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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Vietcong' - Developer Interview

by Rainier on April 1, 2003 @ 8:58 a.m. PST

Acting as an elite soldier, players of “Vietcong” command the A-team, part of the U.S. Special Forces, in realistically represented Vietnamese environments. Players will lead as many as six expertly trained soldiers through 20 dramatic missions, and follow a storyline that captures the danger, fear and unpredictability of the war itself. The full-featured multiplayer mode also allows gamers to play as U.S. Special Forces or Vietcong soldiers and to battle over specially designed levels. Take 2 has sent out an interview with Pterodon Development's Project Leader Jarek Kolar. Read more to check it out!

Q : Who has the honor to talk to us? State your name, rank and occupation!

Jarek Kolar, Project Leader on Vietcong at Pterodon Development

Q : Vietcong has be mooted as one of the most realistic jungle games on the market, was this intentional and how have you achieved this?

It was always our plan to make this as accurate a simulation of what combat in Vietnam would have been like as possible, while also ensuring we delivered a great gaming experience. As such we endeavoured to go to the same lengths in recreating the setting as we did in balancing the gameplay and thinking through the structure and themes of missions.

We even took a trip out to Vietnam to get a feel for the place and to bring back as much reference material as possible. In addition to this we also worked with a number of scientists who specialised in the biology and geography of South East Asia

Q : How did you ensure that everything else in the game was as accurate as the environments?

We took as much time on researching every other aspect of the game as we did on the environments, working very closely with a weapons expert and liasing with the archive departments of multinational museums.

For the vehicles, machinery and other technology we had to look at Vietnamese records and museums.

To ensure that the soldiers were correct in terms of their movement, language and clothing we liased with Vietnam War Veterans and Special Forces who were in Vietnam.

Q : Could you tell us from the players point of view what we'll be doing in the game?

The key character is Steve R. Hawkins who is a Special Forces soldier. He has been transferred from Nha Trang to the operational base Nui Pek to join the A-216 team. The story is about a six-month tour of duty with this team covering medic patrols, reconnaissance, defences, assaults and other missions.

Q : You mentioned that the game is very realistic will this be the case in fire fights?

You can expect to die instantly if you're shot in the head. However, depending on what weapon is used and where else you are shot there is a greater chance of survival than one shot one kill.

Q : As you take on the role of Steve R. Hawkins who joins up with a SF team does this mean it is a tactical squad based game?

You play as Steve R. Hawkins with an AI team that you can control by simple commands through the single player game. We felt that it was important to have a system that was easy to use without detracting from the enjoyment of the game. However, there will be co-operative missions where by you will be able to play as each member of the team.

Q : As the game is based in the Jungle does this mean that there are times where you need to move stealthily?

You are definitely right here! There are going to be places in the game where the more cautious you are the longer your lifespan will be. This doesn't mean though that you have to play at a slow pace.

Q : If Vietcong is not a tactical squad based game how simple is it to command your team?

Your team is Special Forces trained and therefore you will not need to worry about the basic elements such as diving for cover, as they will do this instinctively from their training. What you will have is a simple command menu to give orders to attack etc. so as not to detract from your immersion into the game.

Q : Vietnam was a unique war with the way that helicopters played such an important role, will this be the same in Vietcong?

Huey Helicopters will definitely be used in the game and you will even get to interact with them. In fact in keeping with the realism many of the missions will start with you being inserted into the jungle by Huey. You will also be able to drive jeeps over mountain terrain and even travel by riverboat. We have plans going forward to provide more vehicles but in terrain better suited to them such as tanks in urban locations.

Q : How varied are the missions in Vietcong?

You will find yourself in many different scenarios from having to deal with a situation while on a solo mission as well as with the full support of a team. To make certain missions more varied different amounts of intel will be available to you which in turn will allow you to make your own on the spot decisions which may or may not be the right ones!

Q : With such a realistic game in the offering what should we expect in a fire fight?

This is one part of the game we are very proud of and why we created a bespoke engine. Not only will your team-mates give covering fire in a battle but you can expect the enemy to dive for cover. While in cover they will shoot over or around obstacles to reach their target. We wanted realism and with the AI that we have created you can expect some pretty heated fire fights.

Q : You said that the player would be involved in different scenarios how is this done in the game?

To ensure that there is variety in the game it is important to ensure that your surroundings are believable. For this reason you will not just be in the heat of the jungle but can expect to come across gushing streams, mountainous canyons and even claustrophobic tunnels.

Q : Air power was a key feature of the war that the US troops relied on when in difficulty will you be able to do this?

There will be times in the game were you might need to call upon fire support. In keeping with the reality you can call upon support from the air or indeed from the artillery. Obviously there will be occasions where this will not be possible to avoid friendly fire or civilian casualties.

Q : We have heard that the multiplayer part of Vietcong is highly anticipated can you talk us through it?

At the moment we have created several multiplayer maps one of which we have already released in our demo. You will also be able to play as either US or Vietcong troops and you can expect some great action with up to 64 players on a map at the same time!

There will also be several co-operative missions based on the single player maps, which will allow you team up and take on the Vietcong.

Q : Why will a gamer want to play Vietcong?

It is so close to jungle warfare that you can almost feel the beads of sweat trickling over your forehead. You will experience the fear, panic and intensity of the conflict.


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