by Robert "Bilko" Shaw
Article Type: Interview
Article Date: October 18, 2001
Product Name: Medal of Honor: Allied Assualt
Category: WWII First Person Shooter
Publiser: EA Games
Release Date: Released
Min. Spec: Win 95/98/2000/Me/XP (NT not supported); PII 450 or equiv.; 128MB RAM; 16MB OpenGL capable video card; DirectX 8.0 comp. sound
Rec. Spec: PIII 700 or equiv; 32MB OpenGL video
Multiplayer: TCP/IP Internet and LAN
Files & Links: Click Here
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Tip: Place your cursor over underlined acronyms for definition. SYFIOA
Are We There Yet?Like a lot of games lately it’s been delayed, put back, and delayed again. The last delay was a gut wrenching four-month delay for Medal of Honor fans. A World War II FPS, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (MOHAA) is due to hit the shelves February 2002. Your are put onto the beaches of Normandy, through battle torn streets to the sun soaked terrain of North Africa and Germany itself on countless missions to take out the enemy. From the preview videos, it looks to be a very fine game indeed.
While the development carries on at the 2015 studios we got the chance to ask 2015 animator Michael Boon some questions about MOHAA.
R.S. Will there be a demo if so when? When is the Official release date?
M.B. No word on Demo date yet. MOHAA will ship February 2002.
|Locked and loaded, taut as a bowstring, and nauseous. Bring it on! |
R.S. Will MOH portray the raw fear & emotion that soldiers felt when engaged in battle. For example, do AI soldiers break down, scream, get scared or run away?
M.B. Soldiers will show a lot of human emotion in MOHAA, as we're really trying to provide an authentic feel for players. That said, the soldiers alongside the player are more often than not well-trained, experienced soldiers and
in general they can be relied on to stay cool under fire.
|Oh my God! |
R.S. What multiplayer features will MOHAA have and will cheat prevention be addressed?
M.B. We will have several modes of both FFA and team-based multiplayer. The authentic setting of MOH really caters well to squad-based battles and objective scenarios where each team must balance the individual strengths and weaknesses of its individual members.
We're taking cheating very seriously. We've integrated all of the Quake 3 technology and also added some cheat-protection of our own, so we have high hopes that cheating will be very difficult in MOH.
|We gotta get off this beach! |
R.S. How open will the code be? That is, how easily will players be able to edit/create missions or make mods? Related to this: will there be a built-in mission editor?
M.B. We intend to open the code up in a similar fashion to the Quake games, since that is how many of the members of 2015 found our way into the game development industry. It will take us a little while after the release of the game to get all the source and tools into a state where we can release it to the community.
|Mortars pound the beach |
R.S. When the game is released, will it be released worldwide or will there be separate launch dates for Europe and North America?
M.B. Yes, it will be a worldwide release.
|Barbed wire and gun emplacements fend off the invasion |
R.S. Will there be a dedicated MOHAA multiplayer server? If so, how many simultaneous players will it support?
M.B. There will be a dedicated server, which can support up to 64 players, I believe. In practice the maximum number of clients would depend on the hardware setup.
|Bangalore torpedoes rip through the barb wire |
R.S. We've all been amazed by the streaming video clips of the assault on Omaha Beach—Lieutenant Mike Powell, who we are as the player, seems to be getting yelled at all the time to do one thing or another; how much of this is scripted and how much is left to random chance?
M.B. It's scripted…and random too. All of the orders yelled at the player are in context, so none of it is entirely random. However, there is some variation depending on where you are and what you're doing, so if you play the game in different ways, different things might happen.
|The war is over for this German soldier |
R.S. Will the campaign be scripted or semi-dynamic? That is, will how you do in the last mission affect the next mission in any way?
M.B. In general, there are particular objectives in each mission that you must accomplish before you can continue, so each mission is designed with the knowledge that you did these things for each previous mission. Most of the missions are in a different part of the European Theater than the others, so the opportunity for influencing what might happen in the game later on is small. That's not saying it doesn't ever happen, just that we haven't forced it in as a gimmick, so it's not going to happen very much.
R.S. Player control will no doubt consist of the standard movement and weapon choices (e.g., A,W,S,D for movement and left mouse button for firing plus a few F keys for weapons). We understand the need to keep the game fun and easy to play, but hardcore squad-based tactical shooter players want to know if, in addition to this standard movement and weapons control setup, there will be any additional menu-driven commands like we see in some of the the ultra-realistic FPSs like Operation Flashpoint?
M.B. MOHAA is more of an action game than a squad-based tactical game. The game is much more realistic than, say, any of the Quake games, but we've really tried to streamline the interface so that players can lead and follow without having to memorize their way through menus of commands. Your squad mates know what they need to do: they look to you for guidance, but they operate primarily without explicit commands from the player.
|Unprecendented street detailing |
R.S. With a veritable avalanche of new FPSs on the horizon, especially military based FPS, what do you feel makes MOHAA stand apart from the others?
M.B. I think that the entire MOH franchise has a great approach—that of "authenticity" over "realism". What that means to us is that the whole game has to feel real, rather than trying to get the exact reload rate, muzzle velocity and spread pattern for every weapon. I think by taking that approach, games in the MOH series provide more immersion for players. Players think more in terms of actually being there, rather than looking at the pretty colored lights or worrying about whether or not the gun they're holding is made in the same factory as the ones in their books. Of course we still have to keep the weapons (and everything else) very close to the real thing so that players' suspension of disbelief isn't broken.
|Allied plane drops bombs on city |
For MOHAA, we've done some fantastic things technically that have allowed us to take the Quake3 engine and make a very convincing world out of it. With our highly detailed characters and huge amount of animation on top of that, I hope we can really make players forget that they're playing a game and make them feel like they're traveling through Northern Africa, Norway or France and seeing real, brave people around them.
We want to thank Mr. Boon for taking the time to answer our questions. His very interesting and frank replies should add fuel to the always raging debate regarding realism vs. gameplay. Whatever the case, we like what we've seen so far.
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