Raven, un des membres des studios GD, a accepté de répondre à nos questions quelques heures avant le premier week-end "Closed Beta" sur Diabotical.
You are a member of The GD studio, the studio that developed Diabotical, a game that will be in open beta on the 28th February. Before talking about the game, can you introduce yourself and us what was your impact on this project?
Hi, thank you for being interested in the game and in talking to me, I’m Raven, that may or may not be my legal name, I’ll keep my name and myself mysterious for now, maybe at least until we have time to get a credits button in the game. I suppose that I have been given the title of Community Manager as I have been responsible for answering some questions and helping with some announcements, however James has also done some CM aspects himself as the face of the company with his announcements and interactions with the community. I would describe what I do as providing assistance in general, which means on the development side, the testing side and the public side, though since we are a small studio everyone has helped out on multiple areas.
Diabotical is in development for a few years now, what took so long?
It has taken a long time. We are a new studio and while many people that have worked on the game have prior experience in game development, this is our first game together as a studio. Over the duration of the development there have been some tough times when there have been some financial struggles which caused some delays and a very important aspect of the game has been the engine which is our own engine called Glitch Engine, which great to gives us full control over what we wish to do with the game but means that an engine is also being developed, features have to be added and the developers have to learn how to work with it (whereas as existing engines already have many features, documentation/guides and some developers may already be familiar with the process of working with them).
Why did you choose to do a Kickstarter?
We chose to do a Kickstarter in order to receive some help with funding the project and to publicize the existence of the game together with our goals for it. To tell the world about Diabotical and see what the response would be.
What makes Diabotical Special?
I think that the colorful and clear visuals, the Eggbots, fast movement speed, the gunplay with weapons that require different skills and suit different situations, customization, quality of life features, the possibility for the community to create maps, and the continued developer support that we will be providing with this team for years to come, combine into a game that will be able to attract people with the depth and variety that it already has, but also evolve and improve as time passes which will keep players interested and attract new ones.
What was the hardest point to design in the game?
Perhaps the most difficult decisions have been about the Default movement physics of the game, this might sound surprising to some considering the similarities that it has relative to other games in the genre, but it is a topic that has been strongly considered and has gone through changes over time. We hope that the Dodge mechanic will allow all players to feel a bit of how an FPS with a fast movement speed feels, while the very enjoyable strafe-jumping aspect of the movement, which requires active input from the player in order to accelerate efficiently and to maneuver around maps well, will be made easier to transition to with the Dodge and will provide depth for players to explore.
Diabotical tries to be an fps for pro and beginners. Can you tell us more?
We are very interested in Diabotical appealing to a wide range of people, we think that the genre is very fun and that more people could enjoy, we hope that our way of delivering it will do so. The origins of The GD Studio come from covering esports, it is an aspect of games that multiple people at the studio have deep ties to and appreciation for, so we are interested in competitions happening involving Diabotical, and we think that those competitions will be better if the game has a larger playerbase that can be interested in competing and in watching the game. Former Quake professional players James “2GD” Harding and Richard “noctis” Gansterer who are part of the development team, have and will be an important asset in the process of developing a good competitive game.
When we are talking about Fast FPS, we think about Shotmania or Quake. Aren't you scared that your game might be forgotten, eclipsed by the "mastodons" of the genre?
Diabotical is in development, starting off with closed beta - weekend 1 stress test there will be some issues that people will find, which we intend to fix, the game will not be perfect and we will continue to add features and supporting the game. We think that through our support and the features of the game, the game will stand out within the genre.
To stay in the theme, do you think the Fast FPS genre can work? When we see overwatch's evolution
There are certainly more popular FPS sub-genres at the moment, but we think that there’s some room for fast FPS games to grow a bigger audience.
Does Diabotical have the objective to grow purely onto an Esport scene or to stay "casual" whilst waiting for community feedback?
Diabotical is first and foremost meant to be a fun game, which in turn we hope will lead people to dedicate their time to playing it and then also have fun by participating in competitions. For now there will be a period of time without any official tournaments, we want people to get to learn the game as they have just started, and we also want to decrease possible advantages that some higher skill level alpha testers have, as they have been able to play the game earlier. Competitions are however planned to happen, some funds have been put aside, 250,000 USD for the first year according to a public announcement that James made during a development stream, to be spread between various regions around the world.
On twitter Diabotical call himself «Quake’s spiritual successor". Is this a kind of tribute? Or a comparison that might seem a bit rough?
Without Quake, Diabotical would not exist. Besides the influences to the FPS genre in general which affected many games that we have enjoyed, several of us at the studio have history and love for the Quake franchise specifically. Diabotical is our vision of what we love about this type of game, put together with several choices that we think can lead to a healthy playerbase, plus the ability for the community to create some types of content for the game such as maps with the in-game map editor, and very importantly, the continued developer support that we will be providing to the game. All of these are things that we want to combine into a game where people who loved Quake will feel at home, and where other players will find a new home.
Multiple game modes have been announced (1v1, Death match solo/Team, Flag capture etc.) is this will to offer multiple gameplay a way to differentiate from your competitor?
Having a variety of modes is something that will keep the game fresh, give players more areas to explore where they might find something fun even if they weren’t expecting it, also this type of FPS game has had through times various communities that appreciated certain specific modes, we are interested in Diabotical being a place for them while some other modifications can improve these modes for everyone and make Diabotical into a unique experience.
Diabotical will be free to play; do you plan to make money with it? If so how will you proceed?
Thanks to Epic Games, Diabotical will be able to be released as a free-to-play game which we think is extremely important in order to make the game accessible to the largest amount of people we can. Diabotical is a free-to-play game where all players will have access to all maps and modes that we release. Players who choose to will be able to purchase battlepasses and a variety of different cosmetic options, currently Eggbot stickers but in the future will include, music, announcers, weapons skins, weapon attachments, Eggbot shoes and others which will be way for people to express themselves and support the continued development of the game.
What can fans expect in the next months? Nice surprises planned ?
We will be adding more content to the game on the following weekends as we go from weekend to weekend testing specific sets of modes and features while fixing things. We have a lot more stuff planned, some of it with already some work done but not finished yet, both in terms of modes/gameplay aspects as well as quality of life features, we already have some settings options that we think are nice but we would like for example to make the process of sharing HUDs simpler, hopefully integrated directly in-game, and in the future we would like to have a good structure for the community to be able to tinker with some scripts plus variables to create their own content, and a good structure for the community to share content that they made. I know of some things coming that I believe will be fun, maybe they will be announced or maybe they will just go in one day, we hope people will enjoy them.
*aAa* tradition, last word is yours.
Thank you once again for interviewing me, I am afraid that I am extremely busy with the imminent start of the closed beta weekend 1, so I have had to rush through some of these answers. Things will probably be rough to start with, but we are here to keep supporting Diabotical and with the help of the community this weekend and in the coming weekends we hope to get stuff fixed, provide a fun experience and bring more content and features each weekend, as we know everyone has their favorite modes and interests. We hope to give aAa positive reasons to cover the game. Thank you and thank you for reading this interview.