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 Post subject: DoD:S Beta Tester Interview: DarkPenfold
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 1:13 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 9:41 am
Posts: 342
Location: Aberdeen
Heres my Second dod:s beta tester interview, special thanks to Darkpenfold for sharing his Valuable time with me.


Originally Posted by DarkPenfold

Q) What would you say is the most exciting aspect of DoD on the new engine?
Aside from the more obvious things - realistic physics, completely redone sound effects, new textures and so on - I'd say that the most exciting thing is the potential the engine holds for the game. Wide-open areas without horrendous slowdown problems will be the first thing to emerge, I reckon - this should allow DoD mappers to take things out of the confined city streets and make more "bocage" maps where MGs and Snipers should really come into their own.

Q) What would you Like to see in DoD:S?
This is only my opinion, but I'd like to see vehicles of some sort - preferably AI-controlled tanks or convoys which one team has to protect, kind of like in Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. To put it into DoD terms, imagine playing a version of Kraftstoff where the Allies have to escort the fuel truck through the map, as opposed to sitting in one place and letting the Axis team come to them.
Player-controlled vehicles wouldn't be too bad providing they're small, unarmed, and above all vulnerable - things like motorcycles, jeeps and Kubelwagens - and that the player driving them can't shoot whilst driving. Maybe allow the team to deploy a second player as an MG in the sidecar or on the post in the back of a jeep - so you risk two people out of your team, but at least stand some small chance if you get attacked. I'm thinking of maps like Schwetz where the attacking team can scoot out ahead and scout the enemy positions, providing they don't get taken out by MGs of course. Of course, putting vehicles into the current set of DoD maps wouldn't work, but if they're added to maps which have designed with vehicles in mind then there's certainly potential there. Maybe have a couple of routes which can be accessed by vehicles, and have several side-routes which are narrower and only accessible by infantry... but I'm going off on one here, so I'll stop.

Q) How do the maps play?
Bearing in mind we've only seen Flash and Avalanche so far, it's really not surprising that they don't play all that differently from their v1.3 cousins. The layouts are almost identical, so what's most apparent about playing them is how the game itself has changed subtly with the move to the new engine.

Q) How many maps have been playtested so far and how many do you know of that are almost ready?
We've only seen Avalanche and Flash so far. We know that Donner and Anzio are approaching release (based on the screenshots released by Valve themselves) but that's it.

Q) How does the new engine enhance or detract from the game play of the original?
It's a lot like Counter Strike: Source in that the game feels "smoother". It's hard to put into words, but you'll know exactly what I mean when you play it for the first time.
Bear in mind that what we've been playing isn't finished yet, so anything that myself or other testers comment on doesn't necessarily reflect on what the final product will be, but as things stand at the moment the gameplay seems to be a lot more seat-of-the-pants. Now that you can't use Stopsound, the quieter footstep sounds mean that it's easier to sneak up on people and take them by surprise. Take the sniper windows of the Avalanche apartments as an example - if you're up there in v1.3 it's extremely easy to hear if someone's running up the stairs behind you, so you can snipe with impunity until you hear those telltale foot-treads, then turn around and put your crosshair over the doorway. Usually, the first thing you hear in Source is when someone starts smacking you in the back of the head with a shovel.

Q) Do the other testers feel the same way you do?
I really couldn't say. The team have encouraged us to be honest about changes between the versions, and there's been some heated debate about DoD "staples" such as louder footsteps and grenade priming (the current build we're testing doesn't let you pick up your own grenades, so if you want to shorten a 'nade's fuse you need to have a team-mate throw you one of theirs, or run after an enemy grenade), but the overall feeling seems to be a universal, cautious thumbs-up.

Q) Is DoD on the source engine a step in the right direction?
Definitely. As I've said, the potential of the engine is huge - so whilst the first release is kind of like a feature-limited version of DoD v1.3 with remade maps and sounds, a few official releases down the line we'll no doubt start to see new player and weapon models, new (or modified) player classes and maps which really take advantage of what Source has to offer. It's kind of like going back to the first set of DoD betas all over again - compare beta 1.3b to version 1.3, and I should think that will be the kind of change we'll see between the first public build of DoD:S and where it'll be in a year or two's time.

Q) What is the spec of your comp and how does DoD:S run on it?
Athlon 2400 @ 2.05Ghz
MSI KT7-A Ultra motherboard
MSI GeForce Ti4200 64Mb
1Gb PC2400 RAM
Soundblaster Live! 1024

I play DoD:S at 1024x768 with everything turned to High (except water detail, seeing as neither of the maps so far have water in them), and without Antialiasing or Anisotropic Filtering, and I usually get around 25 - 60fps. One important thing to note is that FPS drops aren't as noticable in the Source engine as they are in "Goldsource" (the original HL engine) - for all I know, I might only get 5fps in the middle of a firefight, but I really can't say I notice it.

Q) When do you think DoD:S will be ready for release?
Not my place to say. There's still work to be done, but at the rate the DoD team is fixing the bugs and taking the testing team's feedback into account, it shouldn't be all that long before the first public release.

One important thing to note - all the media that's been released, and all the comments made by testers, are based on a work-in-progress build. Just because we report something has changed, or isn't working properly, doesn't necessarily mean it'll be like that in the final version.

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