If you missed out on part one of the interview you can check it out first. Otherwise continue reading on about the Engineer changes, the possible addition of grenades, melee attacks, ARG in FireFall and more.
The Engineer has lacked the sense of speed and skill compared to the other frames. Has the new changes fixed this problem?
One of the main problems with the Engineer as Justin pointed out in his Dev blog is, the previous Engineer was an “I’m gonna place turrets and defend this area, that’s all I’m gonna do” and that game play doesn’t really work in FireFall.
We aren’t a corridor game, we have 360 degree of motion, moving at high speeds, so it doesn’t make sense to have the Engineer spend 60 to 90 seconds upgrading everything or getting everything going just to have the battle jump over him or move on and his just suck reapplying all those turrets.
We wanted to take the Engineer into a more mobile class, pushing things but still able to control areas. Making him viable for the team and being viable on the fly.
There are certain abilities that he has that are more reactionary like placing down a quick snare mine to run away then drop a deployable like the force field to block the enemies attack. And then there is the more strategic deployable like the claymore and turrets.
Players can choose to have grenade launchers in the game but will we ever see the choice of actual grenades in the game?
We probably will never see grenades that are just default on a character where everyone just respawns in with a grenade. You don’t want to end up in a situation where everyone spawns and you toss everything you have then you run towards the battle, that’s not interesting game play.
But we do have call down abilities and consumables, so a grenade could easily be a consumable where it is something you buy and place it into a call down slot. It will cost crystite to buy more becoming more of a strategic use of them.
The tech is there and you never know but it is something that could definitely be added in the future.
With other shooters there is the usual melee attack. Has Red 5 considered placing in a melee attack?
We had melee in the game at one point, it just with latency compensation and melee, it feels weird. You may get up close but with latency compensation, you may be a little bit too far out of his reach and still get hit, making the player feel cheated.
Trying to find that balance with latency compensation and ensuring the game feels good is a struggle.
Also I don’t think we will ever do the kind of melee you see in most modern shooters where it’s just an instant kill. That’s just not fun for anyone on the other side.
It just never made sense to me why I can shoot you with a full magazine and you stand there laughing at me but I stabbed you in the neck and because of that you die.
I know the combat team would very much like to put melee back into the game if we can figure out how to do it right.
If you do decide to bring in melee, can we see an increase to the use of the Scan Hammer?
That attack is actually an area of effect attack which people are using as melee and it is very close range. It’s actually very interesting that people are using it for attacks; we thought it would be used against bugs and creatures, but when people started using it and getting kills, it amazed us as developers.
We could adjust damage, I think it would be awesome to walk around with it out instead of just hitting a button and it comes out.
May be have more attacks like swinging it around and bashing but we have to avoid it being used as a spam attack.
Will we ever see players given the chance to inhabit the Chosen during Invasions?
I don’t think we will ever see that. The Chosen are a very integral part of the story. Right now we have very little story implemented into the game but as we move on, I think you will find that the Chosen have a very interesting story of their own and where that will lead will be fun.
I know people are going to be disappointed but when you see what we plan; you are going to be excited.
Having Hellhounds pulled down after the confusion with the manga was disappointing, is there a chance to see Red 5 doing more on the ARG front?
I sure hope so. I love ARGs. When we first announced the game in PAXs in 2010, we kind of had a little ARG going with the badges we were giving away. Fans enjoyed it so much we decided to do Hellhounds, unfortunately it conflicted with the other things we were doing and the story became confusing.
We looked at the stories coming down the pipeline and found that it was going to cause some major confusion because the manga hasn’t explained what it is yet we were revealing.
We’ll probably see more ARG stuff coming. I know I want to do it and so does the marketing team, it is just trying to find the right time and the right story.
Will gamers ever see a hardback copy of FireFall Affinity?
Once everything is done we will definitely be seeing a bound copy to try to give away and maybe sell, we’ll see.
How long has the story of FireFall been in development?
It’s constantly in development. We retcon often and our community knows that. We had a good story written but when Orson Scott Card came in to review the story in preparation for the manga with Emily Card, he basically ripped it to shreds.
Which was a good feeling and a bad feeling. Great feeling because you have this world renowned author reading your stuff and giving you feedback and that’s amazing. And then you’re like but I wrote this thing and it’s awesome. You then have to realize he knows what his talking about and written really good books.
While he is not writing the story for FireFall itself, he definitely has helped work the back story about how this world works together. More the science behind the fiction.
To really help us stream line everything to where it is not too hand wavy but also not too sciencey.
The story has been worked on for the past five or six years and has gone through multiple iterations. The story we have now is just going through the final tweaks.
Can gamers ever expect to see weather effects in the game?
It is definitely possible and we have done so much to make the world feel real. We are one tenth the scale of the world. And we have done such realistic things with that that the lunar cycles are accurate, the time of day is accurate depending on where you are in the world, and how long day/night cycles are to the season.
The only problem weather effects affect performance so we have to look at that and make sure we can do it properly, make it look good and perform right.
The other part is the story; humanity has gotten control over the Earth. We have terraformed a lot of the Earth and there is story background saying we control the weather but I think it would be awesome to have a nice snowy winter or rainy day.
I can’t say one way or another because it comes down to the graphics and particles guys.
Is there anything you’d like to say to the community?
Keep playing, keep giving us feedback. It takes us awhile to get things done we are a small team but we are definitely growing and we are working to try and get the game out as quickly as possible but the games got to be fun first so the only way it’s going to be that way is if you guys keep providing feedback!
With the update recently launched, has the community found the changes to be solid, or is the direction clear but it still needs a little more work? Leave a comment below and let us know.