PAX Interview: Tripwire Interactive
Vice President Alan Wilson and President John Gibson
I was fortunate enough to attend PAX for a few hours this Sunday and was able to sit down with Alan and John to briefing discuss their upcoming title Red Orchestra: Heroes of Stalingrad, due to release in 2011. As a simple (and sometimes annoying) community member, I felt truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to meet some of the developers of my two favorite games (RO and Killing Floor) and "soon" to be favorite game (RO:HOS) and getting to chat about the game for about 90 minutes was just an added bonus. For that I sincerely thank Alan and John for their time and especially Alan for arranging the meet and making it all happen.
But enough about me, here's what I learned……Alan/John feel free to correct any inaccuracies
- Crew – the t34 and the pIV can both have up to 3 human players manning the tank, while one AI bot will fill the role of loader. In both tanks the gunner/commander role will be combined as one crewable position.
- Position “swap” – changing positions with any “warm body” AI will be instant, but should an AI crewman be killed, moving into that position will require fully animated movement. Nothing has been decided for players swapping positions with other players
- “Tutorial” – the previously mentioned training course is just that, training. It will not be required to complete in order to tank, although completion adds to your player progression.
- “Locking” – tankers will be prompted to select if they wish to lock their tank before they spawn. A feature is being discussed that would give the player the ability to select individual team mates to be allowed to join their tank.
- “Bailing” – according to Alan, a possibility….according to John, current design is for no exiting your tank. Should the ability to exit be added, it would be fully animated thus requiring a lot of added work.....thus still in limbo
- Artillery – all tank commanders will be able to spot artillery coordinates but only the Platoon Tank Commander will have access to radio communication to request those strikes.
- Time Consuming – to give an idea of how much work has been put into the tanks, it took about 3 months just to model the interior of the pIV…..should a community modder/team wish to add say, the GREATEST TANK OF WWII :IS2:, while possible, it will be quite an undertaking.
- Fallen Fighters – that is the official name for the re-imagined version of RO-Fallen Heroes. The map will be Combined Arms and include tanks.
- Tanks Only? – yes, one of the 10 stock maps currently in development will be focused completely on amour…..so tanks only, and this time there’s enough tanks to go around!
- Sizes – all maps are designed for 64 players; playable portions of the maps and number of slots per class will be scaled down depending on max players (defaults 64, 32, 16)….in between numbers (think 24 or 40 players) will scale up to the next default setting.
- AI – by default, maps be filled with AI to reach the set max players of the server. ex: 64 slot server, 40 humans, 24 AI…….server admins will have the ability to adjust to their liking.
- Custom Maps – mappers will have everything, including vehicles, at their disposal to create new maps…..while a mapping contest isn’t yet planned, it would be “likely” to see similar contests from ROOST and KF.
- Single/Multiplayer – essentially the same campaign with slight differences
- Campaign Map – map will track and display campaign progress, possibly in loading screen and/or “selection” menu. Players will vote for the sector their team will attack.
- “Combat Power” – based on results of previous battles; teams will have to decide how much of their “resources” they want to risk to make an attack. CP won’t affect loadouts of maps, but more the ability and risk/reward to make certain attacks
- Length – approx. maximum 4 hours per campaign. allowing server admins to pause campaign progress and/or set specific times in which the server would be open for battles to occur are still features still being considered.
- Tanks – CA and tank maps can be played with countdown. AI does not count towards reinforcements; AI crew dies, human can still operate the tank. Still in discussion what will happen to a tank should a human die and AI still be alive in the tank
- Time Limits – mappers can set time limits per each objective and times will vary
- Aesthetic – most player “attributes” will be visual and won't affect Gameplay or give significant advantages
- Ranks – you will rise in ranks; higher ranks will have first choice for class selection and “elite” classes may possibility be locked to certain ranks.
- Battlefield Commissions – you’re not guaranteed to be “stuck” with a rifle for the whole map…players who perform well may receive temporary rank “boosts” for the next round/map.
- Morale – team morale points influenced on flow of the battle; music will reflect changes in morale. “Heroes” will have greater influence capping/holding objectives, likewise if a Hero is killed, morale may drop.
- “Advantages” – fine tuning of player’s actions…no 60% damage increase, no 40% reduced recoil, no 50% speed increase….don’t think Killing Floor or “mainstream” fps games.
- Servers – admins can set severs to be ranked/unranked to allow progression/”bonuses” or to have all players at the same “level”. Also restrictions for keeping low/high ranks out of the server will be an option for admins.
- Regression – things like excessive TKs can reduce your rank
- Scores – “Teamplay points” will add with standard kills/assists. Teamplay points awarded for following orders or doing your “job”, ex: machine-gunner holding/defending an objective will receive “points” for his effectiveness.
- Beta – nothing new; “closed”, “family and friends” and “public” betas will all take place this year.
- Collectors Editions – soundtrack, “making of” and historical supplements are all possible
- Release? – only Ramm (John) knows and he’s not telling
One last thing to note, when asked about any demonstration videos coming out of the event, John mentioned that they showed off the new Combined Arms map “Fallen Fighters” to various press. A betting person would expect to see some video of these presentations to surface over the next couple of days and that video showing off the recently announced tanks.
For those who’ve made it this far through this piece, I do hope some of what I’ve mentioned is new or informative and helps give you some better insight into the game. I for one am blown away with the amount of work it appears TW has put into the game and seeing the buzz around the booth was very uplifting. Like many “senior members” (4 years now in RO for me), I too have my concerns for the direction in which the game is going and how everything will turn out, but after getting to talk with the guys who are actually making the game, I personally feel a lot more at ease that we will all fall in love with RO:HOS once we get our hands on it. It's just going to be a matter of us patiently
waiting for the beta and the release. Plus, John commenting to me about my personal tendancy to sometimes be "critical" in these forums has convinced me to stop worrying about things and just wait to see what happens
I thank you for reading and I’m just as eagerly looking forward to seeing what else TW has planned!
- Brian (bswearer)