We were given a brief to present research based on an artist, games company or film company. We were asked to explain why we chose them, how they inspire us and how we conducted our research.
Since I grew up playing LucasArts games and they were a big player in the industry since its infancy, I decided to focus on them knowing I could easily find a wealth of content.
I always knew they were a successful company, but there were certain aspects of research that surprised and interested me. The big one was having the credit of developing the first ever MMORPG on the Commodore 64 (of all machines). It was developed, but sadly never released due to hardware limitations of the time and the partnered telecoms company backed out of their initial promises to provide the infrastructure. The game, called Habitat, was still very ahead of its time and showed that LucasArts was innovative even in its early days.
The other surprise I found was how many advances they brought to the FPS genre in the mid ’90s, despite never being the company’s focus. They managed to develop two engines from scratch in two years to push current hardware to its limits.
As for personal performance during the presentation, I carried in a pile of cue cards and happily didn’t have to rely on them, except for one instance of listing off engine features for the Jedi Engine (1996).
As for things I’d like to improve on, I found myself rather static. While I delivered the research I’d done with confidence, I’d have preferred to move about a bit more and be a little bit more expressive during delivery. However, that would have required a wireless means of changing slides, since I found I had to constantly move back to the computer while giving the presentation.
For reference, I’ve provided the PowerPoint presentation in full.