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- VR Tactical Multiplayer FPS: Some thoughts
- Here are some thoughts about the genre, some pertaining to Virtual Warfighter specifically, some less so. I'm a „believer“ in it, so to speak, and I want pretty much every game in this genre to succeed.
- 1. Weapons
- The actual guns are a bigger deal in VR than they are in traditional FPS. The way you interact with them is an order of magitude more direct. You aim manually. You can shoot from the hip, use the iron sights, or a red dot, a laser, a scope, with each option being noticeably different. Instead of hitting R to reload, you have to do it manually, oftentimes mimmicking real-life procedures to a T.
- Because of this, I think the choice of weaponry is far more important in VR than it normally is.
- For example, one might want to put an M16, an M4 and a HK416 in the game. However, is that really smart? You see, functionally speaking, these are extremely similar guns. Same caliber. Same reload procedure. If they're flat-topped, same sights. A fully modern M4A1 with the flat top would behave exactly the same as a HK416, they'd just be reskins.
- When adding more guns I think developers should focus on looking for weapons that behave differently to what they already have in the game. A SCAR with its STANAG magazines and bolt-release will all-in-all feel very similar to an M4A1. Meanwhile, a properly implemented AK with it's nose-in-rock-back magazines and lack of a bolt catch will handle very differently. The G3 and its derivatives with the classic „HK-Slap“ are again, very unique to use.
- This brings me to the setting. Every game in the genre right now can be summed up as „tactical specops duke it out for some reason“. Everyone's got modern guns and balaclavas.
- The choice of setting plays an ENOURMOUS role in how the game plays out in VR. The difference between an M4A1 with a fancy modern optic, a laser pointer and whatnot versus an old AK with irons, an M1 Garand or a Lee-Enfield is MASSIVE.
- For example, giving everyone modern optics vastly simplifies the act of aiming. A red dot doesn't require you to align your eyes. A modern scope is also very easy to use. A laser pointer is, well, a laser pointer. Modern gear creates a smoother, easier experience for the player.
- Now let's turn the clock back to the 1970's. You still have modern assault rifles, but you lose the modern optics. Sure, you still have scopes, but they're not as good. Red dots and lasers? Forget it.
- Making aiming more difficult changes the game completely Aiming is a longer, more difficult process, recoil throws you off more.
- It incentivises a different way of fighting. Different desicions need to be made. Do I carefully line up the shot, or do I perhaps spray and pray? Maybe the best option is to only rougly aim and fire a burst? Gunfire becomes less accurate at a distance, for better or for worse.
- Let's go back even further, and things get even more different. WW2.
- Bolt action rifles mixed with semi-autos, magazine-fed machine guns, SMGs, the whole shabang.
- World War 2 makes for a very interesting setting because it was a time when many modern conventions of gun design weren't set in stone yet, and old designs were facing off against cutting-edge ones that were totally different. This means you can get a great variety of weaponry that are very different both in form (reloading) and function (rate of fire, caliber, mag capacity) even if you limit yourself to a small subset of them. A problem here of course is that balancing it out becomes very hard, such as if you're stuck with a Mosin-Nagant and your enemy has an StG44.
- Every option is definitely viable, and I think it's a bit of a shame that currently we only see „specops in balaclavas“.
- Variety could be a selling point, however! For example, creating mutators that limit your selection of weapons, items and attachments could have major gameplay impacts in return for little effort on the dev's part.
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