Fans aren't the only ones excited by the prospect of a TIE Fighter remake: David Wessman, one of the mission builders on the original game, says he'd love to take another shot at it and thinks most of the other development team members would too.
Rumors of a TIE Fighter do-over first kicked up in early August when LucasArts President Darrell Rodriguez was asked whether the game might get the Monkey Island treatment, bringing it up to date for a new generation of gamers. Rather than blowing off the idea, Rodriguez issued the cryptic response, "We don't have any announcements now, but stay tuned. We will soon..."
Fans were naturally thrilled with the idea of hopping back into the Empire's most famous twin ion engined starfighter and it turns out they weren't alone: David Wessman, one of the mission designers on the original game, dropped us a line to say that he'd love to be involved in a TIE Fighter remake.
"I think the 'apprentices' you're looking for would be mission designers David Wessman (me) and David Maxwell. We're both ready, willing and able, but no one from LEC [LucasArts Entertainment Company] has contacted us," he said in an email. "For the record, I know that original artists Martin Cameron and Jim McLeod are interested, and I'd bet Jon Knowles is, too. I'm pretty sure that programmers Peter Lincroft and Albert Mack would be, as well as Edward Kilham. These are the guys who, with Larry, were the core of the X-Wing and TIE Fighter teams."
"The series remains a high point of my career," he added. "It's where I got my break to move from test into development, and I left Totally Games with the odd title of 'Gameplay & Story Lead' (because Larry [Holland] refused to give anyone lead designer credit in those days, regardless of what their actual role on the project was.)"
Wessman also put an interesting question in front of the community: "If a great game dev team is somewhat analogous to a band, then doesn't it make sense that you would try to get as much of the original band back together as possible? Ie., is it really Pink Floyd if they tour without Roger Waters? Is it really Black Sabbath if they tour without Ozzy? If Paul and Ringo tour together, would anyone accept them as The Beatles without John and George?" (Quick answers: No, yes and I don't care.)
I think it'd be fantastic if LucasArts went to the trouble of reassembling the original development team for a TIE Fighter remake but I'm not going to hold my breath. I don't think dev teams are analogous to bands in the eyes of most gamers, who are generally more interested in the final product than the people who are actually responsible for creating it. This is even truer in the case of remakes, when the elements that made a game great are already established and all that's needed is a technical upgrade. On the other hand, I could be completely wrong; after all, it was a comment about former LucasArts luminary Lawrence Holland that prompted Wessman's email. What do you think?