We chat with Mourad MAJERI, executive producer of Field Ops, to find more about this FPS/RTS hybrid.1: In the increasingly packed First Person Shooter genre, what sets FO apart from the others?
Field Ops is not “just” a First Person Shooter, it’s a Real-Time Strategy Shooter : a genuine mix between First Person Shooter and Real-Time Strategy.
In Field Ops, you can play either in FPS view or RTS view, and switch from one mode to the other anytime you want.2: Why did you choose a modern military setting rather than another genre?
We believe that the modern military setting is the perfect one to illustrate the strength of the Real-Time-Strategy Shooter concept. Indeed, in modern conflicts, the victory comes from your ability to be a very talented Commander AND your ability to be or have very good soldiers on the battlefield. Macro management and Tactics from the Commander are better managed and experienced in playing RTS, whereas you are more efficient on the battlefield while playing a soldier in FPS. So the new genre we are bringing is the best way to have a genuine experience of a modern military conflict.3: Can you elaborate some on the main character of the game, if there is one?
In single players, you will have access during the missions to several “heroes” with specific abilities. I would not say there is a “main character”, as all of your units, each of them with different skills, are really important and needed to succeed.
So the main character is your group of soldiers (the Special Forces in single player mode)4: How much freedom does the player have in the game environment movement wise? Are we constricted by the level or is it more open?
The player can choose the way he wants to progress through the missions as we have designed different way to handle mission objectives and special mention must be made to the physics engine which allows to create new ways (destroy walls or cover position). There will be also the vehicles which allow a different approach to achieve objectives. Obviously we will be constricted by the border of the map.5: What was one of the biggest issues in marrying FPS gameplay with RTS gameplay?
Mixing two genres to create something new that is fun to play is not an easy task, for sure. We had several challenges to overcome during the 2.5 years of development for Field Ops. Developing an engine that is very strong for both modes took a lot of time and efforts. The balancing between the modes, making sure the game is real fun in both single and multiplayer was also our absolute priority, and we are very proud with what has been achieved.6: Was there anything you had to cut out that you really didn't want to?
In 30 months of development, you know that you will have to make compromises, and we made some. We took out stuff that we thought were very cool, but not as cool as the rest of the features which stood in the game.
The good thing is that what we took out from Field Ops will appear either later in the add-on or in Field Ops 2, so players will enjoy them, but a bit later!7: Can you tell us something about the game engine and what you think is the engines' best feature?
We are very happy with what has been achieved with this game engine. The original engine developed by Digital Reality was already very good and efficient with pure RTS games. For the development of Field Ops we have enhanced it by adding FPS capabilities and pumping it up with all current technology such as physics, complex shaders, motion blur system and radial glare.
The best feature of the engine is obviously that it allows you to play both in FPS and RTS and to have lots of fun doing it!
The games looks graphically fantastic, and the proprietary physics engine plays a big part in the fun you have with Field Ops: Destruct cover position, use physics parameters to kill your enemies etc.8: What's your favourite weapon in the game?
Hard to say, because your favourite weapon is mostly the weapon that will help you get out of difficult situations….and you will need to use most of your weapons to be able to finish the game!
I would say the laser designator is a very cool and new weapon!9: What's your favourite vehicle in the game?
Hard question again! I am a big fan of the AH1W COBRA Attack Chopper :)10: Can you elaborate on any Multiplayer features for the game?
The multiplayer will be handled by Gamespy and is based on peer to peer technology and will include various features such as: ladders, track and stats system and browser gaming list. There are 10 multiplayer maps and up to 6 players. Obviously some maps are designed for 2 player, 2-4, and 4-6 players.
We will have three different multiplayer modes: Bomb Run, Conquer and VIP. They are self explanatory. Obviously these modes are really standard for an FPS game but are completely new for an RTS player. We have put lots of additional efforts, resources and time to make the multi player component as fun as possible. Being able to play RTS while your friend is playing FPS makes a massive difference and completely changes the style of gameplay.