Far Cry 3 Multiplayer Interview – Talking Up a Firestorm With Game Designer, Daniel Berlin
Written Monday, April 09, 2012 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
Traditionally, Far Cry isn't a series famed for its multiplayer, but with Far Cry 3, it looks as though Ubisoft is looking to change that with Swedish studio, Ubisoft Massive working exclusively on the multiplayer portion of the game.
Set amid the dense green foliage and troubled tropical paradise, Far Cry 3's multiplayer is every bit as eye-catching as the colourful single-player campaign, and it also has a few tricks of its own up its sleeve. You can read our hands-on preview to find out more about that.
For now though, why not kick back and read our interview with Far Cry 3's Multiplayer Game Designer, Daniel Berlin, who we quizzed regarding the game's Domination and red hot Firestorm multiplayer modes. Suffice to say, he answered all of our burning questions. Badoom-tish! Sorry...
What were the main issues from Far Cry 2 that the team wanted to address in Far Cry 3?
I didn't work on Far Cry 2, so I can't give much insight regarding the design processes and things like that. But Far Cry 2 is like four years old now and I think the genre has come a long way, so we basically just want to bring colour back into the game and make it a top-notch shooter.
So what design goals did you set yourself for the multiplayer modes?
To push the teamplay. To make teamplay available for anyone at any given time, unrestricted by the player class. To also reward teamplay very heavily and not have the type of gameplay where a guy can go on a rampage, killing multiple people and then gain a tool to get more kills. If you teamplay effectively, you'll revive, you'll Battle Cry, you'll tag and capture nodes. We want to give those players the tools and weapons to rack up a lot of kills.
Where did the idea for Far Cry 3's Firestorm multiplayer mode come from?
The Far Cry franchise basically has a legacy of fire, so we took that from Far Cry 1 & 2 and decided to dedicate an entire multiplayer game mode to fire. Also the legacy of the game mode and the mechanics extend to Ubisoft Massive, our studio in Sweden. Some of the mechanics we were drawing up while working on it on a whiteboard and throwing ideas around, we actually drew up in (Massive's 2007 RTS) World in Conflict. There are three command points that you have to be able to capture and take all three, because they're connected. When we drew it up, the Firestorm enemy nodes are two nodes, but they're connected, so that kind of legacy came in.
There's also the legacy from World of Conflict that when you started playing a map it was this suburban paradise at the beginning and as the match progressed, everything was in ruins and we altered the playing field with craters that you could take tactical advantage of. In Firestorm. We're bringing that in too, starting with the lush Far Cry paradise and colour at the beginning, but at the end of the match the whole island is an inferno. So there's changing of the visual aspects of the map, but also in the dynamic flow of the map.
Did you have to make changes to the Dunia Engine's propagating fire technology then?
The fire that is used for Firestorm per se, is a fire technology created specifically for that game mode. It's set up in such a way that we decide where the fire flows, because we don't want to add too much randomness in a multiplayer sphere. Too much randomness can also lead to too much unfairness, and fairness is very very important in multiplayer. We want to retain control over that and make sure where the fire flows is dynamic, but so that one guy doesn't just spawn and find himself blocked in by fire, unable to move and just wanting to rage quit. It's all about keeping the experience at a maximum at all times.
Can you tell us about any other multiplayer modes besides the Domination and Firestorm matches we've seen?
We have more, but for now it's those two. We're not able to disclose any more information about other modes just yet.
Will you be bringing vehicles into multiplayer at all?
We tried it and created this kind of shoulder-to-shoulder teamplay shooter, and when we put the vehicles in, it put a restrictive constraint on the map. So, we had our gameplay, we found a map size that fitted our gameplay well, but once we put vehicles in, we had to start expanding here and there, and it drew players away from each other. It didn't help the teamplay and it didn't help the gameplay we had created, so we eventually decided it was better for the game to keep the vehicles out of multiplayer.
When did the tie-in phone app for multiplayer come into play for Far Cry 3?
I don't know exactly when it came into play, but it's been a part all the time. For games in general it's actually a major factor to have this whole additional thing going on that enables you to take the game with you and we really want to expand into that more. We know that what's unique for Far Cry is the fact that you can decode intel and you can gift weapons, customise weapons and give them to your friends. All that kind of stuff. And you can do it on your mobile device or at a library computer or whatever.
Far Cry 3 is out in September 2012.