Joint Operations - GDC DEV Report Notes for The New Games
Cally - Apr 17, 2009 - 07:32 AM
Post subject: GDC DEV Report Notes for The New Games
The following was taken from the GameMonster forums:
[I can't reveal any sources for these GDC report notes - so please don't ask and please don't tell if you know]
The entire week before the conference was incredibly hectic as the team was burning the midnight oil to get a stable refined build for GDC. We wanted everyone to see all the new features for Angel Falls and Delta Force Xtreme 2.
For Angel Falls we showcased the following:
All new game built from scratch using a new Engine.
Accurate models and animations.
Authentic sound design.
Authentic lighting design.
Deeper character progression.
In-game NW squad support management.
Better Net distribution w/dynamic updating.
New Nova Defender Anti-Cheat system.
Deep character statistics w/ achievements.
Weapon & Loadout customization.
Immersive multiplayer environments.
Ballistic models (including ricochet & bullet penetration).
High-fidelity damage modeling (locations of damage).
Radial Menu System for multiple commands.
Instant action capabilities to jump into the game immediately.
Storyline that ties the missions together.
We also wanted everyone to be able to jump in and give the new games a test-drive.
On Monday, I must admit that we were pretty nervous - not only about everyones reactions to the games, but also personally about how well we would demo and talk about what we all have been working on for the last 4+ years. As our Monday appointments weren't until the afternoon, we spent the morning setting up and doing dry runs of the presentations. Thankfully, one of the first demos was for a gaming site whose journalist was a Delta Force fan. That really helped relax the team and by the end of the presentation we were all swapping war stories about our Delta Force history as fans. The first reactions to the games were very positive, and by the end of the day we were pros at giving the private demos and presentations.
As the week went on, each day got longer with more scheduled demos (on the hour every hour, 8:00 AM - 6:00PM). It was tiring to be sure, but the positive reactions we were getting from everyone kept our energy high. On Wednesday, John Garcia (NovaLogic's CEO) was in town for the GDC and to meet with us. John hadn't seen the games live in a while and while we were nervous presenting them to him, we were very proud of what we had accomplished since the last time he had seen the games. If it weren't for John Garcia, these projects, the games, and the job I love so much wouldn't exist - so it's very important to us that he is happy. Suffice to say that Mr. Garcia was very happy with what he saw and heard at GDC.
We also had a surprise visitor on Wednesday who was very cool. I happened to turn around only to have Will Wright and his wife Kim standing right in front of me. For those that don't know, Will Wright is the original creator/game designer behind Spore and all the Sim games (The Sims, SimCity, etc.). Anyway, it was pretty cool to meet Will Wright who seemed genuinely interested in what was new in the Delta ForceŽ franchise Series. We discussed the games and Will also spent a lot time discussing many different military helicopters.
Another thing we really enjoyed at GDC was the opportunity to spend time with our SMEs (Subject Matter Experts - Active Duty Soldiers who review the game for authenticity and realism). It was also great fun to challenge them to a Special Forces vs. Developers match in the demo room! I must admit it felt really good to see that one of our SMEs and our Chief Operating Officer for the game project were really getting into the game, and even playing in-between presentations. At one point we had a match that developed into a heated 1 vs. 1 match between 2 uniformed Soldiers. Our SMEs have helped us tremendously in making sure the game is as authentic as possible. So it was really great to see them enjoying the game, especially since part of why we make these games is to honor them and their service to our country.
I didn't get too much time outside of our demo booth on the expo floor, but I did get a chance to meet face-to-face with some of our partners whom we were working with on AF. Specifically, I met the folks from PhaseSpace. I also had a chance to catch up with several industry colleagues whom I haven't seen in a while.
What amazed me the most was just how fast word of mouth can travel around GDC after people saw our presentations. Sometimes we would see new interested parties literally within an hour after we gave our last the presentation! As the GDC stories started coming back to us, we were very happy at what we were hearing. When you're working on something every day for years you tend to forget the uniqueness of what you're doing until you present it to someone who has never seen or heard about it before. The presentations of AF and DFX2 have been overwhelmingly positive; we're absolutely thrilled at how the previews were being received. The team is very excited and our week at GDC was quite a morale boost for us (which is keeping our energy high during our final push for both beta testing and release dates).
Some of our favorite quotes from GDC were:
"... it's going to be one of the deepest military shooters ever made"
"Angel Falls is shaping up to be quite a solid shooter. The developers listened to their fans and tried to create a game that answered all of the issues of all their prior games. Add the amazing sound, the details of ricochet too with the new game Engine and you have a game with enormous potential."
"Angel Falls: looks great, sounds great, shoots great"
"After having sat through the hour-long demo, I can honestly say that I expect that this new shooter is definitely going to win over a lot of new fans."
"Lastly, and I say this with full confidence - the sound design for the weapons is the best to ever appear in an FPS."
"... and the most realistic character and weapons models in any military game to date."
"I'll be honest, it's not a series I had much interest in; but now I cannot wait for it to be released."
"With all the additions and tweaks that are being applied to the title, the improvements to this game will make it even more popular."
We've also been reading through the forums from our NovaWorld2 community members. We know there are going to be many new questions, and we're going to do our best to address those community questions in the coming weeks. We should have some more DFX2 screens up following the official announcements. All in all, last month was a monumental success for Angel Falls and DFX2. However, this was just a preview, and we know there is still much to do before we're ready for prime time (and Reviews). We're going to keep our heads down and noses to the grindstone to make DF:AF and DFX2 the best possible games they can be at release.
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