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Feature Video

How to Build a Titan

In the beginning.

by

The Next Big Game: Titanfall begins with the birth of Respawn Entertainment. While much has been written and said of the events leading up to that event, there's been little context for what life was like as a Respawn employee in its earliest days. "It was literally a day one walk-in, and we [had] card tables, card chairs, a fax machine, printing," says Joel Emslie, lead artist at Respawn. "We didn't even have computers for two months."

The team eventually settled into their new surroundings and work began in earnest, but from the sounds of it, Titanfall's identity didn't come to the team right away. "The game started to come together about a year-and-a-half ago," says Justin Hendry, lead designer. "We had a lot of cool pieces. We spent time building different mechanics and playing around with things."

"It took a long while because we were just concerned about the design space of Titans and how they would play," Steve Fukuda, game director, adds. "But eventually the focus shifted towards pilots for a while."

The back and forth between pilot and titan eventually led to a delicate balancing act that took the form of six-on-six multiplayer matches--a source of initial concern for an audience used to battles unfolding on a larger scale. "Dialing back that player count a little bit allowed players to breathe," says Hendry. "I think players, after they spend some time with the game, will really appreciate that it's six-on-six. They might even wish it was five-on-five or four-on-four."

We didn't even have computers for two months. -- Joel Emslie, lead artist

That player-count, combined with an intimate setting, creates a frenetic pace that never seems to let up. There's a genuine method behind all of it that borrows from a formula that's unmistakably familiar, but it simultaneously succeeds in feeling fresh. Watch the video feature above to hear more of what the members of Respawn, including cofounder Vince Zampella, had to say about the motivations and challenges in creating Titanfall.

Discussion

197 comments
yashasbs
yashasbs

Nice....its good that it is not another console exclusive title(referring to the pc)

CatAtomic999
CatAtomic999

I expect the player limitation is more about making the game run on consoles. They're trying to sell it as something done purely in the interest of gameplay, but if that was the case, you'd have at least a couple of big maps that allowed for larger player numbers anyway, just for variety's sake.

vallee05
vallee05

I'm impressed with the game so far for many reasons. The major positive note for the 6v6(which I was against at first), is you can easily fill your lobby with a full party of friends in your game. Where as when you join a larger lobby of other games you have to manually mute half the lobby or just stay in party chat(which sucks if you trying to be strategic and at least are trying to win). BIG PLUS for me here. The 2 maps I have played are the right size for the playing field to include Titans and Pilots. The environment is severally different which allows you to have a different approach(again only comparing the 2 maps) If the maps have this much variation this is going to be extremely enjoyable. This became I game where I was on the fence, where now it's being a highly anticipating game for myself (i'm so glad I tried the beta).


I was also thankful they didn't close the servers down at 6pm pacific, as i was hoping to get out of work on time to play 2 hours worth of the beta before the close-down. Played until 1am est;o) 4 hours of sleep for a 10 hour workday,  totally worth it. I'm glad it's only 2.5 weeks until launch


PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I know it's a source of contention for a lot of people, but I'm impressed Respawn opted to go for 6.v.6. It's quite a daring move when so many publishers, developers and gamers demand more, and a lot of other devs. would've gone for that bigger number even if it meant breaking the game.

Not sure what I'd have preferred as far as when in a match a Titan comes into play. Earning them makes sense but seems a little obvious. Am I right in thinking they've said there'll be a game mode where everyone starts in a Titan?

I like this The Next Big Game idea you're doing GameSpot. It's nice to have this extra insight and coverage of a game so close to release.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

Formula:

COD + robots = x

Robots = cool name

Cool name = titans

Action game needs action title, Title <include> Falling Soldiers

COD + Titans + Falling = x,

x = Titanfall.

Pelezinho777
Pelezinho777

You don't build titan, you buy one...from Nvidia...

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

While not anticipating this game as much as say, South Park. Really like this in depth build up to the game and hope to see more like this GameSpot!

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

While not anticipating this game as much as Southpark, really love these indepth build and hope to see more of it GameSpot!

skullflower
skullflower

I've been playing the beta on the PC and it's felt very good and most importantly fun to play. For the past few years I've gone right off FPS games, but I'm excited about this one.

jimmy_russell
jimmy_russell


Published By: Electronic Arts

Shucks. I've been boycotting EA for several years and I have no intention of stopping. Sorry Respawn, but that's one more customer you will never see.

karloss01
karloss01

I'm liking this game a lot, it brings back some nostalgia of playing  Doom, Quake 3, TimeSplitters and Unreal Tournament but with a new school feel about it. Looks like March is going to be a busy month for me gaming-wise with Dark Souls 2 coming out as well.

StHapns247
StHapns247

After playing to beta extensively over the weekend I can say that everything they are going for they achieved. It feels familiar, but at the same time is different enough to feel fresh. I played CoD up to Black Ops and have disliked every entry since then, but was immediately pulled into this game.

Every match feels unique and familiar at the same time.

As long as they keep the content new and fresh I can see myself getting into this the same way I did with the Modern Warfare when it first debuted.

slayn03
slayn03

As a long time fps player (since the start... doom kheh), the game needs still a lot of tweaking of mp, but a gigantic potencial! 

slayn03
slayn03

REMOVE THE BOTS! Give us max 16vs16 (maps are just right for it) and ability to drop pods with players, not BOTS....

Lord_Python1049
Lord_Python1049

very nice page Gamespot... I hope you get to fixing the front page layout design soon because thats the only thing that's awful about the new site

Seamy22
Seamy22

Kane from Robocop 2 got ripped off.

couly
couly

One of the most anticipated games of 2014, certainly for Gamespot anyway. 

redder1111
redder1111

does this game have single player contents? or it's just a multi player only game?

blackace
blackace

@CatAtomic999 There are already 64 player online games on consoles, so... I don't think so. Even last gen the PS3 has 100 players with M.A.G. Don't think it has anything to do with "making the game run on consoles".

grove12345
grove12345

@CatAtomic999  honestly doubt it has anything to do with hardware constraints. Like seriously doubt it. Im not supporting the idea of 6v6 only. I mean these are the devs behind COD so dont expect any bright ideas

Tomcat2007
Tomcat2007

@Dannystaples14  


PS4 Titanfall Formula:


Titanfall - (mechs + monsters + multi-level movement) = old COD = less variety and fun = disappointed sony fanboys now bashing Titanfall

ThatPjYouKnow21
ThatPjYouKnow21

@Dannystaples14  What a single minded thing to say. I'd bet any amount of money you haven't even given the game a chance.. It's much, much more than cod with mechs.

jwhdavison
jwhdavison staff

@skullflower  I'm the exact same way. Steered clear of Call of Duty for years - in part because I just couldn't keep up with a lot of players, and it made the experience less enjoyable. Played Titanfall a lot this weekend and really enjoyed it. Can't wait to see what it's like with different chassis', and additional modes

savagetone
savagetone

@TommyT456   Its funny how you write the above article sums it up.  it's a shitty article your review is bias and looks like a cut and paste article and second your capture of the game says it all in you're video edits if you didn't die as much, you wouldn't have to edit as much LOL . I can see where you can hate the game if you're awful at it that's just the fact and if you're going to post videos in you're review make sure they are of HD quality and not shitty capture .Oh and by the way I'm not a fanboy i own both last Gen XB360,PS3 and Current XB1 & PS4 i just prefer my gaming online on XBLive and its exclusive.  

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

@TommyT456  It's funny because when I first started playing... I didn't think there was much to it. Now I can't get enough. It's like when I first really got into Halo 2. There are SO many levels of strategy in the game that it's really quite exhilarating. There's always a variety of ways of handling any situation. Do you go up the stairs? In a window? Or do you go over the building entirely? Do you drop the Titan and get in? Or do you double down on damage and let the Titan pilot itself while you board enemy Titans?

There are always more options than what you're considering and you're constantly analyzing to find the one that's going to keep you alive. I get absorbed into every match and keep looking for just one more.

Keep your expectations where they are. It's a perfect place to have them so that your mind gets blown =).

Tomcat2007
Tomcat2007

@redder1111  one thing i wonder if you could do is play it with all bots?  sort of like you could do with gears 3

karloss01
karloss01

@redder1111  

the single player content is rolled into the multiplayer, there is a campaign of sorts but you'll be playing it with other people. think Brink but with robots.

hammerfall22
hammerfall22

@redder1111 Just MP. That is sad. I'm not planning to buy this game... I just don't like fps multiplayer.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@ThatPjYouKnow21 Who ever said COD was a bad game? It isn't bad, it is insanely fun. Their only mistake is releasing the things over and over again under a new name with little change and expecting people to lap it up. 

I've thought this looks awesome from the start but you can't deny is does have the fast kill, be killed, fast action feel of COD. Which isn't surprising since it is made by the same people.

I mean even the mechs are pretty vulnerable for that reason. That is something COD does on purpose because they know having tonnes of health and being slow makes the game less zippy, fast and twitchy.

It is the reason I hate Battlefield in fact, it is too laborious and slow. Feels like everyone is running around with a dead Elk on their backs.

My only slight issue is that FPS has been getting a little tedious these past years. I feel it is a genre which is awesome at the start but gets old pretty fast. So I won't be playing Titanfall at all this year most likely. I'm going to be playing Dark Souls II when that comes out instead.

Since this is EA most likely we'll be having a yearly reboot of this as well now. I'll catch one of the later ones. Chances are it will be the same game as this one but with new maps.

Also what is it then if not COD with mechs? COD with mechs where you can run on walls as well?

yodaonfire
yodaonfire

@jwhdavison @skullflower  I got a chance to use the Stryder AND the ogre on the beta with Burn cards. 


Lemme tell you the OGRE can take some heavy punishment. 

Survived fire from 4 opponents single-handed, long enough to cut one down and then close-in for 2 kills with nuclear eject. 

slayn03
slayn03

@StHapns247 @slayn03  squad based gameplay would suffice very much (4 on 4), boots are just.... bots, they dont bring nothing to the game, aspecially when weak like ants, lol ;)

TommyT456
TommyT456

@ExtremePhobia @TommyT456  Well either way I won't be playing it unless it comes to PS4 but my comments weren't those of a fanboy. Yes expectation has a big impact on how we feel about games when they arrive. If a game is overhyped right up until release it can leave people disappointed no matter how good it is. But sometimes a game is hyped a lot a while before release to the point where we start to think it can't possibly be that good, then when some time passes and it finally releases we are surprised because our expectations had lowered BECAUSE of the early hype. The Last Of Us did that for me. I knew it was going to be good but my expectations lowered as time passed between seeing the first footage a year or so before and the game actually releasing. Almost like it had become old news despite not even being out yet. But that was great because it meant I was suitably impressed due to my expectations being realistic. This game is being super hyped right up to release date though so people will still have those massively high expectations that could be damaging to the way the game feels for them, no matter how fun it may be. I'm sure it will be great though, but like you say I just hope everyone doesn't over hype it in their heads.

TheKokopelli
TheKokopelli

@Dannystaples14 @PlatinumPaladin @Tomcat2007  I agree.  I would have loved to have played the Drake games, along with Last of Us, but I wasn't going to buy to a separate console to do it.


And while I admit that this looks cool, I'm opting for Dark Souls 2.  Not being a hater, just don't have a lot of time to game.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@PlatinumPaladin @Tomcat2007  That is why we should be anti-exclusive. All they do is cut genuine gamers off from certain games.

I'd have loved to play some of the PS3 exclusives but didn't own a PS3. I'm sure plenty of PS3 players would have loved some Xbox exclusives, that didn't want to buy a 360.

Gamers shouldn't be forced to buy two expensive consoles just to play all games.

slayn03
slayn03

@Dannystaples14 @ThatPjYouKnow21  i dont fallow ure thinking... battlefield to slow and laborious... considering its much more build mp game then cod (not saying that yes, cod is fun, but only a shoot to shoot scenario)


In my opinion titanfall would much benefit on being a bf then "cod with mechs", when really its not "cod with mechs"

StHapns247
StHapns247

@slayn03 @StHapns247  I felt that at first, but I like the bots because they add chaos to the match without adding BS lag that you'd get if they were all human players. 

They need to do something about the AI because I get way too many kills by just dropping a grenade next to a drop pod, but I don't think they should remove them.

Essentially you can either use them or ignore them.