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Thread: Interview: Fatshark's Martin Wahlund

  1. #1

    Exclamation Interview: Fatshark's Martin Wahlund

    The Swedish games industry is enjoying huge success right now – that much is hard to deny. From the unexpected global reception of Notch’s Minecraft to DICE’s development of Battlefield 3, it’s clear that this is one country to watch. And now Paradox Interactive, the publisher that brought Magicka out of obscurity, is working with independent developer Fatshark on an all-new medieval war game based on a famous bit of English history, War of the Roses.
    Click here to read the full interview.

  2. #2
    “We wanted to push the limit in terms of having lots of players, and it’s great to play with so many other people, and to have this type of battle in mediaeval England. It’s really nice to have more than just a few players in each team to get this battlefield feeling, and have a lot of characters in the game. We’re still trying to see how many players we want, so if we find out that it shouldn’t be more than ten people on each side, because it isn’t any fun, then we might limit it, but for now we have a much higher limit of players on each team.”

    Stick to the high limit! If it's no fun with so many people then make the map bigger to accommodate them all. :P

  3. #3
    Corporal Jabdimelborn's Avatar
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    ...Please no guns...

    ...for me "less realistic + more arcadey = NO FUN"...

    ciauz^^,
    Jab

  4. #4
    I would really hate for this to be arcady. Numbers above people's heads every time you hit them telling you how much damage you have done, a mini map to help you navigate, stupid noises when you perform multiple kills... *Shudders* Please don't go down that road.

    Back onto firearms, I really hope they take great care with this. Mount & Blade is ruined by the range spam, the melee is where all the fun is at.

  5. #5
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    The secret project isn't NotSyndicate aka Cartel is it? I wonder which other Swedish developer Paradox might have snagged...
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    See the proof

  6. #6
    I would highly doubt seeing guns in this game, England at the time didn't really use guns at all, still firmly entrenched that bows were the way to go for the most part even though it was starting to become outdated (Stubborn islander nature). But you would see cannons in the most part of sieges as these were far better than the dark age technology of catapults and battering rams. But yes less arcady, make it feel as realistic as possible even in a third person nature, no minimap, no names above heads (You'll have to tell the difference in uniforms and colours) ... this increases the risk of team damage and makes people think before they go into attack.

  7. #7
    I would highly doubt seeing guns in this game, England at the time didn't really use guns at all, still firmly entrenched that bows were the way to go for the most part even though it was starting to become outdated
    I'm afraid I'm going to strongly disagree with you on that statement.
    the oldest european depiction of a pot-de-fer type cannon or gonne in illustration is from an English manuscript; Walter de Milemete's "De nobilitatibus, sapientiis, et prudentiis regum" of 1326.

    While it may be fair to say that the English were not as keen on the use of gonne and hackbut as, for instance, the Hussites of central bohemia, and favoured the longbow for battlefield deployment, by the 1450's cannon and gonne were an integral part of warfare, particularly seiges, as depicted clearly in Jean de Wavrin's "chronique d'Angleterre", British Library MS. Royal 14 E IV, fol. 23; the siege of Mortagne.

    Archaeological evidence and contemporary textual sources have shown that cannon were used extensively during the wars of the roses for seiges, and we have hard evidence of the use of gonne on the field as well, in the form of remains of two exploded handgonnes found on the battle of Towton site, and from balls found at Towton, Boswell, and Barton Hill, just to name a few.
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

  8. #8
    I think it's pretty safe to assume that firearms will be present in some form in War of the Roses. I'm just hoping that melee is the main focus for the gameplay.

  9. #9
    Corporal Jabdimelborn's Avatar
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    ...I hope only cannon will be avaible, and hope to see catapult, ballista and other war machine like that...

    ciauz^^,
    Jab

  10. #10
    Yeh don't get me wrong, I would love to see cannons and other siege weapons in the game, but I would hate for it to end up with 60 people running around shooting each other with pistols. I want to play this for the melee. If I wanted to play an FPS then theres already plenty out there that are actually developed around the part where you shoot each other... :P

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectAngel View Post
    Yeh don't get me wrong, I would love to see cannons and other siege weapons in the game, but I would hate for it to end up with 60 people running around shooting each other with pistols.
    Pistols are pretty much an anachronism, the most compact personal firearms at the time are bulky, fairly heavy hackbut with a 2-foot long tiller haft.

    They've got the rather worrying habits of 15th C gonne and hackbut to explode in the user's hand, have accurate ranges which are rather laughable - particularly while moving (Unless you stop and become a nice target yourself), and of course, rather inconsistent powder, especially if the environmental conditions are rainy. or windy. or foggy.

    And on top of that, the rather limited one-shot capacity with a 20-odd second reload time, even if you're not moving rather limits their versatility in close melee. There's a reason they excelled in volley fire from a unit after all.

    So, I'd say there's quite a good chance that they can be balanced out fairly, without worry of it turning into a gun-running FPS.

    In many ways, I'd say early petard are more likely to be a game imbalancing weapon than gonne. Fortunately the vast majority of people are likely to go "peta-what?" at them, and not expect to see them in a game.

    (and from my misspent yough in games design, I'd say really, in terms of game mechanics, I'd say the impact of thier use would be dependant on the gameplay style - if its solo players in a free-for-all skirmish, then their impact is likely to be similar to a crossbow being carried; if its more structured group units of half a dozen players working together, they might be more devastating to an oncoming force.)


    With all that said, I'd be terribly disappointed if the great seige engies, bombards and culverin werent at least visable as prop objects around the gameplay environments, even if not usable.
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

  12. #12
    Nobody likes a smart arse.

    Let me reword my sentence then... I would love to see cannons and other siege weapons in the game, but I would hate for it to end up with 60 people running around shooting each other with firearms.

  13. #13
    hey, I'm a history-nerd, I admit it... :P

    and agreed, I hope it does'nt end up anything like that - though I'll wait for actually seeing how the game plays before I worry.
    (not least as I expect I'll get completely thrashed however the gameplay pans out... but hey, here's always got to be someone who sucks!)
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

  14. #14
    Heheh. I'm sure they will handle it all with great care, after all, they are professionals and this is how they make a living. I just really hate ranged weapons in this sort of game, however historically accurate and effective they are... I just want to chop heads off!

  15. #15
    personally, I want to see pollaxes / lucerne hammers, billhooks and halberds get some loving.

    Swords are all very shiny, but werent actually much good against armour. Polearms, on the other hand. Oh, they're *fun* For given values of stark raving mad, underpant-soiling terror.
    Combine that with a good harness of italian export plate and fighting on foot instead of horseback and I'd be very happy indeed.

    (makes me wonder if there will be vision penalties for more enclosing/protective helmets. A pay-off of more defence, for less vision/audio warning. I'd love to see that in a game...)
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by -Suzerain- View Post
    personally, I want to see pollaxes / lucerne hammers, billhooks and halberds get some loving.

    Swords are all very shiny, but werent actually much good against armour. Polearms, on the other hand. Oh, they're *fun* For given values of stark raving mad, underpant-soiling terror.
    Combine that with a good harness of italian export plate and fighting on foot instead of horseback and I'd be very happy indeed.
    +1 to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by -Suzerain- View Post
    (makes me wonder if there will be vision penalties for more enclosing/protective helmets. A pay-off of more defence, for less vision/audio warning. I'd love to see that in a game...)
    The game will be played in 3rd person for the most part so I'm not too sure how they would go about making the vision impairment work. A hardcore server mode that forces the player to play in first person, now that is achievable.

  17. #17
    Hardcore server mode, 1st person only, lose and your armour gets stripped from you and you have to start again, and force feedback so you get smacked over the head with a metal bar on a spring when injured...

    No, lets not go there. its a very silly place
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

  18. #18
    If you want to play with restricted vision then there is plenty of things you could do your end to achieve that. If you want everyone to have restricted vision in a game that is focussed on 3rd person then I can't see how you could pull that off. What I suggested was just one way to get the end result you wanted but I'm sure there is probably more creative ways out there.

  19. #19
    Oh, I know there's plenty of ways it could be done. And its a pretty good bet none of them will be done, since a) its unlikely they'll want it, and adding it would be feature creep, b) most players would'nt like it either, and c) I'm not quite mad enough to deliberately make myself struggle to play a game; the comment about being hit over the head was a joke, I will add...

    its mostly idle thoughts that scuttle through my brain going "hrm, would'nt X or Y be interesting in a game design, and how would it be possible to implement it to make it playable?"

    its the same sort of thought process which makes me think "mount and blade" would be interesting if your troops were exhausted and tired if you march them for 3 days nonstop, instead of camping for each night. Interesting does'nt always mean practical for actual play.
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

  20. #20
    Lead Programmer
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    We are actually currently experimenting with restricting the third person camera when you have your visor down or have a restricting helmet. Giving a drawback to having helmet that restricts vision is something we've really thought about and would want to somehow make a part of the game. We have several ideas we'd like to try, but they all come down to one deciding point if they will make it to the final game or not: "Is this fun?".

    Personally though, at the very least I'm hoping that at least sound will get very distorted if you run around in a fully enclosed helmet. It maybe doesn't sound like much, but as a pretty seasoned pvp gamer I'd say you really should never underestimate the information given to you from sound. The difference between hearing or not hearing that mounted knight charging you from behind is pretty key

    edit: having face hit detection that surpasses helmet armour is a very important design element that a bunch of intended balancing is riding on, so this is why I'm really hoping we can give visors a significant drawback.

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