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  REPORT IN! Thomas Ryan – Campaign_ Official    

A new Report in! featuring Designer Thomas Ryan, one of the campaign creators, has been published on the official Arma 3 website . Here are some extracts :

The campaign is being released across 3 episodes. What did or does this mean for your work; did anything change in terms of story or missions?
[possible spoilers]
I believe the episodic approach is allowing us to provide a much more polished experience on launch than we have in the past, as I believe the reception to Survive has proven. That’s not to say it’s been perfect, of course; work is still on-going to improve certain aspects of the individual missions, and fix issues that players have run into. We’ve learned a lot from the release of just Survive alone, the results of which I hope you’ll see in the coming episodes.

In terms of a direct impact on the story or missions, here’s another piece of trivia: the ending sequence to Survive was actually originally the opening to Adapt, with Survive ending as the survivors sailed away from the shores of Stratis. However, when we decided to go with the episodic approach, we believed this scene was better suited to end Survive and leave the players wanting more, thus we made it so. Throughout Survive, though, we made careful considerations as to what we wanted to reveal, or keep secret until the following episodes. We’re only at the beginning, after all.

The episodes are called Survive, Adapt, and Win. The first episode ‘Survive’ has just been released. Can you tell us how the theme of ‘surviving’ is incorporated?
[possible spoilers]
The global situation in Arma 3 pits NATO pretty much on the losing end, with an ever-growing competitor looming in the east; the Canton Protocol Strategic Alliance Treaty, or CSAT for short. We wanted things to go badly for Kerry and, by extension, the player. We wanted to test how they would react when faced with such situations. The AAF, whom NATO considered a (reluctant) ally, turns on them as they are pulling out, motives uncertain (for now), and decimates the majority of NATO forces left behind, leaving only the player and a few survivors to, well, survive. Stratis is a small place, and the survivors have very little time to put together a plan of action. Needless to say, not everything goes according to plan.

When thinking about what gameplay we wanted, we wanted the player to be on the receiving end of hell on a lot of occasions. We wanted him under-equipped and outnumbered though, sometimes, pulling through. However, most of their victories end up being partial. But Kerry, and the player, has to put a lot of faith in his superiors, and he only recognizes a few of them, if he knows them at all. Not, perhaps, the situation most soldiers want to find themselves in when faced with such odds.

Stories typically contain an introduction, body, and conclusion. Should we consider Survive as the introduction? How do you introduce a setting, story, and characters?

Survive is definitely the introduction. Adapt and Win will take what you learn here and push you harder, giving you more freedom and autonomy as you progress, as well as introducing you to the more complex aspects of Arma 3. Here, we wanted to teach you the basics; essentially, how to survive.

Apart from its technical purpose, its narrative purpose is to set the scene. We wanted to introduce the player to our world, to the characters he’ll see throughout the remaining episodes, and to start him off on the story we want to tell. We give the player a brief lesson on the global situation at the time. We then introduce him to certain characters and their motivations, though a lot is deliberately left unclear. Finally, we knew that the survivors had to get off Stratis by the end of Survive, and we set the wheels in motion, with all roads eventually leading the player to Altis.

The first campaign episode also seems a good place to start for newcomers. However, it’s not really like there are specific tutorials. What are you doing to ease these players into Arma 3?

Survive is definitely the starting point, intending to teach newcomers the fundamentals. Moving up through the tiers as the episode progresses, you start off with basic combat, before moving on to basic squad combat, and then some wildcards get thrown into the mix, such as mortars, underwater, and night-time operations. These really are the basic of basics in Arma 3, and you will need to be familiar with them to progress in the coming episodes.

Outside of our "learning through play" approach, we have also introduced a new, key mechanic in Survive: the Instructor Figure. An optional game setting, which you can easily opt-out of, the Instructor Figure is a system that gives the player context-appropriate assistance in missions where we deemed it necessary, presented in the form of in-universe conversations involving campaign characters. The idea was to provide tips that could help the player in some of the more complex situations, many of which we determined during our phases of focus testing. The idea was not to draw the player out of the experience by throwing him into some cutscene or presenting him with a book to read. Rather, we treat it as if it's almost a story event, which helps to keep the player immersed while also pointing them in the right direction.
Can you already give us a few hints on what to expect in the next episode(s)?
[possible spoilers]
Well, without giving too much away, I will say that all is not as it seems. A lot of the questions you have been asking after playing Survive are there for a reason, and many will be answered as early as Adapt. As I said before, we are only at the beginning.


  November 12th, 2013 - 00:26 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

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