Blackb1rd

The interview with the head of BSG Nikita Buyanov

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Dear friends, this weekend we had a stream with the head of the Battlestate Games studio Nikita Buyanov. There were a lot of questions and answers, and for those who have missed the event, we have prepared text notes, carefully collected by Emissary Jan Kakovkin aka @Sova13. Enjoy! There will be more streams like this in the future.

Friends, I must point out that this is not a literal "synopsis", but rather my retelling of the Nikita Buyanov replies from the stream. You can watch the record here .

Initially, I’ve planned to just list the answers in the order of appearance on stream, however, over the course of editing, we decided to make everything more readable and easier to follow.

 

Anti-cheat

  • Anti-cheat operates on the client level, you can even add Skype, and in addition to everything else it will track macros as well.
  • There will be no spectators or patrols, possibility of spectators tipping off their comrades contradicts the concept of the game and, most importantly, there is no need in that, because the system tracks 100% of cheaters and works with zero level of mistakes. Only at the system deployment we have encountered several errors, consecutively refining it to become completely trouble-free.
  • It is possible that we will add ability to report cheaters.
  • For each violation there is evidence, and if someone decides to sue us, this evidence will be presented to the Court, after which the plaintiff will be held liable to pay the legal expenses.
  • At the moment, the anti-cheat collects information, which is reviewed before setting bans; later, after testing and tuning the system, bans will become automatic.

 

Interaction with other players

  • Scav spawn mechanics will be remade, exit points changed (to anywhere, maybe even PMC spawn locations).
  • The gameplay will be further adjusted in order to ensure the greater extent of players’ interactions with each other without not restricting the freedom, but only after optimization and other technical aspects are ready.
  • These adjustments will also include works on loot, doors and keys with focus on connecting them to the quest system and the storyline.
  • Friend-or-foe recognition will be carried out by means or armbands automatically assigned to the group members on spawn in the location. These armbands will be visible to all players, possibly, the group leader will be able to choose their colors (Note: yes, apparently will be a chance of same same color being selected by different groups, that will be quite interesting).

 

Quests and clans

  • There will be an elaborate and diverse clan system, taking into account the wishes of the clans themselves. Clan leader, possibly, will be able to hand out tasks to the clan, for example, for the extraction of certain items. Maybe, however, this feature won’t be provided by the game mean (but no one can stop the clan leader from issuing an order, e.g., for stashing batteries).
  • Most likely players will have the opportunity to give out quests and assign rewards for them through the trade system.
  • Story-related quests, on the other hand, will be as close as possible to "singleplayer" quests, rather than the usual online find/kill/fetch, and they will be hidden, so it will be hard to figure out which quest is being solved by the player, though, if the player, for example, hangs around the armored vehicle, there is a chance he’s placing a beacon there.

 

Economy and loot

  • The economy system will become more alive, realistic, pixel-hunting will be eliminated due to implementation of shipment chances, system messages from merchants depending on loyalty and other conditions. Currency exchange is 100% sure to be introduced.
  • Loot on the maps will be generated with probabilities depending on the location (food in the dorm, tools on the Factory).
  • Cash will get devalued, with barter coming to take the first place.
  • Sweetened condensed milk is a food. Someone has just decided to have some fun or made a mistake and set it as a valuable item and not food. That will be fixed.
  • The sort button that was once there and got removed, will be turned on back again. Possible, an alternative inventory layout will be introduced, listing items with their number or visually reducing cell size to half of the current one.

 

Modes and arena

  • Initially, a total of 3modes were planned: normal, free roam and arena.
  • The first standard arena will be in the mall lounge, the second in a sports complex.
  • Arena will offer use of both player-owned and handout equipment. Moreover, the arena is not a place, but rather an event staged by people who are willing to bet. Demand creates supply. You can have yourself a team-based arena, on any map, with any mode. In theory, even Battle Royale scenario can be made realistic and incorporated into the story (for example, APCs close the trap and shoot anyone who gets in their sights). It can evolve, additional arena modes can be added in DLC.

 

Russia 2028

  • Russia 2028 is to be!

 

Weapons and customization

  • To feel comfortable with EFT customization you really need to have knowledge of weapons and modifications.
  • Uncommon weapons such as flamethrower are very hard to do and not as widely used in conflicts nowadays (except for the Middle East, they use everything they can get), and their concept is dead-end, causing much argument and many doubts. However, there will be RPGs with anti-personnel projectiles, wiretraps and flashbangs. Essentially, even RPO-A SHMEL is doable. By the way, there is going to be mine-planting of corpses, your own body, and containers. Accidental explosion during mining/mine disarming is not planned.
  • Belt-fed machineguns are also extremely tedious to implement, and hardly anyone will use it, considering the lack of ammo in the context of the game. We’d rather do more different revolvers and other weapons than to spend all these efforts at the single machinegun.
  • No caseless weapons either, since there are no mass-produced models yet.
  • Personal weapons are not so hard to do, we only need to change the textures.

 

Development

  • Before implementing of all the features, content and other components we should first do technical, so to say, basic part right. Therefore, some of the things it is too early to discuss, since the base is not quite finished, but will be very much different features.
  • Studio personnel at the moment: 50 persons + 30 outsourced
  • Posts with models of weapons often get comments like "make the game rather than weapons!". Comments like these lack rather obvious common sense, since these are different tasks performed by different people.
  • It would seem no problem, doing a weapon. e.g. a regular axe. There is already a Tomahawk, just take its animations and combine with a model found as an element of location. But weight and width of Tomahawk and axe are different and, therefore, all animations should be remade, and location item model lacks quality required from a weapon in first person.
  • Console ports are possible, but only if we manage to secure Unity assistance with it.
  • If there is a need for ideas, Nikita himself addresses the appropriate people. Also, we’ll practice brainstorm calls - the question is passed to the Emissaries, they collect ideas on a particular topic, these ideas are passed to developers, and authors of the successful ideas get rewarded.
  • Offopic: The idea is not as important, generating it is a relatively minor task. The main problems are the costs, supervising, work plan, etc. For instance, an idea of APC with RF control module which, if powered up, could have been used to, e.g., provide a cover to the group with its cannon.

 

New Unity, optimization and Closed Beta

  • We are currently moving over to the new version of Unity It has, above all, the new physics, so fixing any related bugs now makes no sense, because the transition will change everything. But bugs with walls, heads in the doors, getting up through the roof will be fixed in the upcoming patch. Bug with unfinished animation is either in the works or fixed in coming patch.
  • Almost all of this work is hidden from people, so visually and it may seem that there is no progress.
  • By the way, the new version has significantly higher (30-40%) performance. Moreover, optimization won’t have ill effect on the graphics, which will be continuously improved and refined. So Tarkov will run smoothly.
  • Why not start the Closed Beta now? The game has made a serious break in development that will allow implementing many planned ideas and there is no point releasing a beta without including them. Besides, even the Unity developers themselves admit that their engine is hard to work with, this is one of the major bottlenecks causing updates to release so rarely and sometimes late.
  • DX11 is the next stage. Builds with Vulkan API crash too often. Interface scaling will be in this patch.
  • Player characters mutual passthrough will be removed in the closed beta, the real issue is with AI who are not yet capable of avoiding collision with each other.
  • After the closed beta it’s the home stretch to release. Beta date itself is unknown yet, but as soon as it’s determined, we won’t hesitate announcing it. Even before the closed beta, there will be plenty of interesting stuff.

 

Health and medicine

  • If we manage to do what we planned, there will be a state of unconsciousness, interaction with the living, unconscious, and the dead bodies; the ability to evacuate a partner’s body or, if he’s still alive but with broken legs, give him a shot of adrenaline, empowering him to get to the exit, despite the pain.
  • Medical supplies will be plentiful, but EFT uses certain conventions too, for example, medkits do not heal appropriately to their contents, but restore health points instead. This is due to the fact that Tarkov is still done with a focus on battle simulator, not survival. Exactly right super hardcore and realistic medicine system will be introduced in Russia 2028, which will be unrelenting (in the words of Nikita). However, if there is an opportunity, EFT will also get continually improved in this aspect.
  • Radiation and bio-hazardous contamination, pressure, temperature - these will be the influences of the environment, and all of them could be countered with drugs. Overdosing, addiction and other effects will be there too, just as alcohol, and even little something beside it.

 

"Campers", karma and grass

  • All sorts of mice crawling up in the pants, lice, bouts of diarrhea, and stuff like that are unrealistic. The only method of dealing with camping is the counter-sniper work.
  • However, karma will affect diseases and other unpleasant things.
  • There is an idea of how to emulate lying in the grass to avoid the legal wallhack in the form of the short draw distance of the grass.
  • We are conducting a research on the possibilities of moving the grass asunder, stamping it flat, etc.
  • Communication and nicknames:
  • Very many phrases have already been recorded, there will also be AI PMCs who will use them as well. Phrases will be selected through the radial menu.
  • You won’t be able to know who was in the raid with you, but you’ll see the nickname of a person who killed you, his weapon and caliber. Nickname of the killed can be learned by looting an looking at the dogtags.

 

Equipment and appearance

  • Soon-to-be-added 2 chest rigs with new configuration - 2 compartments for magazines of up to 45 rounds (3 cells).
  • There will be equipment customization: you can change the pouches, move them using Molle strap system, armor plates can and must be changed, because it will be them that shall deteriorate, not the vest itself The idea of body armor protection in a backpack is interesting and not difficult to implement, it may get done. Armor plates can also be fit into the chest rigs that have this option.
  • Dependency of the speed of reach on the location of the pouches is doubtful, because, again, it’s hard to implement.
  • Character faces can be selected.
  • Camouflage cloaks are likely to be set into a chest rig or a hat slot.
  • Clothing is divided into two sections - top and bottom. There will the merchant dealing in clothes, but it will have purely visual difference. It would be great to make a full customization (gloves, boots, jackets, pants, hoodies, coats, etc.), but yet again, this is very difficult, technically.
  • There is also an issue with the facial hair, which is now in the works. Beard, hair, etc. - everything is coming. Scavs will generally have some really savage looks.

 

Mechanics

  • Leg wounds causing quite a quick death is realistic. However, legs will get more adjustments (dying from a thorn due to 0 health in the legs won't happen).
  • Soon, we’ll reveal how the stash can be expanded. Maximum stash is provided in the Edge of Darkness Limited Edition pre-order package, and it can also be expanded to this size by the game means. In addition, there will be a variety of options to "expand" the stash even more. By the way, EoD Limited Edition will be taken off as closed beta comes.
  • The ability to climb the ladders will be added. Knocking the door down by foot was initially conceived as a kick of another character, and there is a possibility that will be done as well.
  • Charging mags will get longer and dependent on the skill, but not as long as in reality (30 seconds for 30-round AK mag).
  • There will be a compass in the watch.

 

Cooperation

  • Working with domestic companies is easy - they often directly provide their products for scanning and adding it to the game. With foreign companies it’s harder, more red tape, contracts, papers, etc. - a lot of time and trouble.

 

Miscellaneous

  • There will be Easter eggs, for example, Half-Life crowbar (it was a secret until now).
  • Nikita himself will not play until release, does not want to play what is not yet finished. However, when everything is ready, getting him out of the game is going to be impossible.
  • Games without keeping the loot (training mode) - there is a problem with hardware, because it requires a separate pool of servers. Theoretically, this can be implemented, it’s not a No yet, the issue is in technical limitations.
  • Coop PVE is unrealistic, this just can't be in real life, and therefore it has no place in EFT.
  • Tarkov is not a game for everyone. The audience is older, and it's cool, the initial aim was on people aged around 30. Online medium is rather small, peak is 4500-5000 servers (not players, servers!), but what matters here is not the quantity but the quality of the audience.
  • It will be very many mods, stocks, mags, kits, etc. (Note: kit is a base weapon for attaching the rest)
  • Working phones are redundant for EFT. In general, different "mini-games" like working phones, etc. are an awesome idea, but it is really a secondary thing, for which we just don't have the extra people.
  • A meet with developers is, in theory, possible - bar event, for example.
  • Two thirds of the office staff works weekends. (Note: while you relax at the BBQ, the guys at the office keep pulling the game together....)
  • It is quite possible to make a 12/24 time format switch time, why it is the way it is now - Nikita no longer remembers. It was in the project documentation from the start and left that way...
  • The DLC will cost circa RUR 800-1000 or USD 15-20. EoD Limited Edition will be removed as closed beta draws near. After the release the game will come in absolutely different packages (possibly two of them).
  • Alpha testers will be encouraged.
  • Only today Kiba has mentioned that it would be perfectly feasible to do melee, although previously he was saying that it is very difficult.
  • Gold bullions that fell from the aircraft and got scattered in the Woods is a cool idea, could be implemented.
  • Planning special stands that will make the game even more realistic.
  • The Customs location features 800 000 objects.
  • Sound will keep being updated.
  • Lekha the Brute - Nikita now will try to add the handle upon streamer request, if there is no problems.
  • You can suggest your own version of the Scav name. Emissaries get a task collecting Scav names (Note: already done, here's the link)
  • Wishes to players from Nikita: Don't go crazy, not to make hasty conclusions, more harmony not only when it comes to the game, but in life too, more calm and confidence, patience.
  • Nikita feeling a bit under the weather, so he’ll now go home and, and unlikely to watch the Champions’ League Final. All the more so because of the defeat of Russia in the match with Japan he prefers hockey now.

 

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Thank you for such good news !

 

32 minutes ago, Blackb1rd said:

A meet with developers is, in theory, possible - bar event, for example.

I pay the first round of drinks ^^

 

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1 hour ago, Blackb1rd said:

you can even add Skype

I am puzzled. What does this mean? What Skype has with cheat/anticheat?

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Many thanks to @Sova13 for taking the time to put this together! Occasional issues with translation here and there - "you can even add Skype", as quoted by @PotatoWarriah for example - don't take much away from the mine of information that this post represents. Looking forward to what is to come!

One topic that might not have been brought up but that I would be extremely interested in hearing about is the question of servers for the South American and Asian regions. From what I'm seeing on Youtube, there seems to be a decent amount of interest for the game from the Brazilian gaming community already.

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6 minutes ago, PotatoWarriah said:

I am puzzled. What does this mean? What Skype has with cheat/anticheat?

It states a possibility. It can even detect Skype if instructed is what it says. Just to give a simple example of how it works in regards to this.

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1 minute ago, Natalino said:

It states a possibility. It can even detect Skype if instructed is what it says. Just to give a simple example of how it works in regards to this.

Ah thanks... It didn't occur to me, because Skype is not very hard to detect. He should have said "we can even detect CIA backdoors" :)

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1 minute ago, Broccolini said:

interested in hearing about is the question of servers for the South American and Asian regions

There will be various locations of servers added. The locations to be added are unknown yet but Asian/OC servers are already confirmed to be added. And in common, servers are planned to be added in locations where the playerbase is located even greatly.

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I am curious and sorry at the same time for asking it (in case I missed a thread, would someone be so polite and send me the link to it? I searched for it, no hits):

 

Why did your team chose Unity as THE engine for EFT? Especially since I've heard, that Unity doesn't handle FP-shooters / simulations not that well as other engines like UE4.

 

Thanks for all the sacrifices you make, to make this game possible. Greetings from Germany and Guten Tag! 

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11 minutes ago, Thund3rb1rd said:

Why did your team chose Unity as THE engine for EFT?

This was a subject of many discussions, but in reality there is no purpose in discussing it (now). This game is done by people who previously already worked on similar games which were based in Unity too. There is no point in changing engine at time you know it very well, and I can only assume they already had a large number of their own extensions to the engine they could reuse in new game.

15 minutes ago, Thund3rb1rd said:

Unity doesn't handle FP-shooters / simulations not that well as other engines like UE4

This is actually not true, the source of this myth is that UE4 is good for shooters but not so much for other types of games, so you don't see many other types of games using it. As for capabilities - both engine have pretty much same capabilities re shading, texturing lightning etc. Unreal is more friendly to artists and people who don't know either engine, but of course, Unity is more friendly to developers who already worked with it - and that makes choosing engine a no-brainer.

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The Half-Life crowbar, how awesome! I know it's just a easter egg but, love it when developers do it. 

 

GREAT update. Can't wait. Love this game, Next to Half-Life, this is imo the greatest game ever. 

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Just now, Cfxsquad said:

The Half-Life crowbar, how awesome! I know it's just a easter egg but, love it when developers do it. 

 

GREAT update. Can't wait. Love this game, Next to Half-Life, this is imo the greatest game ever. 

Well Said!

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4 minutes ago, Smooth_Void said:

Nikita is Head of Battlestate Games 

Thank you!

I'm reading this, and it's weird. The game itself is entertaining right now, but when you read this.. we are only playing the tip off it. 

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vor 34 Minuten schrieb PotatoWarriah:

This was a subject of many discussions, but in reality there is no purpose in discussing it (now). This game is done by people who previously already worked on similar games which were based in Unity too. There is no point in changing engine at time you know it very well, and I can only assume they already had a large number of their own extensions to the engine they could reuse in new game.

This is actually not true, the source of this myth is that UE4 is good for shooters but not so much for other types of games, so you don't see many other types of games using it. As for capabilities - both engine have pretty much same capabilities re shading, texturing lightning etc. Unreal is more friendly to artists and people who don't know either engine, but of course, Unity is more friendly to developers who already worked with it - and that makes choosing engine a no-brainer.

You misunderstood me in your first quote-answer. I don't want a new engine. I was just curious.

Edited by Thund3rb1rd

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Good to get a translation of what was discussed, and it's nice to see what work is being put into this game and an insight into the team!

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1 hour ago, Thund3rb1rd said:

You misunderstood me in your first quote-answer. I don't want a new engine. I was just curious.

The reasoning is because they have experience with unity and that's what they are comfortable with so that's what they chose to use pretty sure this was something in faq page

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28 minutes ago, Saudi said:

So the closed beta is not in summer 2017 ? 

None knows yet.

Quote

Two thirds of the office staff works weekends. (Note: while you relax at the BBQ, the guys at the office keep pulling the game together....)

Thank you so much guys for your hard work. 

 

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