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Talking Armored Warfare With Obsidian Entertainment

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 Talking Armored Warfare With

Obsidian Entertainment

 

 

We’ve had the chance to talk to Richard Taylor, Project Director at Obsidian Entertainment about Armored Warfare – the developer’s latest project.

First of all, let me say that I greatly enjoyed most of your newer titles such as Alpha Protocol and New Vegas. Looking at the games you’ve developed up until this point, it’s quite strange for you folks to start working on a free-to-play tank shooter. I’m sensing a story behind the decision to build one such game.
There is quite a story behind the decision to develop Armored Warfare, but I can’t get into all the details at this1afd8db time. I can say that the opportunity to work on AW came at a good time for Obsidian Entertainment. As a company, we were already beginning to explore possible online Free to Play opportunities for about a year before work began on this title. While we have traditionally been developing off the shelf games for publishers through the life of the company, we have always been evaluating other options as the industry has evolved. Being adaptable is a part of why Obsidian Entertainment has passed its 11th Anniversary since being founded.
How is it going to differ from other similar games? Competition is seemingly quite fierce as far as tank warfare goes.
Armored Warfare will stand out in a number of ways from other games in the vehicle combat genre. The focus on modern 1afd8dbmilitary technology lets us introduce new mechanics and armored vehicles that other games in the field are not able to represent due to their chosen time periods. We have also applied our backgrounds as RPG developers in creating the world, atmosphere, and characters of Armored Warfare that players will be given the chance to interact with. A lot of this will come out in the Co-op Missions we are developing that will allow players to team up together to take on enemy organizations and complete objectives for their respective contractors. This mode will be fully featured and should be a welcome addition for gamers who are interested in the genre of military vehicle combat but possibly not into competitive Player vs. Player. One thing that will really stand out about Armored Warfare is the level of detail in the artwork. The environments are full of nuanced specifics that help tell the story of our setting and the vehicles have been modeled to a very high standard in graphics and accuracy. All these things and more will really help AW stand out as a compelling option for players.
Gameplay-wise, are we to expect something new and exciting or are you hoping to build a title that’s just better than other, currently available games?
You will definitely find some exciting new elements in the gameplay that will not be found in other titles in the genre. We have1afd8db added a number of modern military mechanics to the game that will allow players to utilize new tactics and options in how they play the game, including the use of Smoke Grenades to create temporary visual cover, Anti-Tank Guided Missiles to give those small Armored Fighting Vehicles some real long-distance firepower, and eventually, our Night Mode maps, where players will be able to use thermal and night vision modes to fight under low-vision conditions. At the same time, it is important to us to build on what we already enjoy in these types of games ourselves. We are always thinking about what can be improved, what works well, and what can be evolved to be brought to the next level in our Armored Warfare designs.
How realistic do you want Armored Warfare to be?
It is important for Armored Warfare to be realistic in the areas that will not negatively impact the fun of the game. This is 1afd8dbespecially true if realism will add depth to the gameplay experience. This is why we have put a lot of work into refining and adjusting our shot resolution physics to model the real world interaction of different types of ammunition against different types of armor. Not only are we representing armor thickness and angles, we are also taking armor compositions into consideration which will make choosing the right ammunition for the right situation very important in moment to moment gameplay. When realism gets in the way of a fun, strategic shooter, however, we will evaluate ways that we can represent the real world concept in a way that is engaging in the game itself. For example, while of course real world armored vehicles would not have the concept of Hit Points to determine their functional status, having understandable hit points and damage ranges of ammunition is critical to giving players enough information to make moment to moment tactical decisions. Systems that fail to provide this kind of understandable overview of the remaining health of the vehicle leave players having to do more guessing when deciding when and where to move out of cover to take a shot and we feel that this is an example of where going less realistic is actually a positive shift in gameplay. And of course there are all the UI elements, the 3rd person camera, and other conveniences that we feel are a necessary compromise for the sake of being approachable and engaging.
What’s up with the whole PMC feature? Are we actually going to be able to control our own contractor companies or is it simply the equivalent of other games’ clans?
Every player is the commander of their own Private Military Corporation. This is the in-world representation of the player. That 1afd8dbmeans each player has their own base, their own vehicle crews and mercenaries to manage, and their own arsenal of vehicles to collect, maintain, and upgrade. We will have clans in the game which we are tentatively calling ‘Battalions’, which represent the cooperation of multiple PMCs working together to accomplish victory. This is one area we intend to continually expand over time, adding additional content for players to have direct control over as the commander over a PMC’s gradual growth in power over time.
The thing everybody loves about F2P titles is the customization – what are we going to find in Armored Warfare as far as vehicle skins and such go?
Visual customization is one area that we will be continually adding to with steady updates to the game. Early on, players will 1afd8dbbe able to apply decals to their vehicle based on achievements and other awards they have earned. They will also be able to select their player portraits, crew portraits, player titles, and eventually, make decisions about the look of their own PMC’s base. There are also the choices to be made with regards to customizing the vehicles for gameplay reasons, such as selecting the ammo load outs that the player prefers, as well as what types of equipment and upgrades they want to mount depending on how their play preferences and the vehicle’s strengths align.
And paywalls? What content is going to be available only for those who spend real monies on the game? It is a question that gets thrown around a lot, but is important for a free to play game.
We will go into more detail about what features will be part of the premium experience in AW in the future. But for now, we 1afd8dbwant to emphasize that it is important to us that players be able to access and enjoy as much of the game as possible without having to pay into it. We understand that if players are having a good time with AW, they will feel comfortable investing into it for the sake of progression boosts and other features that will not influence their in-match performance. In no way do we want paying money to result in in-match advantages against players enjoying the game for free. We will never lock level content behind premium purchases, so all players will have access to all the PVP maps, Co-Op missions, equipment upgrades, and crew mechanics.
How do you think the market will react to another F2P shooter? How much interest are you hoping to garner?
We feel there is already a lot of interest in Armored Warfare as evidenced by the 500,000 Closed Beta 1afd8dbsignups we had the privilege to recently announce. We are really looking forward to the potential for a healthy community that we can interact with in the game and forums so that it can continue to grow in the ways the playerbase would like to see.
Lastly, and I absolutely have to ask this, do you have any other projects in the pipeline or are all of your resources focused on Armored Warfare and Pillars of Eternity?
In addition to Armored Warfare and Pillars of Eternity, we were also happy to announce our development with 1afd8dbPaizo to create a digital version of the popular Pathfinder Adventure Card game. We also have a few other things going on at the company that we are not talking about just yet.

 

 

I’d say we’ve got plenty to look forward to in Armored Warfare. For further news and informationstay right here on Mouse n Joypad. We would also like to thank Obsidian Entertainment and especially Richard for taking the time to answer our questions.

 

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About The Author
Filip "Gale" Galekovic
PC EDITOR AT MOUSE N JOYPAD. A former freelancer with a startling dedication towards gaming and writing - where neither is more prevalent than the other. Having been working at Mouse N Joypad for a while now, I get to boss people around as the supreme Overlord of the PC minion squad (not the yellow lame ones, mind you).
6 Comments
  • February 17, 2015 at 1:50 AM

    I look forward to trying this game. I’ve invested thousands in WoT over a 3 year period and find that it not only has peaked but has lost sight and vision. It seems WoT is becomming more of a moded game where money does impact playability and balance. I’m curious about AW’s plans on “rebalancing” vehicles in game. I for one am not a fan of paying $50+ for a tank just to watch it get “nerfed” 3 patches later making the tank an object of what one might call “Bait & Switch”. Graphics are very important to this type of game but consistency and realistic warfare are paramount. I didnt make the beta test unfortunately but if this game is what i’m hoping for, i’ll expire my WoT account and invest my hard earned money into a game that doesnt bait and switch on me.

    Thank you,
    Marine_Recon_ (Dave)

    • Gale
      February 17, 2015 at 9:03 AM

      I feel you, mate. WoT has long since turned into a money-hoarding “bait-and-switch” software with balance issues popping up as the devs go. Hey, we’ll have a preview of Armored Warfare live in about a week or so – drop by to see our impressions of the game!

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