Armaholic was given the possibility to interview Marek "Maruk" Spanel - CEO www.bistudio.com.
Thank you Marek for giving Armaholic.com the opportunity to ask you some questions about "Arma: Queens Gambit" and also BIS' upcomming title "Arma 2".
You already have released a lot of info about Queens gambit regarding the new units, vehicles, campaigns and the island.
etc but, we would like to know what you yourself expect from QG? QG was also made a by a third company so not everything is in your hands.
One part of Queens Gambit was created by Black Element Software (campaign Royal Flush for mercenaries) and the second part directly in our studios (campaign Rahmadi Conflict and Porto Island).
I think that it is a dignified expansion, in which everyone can find something interesting, thanks to the 2 campaigns (both of which play out in different ways), new environment and multiplayer scenarios.
We have already had much info about your upcoming release Queens Gambit and also recently we have been able to view a trailer of the expansion pack.
Can you maybe tell us what your personal favorite is when talking about QG.
I prefer the Porto island. It's small, nice and useful for smaller, more and intensive action missions.
QG is set to be released at the 28th of September. Is there any information you can give us about the upcoming patch? How far are you with it and could you maybe reveal some fixes that will most certainly please the community?
Info about the patch you can already read on our blog at http://www.bistudio.com. The biggest improvement I see is in the reduction of cheating, which became a big threat more recently, repaired fog on DX10 graphic cards (Geforce 8xxx, Radeon 2xxx) and removing of the copy-protection service and hacking exe.
For more detailed info check our blog here:
How much longer will you support ArmA (patches, expansions) after you have released ArmA II? Will you abandon ArmA?
We are doing the maximum we can to keep Arma alive, but we hope that Arma 2 will fully replace Arma since it will be really an improvement of the game and the porting of the user made stuff will be very easy. We are not planning full support for Arma after Arma 2 release.
Talking about ArmA 2, Is Black Element Software or any other game developer involved in developing ArmA 2?
Arma 2 is developed mainly by Bohemia Interactive, but some things will be developed by other studios.
You released the tools for ArmA recently.
Will the tools be compatible with ArmA 2 or will we have to wait for new/updated tools again?
If new tools are required for ArmA 2 will you try to release them sooner than you did with ArmA?
And how will it be with addons in ArmA 2? Will the addons from the first ArmA be compatible with ArmA 2? We have seen that you are keeping the scripting side compatible between both releases.
We want Arma 2 to work smoothly in that way. So we are informing the modders about problems for future compatibility, so modders could make things which even Arma2 will be able to work with.
You have said that the player will have access to 50+ vehicles and units and you have given some examples of vehicles which will be available such as the T-90, BMP-3, Tonguska-M1, C-130J Super Hercules, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and others, but what about the infantry units in the game? Will you add Special Forces? Recon units? Will there be any close combat weapons such as knives?
Yes, there will be a huge number of new infantry units. We are not planning the close combat weapons now, but never say “never”...
How about the artillery? In ArmA the artillery was limited in the way it could support the player (without extra scripting), will you work on a more advanced artillery system?
We are making this by scripts too. But we are planning to use this feature more, but it isn’t our primary objective.
Will ArmA 2 have more enterable buildings to raise tactical possibilities for both the player and the AI?
It will be similar like in the original game. Interiors are really hard to make.
We have seen a movie of the AI advancing in a street, using all kinds of cover and even "peeking” around a corner. What about indoors fights? Will AI be able to fight effectively indoors?
Even AI indoors fight will be highly improved, but now we are concentrating on the urban fights..
Since you have said the Story driven single player is full of twists and surprises and fully dynamic it is safe to assume the time and effort put into this will be a lot and thus guarantee a well balanced SP experience. ArmA's SP side of the game has disappointed many people, could you give us some information of what those people who play this game mainly for SP can expect in regards to playing the missions, how dynamic will it be? Can you give us an estimate of how long the ArmA 2 campaign will take to complete in hours?
We are planning highly dynamic missions, but it’s too soon how long (in hours) it will be.
We know we will be playing as US soldiers in Chernarus, a torn country due to many sides fighting each other. What kind of missions will the players be playing in this campaign? Will it be mainly missions aimed at full engagement by the player or will you also include support missions and/or recon missions?
There will be plenty of mission types. But I don’t want to reveal too much from the campaign, the magic is in the element of surprise.
As we know from OFP and ArmA the player will not be fighting the war on his own. But in contrary to those titles you seem to have decreased team size for most. Why have you chosen tostep away from the larger squads you made possible and of which everybody was so happy including your team?
Will the ArmA 2 campaign include main characters or will it just have a bunch of anonymous soldiers in your squad?
Big groups are hard to control. We want to make ARMA 2 accessible for more people, and for them a team bigger then 4-5 soldiers is too complicated. There would be main characters in the campaign, but regarding to the dynamical style of the game, player can easily loose them and will have to continue with anonymous soldiers
There will not be an advanced destruction system in ArmA 2 but it will be like we have seen in ArmA.
You will surely have seen what some of the community members have done to the damage and explosion effects to make them more to the liking of the community.
Will you use this community effort to make things better and incorporate it in ArmA, and hopefully improve them even more?
It is not true that the destruction system will not be improved. We just didn’t handle the fully physical simulated destruction, especially in multiplayer. But we are still working on a lot of improvements regarding this.
With ArmA you also updated the mission editor and added new features and improved the GUI. In the forums we can already find some user suggestions of what to improve in the editor.
Have you planned improving the editor even further and will you take the user suggestions into account?
We are adding many nice details and other things. Additionally we are planning a new alternative edit mode. So I believe the community will not be disappointed.
In the press release you speak about an, and I quote, "Unique AI combat system".
What does this mean? In Armed Assault we have seen the AI doing some impressive things. How did you manage to make a unique system?
Did you make a totally new AI system and stepped away from how it worked in ArmA or have you upgraded the ArmA AI management system a lot?
AI from original the Arma was based on Flashpoint AI, and it was supposed to be used for fights in open areas. It wasn’t working too smooth then, with precision in meters. For Arma 2 we are making AI which will work in precision in centimeters, which communicates more, and gesticulate. AI Which takes cover behind the corners, leans from the corners, uses sidesteps, back steps and stuff like that. I think all of this makes for a completely new experience from player vs AI battles. We are working on the system of suppressive fire too.
For ArmA 2 you promise a multiplayer with large scale maps for 50+ live players.
This is less than what was "promised" for Armed Assault.
Could you give some additional information why you choose to decrease sizes for MP as well as SP?
Even 200 players are more than 50... Its not true that we are decreasing the number of characters or players. To make the game accessible to more different kind of players we try to concentrate on smaller groups.
In a recent video from the GC in Leipzig we could see a rabbit jumping around in the very nice looking ArmA 2 environment. How about other animals? Will ArmA 2 contain more and different animals at the first release?
We are working on live environment with various kinds of animals. Sure it is interesting, we will see what we can make but they’re not our priority.
How big will the "bigger" cities be talking in square Km also in comparison to ArmA?
Will you include bigger and more detailed military bases and other specialized locations such as harbors, chemical plants, factory sights etc?
Map design of Arma 2 is more varied and interesting. Docks, industrial areas, villages, cities, military bases and stuff like that. The whole map is based on existing maps and the size of the cities, villages, roads, forests and even relief are an accurate copy of reality.
Will ArmA 2 support dualcore/multicore CPU's or multi-gpu cards systems?
Yes, we have multicore support in the plans. About SLI and crossfire technologies, there is nothing which we can support, it all depends on drivers, and you should be able to play original ArmA with those technologies.
Are the rumors true about ArmA 2 being the last public game release for BIS? If so, could you maybe give some more information?
Now we are fully concentrating on the development of Arma2, it's hard to say what we will do after that. But be sure that we are planning future games for public gamers, not just software for the army or other official organisations alone.
Is there something we haven't asked in this interview and which you would like to share with the community?
Thanks to all the people from the community for the support they gave to us. Our games are unique, for the freedom of user creations and it is one of the things which we want to stick with in the future.
We made the interview a few weeks back already and since Marek is very busy we couldn't publish the interview any sooner, so it contains some information thats already published elsewhere and known due to its release (Queens Gambit).
You can view a lot more screenshots of Arma 2 in our Arma 2 screens Gallery.
We also have an Arma 2 video section, you can find it here.
Feel free to comment in our Ama 2 forum topic.
We would like to thank Bohemia Interactive for the interview.www.sniperfans.org and Armabase.de for the screenshots of the Leipzig Games Convention.
VojtzechGamer for the translations he made.
Placebo from the BIS forums for doing the final check.
Forrestal from www.armedassault.com.pl for the movie he made of Arma 2 at the GC in Leipzig.
And all the guys from Armaholic.com making this possible.
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