Hey Everyone! Here is another Interview. This time I ask Newborn some questions about upcoming Arena FPS game Reflex. Reflex is a highly anticipated arena fps game inspired by CPM gameplay. In this interview, Newborn answers questions about Matchmaking, Ranking Systems, and esports support. Hope you guys enjoy!
Hey newborn! How are things going?
Good! We're all a bit sleep deprived but we're really excited about how the game is coming together and all the positive feedback we've been receiving from the community and testers.
What made you want to develop an arena fps game?
Everyone in the development team loves arena shooters -- they've been our favorite type of game since the early days of Quake. Unfortunately, they to have been abandoned as a genre lately and we want to fix that -- we miss them.
What inspired you to model the reflex gameplay over cpm gameplay?
We feel like CPM is some of the most polished, fun, competitive gameplay than even after all these years, hasn't been "solved". Every time I think "Okay, this player is as good as any player will ever get", someone comes along to prove me wrong. So when we were thinking about a base for Reflex, it became an obvious choice. We'll get progressively less like CPM as we continue development but we felt there was no better place to start.
Will there be any different weapons compared to the Quake series? How do the same weapons differ (RL GL LG ect ect) from their quake counterparts?
We've got a few new weapons that have never been seen in any Quake game but the new spawn weapon is the only one we've got implemented at the moment (and it's currently playtesting really well). We're not talking about any of the unimplemented weapons until we've had a chance to shoot a few faces with them first though. I think every weapon is somehow different to what is in Quake (different projectile speeds, damage, reload etc), even if they might initially look similar.
Will there be any additional movement mechanics that are not in cpm?
We hope so! There's a few new tricks that are possible with one of the weapons we're not talking about and since our movement is being written from scratch, we won't be surprised if there's new movement "bugs" for people to find and experiment with.
How does the spawn system work currently? Are you looking to change before the release?
Right now, spawns are fully random and sometimes you spawn inside another player and have to switch to editor to unstick yourself -- there is zero chance either of those things will still be there on release ;). The current plan is a "biased random" system so that you can respawn at any point on the map but you're more likely to spawn further away from where you died. I'll probably try and tweak it to be as random as possible while still preventing players from being repeatedly stomped the instant they spawn.
Are you thinking of having multiple rulesets for reflex? Like one without air control or one with loadouts?
For rulesets, this isn't really something we have any interest in doing. We'd rather focus on a single ruleset that feels fun, responsive, competitive and allows for a broad range of skills and playstyles and have everyone playing that.
As for loadouts: nope, not going to happen. We see the problem they're trying to address but there are better fixes.
How will finding games work? Will Reflex have a matchmaking system or a ladder system? What regions will have matchmaking/ladder support upon release?
A matchmaking system will definitely be going in and is something we want to get up and running as early as possible. Ladders that can be filtered down to your region/country/city are also planned, along with custom ladders that players can create for their friends/work/school/etc. We can't really comment on what regions will be supported at this stage but we'd like to cover everyone.
What all that means is that "how will finding games work" is entirely up to the player. They could automatically be matched with players and servers through the matchmaking system, they could use the server browser to find a game the looks interesting and jump on that way, they could challenge someone directly from one of the ladders or they could join games their friends were playing.
Will there be a ranking system? If so how will players be ranked?
There will be a ranking system that will go hand in hand with the matchmaking and ladders. I've currently got a design mapped out for our own custom way of ranking players but we'll be testing a few systems to find out what works best.
One challenge right now for many developers is figuring out a viable ranking system for team games. Will players rank up simply by being on the winning team or will other factors such as kill to death ration and assists determine how a player gains/loses rank?
We won't do something as simple as just using the winning team to determine ranking gains/losses. Like you say, this is something that will have to be considered per gamemode. In TDM, kill/death ratio will be important but we may also factor in things like powerup control. In CTF, kill/death ratio is pretty much useless for assessing who played best so we'll have to look at things like captures, assists, defense, flag returns etc (we'll also be improving how some of those are assessed -- just because you got the flag return, doesn't mean you had anything significant to do with the play).
We can also look at the composition of the teams and award rank based on that. For example (and only for example since matchmaking will prevent this): If you play a 2v2 TDM against a noob (who you have a +15 K/D against) and a pro player (who you have a -2 K/D against), even if you win the game, the best player in the match was probably the pro.
All of this will also be tweaked over the entire lifespan of the game. For now though, we haven't decided on a solution be we agree that it's a problem ;)
What gamemodes will be supported for matchmaking/ladder?
Internally, we group all gamemodes in to "competitive" (modes like 1v1, TDM and CTF) and "casual" (modes like Midair, Instagib and a few we haven't announced). We would be aiming at supporting matchmaking and ladders for all the competitive modes at the very least.
Will you try to promote new maps over old ones for matchmaking?
That will ultimately be up to the players and what maps they vote on playing. That said, we want all of our maps to be of a high enough quality than a random map selection option would actually work, not just throw you in to maps that are too big, too small or just generally terrible.
Will you have any casual gamemodes? Similar to co op modes where players fight AI controlled zombies, monsters, robots ect ect?
We'll definitely have some "pick up and play" modes early on but we can't commit to things like team-vs-AI until we've got the core game nailed down. Bots are planned though and once those are in, there are some player vs AI things we'd really like to experiment with.
How much will reflex cost to purchase?
Price is usually worked out with distributors like Steam so we can't give a number right now but we'e aiming to be significantly cheaper than a AAA title.
Will you implement any microtransactions similar to Robot skins, weapon skins, effects, map skins? If so, how would these microtransactions work? Will it be developers only that create and sell such items or will users be able to create their own and sell them?
We're not opposed to microtransations since the money they bring in will pay for new maps, modes, features and competitions. Currently, we have plans to support cosmetic items but we have decided exactly how they will be bought or awarded or who will contribute to their creation. Any microtransations will be 100% optional though and have no impact on gameplay -- if that ever changes, I encourage people to angrily quote this part of the interview to me.
How will you be advertising/marketing reflex? Word of mouth? Twitch/Youtube hype?
As we near Kickstarter we'll be doing a lot more marketing but currently this game is entirely self-funded so a million dollar marketing campaign is unlikely ;). Word of mouth and Twitch/YouTube hype will be incredibly valuable to us in these early stages so if you're excited about Reflex be sure to spread the word!
Are you looking to support esports? In terms of features, developer funded events ect ect? Some people are arguing that team modes are what is needed in order for arena fps games to succeed instead of the traditional Duel mode. What mode would be the ideal flagship esports mode for Reflex?
We are absolutely looking to support esports -- we'll probably offer more than most games before we're even half way through our todo list. Support for GTV-style style servers where thousands of people can watch live games. Our own brackets and standings tightly integrated with the game itself. Making team sponsorship more commercially viable with custom skins for sponsored teams (and their fans), tasteful in-game branding for sponsors (things like loading screens, subtle wall decals and flags). The ability to "follow" teams to recieve updates. Tools to give casters all the information they could ever want. Instant replays. Twitch integration. Clan formation with rankings and features for arranging matches. And yes, we'd love to run our own large-scale, developer sponsored events ;).
As for a flagship gamemode, that's like asking us to pick a favorite child. If any of our competitive modes are unsuitable for esports, they will be considered "unfinished" until they are.
Thanks for answering the questions! Any departing words?
Thanks for asking them! For parting words, I'd just like to urge our fans once again: If you're excited about Reflex (or know someone who might be), spread the word! We're a small team taking a big risk and we can't do it without the support of our fans.
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Edited by Badb0y at 22:46 CDT, 14 September 2014 - 79583 Hits