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xeno22
TWL Member
12-10-2003 04:33 PM / profile

TWL’s own Andy “Xeno” Ballentine presented some important community questions to Armando “AJ” Marini, Digital Illusions Lead Designer for Battlefield Vietnam about the upcoming Battlefield Vietnam release:

Battlefield Vietnam vs. Battlefield 1942:

TWL: The biggest concern that I've heard from the Battlefield community about Vietnam is that the weapons might be too overpowered. For example, the Napalm looks like it could completely devastate grounds troops and almost make them obsolete, when really I think Vietnam should emphasize ground troops more than 1942 does.

AJ: First and foremost, everyone should be aware that this is Battlefield Vietnam. It is not Battlefield 1942 in Vietnam. BF has always been about the balance, but in 1942 being in a vehicle definitely gave you a distinct advantage over the infantry. In Vietnam, this is not the case. It is more balanced and players will look at vehicles as any other weapon in the game. They will ask themselves, “Is this the correct tool at this time?” The infantry experience has been one area where much of the focus has been placed. If anyone believes that it will become obsolete, BFV will change their mind in a hurry.

Vehicles:

TWL: Are the choppers going to handle just like the ones do in Desert Combat?

AJ: Desert Combat is a mod of BF1942. As such, they used the physics system developed for airplanes and applied it to helicopters. We created a new physics system specifically for the helicopters and the various maneuvers they need to perform to truly be helicopters. They hover; they fly sideways, etc, etc. It will take some getting used to, but the helicopters are very rewarding for those who learn to use them effectively.

TWL: How will the connection of Helicopter/Vehicle (pickups) work?

AJ: It’s pretty simple. The pilot needs to hover over the vehicle he wants to airlift, and then he lowers the cable down to it. When the two connect, the pilot can fly away. When he’s at his desired destination, the pilot simply releases the cargo. I suggest that players set the item down on the ground first before releasing though.

Physics:

TWL: Is Battlefield Vietnam going to have the same kind of leading system where you have to aim in front of your targets and judge where they will be 1 second later?

AJ: We believe strongly, that above all else, Battlefield must be a skill game. All weapons have a projectile speed that we adjust so that players need to master the various weapons in the game. It’s very logical for one to think that a moving target is more difficult to hit than a stationary one. One of the reasons for this is the fact that it takes time for a bullet to travel from gun to target. What we’ve done is implemented a system that emulates that. If all you had to do was put the cursor on someone, it wouldn’t be very difficult to make the kill, and therefore less rewarding when you do so.

TWL: Will you be able to knife while in the water?

AJ: There is a delicate balance where believability and game play collide. When you cross too far over the line of believability, people cry foul and say things are “cheap” or “cheesy”. When swimming on the surface of water, you really can’t use any type of weapon effectively against your enemies, so we felt that this is the way it should be in the BF universe. This may change in the future, but for now we are keeping it as is. That said, there are plenty of areas where you wade through the water and so are fully armed. We are also playing with the player speed while in water so it is not so much of a barrier.

TWL: Will there be a lean function? Evolution dictates leaning in gaming.

AJ: We had many features to work on through production. Leaning was mentioned but it was never a high enough priority, so I’m doubtful that we will be able to implement it for BFV. It is something that we would consider more for future projects.

TWL: Will there be a working way to adjust the field of vision?

AJ: The field of view is something that is relied up on for game balancing and performance optimizations. Allowing players to change these settings would compromise too many areas of the game.

Booby traps and moveable spawns:

TWL: What's the info on moveable spawns, can they be placed anywhere?

AJ: Yes, movable spawns can be placed anywhere, for the most part. Sine the U.S. mobile spawn is airlifted into place; being able to put it somewhere awkward would be tricky, but possible. The N.V.A. one is carried by a soldier, so wherever he can go, he can place one although he is not allowed to place one inside buildings.

TWL: Do booby traps work in Multiplayer? If so, how? Are they static areas or can they be placed almost anywhere?

AJ: We have both static and dynamic currently. The static ones are, as the name implies, always in the same locations. They need someone to trigger them, and of course, someone to be in the line of fire to really be effective. They add a lot of emersion to the maps. The kits also have a compliment of traps that can be placed where the player likes. Most of them are explosive in nature, but not all of them. They’re triggered in various ways depending upon the specific item. I don’t want to give away too much.

Maps:

TWL: Will objects in the game be more fluid and changeable than those in 1942. Like can buildings be destroyed, bridges be built, etc.?

AJ: We had discussed it, but regardless of what effect we place on the items in the world, a player would never really be able to affect items in the world as he wishes. A map, like any other game element is an item that needs to be carefully planned and balanced. If someone where to come in and destroy a significant element in it, then that balance is broken. On the other hand, if you plan for a player to break it, then you almost require the player to do so in order to balance out the map. In the end, we chose to have environment that could be depended upon by the players so they become familiar with the map. In the jungle, it is a benefit to know the map.

TWL: How many maps will you be releasing and how many of these maps are well balanced, giving both sides even chances to win?

AJ: There are fourteen maps and they are all designed to be a fair fight.

TWL: Are any of the stock maps larger than a BF1942 stock map (I.e. Midway, El Al, Gazala, etc)?

AJ: No, all the maps are more intimate with more close quarters fighting. That’s not to say there aren’t epic battles, it’s just that you don’t have to travel a long time to get to them.

TWL: Will there be an Ia Drang Valley map as it was the first major conflict of the Vietnam war?

AJ: Yes, we have the Ia Drang Valley. We used tactical maps as a basis for the design and its one of the favorites in the office. We’ve also heard from the community so often, regarding 1942 maps, “oh it would be so cool if they did the next day”. You spoke and we listened so not only do we have the Ia Drang Valley, but we also have the ambush at Landing Zone Albany which occurred several days after the Ia Drang Battle.

Anti-Cheating:

TWL: Have you thought about adding in a 360 cam while spectating, so when you spectate someone you can use a camera pointing in any direction to see anywhere?

AJ: Cheating is a big concern for us. As I said earlier, we feel player skill should be a deciding factor in a game. We disable the third person camera on the soldier so that player’s cannot cheat with it. A rotating camera, although seemingly harmless, would allow teammates to alert others more so than they already do.

TWL: What are you doing to prepare against unknown cheats?

AJ: We recently announced that anti-cheat software would be implemented for BF 1942. The plan is to implement such a system for BF Vietnam as well.

Other Features:

TWL: Will your software development kit include ways to convert over other BF game mods like Desert Combat to BF Vietnam?

AJ: That’s a very good question but I’m not the one to ask. We have people looking at mod support but I don’t know exactly what stage they are at. I do know that there are more requirements on our in game assets than there was in BF1942, so I believe it is safe to assume one could not directly move things over from BF1942 to BF Vietnam. There are many similarities though, so I imagine it can be done with some effort.

TWL: Are there any planned improvements for the net code?

AJ: We have been focusing heavily on the content and new features. As that work is trailing off, we can analyze exactly what burdens we have brought to the net code and make improvements based on that. As you may well imagine, our requirements are somewhat different from those of 1942.

TWL: Will there be improvements in the admin controls, such as. a GUI interface?

AJ: Unfortunately that is something that is not in the launch plans. That said, there is always a possibility for this in the future.

TWL: Do you plan on supporting the competitive community with competition type settings in the game at release?

AJ: I’m not saying that we don’t or won’t like to see the game used in competition, but we have not done anything with the specific intent of competition in mind. That said, our new custom combat mode could be used in that application. By restricting what weapons players can use, you can have more control over how scoring is achieved. If you wanted to have an M16 only competition, you could do that.

TWL: Can you release any information to us about expansions that you are thinking of?

AJ: Being completely honest, we haven’t had the time to think about expansions.

--

Thanks to Half the Sky for helping me put together the interview
Post edited by half the sky at 12/11/2003 9:33:33 AM
Skeeter
Teamwarfare Vet
12-10-2003 04:46 PM / profile

excellent read - great job!

.sos-skeet.

What's in YOUR wallet?
Scizz
TeamWarfare Vet
TWL Retired Staff
12-10-2003 06:51 PM / profile

Great article!
`ise
"Active Special Nubzor"
12-10-2003 07:18 PM / profile

yea excellent interview too bad dice and ea arent working hard enough on it... they give us 14 more maps and keep most of the stuff as is and they make an extra $50, sounds like a business-mind to me... i saw screw the new booby-traps and movable spawns and all the fancy decorations and improve what needs to be improved like the console and voting systems and definitely the netcode as well as hit detection... eye candy alone doesn't really do it for me
booyaa
TWL Member
12-10-2003 07:51 PM / profile

DAMN GOOD INTERVIEW!!
Peppers--{A}--
12-10-2003 08:07 PM / profile

very helpful
Im Linkin
TWL Member
12-10-2003 08:40 PM / profile

i want ctf (please dont laugh at me)
PROFHET
FIXED
12-10-2003 09:15 PM / profile

hOW they can put another game with this lameassed interface,,,,BEYOND ME,,,Like Im not a programmer,,but I would think a simple admin/player interface for voting and such would be pretty easy to implement,,,.
Demize99
TWL Member
12-10-2003 09:52 PM / profile

It is easy to impliment. 3 monkeys and a typewriter could come up with a better gui than DICE currently has for BF.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one that realizes the netcode and hit detection is rather flawed.
Mich
TeamWarfare Vet
Retired Sr. Staff
12-10-2003 10:10 PM / profile

Awesome Interview xeno.
Hatebreeder.
"Give me Beer"
12-10-2003 10:49 PM / profile

I cant wait for it. Its gonna kick ass. Good interview. Ice I agree with you but the 14 new maps and tons of new vehicles and physics make it a whole new game.
R1v3T
TWL Member
12-11-2003 08:16 AM / profile

yeah i would have to agree it was a good interview, but what disturbs me is at the end when the questions about what needs to be fixed or wut the communitiy wants, he flat out said no or he beat around the bush. although i will most likely buy it, it does seem like just another "give'me money" thing. its a shame that its gonna be a modified BF engine with anit-cheat and not that with some "here is wut you asked for" as it will have big competion from doom3 and HL2 to be released right after if not at same time.
frijoles
TWL Member
TWL Contributor
12-12-2003 02:09 PM / profile

Awesome interview, I like the

"TWL: Will there be a working way to adjust the field of vision?

AJ: The field of view is something that is relied up on for game balancing and performance optimizations. Allowing players to change these settings would compromise too many areas of the game."


since that was my question
{FEAR}DrunkPilot
TWL Member
12-12-2003 04:07 PM / profile

man...

TWL: Will there be a lean function? Evolution dictates leaning in gaming.

AJ: We had many features to work on through production. Leaning was mentioned but it was never a high enough priority, so I’m doubtful that we will be able to implement it for BFV. It is something that we would consider more for future projects.

Never a high enough priority...Does adding that function REALLY takes a whole month worth of coding? Just add it damnit... They only add stuff people are expecting... No surprise at all. It sound so much like an 'engine-patching' thing that I'm sure alot of stupid bugs will remain...Like bazooka-ing tanks in angle and not causing any damage...Or the classic 'down the stair' death.


Post edited by {FEAR}DrunkPilot at 12/12/2003 4:15:45 PM
=NCG=Hammy
TWL Member
12-13-2003 03:29 AM / profile

Excellent interview, you guys asked alot of great questions. It revealed alot of info about how craptastic EA can be. I find it unbelievable they aren't working on net code improvements, field of views (I bet there's no demo support still), the same horrid admin interface, there won't be anti-cheat support at launch, no leaning.... and the comments about competitive play makes me cry.

The game will most likely be an EoD clone with updated graphics. The improved infantry combat will be interesting to see if they actually improved it or just nerfed/removed most vehicles from maps. Hey look if we only put 2 Hueys (with no guns) on the map infantry is balanced!

Perhaps a HL2 mod may one day give us that perfect FPS shooter with vehicles we all desire. Until then EA will bank off this game with their little marketing game gimmicks: helicopters that play Wagner, booby traps, and napalm.

=|KI|=ChestRockwell
TeamWarfare Vet
12-13-2003 07:19 PM / profile

"TWL: Will you be able to knife while in the water? "
LOL! That's the best question.

-----------------------------
In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.
-Orson Welles
Kastra
TeamWarfare Vet
12-14-2003 05:30 AM / profile

Originally posted by: =|KI|=ChestRockwell
"TWL: Will you be able to knife while in the water? "
LOL! That's the best question.




The screenies of this game look awesome.
half the sky
Teamwarfare Vet
12-14-2003 09:17 PM / profile

regarding some of the above posts,

Any game developer who places gameplay as #1 priority = win.

GUI and other goodies would be nice, but honestly I'd rather have good game play if I have to choose between the two. A GUI for a crap game is something I don't care to visit. I'm a gamer. I want good gameplay above all else. Sounds like the developer's priorities are in order to me.

I'm not a Battlefield player, and I haven't had the opportunity to try out Vietnam in it's current state, so I can't speak from first hand experience, but it appears to me like the developers have attempted to address some major gameplay issues regarding balance with infantry and vehicles and added some very nice tactical enhancments and new elements.

Gameplay above all, IMO.


Killet
I Worship GoddessWolfie
TeamWarfare Vet
12-17-2003 09:47 AM / profile

TWL: Will there be improvements in the admin controls, such as. a GUI interface?

AJ: Unfortunately that is something that is not in the launch plans. That said, there is always a possibility for this in the future.


I cant friggin believe they are going to release another game with no "useable" ingame GUI for players or server admins...what a bunch of tards
|DS|Wolfeman
TWL Member
12-20-2003 03:26 PM / profile

Please include CTF!!!
TravisT
TWL Member
12-24-2003 11:50 AM / profile

I agree, gameplay is something very important, but the sad thing is, is that EA/Dice has refused to improve on what the community wants all in general. Including gameplay suggestions.
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