Q&A: Quake Wars touches Nerve on 360

Brian Matt talks about taking Quake Wars onto a console, autoaiming, and why Live Anywhere functionality isn't being supported.

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The PC version of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is just weeks away from launching, but those waiting for the multiplayer mayhem to reach their Xbox 360s and PlayStation 3's will have to wait a while longer. GameSpot AU caught up with Nerve Software programmer Brian Matt recently and quizzed him about how work was going on the Xbox 360 port of Quake Wars.

GameSpot AU: How is development progressing on the console versions?

Brian Matt: It's going great. We lag a bit behind the PC because we have to merge their code and all their assets in. But now that they're finishing off the game we're really going to ramp up and really hit it hard over the next couple of months.

GS AU: Do you have a ship date yet?

BM: No, as with most iD titles, when it's done, it's done.

GS AU: What are the major differences between the console and PC versions of the game?

BM: We actually tried really hard to keep the game similar; all the assets we use are the same. One of the major differences is in the way we do matchmaking. The PC version of the game is largely supported by dedicated servers--constant, reliable, always-there servers, people get to know their servers and that their friends are going to be there. We don't have that on the 360. On the 360, the consoles are our servers, and the servers then tend to be a lot more transient as people come and go--they play significantly differently. So we've tried to make it easier for the player. They say they want to play a game--they tell us what game map and what type of game, and we find the most appropriate server for them. Not only that, but we also evaluate them as candidates for servers as well. So if they would make a good server for a particular match, then we make them the server. The second difference is the party system. We have a party system which allows friends to get together outside of any specific match and play together. They will transition from map to map and match to match, regardless of server.

GS AU: What can you tell us about the single-player campaign on the 360 version?

BM: ET is a multiplayer game, but single-player allows you to play with bots. You can play the game with up to 15 bots, you can play through all 12 maps and there are four campaigns you can play through.

GS AU: Why have a single-player component in the first place?

BM: People tend to expect that there will be a single-player component in console games, and we thought it was important to revive that option. There are a lot of people who don't have Xbox Live and who don't play online, or are intimidated by people online. So we wanted to provide a single-player mode to allow people to train--to see how the game is, learn the maps before they jump into online and have to compete. There are four campaigns, and each campaign will have three maps. And this is the same in multiplayer as well, where you also have campaigns. There will be two teams that play across three maps, and your experience and your proficiencies that you gain through each single level will carry onto the next level. At the end of the three maps the campaign is over. Once those three maps are over, your proficiencies reset, because we didn't want players that are new coming in and finding all these others that are leveled up.

GS AU: Tell us more about these proficiency rewards.

BM: The way ET rewards good team behaviour is through experience points and proficiencies. You're rewarded with experience points for doing actions that benefit the team, such as constructing defence turrets, or completing an objective, or setting out land mines. Once you've got enough experience points you're given a proficiency, which is a game-affecting upgrade to your character. For example, the soldier will get faster rocket launcher lock-ons. And there are a number of different proficiencies for each class. What that does is encourages people to do things that will help the team.

GS AU: How intelligent will the bots be?

BM: iD software hired a guy named John Dean to do the botwork. He was the originator of the Fritz bot for Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. He did a great job with the bots--they can do everything that human players can do. They can fly, they can drive vehicles, they can complete objectives, they know strategies. But you can also set bots to complete or not complete objectives--if they're not completing them, they will run support for you and back you up whenever you're running through. A lot of work went into making the bots feel as human as possible.

GS AU: Obviously this was a PC game first. What were the challenges in translating control scheme from keyboard/mouse to a controller?

BM: There are certain things that we need to do on the controller to make it work better for consoles. Luckily when id and Splash Damage started working on this, they really thought about consoles and how it could be accessible for consoles. So things like their on-button action key, their missions system--it was really for us to take these things and move them into a console, so we didn't have to do much. What we had to do was add a very subtle aim assist that helps. We also do things like an acceleration on the controller so you have really close sensitivity when you're fighting, but when you want to turn around it will accelerate. We're still tweaking those things now, but the actual number of buttons we'll need were thought of well ahead of time. It's a very subtle aim assist--when you hit somebody, it will pull your reticule towards the player.

GS AU: Will the game support cross PC-vs.-360 functionality?

BM: No. At the time when we started Enemy Territory it wasn't a feature that was supported, and that's just recently come up. We're still evaluating whether that's something we want to do in the future--not for Enemy Territory, but for future games. But we're not doing it for Enemy Territory.

GS AU: Brian Matt, thanks for your time.

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Avatar image for thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Next!!!

Avatar image for jknight5422
jknight5422

Hmmm. Multi-player only & no single-player campaign, but it has bot support. It sounds a lot like Shadowrun.

Avatar image for sundweller
sundweller

That's what I was wondering...

Avatar image for KILLANINJADUCK
KILLANINJADUCK

hey guys its 2008 and it still isnt out whats the deal all these comments are from 2007

Avatar image for soundofspeet
soundofspeet

Well, it sounds like they're doing pretty much everything right with this one. I'm very interested.

Avatar image for GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

'"iuns Shadowrun without the cross platform anyone ?? Posted Sep 10, 2007 2:25 pm CT"'

Not quite cause you get to win or lose on a map and have what happened on that map carry over to the next map and affect that match provided the "campaign" isn't over yet. With it only resetting for the next campaign. While I'm not sure how many matches constitute a campaign in this game? Even if there are 6 rounds like in Shadowrun it still is different cause you'll be playing on 3 different maps within those 6 rounds and not the same one you started on.
Avatar image for GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

'"Sam_Lowery Crump - "SONY's PLAYSTATION 1 & 2 DESTROYED Sega!!!! " . Naah, what destroyed Sega was that people could download games and burn them to CD's with no hardware modding. Being able to get all the games for free would kill any console. The DC was just ahead of it's time and I still think they had the best controller with the way you could use a VMU to get your own personal screen so the other person couldn't see you picking plays and stuff. I don't know why nobody has tried to copy them on that. Posted Sep 10, 2007 8:24 am CT "'

Actually I seem to recall Nintendo trying to copy them on that with their Gamecube and Gameboy advance interconnectivty. Sure it was brief but at least they tried right?

Aren't they trying to do that with the PSP and the PS3 now? LAIR, right?
Avatar image for GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

'"tenorio_rotc id is really unprofessional. And i don't remember the last game from them that I really liked in recent years. This whole its done when its done mentality is really annoying. They need to be more professional and have themselves meet expectations just like any other entertainment medium, just like music or movies or books, they should be able to set a date and try to meet it. Posted Sep 10, 2007 3:04 pm CT "'

That's funny, I seem to recall a certain other company with the same release date...Bungie I believe...Halo? would you say they're unprofessional, too? I wouldn't. Cut them some slack.
Avatar image for ctg867
ctg867

Eh, the guys a bit sore about consoles being larger then PCs. You can tell the way he words stuff and he's a bit condescending when he talks about the consoles. Don't really care, you're game won't sell terribly well anyway. Games sell on the consoles, not the PC, and this is a PC game. Simple logic dictates that this game won't sell well with games like COD4, Halo 3, Haze, Warhawk, and a ton other shooters that are out or coming out.

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slik_slim

Cant wait, the PC version is awsome and its going to be super nice to have on the 360. Thank you ID =)

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Bleak5170

Bots are certainly a welcome addition and I applaud iD for including them, but I'm a tiny bit disappointed that you can only have 15 of them. 8 verus 8 isn't going to feel very much like a "war".

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rav44

This is my most wanted game so far in my life... 14 years. i want the bots.

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niteowl74

Better have southpaw control!!!

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ppau08223

i want a solid single player campaign. i hope it is and has more life to it than quake 4.

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Pete5506

It would be good for the 360

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lamprey263

@megamega777 "Awsome, another great RTS coming to 360!!!" I think you mean Halo Wars, that's an RTS; Quake Wars is listed as a FPS

Avatar image for Flat_Line_____
Flat_Line_____

Pedro7_2000 The host advantage was a gears only thing and that issue was resolved. I don't see Crump's comments, but based on the responses, he seems like one bitter PS3 owner. ================================================= Which update fixed the bullet lag? I just played online like a week ago and it still had it.

Avatar image for Flat_Line_____
Flat_Line_____

nikefreak zipozal - Thats a joke. I have yet to see one game that PunkBuster fully protected. Especially from aimbots. ================================================ ^AGREED

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DarkGodZeus

Megamega777 That isn't an rts....

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megamega777

Awsome, another great RTS coming to 360!!!

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peeweeshift

this game will be awesome.

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_Pedro_

d3r7y a 6600GT can play this game fine.

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DonutTrooper

Can't wait for this game to really give my 360 a workout.

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therejectx

this game sounds like its going to be awesome.

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lukey9493

what about the ps3 version, it always feels like it gets forgotten about!!!

Avatar image for d3r7y
d3r7y

Of course the PC version is going to be better multiplayer wise. But who wants to pay over $2,000 or more for a PC to play games, and later on you'll have to pay more to upgrade to play future games. PC games are cheaper but the graphics, and sound cards can cost some dough.

Avatar image for tenorio_rotc
tenorio_rotc

id is really unprofessional. And i don't remember the last game from them that I really liked in recent years. This whole its done when its done mentality is really annoying. They need to be more professional and have themselves meet expectations just like any other entertainment medium, just like music or movies or books, they should be able to set a date and try to meet it.

Avatar image for d3r7y
d3r7y

crusty_rim "pc ppl cheat, so do xbox ppl, just look at halo 2 for instance, theres cheaters on everything" How the hell can you cheat on XBL. You get kicked off and banned. YOU must be thinking of SOE sucka!

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iuns

Shadowrun without the cross platform anyone ??

Avatar image for nikefreak
nikefreak

zipozal - Thats a joke. I have yet to see one game that PunkBuster fully protected. Especially from aimbots.

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jcloverboy

I look forward to this one.

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Snoop_trizzle

I cant wait. id rocks

Avatar image for zipozal
zipozal

The PC version has punkbuster Crusty and Punkbuster has a system where if you cheat you are IP banned for life from all PunkBuster supported games. So cheating is not an issue, the PC players crapping all over the consoles parade with our aim thats far, far, far superior would be the problem for you! :)

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wsammut

tbh i prefer to play only against pc players, competition will be tougher

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crusty_rim

pc ppl cheat, so do xbox ppl, just look at halo 2 for instance, theres cheaters on everything

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lamprey263

I'm glad there's not "PC vs 360 functionality"; I'd have nothing wrong with PC and X360 players playing together but PC players cheat too much for it to be any fun.

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Romanticide

I'll stick with PC version then, sounds like it will be a lot better.

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Agermemnon

Wonder how hard it would be for cross console multiplayer games such as this and others ?

Avatar image for BigDaddy973
BigDaddy973

I think this will be a very good title for the 360, I like how the multiplayer goes through a three level campaign instead of just a map and bam a winner. But I want to know if when you complete a map on the online if the winner has some sort of advantage or what if the other team wins will the objectives be different the next map or are they always constant? I hope they change depending on which side wins!

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crusty_rim

'what happened to all that "cross platform" talk that came out of M$/Vista/Live/Gates mouths ?' only works if a game is designed for windows live, which is vista only. also lag is inevitable, ive had it on my 360, ps3 and pc, ur gonna get it at some point, thats mainly down to whoever is hosting and their isp. which is y u have pings to tell u whether ur joining a good server or not

Avatar image for Pedro7_2000
Pedro7_2000

The host advantage was a gears only thing and that issue was resolved. I don't see Crump's comments, but based on the responses, he seems like one bitter PS3 owner.

Avatar image for nikefreak
nikefreak

ptown58 - It helps to read the article at hand BEFORE commenting. "No. At the time when we started Enemy Territory it wasn't a feature that was supported, and that's just recently come up. We're still evaluating whether that's something we want to do in the future--not for Enemy Territory, but for future games. But we're not doing it for Enemy Territory." What exactly did that have to do with Microsoft, Vista, Live or anything else you mentioned? Oh thats right, it doesnt. You just want to whine about something, and that happened to be it. Microsoft doesnt force developers to use Live or cross platform play, that is up to them. And as far as "lag for the 360 like usual", that is rubbish as well. You know how many times I have lagged on Live since launch? Well, neither do I exactly, but I can tell you I could count them on just 2 hands. And thats in a year and a half, with two consoles both on Live, and both being used (One by me, one by wife, and that includes her). So that, as I said, is rubbish. If you are a fanboy, why not just say "Hey! I am a Sony fanboy, and as such, I am going to bad mouth a product I know literally nothing about, and dont care to!", it would save us quite a bit of time having to correct you.

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ptown58

what happened to all that "cross platform" talk that came out of M$/Vista/Live/Gates mouths ?

Avatar image for ptown58
ptown58

Lag for the 360 like usual, and I like how the guy says console/360.

Avatar image for Rizhall456
Rizhall456

what the ffffffffffff so this game is gonna be host/player based on the 360? wtffff why couldn't they give the consoles a dedicated server either? now i KNOW it's gonna lag, and have that host advantage crap that was in gears. cmooon, stop being cheap and give us some servers -_-

Avatar image for nash_redd
nash_redd

Can't wait....

Avatar image for Sam_Lowery
Sam_Lowery

Crump - "SONY's PLAYSTATION 1 & 2 DESTROYED Sega!!!! " . Naah, what destroyed Sega was that people could download games and burn them to CD's with no hardware modding. Being able to get all the games for free would kill any console. The DC was just ahead of it's time and I still think they had the best controller with the way you could use a VMU to get your own personal screen so the other person couldn't see you picking plays and stuff. I don't know why nobody has tried to copy them on that.

Avatar image for crusty_rim
crusty_rim

most games made by 3rd party dev's are cross platform games, so disk size doesnt matter... atleast not at the moment anyway, pc games are still using dvd. and the reason for et not being cross gameplay with 360 is xbox live, its a walled garden network, which is y unreal tournament 3 isnt out on the 360 at the same time as pc and ps3, its coz pc and ps3 are open networks so they can support mods on both platforms. shadowrun is only cross compatable coz its using live on the pc too

Avatar image for ebookerd1
ebookerd1

I personally don't remember playing quake 3 vs PC players, but man I do Miss Dreamcast!!!! I loved that thing :(

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