Hello everyone, we are half way through April and that means time for the monthly Road to the Future. There has been a large influx of questions recently and so we will dedicate most of this RTTF to answer as many questions as we can. Media junkies, don't fret, we do have some media of La Fiere to show you. Let's get started.
Semmel was nice enough to let me take a look at La Fiere. Our schedules do not overlap too well and so I took a walk around the map and had to do a separate Q and A. But before I show you the map, I would like to tell a little bit of La Fiere's history. Mike Hufnagl made the first version that you know in Alpha 4. Andrew Hayes then took over and started the Beta version before he had to leave the team for real life. With Andrew's layout, Semmel joined the team and made La Fiere into what it is today. Now, I hope you all enjoy this preview of La Fiere.
*Sorry about the quality of the video. I found out that a broken codec was causing quality issues.
Here is a short Q and A with Semmel:
Eric: What background do you have in mapping?
Semmel: I have been creating maps for about 4-5 years now. I really wasn't as active as I am now but I have made a lot of small maps and tried other map editors and tools.
Eric: What other maps have you made(source or non-source)?
Semmel: I created the rnl custom map falaise and that was the first map I have released for the source engine. I have also done a lot of fun maps for goldsource, but this was the first map released to the public.
Eric: Were you excited to work on La Fiere or did you feel assigned to it?
Semmel: I was really excited to start on it. I asked Stefan if I could work on that map after I finished the first map project for the Dev team.
Eric: How did you get the realistic environment and atmospheric feel that the map has?
Semmel: Mainly through testing out how it feels and plays in game. To make a map that "feels" real, you need to "feel" it as you go. Its really difficult to make a map only based on pictures. Its also not recommend to do that, because what’s looking good in real life doesn’t have to look good in a game. Also you have to make sure that the map is fun to play.
Eric: How far is it away from completion?
Semmel: The map is 95% done.
Eric: Any ideas on what you want to work on next?
Semmel: Sure, I am right in the middle of the concept stage for my next project. You will see what it is when I have finished enough of it.
Now for the RTTF Q and A's.
1. Have you done any changes in the Beta version to fix the heavily favored Axis?
"Heavily Axis favored" means a lot of things from imbalanced weapons to imbalanced maps. We addressed things like the MP40 balance and also worked on some of the maps to make it easier for the Allies to capture objectives. Overall, the beta will allow you to capture objectives even though there are enemies around, you will have to outnumber them.
2. Is the suppression effect going to stay the same or will there be any changes? If there are, could you describe them a bit.
The effect that was in place in Alpha has worked just fine and we have had no complaints about it, therefore we see no reason to change it.
3. Are there going to be any server side commands that allow different game-play types?
Game-play options are all mapper controlled and can be changed for each map now. There is a server side command to change respawn times independently for each team, but generally we have found that mappers don't like server admins tinkering with the play style that was setup.
4. How have the beta testers reacted to some of the new things in Beta?
The full spectrum. We have seen anywhere from no reaction at all to fanboy-ish crying over missing or changed features. There has also been plenty of raving over newly implemented features. Hardly anything was given one single opinion.
5. What is the most exciting thing/aspect about Beta for you guys? New maps, new guns, new IS mechanics or something else?
The big two things the developers seem to be enjoying is the brand new code that makes debugging a whole lot easier. Also, the new weapons are a lot of fun.
6. Any updates on a possible Mortar-class?
There won't be one. Stationary mortars are something to be done by the mapper. Unless the standard player limit is upped to 64 players, we shouldn't waste players in classes like that one. Off map artillery sounds like a better idea.
7. Can you reveal how the new load out is going to look and how it works in Beta?
No. Wait and see.
8. Are there more parachute maps coming in the future?
Depends on the mapper but there's at least one more in the works.
9. Have you changed Eglise's mechanics in Beta to avoid the inevitable para-raping in the beginning of the map?
All of the maps have been looked at based on feedback from the public and we did our best to fix any spawn killing issues that were found.
10. Is there going to be a built-in ban/kick system that actually work in Beta?
There is one that has been tested by the beta testers and works. It's up to the admins to actually enable it.
11. Are there any plans to follow the 82nd into the "Battle of the Bulge" campaign?
Battle of the Bulge maps are being thought about. Once we have some resources to spend on that, as everything in game(like textures and models) have been altered around a lack of snow, then we will evaluate further on the possibility of them.
12. Will ballistics be implemented?
Ballistics will not be implemented. After in depth testing, we have come to find two things:
1. The source engine takes a lot of resources to create ballistics.
2. For a lot of work, there will be hardly any gain with the small distances that the majority of gun fights take place in.
That is all for this update. The next one is in two weeks on May 1st, so stick around.