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 Post subject: DoD:S Beta tester Interview: Locomotion
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 1:10 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 9:41 am
Posts: 342
Location: Aberdeen
Ive completed my first interview with a dod:s beta tester see below

Originally Posted by Locomotion
Hi. My name is Gary, I'm 33, live in Scotland and I've been a Firefighter for 15 years.

I've been involved in the Day of Defeat scene for many years now, and I am a Moderator on the Official Valve DoD Forums, as Loco. Been in a few Clans over the years, and I'm currently a member of one of the UK's longest running DoD Clans, [TFS] The Firing Squad, along with Blitzthose.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to Beta-test the last few versions of DoD, and have been lucky enough to be invited back for the testing of DoD:Source ( must have done something right the last couple of times...!! ).

Q) What would you say is the most exciting aspect of dod on the new engine?

It's kinda hard to pin down one particular aspect to be quite honest. Sounds a bit of a strange answer, but although the game is familiar in the way it plays, it certainly feels very different. Visuals are much improved, ragdoll physics are a first for DoD, and they look fantastic in application within the game. Sound also deserves a special mention, the ambient sounds are no longer simply playing in a "loop" in the background, what you actually hear, is the audio of battles and firefights elswhere in the map, mixed in with an ambient soundtrack. Hearing is believing!!....It's a vast improvement over the already good sounds in DoD as it is just now. The two maps we are currently playtesting are dod_Avalanche and dod_Flash, and they look superb, particularly Flash, with its long distance "vistas", surrounding the map, of smoke plumes and distant buildings. This is all difficult to sum up in words, I think people are going to be pleased with the results upon its release.

Q) What would you Like to see in dod:s?

I'm really looking forward to seeing the new player models, as currently, the models being used are the 1.3 versions, but only as "placeholders" atm. We dont have a timescale for the introduction of these, as yet, unfortunately, but I'm looking forward to them nonetheless. It will be interesting to see what the MSA community can come up with, as regards new models etc, should look really good once the community gets their collective teeth sunk into DoD:S!!

At the moment, grenade priming has gone, but thats not to say it wont return, again, before the public release. It's something that is being looked at, but aside from that, I have no other "concrete" info on this very important, it would seem, issue. I'd certainly like to see it make a return.

Q) How do the maps play?

As I mentioned, we currently have two maps to playtest, the "auld stalwart" of Avalanche, and also Flash. There have been a few changes here and there, to both, but basically, they play the same as the current versions under the HL1 engine. The changes are all pretty much "cosmetic" tbh. Avalanche is still rather biased towards Axis, but Flash is now not the "railgun wars" it used to be, however, that's just a personal opinion from me, I'll come to why I feel this, later. Proning has changed somewhat....again, hard to describe, it takes longer to prone now, its more of a gradual thing instead of hitting the key and slamming the player into the deck!!. Standing up from the prone position also takes slightly longer, but neither of these changes are in detriment to the overall gameplay. Deploying bipod equipped weapons can now be done in a lot more places than previously. You do not now, get a "Deploy" icon appearing on screen, rather, its left up to you, the player, to decide where you want to attempt to deploy. Again, another personal observation from my point of view, but one which has been "echoed" by a few other testers, is that the overall gameplay seems to take place at a more "sedate" pace. Dont worry, this isn't a bad thing. You can now observe firefights around the map, that take a little longer than they do currently, with players nipping out from behind cover, taking some shots at the enemy, returning to cover, then re-emerging to do the same, maybe 3,4,5 times in a row before making a kill. This all happens from both points of view, with the enemy doing the same. It makes for more interesting games, rather than the "*BAM!!* I'm dead" type of gameplay that we see atm in some cases. It now, as far as I'm concerned, requires a little more forward thinking and tactics than before.

That said, this doesn't mean that the bolt actions are any less effective. The KAR98 is still deadly in the right hands, and thankfully, the Garand is now pretty much on a par, doing 100% damage in most cases, compared to its previous incarnation which dealt 90%. This appears to have been achieved, by fixing the hands/chest hitbox issue on the player models, and I can safely say, that the M1 Garand is now more of a force to be reckoned with than previously!!

Q) How many maps have been playtested so far and how many do you know of that are almost ready?

So far, as already mentioned, only dod_Avalanche and dod_Flash have been made available. The other maps are WIP, at various stages of development, and we are looking forward to checking those out as soon as they are ready. Most likely we will be given a few at a time to test, over the coming weeks and months. The current situation, is that we want to root out as many bugs and gameplay issues with more emphasis on the overall game, rather than bugtest individual maps. This seems to be a wise move so far, and things are going really well. There are also a number of "third-party" mappers, who are working on a few projects, within the beta test group, although I'm not at liberty to mention any specifics!!

Q) How does the new engine Enhance or detract from the game play of the original?

As I already mentioned, it's still DoD, but quite different from what you are playing at the moment in 1.3. The Source engine has opened up a whole new box of goodies for DoD, not only in the respect of "eye candy", but also in deep rooted gameplay. I think we are looking towards the time around the 3.1 version, as far as perceived gameplay and "feel" goes. So far, I haven't seen anything that I feel really detracts from the original, although I think it will take a lot of people a while to adjust to the new version. I dont say that in a "bad" way, it's just going to feel a little different for a lot of folk to begin with.

Q) Do the other testers feel the same way you do?

Pretty much, yes. We are fortunate to have a fantastic cross section of the DoD playing community involved in this Beta. We all feel passionately about this game, and the constuctive attitude of the observations on the Beta have been as professional as anything you care to mention. The map and overall game is being thoroughly scrutinised, from top to bottom, by guys that have been playing this for years, and know it inside out. There are a lot of "tech gurus" on board, who's knowledge of DoD is astounding, from the littlest thing, through mapping, server issues and coding. We also have a lot of the top CAL guys testing, with comments on things from a clan/competitive point of view. This input is invaluable, and it has been over the last few beta's.

Q) Is dod on the source engine a step in the right direction?

Definitely. Bear in mind, as this seems to confuse some people, that this is not "DoD 2". It's still Day of Defeat, but running under a different game engine. I didn't ever think, that in this day of online gaming, DoD was getting "stale" as some people have put it, but if ever an update was going to be required to give it any "edge" over the competition, this is the one to do it.

There's something about Day of Defeat, that keeps people playing and indeed, returning to play, over and above the likes of Call of duty, MoH and all the other WWII shooters out there. This update on the Source Engine simply reinforces this fact, and takes a leap forward for the DoD playing public.

The DoD community is THE best one out there in my opinion, and its this that helps keeps our favourite game right at the top of the tree. I can safely predict that once its released, people are going to be very happy indeed, with the results.

Continued Below...

Originally Posted by Locomotion

Q) What is the spec of your comp and how does dod:s run on it?

My PC consists of the following spec:-

AMD Athlon 3000XP Barton@stock speeds, Gigabyte GA7-N400L mobo, 1 Gb DDR400 RAM, LeadTek A350TDH 5900FX graphics card, SB Live! Digital soundcard all running under Windows XP Pro SP1.

I'm on a 2Mb ADSL net connection.

All the current Beta Test servers are located in the USA, but even with pings of anything between 160-220, the game is incredibly playable. Lag and choke, I haven't had any issues with, and FPS seems to be consistent at around 60-120, depending on what you are actually looking at in the map at the time.

My system isn't exactly "cutting edge" any more, but it runs very well indeed for me, and I should also note that some other testers are running considerably less powerful systems than mine, and also dont have any problems that I've seen mentioned yet.

Myself and a few other Euro testers, including our Clan leader, [TFS]Darkpenfold, have noticed that there may well be a link between hitbox issues and lag/ping, but so far we haven't been able to investigate this to as full an extent that we would have liked to. A server located nearer the UK would be perfect to test upon, but so far, we haven't got this sorted out yet. It would be nice to see how it plays with the usual ping of around 20-40. That said, even on the US servers, the game is perfectly playable for me.

Q) When do you think dod:s will be ready for release?

LOL......If I had a tenner for every time someone asked that, I'd be minted!!

I really have no idea. The only thing I can say, is that going by previous Beta's, they took 3-4 months from initial playtesting to a public release. The same may well apply here, with DoD:S, it might be longer, it might not. Can I be any more vague on that....lol!!!?

your welcome to say anything else you think may be relevant to this interview

Thanks to Blitz for giving me the opportunity to do this short interview, its appreciated.

And thanks to the DoD community for being the way they are. Without them, this would just be another mediocre online FPS.

Also, thanks to the Dev Team for consistently giving us a fantastic game to waste many hours online with!! My missus hates you!!!!

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