Warhammer: Mark of Chaos Interview (con't)
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about the graphical features in the game?
Chris Wren: We really wanted the camera to allow players to get right up close to their units, to peruse the front lines of a bloody conflict for the soldier’s perspective. We also wanted the ability to zoom way out to see the whole battlefield. Most of the graphic features in the game were built around these two principles. Our satellite camera almost resembles the minimap, except it is not a map but just a camera that is pulled way out from the battlefield looking down on it. You can still command units from this view and issue formations and other orders. The up close and personal camera is more for show than anything, but the game is very playable from a close perspective. The main camera system starts you at mid distance isometric angle and is probably the most versatile camera in the game, you can zoom in and out as well as rotate the camera any way you want, there are some nice default cameras you can snap back to quickly if you find yourself enjoying the up close view too much and need to get back to business quickly.
All of the units in the game are very detailed for an RTS. You can put the camera right up the faces of our troops and they still look good. The buildings and other environmental elements employ things like normal maps, bump maps, reflections etc. Our skies are using HDR lighting to create the light for the world. It really makes for a believable environment with you see the detail of the skymaps and blend that with the lighting of the world around.
There are some great displacement maps and other cool particle effects that happen during a battle, cannon blasts will distort things a bit, and blood gets splattered pretty much everywhere during a battle. We made sure that corpses and blood stay on the battlefield for a long time after the battle is over, this was really important to capture the feel of a huge battle.
FiringSquad: Will there be a mission editor or other mod tools released for Mark of Chaos?
Chris Wren: We will be releasing a powerful map editor around the time of launch. This will not be an officially supported tool, but should allow players to make some amazing maps for multiplayer. It will let some of the more dedicated players put together maps as complex as we have in the game -- raising and lowering terrain, adding objects like trees and buildings as well as starting locations and rules for the maps.
FiringSquad: Will there be a demo of the game released and if so what will it contain?
Chris Wren: We’re planning a couple demos of the game. The first one you will see is a multiplayer demo. This will contain a number of maps and a limited set of armies to choose from, but should allow players to sample a variety of multiplayer options and games to choose from. This demo will likely have our entire customization toolset available to deck your armies before you take them online.
The second demo will be a sampling of our single player campaign experience. It will likely be a single Chapter from one of the campaigns, but should give you a good sense of what the overall campaign would be like, and hopefully leave you wanting more.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about the status of the game's progress and when will it be released?
Chris Wren: We are getting close to final on Warhammer: Mark of Chaos. The push lately has been to get the single player campaigns in order. We had a closed Beta test for multiplayer a while back, and to polish multiplayer before we launch the game, we’ll be hosting an open public beta soon to let more people jump in and help us tune up the last stages of that portion of the game.
FiringSquad: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Warhammer: Mark of Chaos?
Chris Wren: What we’ve done is not a game you can easily slot into a predefined category, as it borrows from several genres -- everything from RPG, to RTS to Action/Adventure is all present in this game. It is an RTS at its core, but these other elements really allowed us to tell a cool story, make a dynamic multiplayer environment and show off Warhammer like you’ve never seen it before.