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Interview: Matt Wilson - Co-founder of Privateer Press and design team member of Warmachine: Tactics

Interview: Matt Wilson - Co-founder of Privateer Press and design team member of Warmachine: Tactics

Interview - posted by Whisky on Wed 31 July 2013, 05:07:00

Tags: Kickstarter; Privateer Press; Tacticular Cancer Interview; Warmachine: Tactics


Matt Wilson, one of the co-founders of Privateer Press and a member of the design team for Warmachine: Tactics has been nice enough to answer a few questions about the Kickstarter and the game for us:

"Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Can you tell us a little about Privateer Press and your development team?"

Privateer Press is a tabletop game company that has been making game products since 2000. WARMACHINE, one of our flagship titles celebrates its ten year anniversary this year which has us very excited about running this Kickstarter for WARMACHINE: Tactics at the same time. Privateer Press Interactive is a new company created to take the various Privateer Press tabletop games into the digital gaming space. We teamed up with WhiteMoon Dreams to make this happen. WhiteMoon Dreams is a Los Angeles based independent developer that has been working on games and for high profile software publishing clients for about six years. We've been wanting to create a WARMACHINE game together for a long time and are thrilled to be getting that chance, thanks to the incredible community that has rallied around WARMACHINE: Tactics.

"For our readers who have never played Warmachine before, can you briefly describe the game and setting?"

WARMACHINE is set in the Iron Kingdoms, a fantasy setting where magic and steam-era technology work together. The game focuses on battles between the major nations of the Iron Kingdoms, spurned by conquest, age-old rivalries and religious disputes. In the game, superhuman battle-mages called warcasters lead armies of warriors and warjacks. The warjacks are ten-ton steam-powered automatons that are telepathically controlled by the warcaster and comprise his or her personal battlegroup. The conflicts are dynamic and fast paced, filled with spell-slinging, crazy weaponry, and over-the-top action.

"Will this be a strict adaptation of the tabletop rules? Will die rolls be implemented? How about Focus?"

WARMACHINE: Tactics is focused on a squad, as opposed to the armies of the tabletop game. This lets us offer a lot more options to each individual member of the squad. All the math is under the hood, so to speak, so there's a random element, but you don't see it out in front of you. And of course, focus, the power pool that the warcaster uses to cast spells and boost warjack attacks is definitely part of the game. Resource management is an essential part of WARMACHINE.


"How will camera angles be handled? Will there be an isometric or birds-eye view to give the player a better view of the battlefield?"

The camera is awesome, allowing you almost total freedom to zoom in or out or move around the battlefield. It's not fixed, it's totally under your control. For the cinematic events that take place during battle, the camera will switch to the predetermined angle where the event is best viewed from, then it's back under your control.

"I'm aware this is incredibly early on, but do you have plans for additional content after release of the game? Additional factions such as Horde factions?"

WARMACHINE currently has over 500 warcasters, warjacks, and warriors in its lineup, with more being added every year. Our hope is get as many of these into the game as makes sense, but its going to take years to do. So, we'll be offering regular content expansions after the game releases so that we can continue to build this world out. HORDES is also something we want to do, but that's an entirely new undertaking in itself.

"It is clear that a lot of work has been put into the models and animations. That being said, for some players they like to have an option to disable kill-cam animations after having seen them all. Will there be an option to turn off kill-cam animations?

Yes. They'll be optional. Personally though, I can never get enough of them!

"What kind of difficulty can we expect from the AI? Will the single-player present a challenge to new players and veterans alike?"

That's certainly the goal with the AI. The WhiteMoon Dreams game design team includes veteran designers who worked on the original Fallout as well as the Myth series, so we're expecting them to bring us a great challenge!


"Tell us a little about the campaign. Will it be linear or will there be multiple paths? How many missions are you aiming for?"

The campaign is very story driven, and as such, what you'd call linear. It stars a single journeyman warcaster character, Lt. Allison Jakes, who progresses through the campaign from novice to full-fledged warcaster. We're currently aiming for around 20 missions and 15-20 hours of gameplay. I'm in the process of writing the script for the campaign right now and I'm having an amazing time with it.

"Would you say that this game is more focused towards single-player or multi-player?"

It's very much split. We're creating an incredibly robust multi-player experience that is going to be supported with online matchmaking, events and tournaments as well as casual play and an asynchronous play-by-mail mode. But we're also crafting amazing stories for the single-player experience, with deep campaigns, regular releases of new single-player missions, and fully supported AI skirmishing. We're also hoping to get co-op into both the single and multiplayer games.

Tell us a little about multi-player. How many maps are you planning to include on release? Will there be additional map releases later? Are there any different kinds of multi-player modes?"

We've got six different multiplayer maps scheduled for release, with more maps planned as follow up content, and multiplayer maps will always be free. We are hoping to have a variety of different multiplayer modes with variable game sizes, scenarios, and hopefully co-op as well as 4-way multiplayer options.

"How do you feel about modding for the game? Will the game have a map editor?

We're hoping to eventually include a map editor. It's a planned stretch goal right now, though it's a distant one and hasn't appeared on our list yet. It's not something we can get into the game for the launch date we've sent, but hopefully it will follow the release at some point. We think it would be awesome to have.

"In the trailer, we see a command wheel used in the game. This is normally something that is associated with console games due to the controller layout. Is this a hint that there could be a future console release?"

The team at WhiteMoon Dreams is very smartly forward engineering the UI to work with virtually any control set common today: keyboard/mouse, control pad, or touch screen. So while we're focused on a PC and Mac release, we're looking forward to and hoping to be able to bring WARMACHINE: Tactics to as many platforms as possible.

Thanks again, Matt, for answering our questions!

Warmachine: Tactics's Kickstarter is set to end in ten days and they have already raised just below $1,100,000. They've got a wide variety of stretch goals left to be reached which can be seen on their Kickstarter page. The stretch goals include two factions, "Magnus the Traitor's Battlegroup," and "Retribution of Scyrah."

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