I’ve taken some time to write up some of the dasMEHDI interview with PlayerUnknown as I think it’ll answer a lot of questions that are still being asked on the forums and else where.
I have done my best to summarise what has been said, but it’s not word for word correct, and put it into general categories. There are bound to be a lot of typing mistakes and I’m tired from a full days work and I probably haven’t proof read it correctly. The original interview can be found HERE
I just want to make a good game. If people like the game that’s fantastic but for me it’s about making my vision of battle royale and making that as true to what I wanted.
I think we’re doing a pretty good job.
Gametype and comparisons to other games:
In H1 it’s a little bit more arcady, in Arma 3 it’s super realistic, so I want to create something kinda based in the middle. It’s why you see those big blood splatters because in my mind it’s always been set in a Pulp universe, everything’s a little bit like a movie.
If you want a more serious battle royale go play Arma BR, if you want a more arcady kill-fest go and play h1. Our gameplay is going to be in the centre, gunplay is going to be more realistic, we have the attachment system, so for those weapons nerds you have lots of stuff you can play with, but we want that kind of smoother gameplay that you find in H1.
It’s not as slow as Arma 3 but it’s not as crazy as H1.
Gameplay & gunplay:
Yeah, in solo games we definitely want killcams to show where people killed you from, and that just cuts down on the reporting of cheating. Duos, no. You’ll have spectate on your teammate until he dies but you will never have a killcam.
The ADSing speed will be slightly quicker on certain weapons, like, for example, the holosight with give you a quicker ADS time than just iron sights or with the scope. little things to make the attachments valuable and meaningful in the game.
We had a proof of concept in the office here where you had upper rail and then the ironsight diagonally on the side of the gun. We were looking at you just like turning the gun to the side and shoot it that way. We may add that in eventually but for the moment we’re happy with the system we have and we just want to tune that and make that feel good.
We have based muzzle velocities of rounds and this kind of stuff based on the real life components. We do have some work to do to add some drag to bullets but the math behind that is incredibly complicated so it’s going to take us some time to get that right.
We want to add bullet penetration we just haven’t had time yet. We want to keep it somewhat realistic, if you shoot a concrete wall with an M4 you’re not going to do a lot of penetration. We want to look at adding penetration for doors, for wooden objects, for light metal stuff.
Third-person aiming over close range is fine, but once you move mid to long range I would use ADS. We tuned it that over mid to long range third person aiming is not very accurate. It’s one thing that I saw with H1 is that you can third person aim someone over quite a distance and I want to encourage people to use ADS.
We’re going to stick with blood splatter. We have pretty good hit detection. I don’t think we need them because we have that blood splatter.
You need that tension you need that feeling of uncertainty, it’s what makes battle royale great.
I’m so happy with the way things sound now, we have work to do yet and there’s still going to be and a lot more tweaking as sound is so important to gameplay. I’ve been watching a lot of streams and playing it myself and being in a town and hearing gun btalles in the distance and close range it just sounds so good, I’m so proud of the sound team and our content programmer, he’s really put a lot into making guns sound good.
We will be adding in a shooting range. We just can’t do it right now because there’s an issue with the way our server, and the way that the game, is spun up. Probably coming in early access.
We haven’t decided on the bigger teams yet, we’re definitely having duos, but I really like what they’ve done in Arma 3 with teamplay where it’s basically teams of anything up to four. So you’re not restricted to playing four man teams, if you want to go in as solo player and take on loads of teams you can go ahead and do it.
We want a weapon skill level, it won’t have a physical effect or gameplay effect, in that it won’t improve reload times, but we want to do is add some special reloads. So if your AR skill goes up you get a more tactical reload.
We have some takedowns coming into the game sometime during Early Access which we recorded over in Prague . . . you can sneak behind someone and take them down.
One of the mocaps we did was great . . . if the player is crouched you will come up behind them and basically knee them in the face so they fall backwards and then jump on top of them and punch them in the face.
We want to implement a jumping/vaulting system similar to Battlefield 1 so that you can vault over walls or climb over stuff. We want to get rid of the floaty jumping we have at the moment and make a more of a complete vaulting jumping system depending on what’s in front of you.
We still have a lot of work to do with the parachute and drop system but I much prefer this new system of letting player choose when they want to drop because does allow that spread across the island.
There’s loot spread all over the island which is based on a random algorithm . . it’s random within reason, or you know, within limits. We tune it a little bit . . . not that you get to know where stuff is but it’ll be a different game every time. You’re not going to end up with nothing but we try to make it that every game you play you never know what you’re going to get.
We’re going to look into that, it’s something that we just didn’t have time to implement , but we want to.
It will come at a cost as you don’t want someone with three lvl.3 helmets and two pistols in their backpack. We will look into giving people the option to have a spare vest or spare helmet in their backpack.
UI: The in-game HUD is still very much a work in progress, we’ve a lot of work to do. I want to give you control over what UI elements you want to see and where they’re placed on the screen.
We also hoping to add a show HUD feature so you can just turn off the UI completely.
We’re going to look into it. We do want to give you some control over FOV, but not ridiculous amounts.
We want to keep it competitive so giving people too much control over certain things can be unfair to others.
It’s not going to be fully dynamic you’ll have a sunny day round, rainy weather round, we’re looking into other types like fog. I really want to add snow, but we want to do snow right. That it builds up on the landscape, you see footsteps, but that comes at an incredible cost to server performance and client performance. We really want to do it but we’re just researching it at the moment.
I don’t want dynamic weather over the course of the round, they’re 30, or so, minute rounds and weather usually doesn’t change that much.
Because the rain is moving footsteps will be quieter, you won’t hear someone sneak up on you as easily as a sunny round.
We’re going to turn down the rain as we think it’s a little too loud at the moment.
We have a motorbike with a side-car and also a big truck to add.
We’re doing 3d replays in game so you’ll be able to go into your match when it’s finished and watch it back in the engine. We’ll give you a cinematic camera so you can create small movie based on your round.
I really want to give those opportunities to content creators.
We’re going to have hardcore servers at launch. The reason we’re not doing only first person is that it’s super intense, with third person it’s a little more relaxed.
It’s going to be first person only, no crosshairs, and that’s it. Your position on the map, and stuff like that, they will all remain because for me orienteering skills are not part of battle royale. Getting to the circle shouldn’t be hard. It’s always about the fight between you and someone else.
We will have proper matchmaking, and I mean proper based matchmaking, based on your rank.
Servers, esports, invitationals. Yes. We will probably run three invitationals every year where we get some of the biggest youtubers and streamers to come together, pick a charity and do our best to give them 100/200,000. I want to us our game-mode for good.
Creating a viable esport will only happen if the community want it to. If the community put the time in to set up these leagues I think we have a good chance at creating an esport but it’s not our focus. We want to provide the platform, and if an esport develops out of it that’s fantastic, but it’s not our core goal here.
We’re aiming to have our servers running at 60 ticks for the moment but for competitive servers we may look at increasing that.
We’re using AWS so we can spin up servers wherever we want. The guys here are creating server systems that are autocorrecting, scaleable, and as we need servers we just spin them up.
We want to have servers in most of the major regions; North America, South America, Asia, Europe, possibly in Russia as well and Australia/Oceania.
I want to implement a ping lock, I want to make 200ms ping maximum to join a server. You will have friends in the US and the EU who want to play together and we don’t want to stop that happening either, we’re really going to look into this hard. But we want to provide the players in each region with the best experience possible.
We’re looking into maybe allowing dedicated servers where there’s code there so you can just spin up a server on your own machine.
We do have a partner program where we’ll host server for our partners and you can create custom game modes on those servers.
Because we have a ranking system and leaderboard system we’re also looking into maybe allowing you to rent a server from us, much like Battlefield 1.
We’ll have an overall leaderboard for the whole of the ranked servers but if you want to create your own league . . . we’ll provide you with the tools to do that. We’re thinking on the website that you can have like “Mehdi’s League”. . . and you’ll have your own custom leaderboard there that you can have for your players.
These are all things that we’re still looking into, we haven’t fully decided these yet but we really want to provide the community with the tools to create leagues, create their own competitions.
We’ve added 10,000 objects to the map over the last three months, that will affect performance slightly but now we’ve come into beta we’re really going to be focusing on performance both on the server and on the client.
The performance that people are seeing now is not representative of what it will be like in six months. It’s our top priority . . . you have to have good frames in this game in order to make combat feel fluid.
Over everything else we want to get performance like 60fps solid on low machines and then upwards for higher end stuff.
One of the biggest hits to performance in most games is shadows. Our rendering engineer is looking into something called shadow caching which basically give us a huge performance increase.
Because we simulate a lot of stuff on the server people were seeing lag issues during this weekend’s test especially when it came to responsiveness of looting and opening doors, and that’s large part to do with server performance. Something that we’re really going to be focused on over the next week, two weeks, all through beta, is really getting the servers running very smoothly.
We’re going to have ways that if you think you had a suspect death that there will most likely be a report button.
We’re using Battleye, we have it up and running during the beta. As much crap as Battleye gets I think it’s one of the best anti-cheats out there.
One thing we’re bring over from Arma 3 is the match replays . . . it allows us to catch cheaters so easily. We have an algorithm that looks at every match and goes “okay this player was obviously lets report him”. We have these automatic systems in place.
Now there’s no way to catch 100% of cheaters, there just isn’t, it’s always a cat and mouse game, always.
Usually they have such potato aim you can see why they’re teaming. We have the Arma 3 System, we have an algorithm that tracks teamers in game. On our leaderboard online we have an admin panel that has a list of the suspected teamers it gives you a link to that match with their course drawn out som you can immediately see these guys were teaming and immediately one-click and ban them
I came from modding and it’s something that I am committed to adding to the game and we’ll add it in the next six or so months.
Because Unreal is a great engine to mod and it has dev kits and stuff we want to give players complete control over what they can do.
We’re going to provide a really good island for you to work on and then you can create whatever mod you want on that.
We also want to do a more basic modding setup that if you don’t have any experience with coding that you can still go in, change the game mode, publish your game mode to the Steam workshop and let people play it.
The opportunities I’ve been given over the last four years, you don’t really get that much in gaming . . . It doesn’t happen very often so I wanna to give other modders that chance that if your mod is great, our executive producer has said maybe if someone makes an amazing mod, that we’ll make it an official part of the game or we’ll give them a change.
For me it’s about finding the next PlayerUnknown and giving someone else the opportunities I’ve had.
That’s one of the game modes that is most successful in Arma III . . . we’re going to provide those tools. We want you to be able to roleplay on the island, I think we have to do a bit more work to get the systems that you guys need but, as I said, it’s Unreal and we’re giving you full access to the game via the modding tools so I have no doubt the modding community will be able to do something.
Microtransactions & Points system:
We do have our points system in the game so the way that will work is you get points for winning you’ll be able to spend those points on various things to customise your character.
We’re looking at a crates system like CS:GO. I believe that for that to be successful you have to create a good economy, the CS:GO economy rewards you for playing the game.
We’ll have skin crates, it’s a really good way to keep the game fun basically.
It’s a proven method of monetization, it’s just for visuals, there is no pay-to-win element to it, it’s just to make your character look cool.
At full launch we’re not going to stop developing the game, the more variety we can add in I think the better for the game.
We want to do new maps, we want to add new new weapons, we want to do DLCs but we want to provide those for free.
If we can fund the game based on the crate sales alone, and sales of the game, then we can give you so much more content, and meaty content, for free, basically. That’s something me and the producer here see eye-to-eye on.
We’re already planning our next map . . . I don’t quite want to share what that is yet but I’m pretty excited . . . it’ll prove a completely new gameplay experience.
When I first started this project I said “no, no, we’ll go to full release” but over the last year or so, looking at the scope of the project and how it’s increased, and because we’re doing a lot of community based development where we’re really looking at your feedback and trying to implement what we can into the game, I think early access is just right for the game because we need to test gunplay and we need to test the game mechanics.
Having a pool of users that are playing the game constantly, there’s no better way to get that feedback than doing that.
We’re going to be in early access for, our aim is, about six months.
We want to get the game into early access, get it tuned, and get it out to full release.
Unreal gives us that opportunity and we can move to console, and while we’re looking at what we can do on console, PC is our priority first. We want to get the game working well on PC and then we’ll look into maybe moving to console. But yeah, we’re definitely interested in doing it.
Oh for sure. We’re going to look into that when we move into early access, I’m slightly colorblind myself. We will make sure that folks with colour blindness are looked after.
We will be announcing it soon.
Stay tuned to our Twitter and Dev blog this week as we have some pretty good news as to how a lot more people can get keys. We’ll be announcing it later on. Stay tuned.