Feature

Lego's Take On The Lego Star Wars Games

by Jeff Cork on Feb 17, 2016 at 08:01 AM

This month we've been focusing on TT Games' interpretation of Lego toys. The company has done a great job translating the essence of the iconic building toys to the virtual space, delivering fun co-op gameplay and an abundance of charm. It's important to remember your roots, though, and when we're talking about Lego it all goes back to the little plastic bricks. We chatted with Jens Kronvold Frederiksen from the Lego Group's side of things about his role as design director of the Star Wars team, what it was like to see the games for the first time, his favorite minifigure, and more.

Game Informer: Can you tell me what your typical duties are as design director of the Lego Star Wars Team?

Jens Kronvold Frederiksen: Well, that could be a long story! But In general my job is overseeing the product development. So, it is about setting the assortment, briefing designers, giving feedback to designers, having contact with Lucas/Disney about reference and approval of products, I am involved in packaging design, development of TV spots, games and many, many other things! And occasionally WHEN the possibility arises, I still design models myself, something that still is one of my favorite things to do. 

Do you play the Lego games, or are you up to your elbows in bricks and don't have the time?

Absolutely! Yes, I do play the games (mainly Lego Star Wars games though). I love them, and when we have been part of, and following the development of a game it is always super exiting to finally play them!!

Were you working on the Star Wars brand at Lego when TT Games first released Lego Star Wars: The Video Game?

Oh yes! I have been working on Lego Star Wars since 1999, so almost since the beginning. 

Do you remember seeing the first Lego Star Wars game in action for the first time? What was the reaction in the office like?

Everybody here in the office loved the game! The gameplay was exciting and fun, and very much in line with the play we want to stimulate with the products.

Could you provide your thoughts on the close Lego relationship with TT Games, how TT Games and Lego collaborate, etc.?

Since the beginning, we have had a close relationship with TT Games. They made a huge effort to understand Lego DNA, and to help them with this, we were in close contact. Also to ensure that the minifigures and models in the game looked right. A challenge when developing the game was also that it would include Star Wars characters that we had not developed as minifigures. But that went smooth. The designers at TT Games had a very good understanding of how a minifigure version of a given character would look like, so in most cases, the feedback from us was very positive.

Has there been a new piece over the past few years that's made you want to shout, "Hallelujah! It's about time!" For me, I'm loving the pumpkin helmets that are featured in the new Scooby-Doo! sets. And the hamburger buns, of course.

There are several characters from the Star Wars universe that I have been waiting for as minifigures, but that’s easy, as we can just decide to create them then. One of my favorite characters is Max Rebo! It took many years before we finally made him, but we got it right! He looks really sweet as a minifigure! But, there are other themes aside from Lego Star Wars that I really like, Lego Simpsons for example. All the small details, and the characters… so much fun!

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