Everyeye: The revamped singleplayer looks very promising. We understand that you implemented some kind of quest-system in the sandbox environment. Would you give us an example of what this means? How do you obtain them?
Ivan Buchta: We decided to create a more open structure, although we use the means already present in the game since Arma 2: tasks, conversations system and FSM scripting techniques. With the flexibility our engine and tools provide, we are able to employ them in a new way and on a larger scale.
I would also like to note that we are not abandoning the scenarios (missions), which are much simpler and shorter providing the element of instant fun. I am sure this kind of gameplay will be attractive for many players including the seasoned Arma veterans.
Everyeye: Two problems of the full-scale battles in ArmA 2 were that the enemy AI was really good at spotting your unit and that your soldiers were too good at shooting them and some times you won an entire mission without shooting once. Are you addressing these in the new AI system? On what exactly are you focusing, beside those.
Ivan Buchta: The case you mention illustrates how the mission design works in our games. Arma has never been player-centric, and the things may always proceed towards a certain set of conditions which indicate the mission end: we do not ask the player to fulfill an objective, we rather ask whether an objective is accomplished.
Regarding the AI improvements in general, we would mainly like to achieve more natural movement of the AI soldiers. The Micro-AI system already makes the AI entities formidable opponents, but there is a lot to improve in terms of the visuals. Also, we put a lot of effort into "teaching" AI to use the new features, e.g. underwater movement, first aid routines or customizable loadouts.
Everyeye: Speaking of vehicles, which level of realism do you want to achieve? We saw Take-On Helicopters for example and it sure takes a lot of practice to master such a complex model. We wonder how driving a tank would be...
Ivan Buchta: Tank controls shall be the same as in the previous titles of the Arma series. We already offer a vast number of features, therefore we don't want to complicate the vehicles controls any further. We only consider allowing the player to experience the helicopter flight model from Take On Helicopters based on the game difficulty.
However, the tank driving will be a lot better experience thanks to the improved physical simulation of driving and collisions.
Everyeye: What changes to the weapons behaviour are you introducing in ArmA 3 (i.e. the new wind system physics etc.)?
Ivan Buchta: We mainly focus on adding the customization options: with various accessories and optics, a single weapon can turn into anything from a night-ops special forces rifle to a marksman rifle with anything in between.
Addition of more complex windage simulation is not planned. We already have bullet drop and weapon zeroing capability both working nicely even for the AI; anything more complex would probably only complicate the matters (weapon control, performance) without adding much to the gameplay.
Everyeye:We are seeing great things forthcoming for the FPS genre and ArmA 3 is one of those titles that will most likely make the difference. You already have a solid fan-base and that's certainly a great opportunity for you to make it even bigger within the ArmA franchise. What are the ArmA 3 key elements and innovations that, in your opinion, would appeal to a larger gaming public?
Ivan Buchta: Most shooting games keep focusing on the action-packed cinematic experience, emphasizing the little details at the cost of the player's freedom and gameplay possibilities. We would like to deliver a completely different experience, offering player true and unparalleled freedom of choice in an environment which reacts to his actions. In other words, Arma 3 will hopefully be more demanding on one's brains than fingers, rewarding the creative players with a proper response to their tactical efforts.
Read the complete interview on www.everyeye.it.
Click here to view the article