February 01, 2012

Mental notes.

Message received, you don't want to know about my personal life. Moving on I'll direct your attention to the classic "mental note". I frequently jot down notes in my project logs mostly because I keep them open for just such an occasion. Today however I was thinking on a feature for one game that I'd already pretty much locked down all features I wanted in it. The simple idea was how the MW3 killstreaks even under "support" generally don't do much supporting, and the ballistic vests have to be applied by everyone every time etc. I was thinking on a scenario in which the better an individual does the better equipment the team gets. While the squad leader gets his main abilities he could get additionanl unlocks by having a high performing team. Other things like the ballistic vests could be set up to automatically be applied to everyone when they spawn, although I don't have such a thing in my game and it wouldn't fit, if it were however then that's how I'd have it set up. I have a feature already in the game that could take advantage of this....

But the whole idea of killstreaks just doesn't fit my game. If ever I do a game with killstreaks though I'd definitely remember this. Certain features like that would be early work to make sure they're in good. Vests, extended mags, hollow points, w/e point is that if it's reasonable for a team to have it then it'd be an option. Picking on MW3 specifically for a moment I'm fairly aggravated at the perk setups. In MW2 there was a system and it made sense as to why a given perk was classified as a type 1, 2, or 3, and that's no longer the case. Additionally I still wish I could have something like extreme conditioning or slight of hand with my scavenger perk without using the specialist strike package. Ideally slight of hand should be a weapon perk not a class perk, and things like the attachment perk should be levelable like attachments pro and allow you more attachments at once. Realistically the average soldier would probably have a scope and extended mags for starters if not a different kind of ammo and or a silencer and would carry more than 3 clips of ammo. Any movement towards that reality would make me very happy. There's all kinds of tweaks I'd make but I won't rant, instead my only serious complaint that I have beyond anything else in the game is the gun balancing and selection, rebalance the guns and give us a few new ones (or at least bring back some of the ones in previous games you took out) and I probably would be so happy I'd never even think to complain. Dual fmgs, too powerful, m4 too weak, handguns too weak, sub machine guns in general too powerful, juggernaut dies way too quickly. Which on a side note I might add that the juggernaut armor isn't meant for combat scenarios, they do have a suit of armor that is, why didn't they use that instead of E.O.D.? Why will we never be able to switch firing modes? (single shot, three round, full) Shotguns are a secondary why did you put them back to primary? What's being done about spawn camping? rant rant rant

Back to one of my games, the multiplayer (still heavily under work) is structured into squads, with one squad leader in 2 squads and the other two squads report to one of them. The squads with direct leaders are foot soldiers basically while the other two are specialist and vehicle based squads such as driver and gunners or pilot and co pilot etc (won't reveal other details). Similarities can be drawn to MAG in that manner but that's where it ends. A majority of the gun leveling system is like a hybrid of fallout 3 and FFXIII chrystarium. While I've made the majority of the system, certain aspects still need fine tuning which is why I'll refrain from specifics for now. Basically though you do have stats that generally level up though repetition. The more you reload the quicker you reload, the more you run the faster and further you can run, the more you get shot the less you flinch, etc. There are perks you buy, but they all stick with you and instead of picking classes you can pick characters that you level differently. You can change your weapon loadouts within a character as well however from early tests that generally wasn't a big wanted feature. Originally I had a stock system in mind for the game as a way of earning money which you would then spend on loadouts and you'd earn contracts etc but my testers didn't like it so I removed it. At various points after significant alterations and tweaks I've added it back in and out as the testers like the idea just not the execution. When it's out they say it feels like something is missing, and I've used that to add several features which have helped significantly diminish that demand for more however it still remains. There's no veterancy however there is something distantly similar, in which after you've reached your level cap by playing in a higher rank you can increase your level in the levels below. So a normal character cap of 55 or 65 if reached on every rank of MP might end up with a level 255 at the lowest rank.

The one thing that unfortunately will deter more players than anything else is the fact that I've implemented a mandatory campaign completion to play the highest level of multiplayer. You have to beat a section of the game to unlock a rank, sections are essentially acts and difficulties. The first act is easy and will unlock rank 1. Act 3 is hard and unlocks rank 3. The epilogue is nearly impossible and unlocks the final rank 4 and the persistent world mode but only the upper echelon of players will ever get that far. If you couldn't do mile high on the original modern warfare you'll never beat this. Persistent world I'm thinking about opening up early on like rank 1 instead though to draw a wider range of players. The whole idea of the ranks and campaign link was to weed out complete and total noobs for players looking for a challenge. Persistent world however is as it sounds, you start with the main location of the story and it's a never ending multiplayer deathmatch intended to have minor overarchs such as clan HQ's where a clan can claim territory, and factions which every clan would have to chose a side and they'd claim street sections as you play. Trying to get a significant number of players to make this interesting though has been proving difficult in terms of connectivity and bandwidth. Right now the average game has 32 players, while persistent mode has roughly up to 128 if nobody is doing anything, I wanted to increase this number to something more ambitious like 640. The entire persistent world is all destructible and so you start with a pristine city and over time you see how it gets destroyed and buildings collapse and how warfare evolves on the fly. Right now I'm thinking on isolating sections of the city and having roughly 64 players in a territory at a time and filter it that way so while the whole city is still being destroyed by other players you're only dealing with info relevant to your area.

These are just some of the small features in the game. I'm saving the really big ones for the "BIG" announcement. Suffice to say if your mind was blown by this, it'll likely be liquified and vaporized when you get the full details. And for those of you worrying about guns, so far I've put in a little over 60 working guns, and have plans to implement over 100. And they're not all "modern" weapons, I have plenty of sci-fi futuristic weapons as well I'll tell you in a later post. However I absolutely do not have any "ancient weapons" or old school classics. No thompson or ppsh or model 1887 and I also don't have any swords or crossbows or longbows. I have a couple items that might be considered a sword or bow in the right context however you'd probably call it a lightsaber before you call it a sword, and it's nothing like that either so don't freak out and start calling lucas or think it's a star wars thing because it's not, go play TOR if you want that sort of thing. The GOW torque bow was similar to a futuristic crossbow, and I may have something you could compare to that however I believe you'll find them distinctly different in several key areas. With that in mind I'll leave you to stew on the awesomeness.


  1. WFT? Why they put mandatory campaign? Its just gonna piss of players...

    1. that's an executive decision, it's not "they" it's me, and it's to counter all the noobs that buy a game and go straight to multiplayer and never play campaign and completely suck

      it's quick and easy to beat a short and small section of the game to unlock MP, the higher ranks of MP require some actual skill as tested by single player which gets longer and more difficult

      but like I said, it'll probably be the main source of my hate mail and I'm okay with that
      next game I'll let all the noobs in by making a campaign disc and a MP only disc and sell them seperate, assuming we're still using discs then, I really hope for digital or USB by then

  2. good rant,, i like it.

    1. I almost went off on shotgun range, but thought better of it, I'm glad you liked it

  3. fps games are my favorite, kill streaks def make the "streak" more thrilling and entertaining :)
    you make a lot of good points