Mech_Con 2018 began and MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries It's the focus of this year's railway meeting in Vancouver. We had the opportunity to get a hand with a game, in one player and co-operation during a visiting programmer Piranha Games, and we sat down with CEO Russ Bullock to talk about the evolution and features of the expected, anticipated sequel to the classic PC game franchise .
Related: Screen Rant screenshots with MechWarrior 5
Our discussion begins to talk about Mech_Con and how much work it plans to plan it for every December. As it turns out, Piranha has weekly meetings that begin in February, meaning that for almost the whole year focuses on the next fan MechWarrior meet.
Russ Bullock: We take off January. And then, in February, we are starting each week to meet for this next year. Yes. So, as for 11 months we are planning this. For 11 months we are planning, so it starts with as places first. So we have changed places for three years. Different reasons. Commodore Ballroom was great. They were not available for the year two. So we chose the biggest kind of hotel you could find and that was great. But then the site is too small. We were disappointed. It had to be bigger. We wanted to increase. So let's choose a place, get all the hotel's sorts. A little story, it takes all year.
Screen Rant: Not just logistic, but do you plan that soon for what you want to show? As cooperation is a great issue for Mech_Con 2018.
Russ: Yes. Not very soon. I would say we know, for a show like five games and- and probably it will take, I would say, certainly during summer or even early summer until May, June, we will begin to get a good idea of what we want to show. Some in the question until a bit later, as the co-operation that was part of Mech_Con this year, may have been slightly in the air, even say two months ago. But it was like, "No, I had to do it. Focus. I have it." A kind of push for that. Everything we have done, you know how these things are going. Like a lot of work to do these gifts for these shows. But they also serve a very powerful goal to really drive your game to particular states of completion, which are in a long way to make your game. So now we're in a good place. We got a co-op in a pretty good way. There are still mistakes and things, but it's good and working, playable. We now make historical decisions. All of you are destructive systems are basically done. So you are a good state when you reach that point.
We had various conversations during the years on how MechWarrior Online came first. Can you talk about the history of this and how could the IP share of this come in? As MechWarrior Online came first, it has grown, and now you can finally make a history experience.
Russ: Much outside of necessity. For as I said, everything was perfect and we could do something we wanted, we never wanted to do it. We've probably done how we would first do MechWarrior 5. We tried this in 2009. We could not delete it.
So, when we started making MechWarrior Online, I think you've seen a similar trend in the industry, and you're still doing until today that smaller independent studies do not just sit and make big players. You know, most of it, reserved for the Sony. Making the Last of Us and so on and so on. And you see many smaller studies, whether it's Rust or whatever it is, they become a game game. Because you know, the amount of money it needs to create these first gaming experiences, with all these great sequences written, and all this, is just so intense. That's usually – So, for MechWarrior, the evolution was like: "Well, you know, we think we can do MechWarrior Online." And at that time, the world of tanks has just entered its power in the western world.
And we've gotten to look at that and said, "That's interesting." Because it looks like you can make a very core game experience as a free game. And it will work. As before, it was mainly a kind of cartoon type, simpler career type. If you're thinking about the cardiac racists, or even the original Medal of Honor, the free play was like a spark on it. So, when we saw a World of Tanks, we thought we had seen an opportunity to get a MechWarrior game done. The amount of money and time it will take, just to get this start up, like Beta launching [unintelligible]. We thought we could do it. And the amount of time and money that we could pay. So that's what led us. That led our decision. And many smaller studies would be expelled as well. And so we did a MechWarrior Online. It took us up, four years full of MechWarrior Online before we were in a position to start MechWarrior 5.
The MechWarrior 5 greenlight, or after the old publisher, IGP, kind of folded?
Russ: The MechWarrior 5 is committed?
Russ: Yes. So we bought them in the summer of 2014. And about 18 months later, we started MechWarrior 5.
Has there ever been an IP problem? Or is it just a matter of resources in a matter?
Russ: Yes, no, it was not an IP problem at all. Only the time and resources and when we could allow this to be done.
And how did the engine to Nereal enter?
Russ: Yes, well, I think when we have decided that we will do it, we begin to think about what we do. And we consider that you know, we have looked at the latest version of CryEngine at that time. I think they jumped forward and call themselves to CryEngine 5 or something like that. We looked at that. And we looked at Nereal. And really the evaluation was like: "Well, we must, if we do that, we need to improve so many of these years by MechWarrior online as possible as possible." And so, naturally you could think, well that would also include only using the same engine, and code base, and everything. But we also knew some of those things we had to do for MechWarrior 5 to be as it needed. And we have explored a code assessment of the construction of MechWarrior Online and CryEngine technology. Or, before just start with Unreal. And we've still found that we could do, have a better game, and get it faster. Starting with Unreal to continue with CryEngine. It's just the tool-chain and the development processes have been much faster and better.
However, in terms of assets, do you bring Mech designs and such purposes?
Russ: We took over it. So we've brought it everywhere. We had to do some update, because the version of CryEngine we used, 3.8 … No, we're as 3.4 or something. Bottom line is just prior to the physically based imaging of CryEngine. So, when we brought our art and all our niches to Unreal, we had to update, all materials and everything to PDR and stuff. So that was part of the process. But still, you look at hundreds and hundreds of battles that we have brought. So, where MechWarrior's Mercenary titles have had a maximum of 12 to 15, we have 300. So, this is a huge tape for our name because our free market here in the Internal Sphere is actually a well-populated market. Where could you see rare jackets in various places of space and things. So, yes, certainly has gained many advantages from this artwork. But it just did not come as, you know how perfect. We have updated us.
How many jigs will be visible in the game? Or acceptable?
Russ: Yes, there will be, this is a stupid guess. It's about 50 different unique chassis. With as three to four variants each. So we are in the 250 range of various chassis.
But it also exists, for the first time now, we can finally see other vehicles, such as tanks and helicopters. How many vehicles are there?
Russ: Of course, the first time for us. You saw a bit of that in Mech 4-ish. But yes, that's great. I mean, because many people were really Jones, and were eager, after all those years at MechWarrior Online. And only PVP. People are really, really waiting for the PVE experience, as in past games. Also, they want you to know, combine arms, feeling where you shoot not just other wicks.
But sometimes in the first missions could be, you know, killing many vehicles and towers and all things, very hard. Some of them are difficult, like this tank in the demo and it's the demolition tank. It has a double AC-20s on it. So, it does not take the abuse that can be taken, but you do not want to leave it in vain that it can cause a lot of damage.
In the PVC-part of MechWarrior Online, there's a lot that goes in like to balance the mills. But in this, you do not have to worry about that so much.
Russ: Yes. Not so close. We can really just set up fun, you know. It's like in MechWarrior Online, everything you do, like everything about a middle laser, how much damage it does, how much heat it is, it's completely down to the decimal point. You balance and the communities like, "Well, it's OP." Or you need Nerf something in the past and it's a great thing. Because here, it's really just like, do you know if it's balanced? Is it really fun? Does it feel great? It does not necessarily matter if the middle lasers make six injuries instead of five. How much it feels perfect. The healthy values of the vehicles and things can only be balanced for fun, and yes.
"We really simply fit fun, you know."
What is the biggest change for a weapon or equipment that type of MWO then to MW5?
Russ: Yes. Honestly, not much at this point. As a meeting, we could get started, you know, basically MechWarrior Online values. So you know, we bring like all the weapons and all the data and how much heat and damage and everything that just ends. But I suppose that the beautiful thing is that it … does not matter, you know, if we have to change any of those things. Because you are not – as long as you do not compete with other players, there are really no limits to what you can tweak and change.
With replayability being one of the core columns, you have spoken of an existing map generation, using your system. Can you talk about how this works. Does it include things that we have seen in the demo mission as farms and fields?
Russ: Yes, it will. Basically … Design by creating all puzzles. They are basically like these, I think the tiles are close to a kilometer. Perhaps 750 meters squared or something like that, approximately. So some of them are just land, but the land has these basic marks on them. So, these examples say, well here, where there is a foliage, or here are trees, or here, where there are rocks. And if you are in a deserted planet in Mars, there are no trees, and the rocks look like this, and so on, so on. But if you are in a terrestrial Earth map, and it's evening in the polar terrain, then you will get, you know, snow-covered, green trees and snow on the ground. So, the system is created to any number of more than a dozen biomes, all can use the exact same tiles. The exact same roofing tiles. They use different materials, different texts, different rocks, trees, shrubs and whatever it's possible to make it separate from bioma.
And then the encounter is the base, whether it's like a farm, or the city's city in the array. These are also stacked in tiles. So basically, your generator can decide to use this port. Let's say that you may create 10 or 12, 15, 20, as long as you have time for, different settings like a port, we call it garnizons. General expression in our design. So we're how we create as many of these trimmings as we can. Some of them are cities and properties and ports. There are some areas, fighting areas, right? That's different, location based, art. So, the generator says, "Well, so we will create a mission that is Arctic Biome. It will be this great one, it will be five out of 10 tiles, we will say." And as I said, it will be an arctic. And well, the main thing is that it will be an assault on a mining facility. And so we know to use these special mining facilities. And they could choose from a dozen of those. And then make sure that's placed on the map. And the generacia kind of-Do, is remarkable enigmatic pieces. Certainly, someone who put a few hours in the game could recognize the fact that you know they had previously seen that particular port. But all around that port, as they reached the port, the way they have taken to get there, and the appearance and feeling of the land arrives there, and even the meeting itself could have different enemies and things. So there is a limit at random. It is not quite a 100 percent process to be generated as even the designers do not know what will happen. It's like: "Look at this brave thing." No. It is within rules. So we like to call it a rule based level generation. So there's a limit, but it's still a lot of combinations.
The generated maps, are these as the side missions? Or are these historical missions too?
Russ: Most of all, I guess I will not call them lateral missions, I will call them the main understanding curious missions, you know how you mix your reputation and earn your facts. And you know, buying bigger and better hooks. And so, everything you do between your stars mission zones.
So do you win all these missions?
Russ: Yes, yes.
Oh, well. I was not sure.
Russ: Oh yes. Yes. I mean that this is your main form of earning. It's just going to go, take contracts, and protect garrison contracts, assaulted contracts, all of them. You will earn c facts, save you, sell a sale, joining your money. Maybe you'll sell that wick now and get a bigger pig. And then slowly act as a larger, better and more powerful elite mercenary unit. And throughout the time you take the historical missions as they come to you.
When your friends will fall and help you for any of these missions, do they think that I know they take one of your pilots, does the host choose their men?
Russ: Yes. All the lasting health benefits to play this man from the beginning. You know, your friends, maybe you avoid, says you probably say: "No, no. Not me and the Dragon." I mean this is between you and your door.
You talked about the story on the side of it, you guys worked with a catalyst on the board. It was the pitch of the beginning to be like this is the mercenary game. This is the time it's a set and then?
Russ: Yes. That was much in stone. We knew that. We also knew this story. So we're working with Randall [Bills] and he is already working with the brand forever, for all his life it seems. He wrote novels and said: "Honey, you know, we would like, would you like to take a shot to write the story for us?" And he gave him some guidance. As we have this feeling, "We want the player to have this story and we wanted to be an incident with their old unit, or the parent unit so that you have to start without anything. And there should be something like you know, revenge arcs, but also a little larger arc. "And so we gave some guidance like that. Such things. Some really good ideas. Made some rounds of suggestions. And it's fine. It worked well.
Is it hard working with another company like that? And it also tries to adjust it as – Because there is so much history and so many stories in this universe. Plus four old school games in the ninety years, and kind of construction – are you trying to continue any of that? Or just choose time and here's your new story.
Russ: Yes, no. It's more than the last one. I guess it will be difficult to decide because there is so much. But there are so many interesting stories about that. Surely it could have been 100 different stories written for this game. Each of them would be great. And we felt we had finished with one of them. And so we're happy.
You mentioned that there is fashion support for this game.
What players can play?
Russ: Oh, beautiful, it's very much. I mean that it's really true, there are very few restrictions and it's just, I guess they will not modify the real, you know, like a game code. But the power of the blue system is now unrelated, that it does not even mean anything that seems to be. It will not be much that you can not modify it. People can enter and change anything. Make new machines, make new vehicles, make new missions, historical arches. Very few restrictions really.
So, it would be just a kind of thing. It's like a fashion tool, right?
Russ: Yes. It's almost just Unreal, an unreal editor. And that's all there.
What do you feel most excited for the fans to see? When they finally get to play a new MechWarrior story.
Russ: I guess I'll go with … There are a few things to me. But the one thing would be, I think, the fact that you're physically in your couch door. As I think, that is the thing that could be resonated with so many people. As you are on the ground, you are in your Leopard, you go around the Leopard. You see your technicians, you see your machine, you see how damaged it is when it returns from missions. Just having that physical one, I look at your battles there and look at what harmful state they are and that way.
That's another issue, indeed. So, for the repair, do you just pay to fix it before you go out again for the next mission?
Russ: Yes, as if it were also damaged to come out, obviously, if you just lost an arm, losing your lasers, no one will stop you out of the next time. You want to save your tickets if you can reach the mission. But yes, everything takes time and money. So let's say that it will last for three weeks and you know, 200,000 calculations to fix that fight, then you can start the repairs and three weeks in the game clock and 200,000 go out of your accounts and fix your wicker. So, you pay a cost in c-bills, but also in time. So, time is a resource, as you only had so many years to get your career. As the game lasts from 3015 to 3049. So here's your career. You have a 34-year career to try to reach an elite merchant.
And how many extra meats can you like to swap? Can you create an inventory of extra meats?
Is there a limit to that?
Russ: Um, I'm not sure yet. We discussed that. This is just a number in the UI in the end, but it is a balanced element that can be set for economy and balance. There are costly costs, however, based on how many jackets you have.
When do you lose weapons, how did they go? Can you replace it with a new one?
Russ: If you are completely destroyed, it can be replaced, it can not be fixed. So, the average laser is completely destroyed, go to the market and buy one. Or you probably have ten in your inventory of the salvation.
Well. And can you customize the look, beyond the arms, like the colors and similarities?
Russ: Yes, we did not show that, but it's very similar to MWO. We have brought many same owners, everything. So, you like a free template in MWO, you can paint your wick as well.
Do you pay c facts for that?
Russ: Probably be a cost of cost not, probably not, a cost of time. Just a little money to paint your wicker.
Mojosa Thank you!
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