You’ll hopefully have already heard about the CryEngine 3 powered Nexuiz, if you haven’t then this downloadable arena-based first person shooter is heading your way soon. We spoke with Kedhrin Gonzalez from the team behind the oddly spelt title about the engine, the tech and the difference between PC and console FPSs.
How was the journey through years of development when it was an open-source free download for the PC, Mac and Linux?
IllFonic is not part of the original development that made up AlienTrap during the initial production of Nexuiz. However, we stood close to some of the core members of the community driven project to learn a lot about its past and community. The original creators are definitely being rewarded for their hard work on the original game. I know all about how a game like this exists and what fuels it.
Were they able to make money off the back of their work or was it purely a labour of love at that time?
They work hard for no money just to make something kick ass. I come from the MOD community where that is all you work for. The ‘hopeful’ goal is to get your game turned into a full fledged product. Even on the stuff I did, it wasn’t so much about making money but being proud to see your work reach the masses – even if my hands aren’t in the ‘commercial’ version.
How will the paid console version benefit from those years of refinement in the gameplay of the free version?
Because Nexuiz is a console port we have adjusted a lot of things to make it feel more fluid on a console. A lot of the weapons are similar but we have adjusted the balance pass on them. Since thumbstick aiming for a twitch game play is an issue, we have made big steps to aid it and have added a pretty intense aiming assist for players.
However, players who do not want to play with aim assist are rewarded with more points at the end of each mach. We’ve also added melee to every weapon. This makes it easier to feel comfortable when a player gets near you instead of struggling to keep your aim on them. There is also a new dynamic mutator system. This system allows players to put a rule on the match for a short period of time when they get a kill streak. There are three random ones that appear on the screen for the player to choose from. They come from a pretty massive list of different types ranging from Low Gravity, Insta-Gib, Jet-Packs, Rapid Fire, Uber Weapons, Power Ups, etc. Think of it like playing Kings Cup, or even picking up an item in Mario Kart.
The nice feature with it is the persistent layer. Players’ points can be exchanged for adjusting the percentage chance of a dynamic mutator to appear ornot appear. Every time a player ranks, permanent stat adjustments are made to their character as well. These things provide a pretty robust competitive edge as well as being rewarding for veteran players. We also have a pretty in depth clan management system that ranks clans, allows them customise logos, challenge competitor clans and also links to social networks such as Facebook, etc. An automated tournament system is in place that will carry out quarterly finals and a grand championship every year.
The leader boards track every stat all the way down to who kills themselves the most. Every leader board, tournament, clan challenge, etc. you excel in you will get a medal on your player card on the score board. There are many more features associated with the game. It’s a one-stop solution for hardcore arena FPS gameplay. The PC version of the game will be adjusted more towards PC players with no aim assist, changed weapon balancing etc. for precision based mouse/keyboard play.
Do you think that there’s still a wide-scale place for this “arena” style of deathmatch game as a standalone product?
At IllFonic, we firmly believe in the rise of digital download. Our decision to release on digital download is purely a matter of choice and does not reflect the quality compared to a boxed product. We want to get in the ground floor, getting ready for the digital revolution that is already starting to happen. I do believe this game would do well even as a boxed product. There has not been a new submission to pure ArenaFPS game-play in a long time. There have been plenty of class based FPS/third person, but no real focus on what makes an arena FPS an arena FPS.
Why have you gone the download route with a game using a very up-to-date engine?
We’re aiming to sell it only for $15 mainly because we don’t want to charge people $60 for this product. We keep our costs low at IllFonic, mainly because we are only a 10 person team. CryEngine 3 is just an awesome engine to work with. At the end of the day, we want to make a kick ass immersive game andCryEngine 3 had what we needed to achieve that vision.