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Humvee Assault

Platform(s): Arcade, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PC, PSOne, PSP, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360
Genre: Action

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'Humvee Assault' Developer Interview

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on April 7, 2003 @ 10:10 a.m. PDT

Check our previously posted screens...

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

Hey, my name is Dave Schulman, Producer/Bus boy for “Humvee Assault”.

2. What is the current status of HumVee Assault?

Should be in stores around April 15th. The game is gold and we are now having a big party to celebrate.?

3. What is the basic story behind the game?

Don’t want to give too much away (damn does everyone say that). As you play Humvee you learn more and more as the game unfolds. Different terrorists factions are working together that normally would never even speak to each other. Usually these terrorists’ leaders would kill each other just by looking at each other. You learn they are working together which is a red flag that something very bad might happen.

4. Due to the current war that is taking place in the Middle East is there any talk of changing the game or delaying it?

Not that I know of. It’s ironic that the game is coming out when it is. We didn’t plan this so maybe its fate or dumb luck.

5. What graphics engine did you use? An in-house developed or licensed engine? And why that choice?

We used our in-house engine named “S.E.E.D”. This engine has been in development for over a year now and we’re very proud of it. We did review other middleware options but after a lot of thought we came to the conclusion we wanted control over everything so we decided to develop it all in house. Our programming team did an amazing job and I’d just like to thank them again (Ilian, Mike, Roman, Georgi, Tony, Alex and Vassil). To name some of the features:

  • Power Render Engine: Some Levels containing more than 30,000 static scenery objects (with all the vehicles, AI-enemies, FX. SFX and physics going on it still renders 40-50k+ polygons on screen).
  • Robust Skeletal system with Non-stop Enemies: Levels containing over 200+ enemies, which range from Characters, Vehicles and Military Ammunition.
  • Advanced Physics systems (ridged, objects) Realistic response from missile fire. Hit a vehicle with a missile and watch them take the hit. Smash into crates, oil drums etc..
  • FX systems (explosions, debris, lights, glows, dust trails, shadows, missile trials, fire and more…
  • Multiple Gameplay Camera views: Play from inside the Humvee, 3rd person, Gunner view and more.
  • SFX and Music system: hear tracer fire, Impact hits, and feel the fast paced gameplay with music depending on if you’re on foot or driving the Humvee.
  • Seamless transition between complex indoor and outdoor environments .
  • Scalable options for low to high end systems .

There’s more but I don’t want to bore you …the gameplay is what counts.

6. What inspired you to create a game that focuses on the HumVee? Has there been any help from a military consultant to make the game accurate?

We thought a vehicle that can take a 4 pound land mine is a cool thing. When you throw in big guns and a lot of action we couldn’t wait. When we were presented the opportunity to develop a game we jumped on it. We did have help from AMG in regarding technical data to make sure we did the name justice. They kept a close eye on the work with an approval process like making sure that the Humvee models were accurate.

Infogrames did a great job being patient with us. Mike Gjere and Steve Charbonneau (Producers at Infogrames) made sure we got what we needed to get the job done.

7. What is it going to take to run HumVee in all its glory?

We’ve run Humvee on some super slow machines. For its “Glory” try to have a 1.2 mhz machine, 512 ram, decent sound card, and Gf3 or comparable video card. Keep in mind you can run it in a very low end machine 733mhz, TNT2, 256 ram etc..

8. How about the audio? Will there be extensive sound effects, for action, the environment and troop actions?

The sounds really jump out at you. From tracer fire, bullet hits, to explosions it’s all there. We also have a much “harder” paced music score then most games. We tried something different so it’s not your typical orchestral or techno music. We think it works well. Each level has its own music depending if you’re in the Humvee or on foot.

For those of you that don’t like music in game turn it off and enjoy realistic ambient sounds. The troops have footsteps sounds and all. We ended up not adding voices for enemies since it was too overwhelming.

9. Can you give us some info on the how the game will play?

As the game starts you learn a little bit about the story with a cut scene. After that you’re into the briefing screen in which you learn your mission and objective. The fun part is where you choose what Humvee would best suite that particular mission. With 4 Humvees to choose from each has its pro’s and cons.

After selecting your Humvee you are able to play the game in 3rd person mode as the character. There’s a nice freedom with fighting with the Humvee or having the option to do it on foot. The game was made to be focused in the Humvee so trying to take out a t-60 tank with your soldier doesn’t usually work out.

As you play the game your in constant contacts with your commanding officer who helps you a long and directs the player. You have objectives you have to meet and a navigation map to show you in some instances where to go next. As you play the game it does escalate in difficulty.

What we wanted to get across is a ton of action but at the same time convey a story and objectives you never lose focus of. We wanted the player to feel like he wasn’t just going “level to level” but was trying to figure out what will happen next in the story.

10. What sort of game elements do you plan to implement? FPS, Tactical Shooter, Racing sim?

Well it’s a mix of a couple. You have your main ones which are vehicle tactical shooter and 3rd person gameplay( on foot). Not to stop there ? you have multiple camera views to mix it up even more. I can honestly say the game feels totally different depending on what camera view you pick.

11. What terrains will you and your HumVee traverse?

The first level is in Cambodia with a very thick jungle to navigate. Mostly you stick to the roads to navigate your way through. Other levels include a desert area like Iraq, a snowy mountainous terrain, a destroyed village, etc. Each level is very unique in look and scope.

12. How many levels are you planning to have? What is the estimated game play time?

We have 5 levels which are Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia Colombia, Cambodia. I would say around 15-20 hours but it all depends on the player.

13. How large will the levels be? Can you just drive around and take in the eye candy?

Each level encompasses almost 4 miles. In Cambodia it’s a thick jungle so you are limited to where you can go. In a level like Iraq it’s all open and you can go almost anywhere. One of the things we are very happy with is how each level is so different. Play the jungles of Cambodia, the snow of Bosnia to the cities of Colombia. Every level really feels different.

14. What about the weaponry? Will it have a full compliment of weapons for both HumVee and soldier? What is your personal favorite weapon setup?

From the M2 .50 caliber machine gun, pedestal mounted stinger missiles system, 12.7mm caliber guns, M16 for soldier and grenades. As you play the game there are also reloads of these weapons all over. We made this as simple as driving/walking through the item and it’s added to your inventory. Also if you’re Humvee gets real low in armor you are able to pickup armor on foot and bring it back.

Ahh about my favorite setup. I’m known as the “Kamikaze” player in which I drive fast without regard and I hope for the best. So my choice is the “Cobra” Humvee since it’s the fastest. I also like the payload it holds and those stinger missiles do some nice damage.

15. What kind of damage system will HumVee Assault have? Will it be full on repairable damage? Or just your standard power bar and when it’s out you die?

You have your Humvee Armor (health) and your Soldier health .Each is independent of each other. But if your Humvee blows up the mission is a failure. We did this since without the Humvee it would be impossible to accomplish the mission, besides the game’s called “Humvee Assault”.

There are exceptions since there are parts of the game you have to finish some missions without the Humvee which makes for a very interesting change in pace.

We have an option to play the game with “Enemy health bars” as well as “Targeting Brackets” which aids in the gameplay. It’s your choice if you want to play with them on or off.

16. How realistic will the game environment be? Can you knock over trees, destroy buildings etc…?

You can’t knock down trees but in some levels almost everything is destroyable. In Afghanistan you have to destroy airport and almost everything blows up. It’s very cool. Lots of smoke, fire and pieces shrapnel flying all over.

In Colombia we have real time physics on many smaller objects such as crates, barrels tables etc. In the market place you can plow through watching them take air. It’s hard to make everything knock over with so many enemies on screen at once.

17. Can you give use some info on the physics engine of HumVee? Will it feel like you are driving a HumVee, will the movements be realistic?

Yes it feels like a Humvee, its Humvee Assault man! The movements are realistic but not so much so that it’s not fun to play. We went through many months trying to tweak the controls to make it feel right. We feel we reached a good middle point.

If you have a Humvee to realistic it slows the gameplay down so we had to figure out what was fun. We also added some unique controls to the Humvee as well. Just one is the “360 spin” which if you’re fully stopped you can spin 360 and shoot all around you. This way you don’t have to do a small turn just to shoot the guy next to you. It’s very cool with the “Gun Camera”.

18. Let’s talk about your AI; will it have a difficulty setting?

As you go to the next level the AI and game gets more difficult. Depending on the level depends on how good the AI is. Also when playing each level is very unique and you must adjust your style of gameplay for that level. Open terrain gameplay is much different then tight city gameplay.

19. What kind of strategies will the AI use against you? Will it call for support if out matched, try to flush you out when you are hiding?

The title is more of an action game so most of the time they are coming after you to no matter what. Some of the AI once locked on to you is very hard to lose. There are many ways the AI will react depending if it’s a Vehicle or Character. They do patrol areas and can be alerted in many different ways. Each one depending on the level reacts in a different way deepening on the location. Make sure your ready for some dog-fighting in your Humvee and if you’re getting you ass kicked jump out and run for it. ?

20. What type of game modes will you have? Campaign? Instant action? Skirmish?

The game plays in a Campaign mode since your following a story. And there’s always action?. Again each level has its own feel and some parts feel like instant action and others are more skirmishes with certain enemies.

21. Will there be a multiplayer part to HumVee Assault? What modes will be incorporated?

There is no MP in Humvee.

22. Are you planning to support the mod community with any kind of editor?

At this time no.

23. Will we see this game on any other gaming platform? Any talk or plans for a sequel or add-on? Any other future plans?

Anything is possible but right now I don’t have any real info. We try to give the people what they want so hopefully they will want a sequel. Right now for Sylum we are signing new projects and taking a little rest. We are really excited to get going on our next project whatever that is ?

24. Any chance of a demo before the game hits store shelves?

There is a chance but can’t promise. We are trying real hard to get it done.

25. Is there anything you would like to add? Perhaps something I missed?

Thanks for all the people that supported us and helped out. It wasn’t an easy development but we got through it. Like most developers it’s always a struggle at the end to get a project out but somehow you find a way to do it. Hope you guys enjoy the game and check out our site for any news; www.sylum.com. We also wish all the men & women of the war make it home safe and we’re with you.


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