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World in Conflict: The Massive Q&A

Massive's President Martin Walfisz succumbs to the CVG question salvo

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The engine looks great but with WiC one of the stars of Games For Windows what bonuses and enhancements will the DX10 version bring? Will DX9 and XP players miss out any?

Martin Walfisz: We're having a great time developing with DX10 and things look very good indeed. Our DX9 implementation is great as well, but there are some visual features that will only be available on rigs that carry DX10. You can expect more info on this to arrive later in the summer.

Also, it needs to be emphasized that WiC is built on some very scalable technology, so gamers on older systems will still be able to fully enjoy the game. And, thanks to our wonderful engineers, it looks really good on low spec rigs too!

WiC certainly has a more action orientated focus and the points re-enforcement mechanic is certainly interesting and a really different approach from a traditional gather and build RTS - what made you go for these mechanics?

Martin Walfisz: We've pretty much seen the same conventional RTS games over the last 10 or 15 years, and I've personally always thought that it's the combat that's the best thing with strategy games. By focusing on the battles, we also wanted players to be able to drop into any multiplayer game at any time. The reinforcement system allows us to do that by simulating the respawning that's been frequently affiliated with the FPS genre. In World in Conflict, the games are short, intense and any side - with the right effort - can always turn the tide until the very last few seconds.

Enemy AI is always crucial to keep the challenge alive - how will WiC's AI keep the level of threat high?

Martin Walfisz: The AI is very sophisticated, and can honestly give you a rough time - even if you're experienced. We built it ourselves from ground up, to support our team play and role systems. Plus, there are no instances of those common AI cheats, so it simulates the human players very well. We're extremely proud of our AI.

What role will the third faction NATO play? Do they offer a significant difference from US units and how will they influence the game?

Martin Walfisz: In the single player campaign, the NATO faction's interest lies mainly in Europe after the Soviet invasion and, as such, the player will rendezvous with and sometimes control NATO troops during the campaign. In multiplayer, NATO is one of the three factions and will appear on some maps where you play against the Soviets.

The Nuke is obviously a great and ultimate sanction, what other special abilities and units can you earn and deploy in the game?

Martin Walfisz: There is a lot of great stuff in there! While the number of different unit types within each role is limited, the combination of the different roles - and the use of the Tactical Aid special attacks - gives each player a lot of variation and tactical depth. The Tactical Aid gives the player a sense of great power, as you can order down artillery barrages, napalm strikes, air strikes, carpet bombing, etc. We're very proud of our effects team, because it's really rewarding to see the consequences when these great weapons go into action.

Do you see WiC as a more single or multiplayer focused game?

Martin Walfisz: The first concept design of the game put a lot of emphasis on multiplayer but, over the time, the project has evolved into a game with dual character. The two different game modes also have different appeals, and we're aware of the fact that some players choose to only play one of those modes. The single-player campaign's major strengths are the way it utilises the setting and how it introduces the player to the tactical combat within highly story-driven missions. The multiplayer, on the other hand, has a huge depth with its team-based approach and infinite replay value. Both game modes are enjoyable and have their own merits, and we hope that a majority of the players will play them both. We've heard a lot of gamers who played our multiplayer alpha say that they usually don't play strategy games online, but that they thought WiC was a tremendously fun experience across the net.

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