View Full Version : Developer Q & A

18th Feb 2005, 19:46
Hi Folks,
Sorry about the delay, but Mr. Flu slowed me down in getting this set up. Here are the answers that Snowblind developer Zak McClendon had for your questions:

Q: What are your feelings when Project: Snowblind is compared to the HALO series of games?

A: Quite flattered! We’re huge fans of Bungie’s work here (and lost more than a few hours to Halo 2 online game) and any comparisons to the best selling game in the genre only help us. That said, we think that Project: Snowblind has enough of a different focus (a huge arsenal, amazing special abilities, class-based multiplayer, just to name a few) that we can really bring something new to fans of the genre.

Q: You decided to create this game instead of another Deus Ex game. Are there any ties to the Deus Ex universe?

A: No, Project: Snowblind is an original property, built from the ground up as its own unique universe.

Q: Is the game structured in an individual-level fashion or more like a First Person RPG, with more diverse play-through paths, like Deus Ex: Invisible War?

A: Project: Snowblind, first and foremost, is an action game. We wanted to keep the pace going strong and the action levels high, so there’s no backtracking between areas and very little “downtime.” However, the missions themselves aren’t linear – they’re full of branching paths and support a variety of tactics you might want to try out. Beyond that, there’s the huge arsenal of weapons and abilities, which makes every battle as open-ended as you want it to be.

Q: The online multiplayer mode of this game has received a lot of publicity. Will Snowblind have local, splitscreen-style multiplayer gameplay as well as online? LAN play?

A: Project: Snowblind will feature LAN play in addition to the Multiplayer matches over the Internet.

Q: What, if any, other games influenced you while you were making Project: Snowblind?

A: We looked at everything! Other FPS games, classic 2D shooters, vehicular combat games, anything that we could get our hands on.

Q: After I have completed the game once, and am casually playing with friends what will keep me playing for a long time?

A: On the single player side, there are a ton of alternate routes, hidden areas and different weapons and strategies to try out. Combat is incredibly open-ended, so you can try a totally different set of tactics the second time. Go in, guns blazing, sneak around with the cloaking and sniper rifle, or hide behind a Riot Wall, while your smart weapons handle the battle for you! Keep trying different stuff out and there is plenty to keep discovering!

Naturally, there’s multiplayer, which should keep you playing with your buddies for months. With 6 distinct classes, tons of mode, friends list, clans and ranked stats, there’s even more to discover in the multiplayer modes!

Q: How many different multi-player modes are there?

A. There are nine multiplayer modes in Project: Snowblind, including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Demolition, Capture the Flag, Tactical Assault, Hunter, and more! Each mode requires different strategies to be effective, allowing for a wide variety of play styles.

Q: Can you describe the character classes that a player can use in multiplayer?

A. There are six Multiplayer loadouts in Project: Snowblind.

The Grunt, which has the standard Carbine rifle with Skip grenades as its alternate fire, is augmented with the Ballistic Shield, and the Grunt can deploy Cloaked Mines, making it a great utility class and useful in almost all situations.
The Scout, who uses the Shotgun with its Sticky Bomb alternate fire, is augmented with the Reflex Boost. Scouts can also deploy Cloaked Mines, so the Scout is excellent at close range combat as well as bomb and flag runs.
The Sniper wields a Sniper Rifle with a rapid discharge secondary fire, is augmented with Cloak He also comes equipped with the H.E.R.F for close range. Naturally the Sniper excels at eliminating threats from long distances.
The Heavy comes equipped with the Rocket Launcher and the Stealth Pistol and is augmented with Ballistic Shield, making the Heavy great versus vehicles and groups of people at medium range.
The Agent primarily uses the Rail Laser to eliminate enemies quickly with pinpoint accuracy and is augmented with Enhanced Vision allowing the Agent to not only see people through walls, but also shoot them!
The Berserker brings the Flechette to the table with its devastating energy balls flying through the play field, and the Berserker is augmented with Electrical Storm allowing them to snowblind enemies at close range.

Q: Will there be bots in multiplayer?

A: No, multiplayer will be strictly between human players without bots. We believe that the variety of maps and game options available will make for exciting play no matter how many players are in your game.

Q: Do you plan on releasing a public dedicated server program for PS2 and PC?

A: No, that’s not in the cards for Project: Snowblind.

Q: How many different kinds weapons are there?

Player’s will eventually have access to 11 primary weapons / gadgets, ranging from old favorites like the Shotgun and Rocket Launcher, to fantastic new Sci-Fi weapons like the HERF Gun and Flechette Gun. Each weapon has a distinct alternate fire, essentially doubling your options of each weapon! Add in six new grenade types and a bevy of special augmentations and you’ve got a huge arsenal available!

[Editor’s Note- See the Project: Snowblind official website, www.projectsnowblind.com for a breakdown of the weapons in the game.]

Q: What kind of enemies you will face in the game?

A: Nathan Frost’s main opponent is General Yan Lo’s Republic Army. Highly trained and coordinated, Republic soldiers come equipped with everything from small arms to devastating explosive weapons. Once Frost gains his augmentations, you’ll also have to be on the lookout for soldiers carrying EMP Grenades – a hit from these can take your augs offline, leaving you high and dry out on the battlefield.

Later in the game, you’ll come face to face with the Republic Elite. Essentially Yan Lo’s private guard, the Elites are even more intelligent and have access to some of the same powers and abilities that Frost can employ. Once you start squaring off against enemies that can move at super speed or turn invisible, you better be prepared to step up your strategy.

The Republic also has a range of combat-ready automated robots deployed in the field – everything from flying Sentry Bots, used for surveillance, to laser-spitting Combat Bots and the towering 10 foot tall Military Bot. These are some of the most formidable opponents in the game, but you can always use you Icepick gadget to hack into the bot and use them against their masters.

Q: Tell us a little about the physics engine for the game please.

A: We’ve built our own in-house physics engine for Project: Snowblind, which we use throughout the game. You’ll see objects, parts of the environment, rubble and, yes, enemies flying through and tumbling around realistically. We’ve even equipped Frost with a gadget, called the Kicker, which lets you play with the physics directly – you can use it to push and pull objects around the environment.

Q: Will game saves use a checkpoint system within missions or some other method?

Project: Snowblind uses saves between missions and set save points within missions. You’ll be able to return to the save point and save your game at any time.

Q: How do the biomods/augs work? What powers them, and how do you get them?

Frost’s augmentations are part of the experimental procedure, which brings him back from death’s door after he’s seriously wounded defending the Liberty Coalition Headquarters. Because Frost’s operation is a bit of a rush job, his augs don’t come online all at once. They’re earned as the game progresses. The augs can mean the difference between life and death, but each one costs a set amount of BioEnergy – so you’ll need to be careful about when you employ them.

[Editor’s Note- See the Project: Snowblind official website, www.projectsnowblind.com for a breakdown of the Bio-augmentations in the game.]

Q: Will there be Unlockables (i.e.: extra missions, characters, weapons)?

A: No, our goal is to make sure that the game itself, its core elements, are as entertaining and exciting as possible, and stand on their own merits. As mentioned before though, Frost bio-augmentations will get improved as you progress in the game. But, then the challenges you face also progress too!

Q: Will there be any Project: Snowblind merchandise, like novels or comics that go deeper into the back-story, or limited edition artwork available?

A: No, we’re not currently planning to produce any merchandise. However, the game universe of Project: Snowblind is rich and detailed, and we have made various story material available to our fans online as a framework for their own imaginations to build on.

Q: How can we buy a copy of the Bonus DVD with Project: Snowblind?

A:The Bonus DVD is available with preorders of the game at Electronics Boutique and Gamestop.

Q: Is Snowblind going to have a map editor like Time Splitters II?

A: Unfortunately, no, a map editor is not included in Project: Snowblind.

Q: Will there be new multiplayer maps for us to download after the game's release?

A. Yes, the Xbox will have downloadable content, which includes new maps for you guys.

Q: How did you work to attain balance with the plethora of weapons and augs?

A. Quite simply what we did most to balance the Multiplayer experience was play it A LOT. (I know it's a tough job but someone has got to do it.) We were able to iterate very quickly to test balance changes internally, allowing us to make a lot of minor modifications and constantly tweak the balance. Finally, we used a lot of statistical analysis to ensure that our observations were leading to changes that made sense mathematically as well.

Q: What did you do to optimize each version for the appropriate platform? Are the PC players going to have less possible configuration options, lower quality textures, more level loads and etc because of the limitations of the other platforms?

A: We’re working hard to make sure that the PC version is competitive as a PC game – not just a quick console port. We’ll be supporting higher resolutions and advanced video card features, as well as addressing control and balance issues to make the game tailored to PC gamers.

Q: Do you see Snowblind as a 'run and gun' game or one that will require some strategy and require people to play as a team?

A: That all depends on you! If you’re the kind of player who wants to charge in, guns blazing, we totally support that and give you the tools and abilities to make it possible. If you want to hang back, rely on you buddies for support and develop a more complex strategy, then you’ll find a wealth of options there as well.

For multiplayer, however, teamwork is always going to be essential. The classes are balanced and designed to support and naturally encourage team play. Each class gives you set strengths and weaknesses, as well as a role on the overall team. You’ll find that players naturally begin cooperating in multiplayer, just by virtue of their complementary abilities and skills.

Q: Will there be a Snowblind II?

A: We can’t comment on any future plans for now, but hopefully you haven’t seen the last of Nathan Frost. :)

18th Feb 2005, 20:24
Very nice and interesting!

Thanks for your efforts :)

18th Feb 2005, 20:27
Yes, good stuff in there.

Of course all these answers just breed more questions. ;)

18th Feb 2005, 21:01
It's beginning to sounds more and more of an Unreal Tournament to me. :(

Remember Me
18th Feb 2005, 21:43
Lots of good info in the Q & A. However, I knows some people are still left with the question if there is split screen play for multiplayer. Everyone kind of knew LAN and Online play was available, which was the answer to the question, but split screen still wasnt addressed. :confused: Doesn't make a difference to me but I still feel left in the dark about that. Otherwise very helpful/informative Q &A

18th Feb 2005, 21:46
Ahh. Some questions answered. Some suspicions confirmed. The only thing I'm disappointed about really is the exclusion of bots for mp(mainly interested in bots for the offline mp aspect) and no offline mp at all. P: Sb still sounds chock full of fun though. ;)

18th Feb 2005, 22:50
There will be no splitscreen. All multiplayer is either LAN or online.

19th Feb 2005, 00:40
will there be buddy list and clan support? im just curious to see how online friendly the game will be.

19th Feb 2005, 01:15
heh, your question was answered in the Q&A!

"Naturally, there’s multiplayer, which should keep you playing with your buddies for months. With 6 distinct classes, tons of mode, friends list, clans and ranked stats, there’s even more to discover in the multiplayer modes!"

19th Feb 2005, 05:49
yes you are correct, i shoulda read it more thoroughly. good stuff.

19th Feb 2005, 16:57
ype']It's beginning to sounds more and more of an Unreal Tournament to me. :(

You say that like it's a bad thing :p Whereas UT is one (if not) the best fps's around. Frankly I wish Snowblind would have been released before Half Life 2 then I could have bought that instead.

19th Feb 2005, 20:53
It is a bad thing. UT is too simple. So it's perfect for the simple minded :) I just had a different view of this game... But it seems it's just going to be another shootemup.

22nd Feb 2005, 17:56
I agree with the last post here. I was initially interested in this game as it looked like it might be more than just a straight shooter. However after looking at the trailers it seems like it's all about killing and blowing stuff up, which has been done to death. Pun intended.

The original DE was the best game ever made IMO, and DE IW may not have been perfect, but still better than 99% of the games made today. At least IW gave you the option of using your brains instead of brawn.

I'll still keep this one in mind, but it's not looking promising right now, although it does at least seem to offer alternate paths to get where you need to go.

22nd Feb 2005, 18:18
I wouldn't pass judgement on the game before it's even out yet. Rent it, play it, then decide. The game is mission-based with lot's of combat yes, but with the wide variety of approaches available to players, plus the multiplayer options, it is not some low-brow mouth-breather game. You're not a secret agent in it; you're in the infantry. But that hardly means you can take the lowest common denominator approach. Quite the opposite.

22nd Feb 2005, 20:54
I guess I'm getting to old for games. I've been playing them for a long time. I like FPS games, and have recently gotten into RPG's as well, but it seems like all of them including RPG's, are just go somewhere, kill something, go somewhere else, kill something etc. etc.

I think this is why I like games such as Deus Ex, both 1 & 2, the Thief series, System Shock 2, and recently just played Vampire Bloodlines which was one of the best games that's come out lately IMO.

Maybe I'm wrong about Snowblind, I hope I am. It just seems to me that most games nowadays are more and more of the same thing. As great as HL 2 was, I found myself getting bored at the end of that one as well.

23rd Feb 2005, 02:19
Yes, as much as they tried, HL2 was still very linear. One way in, one way out.

I have high hopes for Bioshock...

As for SB, since I can't rent it, I guess I will have to wait for some personal PC reviews before I pry open my wallet.

23rd Feb 2005, 05:00
Ya, I can't rent it either. I'm going to do the same and see what the reviews say about the PC version before buying myself.

And you're right about Bioshock. I'm really lookiing foward to that one, although I don't think it's coming out untill Oct. or something. Seems they don't make many FPS/RPG hybrids, which is to bad, as the ones they have made usually seem very good.

BTW Brianpawn. If you haven't played VTM Bloodlines yet, you should try it. An excellent game that plays in first person, kind of like DE, but more RPG elements.

23rd Feb 2005, 07:28
Bioshock won't be out this year, and probably not 2006 either. It's only just begun development.

23rd Feb 2005, 17:45
It seems to me that I read somewhere that Bioshock has been in development for about 3 years now, and I could have sworn I saw a release date on thier web site of later this year, although I could be wrong.

23rd Feb 2005, 20:31
I have heard good things about VTM:B. Hmmmm, I will look into it a bit more.

Info from this preview about Bioshock (http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/bioshock/preview_6110044.html) says that it has indeed been in development for quite a while, but it won't be out till somewheres around 2K6.

I dunno why they don't make more FPS/RPG hybrids. I mean I would love to spend my hard earned money on some games like that.