SOE Live 2013: Planetside 2 Interview

Adam Clegg, game designer on Planetside 2, some how escaped his cage, and before SOE could round him up and put him back, I was able to corner him and force him to answer my questions! Give them a read, and if you can’t read, I’ll be posting up the audio later.

UPDATE: And now that audio! Also check out the confirmation on PC/PS4 purchases below.

https://soundcloud.com/ibeatitfirst/planetside-2-interview-with

To start things off, can you tell us who you are and what you do for Planetside 2?

I’m Adam Clegg and I’m a game designer for Planetside 2.  (He’s the dude that designed/made the Crown)

How has community involvement helped the development of Planetside 2?

Tremendously, I think the community involvement has been stellar, and that we’ve been listening to them so much, that they are giving us more feedback. Which I don’t think a lot of games do, especially AAA shooters. They also act as a bunch of testers for us. 1000’s of people log on to the test sever when you post up a new update and a lot of testing for us that we can’t physically do ourselves based on manpower limitations. They’ve been great.

Will purchases on the PC version of Planetside transfer over to the PS4 version as well?

The PS4 team is working on it so you log into your station account, so purchases should work. W’e’re trying to make it all seamless.

Confirmation from the PS4 team that purchases made on the PC will not carry over.

Now that the swamp continent Hossin will come online in April, any idea on when we can expext to see Oshur or Searhus?

Searhus will probably before Oshur. Level designers were working on Searhus and Hossin at the same time, but priorities moved to them all over to working on Hossin full time. No real idea when, and the only reason I say Searhus is because it already has work done on it.

You mentioned at SOE Live last year about having player owned bases that were designed by players. The road map shows Outfit captured bases, which is a logical first step in figuring out the control scheme. What will be the extent of these player designed bases?

We’ll be rolling it out in phases. That system has a ton of phases to it. The mission system is going to be the first to give objectives to players, then the actual capturing of facilities, then outfits actually creating bases themselves.

Will these player created bases populate Esamir, Indar, and Amerish or be on a new continent that is a ‘blank canvas’ for players to build their bases on?

That design of all this is still being flushed out at the moment, but it might end up being along the lines of a blank continent.

There have been mentions of possible Naval or Space combat in the future, is there one way or the other you are leaning towards?

Next year or few years, we want to make moving seamlessly from continent to continent. Whether that’s getting on a ship, or some kind of vehicle at the edge of continent, is still being worked out. In the near future, what we have is battle islands, which will be between the continents. Currently you have to warp to these battle islands instances, but eventually we’ll have seamless travel to these islands and continents rather than having to warp.

What about having small naval vehicles?

Areas need to be fleshed out before they can even begin work on something like that. It needs to be fun and be able to work. There simply just isn’t enough water space yet.

What’s the progress on Bastion Fleet Carrier or any other off the wall ideas?

We have a ton of concept art like that. It simply just didn’t make it for launch, we needed to focus on other areas. We have 3d, interior and all that. The gameplay questions are important, like how is this going to fit into the world? How is it going to impact the gameplay. The design for fit 200 players, you can spawn vehicles on it, it takes multiple of players just to fly it. It simply just took too much work to be able to implement. It came down to do we want this or another continent. This is the amount of work that something like this requires. These ideas might come down in 5, 6 years, maybe less, who knows.

How do you plan on competing against future multiplayer FPS games that come out every year? How are you going to keep the game ‘fresh’?

Planetside 2 has a few core ideas, 3 empires pure PvP, 1000’s of players fighting, and Free 2 Play. This is something that other games just don’t offer, and this will keep us relevant for a long time.

From a marketing standpoint, how do you plan to keep everyone’s mind on Planetside 2 and not the new hot release? Is there going to be a big holiday push?

PS4, trying to hit that date. We’re not sure when we’ll launch on the PS4 quite yet, but idealy we’d like a holiday release. That will be huge for us. Other than that, releasing new content, we’ll have some game upates for holidays, which we release 2 a month. We’ll on  GU22 by then.

Are there any plans for a fast transport aircraft, such as a Planetside version of a MH-6 ‘Little Bird’?

The next vehicle is up for debate at this point. The vehicle design team is trying to figure it out. Some ideas are 3 man mammoth tank, a smaller faster 2 man troop transport, as well as others. All being talked about. You have to look at how it affects gameplay. Where does this vehicle fit, and what does it offer that the Harraser, Sunderer, Flash, etc. don’t already offer.

Where do you see Outfits going in the long term? Do you see them as mini-factions themselves?

Outfits are a big part of the game right now. They offer the most fun you can have in the game. Coordinating with others players really enhances the experience, so we want to make that experience even better. A lot of outfit support coming out in the next game updates. Leaderboards, progression, outfits will get lots of love.

Will there eventually be custom or cross classes? Such as a cross between a light assault and a medic (jump jets with medical applicator, but no mass heal or specialty grenades)?

Class updates have been rolling out with more on the way. We’re not going to have any cross ones. GU16 will feature the infiltrator class update. Classes are going to become more dependent on each other. Right now that’s just not the case. You see a lot of Max/Engineer and Heavy Assault/Medic match ups, but we’re working on making it so you need every class working together to be a really effective squad.

It’s been previously said about having NPC enemies, such as an alien invasion, or NPC armies to send against your foes. Is this still in the pipeline or has it been canned?

That’s years out from now, something that is in the back log. The 6 month road map is what you can count on that’s currently be worked on. We look at backlog before rolling out a new road map. We are still fine tuning the core mechanics of the game. There will be more meta game after we add 4th continent, Hossin.

Anything you want to get off your chest that wasn’t covered?

We are really looking forward to MLG and battle islands. The Outfit leaderboard is how you will qualify for MLG. Your score affects the outfit score, and can you compete on battle islands. The main meta game for the hardcore players, while adding this for those outfits that want to be the best outfit on their server, or in the game period, this offers them a competitive mode. Other battle islands aren’t designed yet, we are looking for feedback on this first battle island, which is going to drive the next one. These games are living things that are never done, we are always making things better, chipping away at that rock.

Thanks a lot!

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