brandon Kelch in an interview with PC Gamer at EA Play today. "You have two different cameras running with the game running in two different environments to be able to wipe that across. So that was a really kind of an interesting technical challenge."
At one point, Kelch made a prototype that wiped between a still screenshot and the next scene, but the pause was too noticeable, so he worked with a programmer and technical director Jiesang Song to actually render two scenes at the same time.
"I'm pretty sure when I told [Jiesang] that we were going to do this he was just like, 'that's a terrible idea,'" said Kelch. "And it was like, well, we got to have the Star Wars wipe, like, you gotta have it."
It took "months" for the team to figure out, said Kelch. But in the end, there'll be proper screen wipes in Jedi: Fallen Order.
At EA Play this morning, we got our first look at Fallen Order gameplay (see the video above), and learned that it took inspiration from Dark Souls and Metroid Prime. For more, here's everything we know about Jedi: Fallen Order so far.