Quantum League, Nimble Giant Entertainment Talks About Their Latest Time-Bending Shooter
If you’re searching for a new shooter to sink your teeth , there is Nimble Giant Entertainment’s Quantum League, a”period parado shooter which puts a new twist on things. We sit down together with the Lead Game Designer over at Nimble Giants Entertainment and discuss the development behind their latest title.
Interview conducted with Balthazar Auger, Lead Game Designer of Quantum League, Nimble Giant Entertainment
Q:There are countless films, as much because there are video games that touch upon the notion of time-traveling. Some do it well, others not so much, but something is crystal clear and that’s many have felt recently that it’s a cheap way to explain (or not) plot fixes or points. Quantum League does not have that issue, since it is an online focus name. However, because it is focused on competitive online gambling, the notion of working with time must have been challenging because of it mostly being connected to narrative-driven mediums. Why move the multiplayer route?
The very first draft of this concept sort of emerged from a very different place. Initially, I was looking for a way to produce an X-COM design turn-based tactical match, but as a real-time FPS. What I was attempting to reconcile is the”progressive reveal of battlefield information” mechanic in strategic games with the obvious problem that there is no”sight array” within an FPS.
While mulling over this, it happened to me that if I could not use distance to progressively disclose information, I really could use the time rather, especially in the context of a closed time . This was actually new, as by that time single-player games like Super Time Force Ultra as well as Cursor*10 had researched that concept. The most important reason we went multiplayer is that we didn’t want to make a game where you kind of solve a mystery; multiplayer means that both players are fighting to gain control of the timeline, which in our eyes was a much more interesting experience that very few games explored.
Q: Bit of a followup to the previous question: I love hearing programmers talk about the early phases of their matches because in most cases, those games are significantly different than what they end up being. What were some of the first thoughts? What worked and what didn’t?
Quantum league started its life as a very basic two-week multiplayer model, which we climbed ever since. It was quite difficult to”design beforehand” in the documentation, because what was planned ended up with unintended side effects when placed within a time .
For example, we took several stabs at finding the sweet spot between depth and complexity, largely testing the number of clones which you play and the length of this time-loop. At one stage we analyzed 5 clones each side, but that has been impossible to take care of.
At another point, we had a mechanic where you picked up weapons by walking them over, like in Quake 3 or UT, but found out there was a too high potential for chaos: what if somebody caught that weapon before you? then what would you be shooting? In addition, it was too constraining concerning participant expression within small maps… If you grabbed the rifle, there were reduced odds that you would snipe somebody from the opposing side of the map. In the long run, we chose to get a setup nearer to Counter-Strike, in which each clone gets to choose one major weapon for this round.
What we’ve repeatedly found while creating Quantum League is that there’s a razor-thin”goldilocks zone” in which complexity creates emergent gameplay. In a sense, our development history has been dealing with this balance.
Fun time-traveling movie. I can only imagine some of the early growth stages likely included analyzing various mediums that had the time-traveling theme?
Oh, totally! You can say I already had many of those movies, novels, and universes”pre-studied”, since I’ve been interested in time-travel themes. Among my first business tasks was developing”Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time”, which gave me a chance to bore the entire team to death with all the various ways to solve a Grandfather Paradox.
There have been many films dealing with time loloops,hich we studied while working on the game… In the last decade: Looper, however additionally Source Code, Edge of Tomorrow… before that, you’d Primer, but also Groundhog Day! All these were a huge help when conveying the notion of the game to people away from the job during the early stages.
Personally, the most direct references I followed were”Clock Blockers”, a YoutubYouTube from Corridor Digital, and a passage by Roger Zelazny’s”Creatures of Light and Darkness”, called”Arms and the Steel Man”. I would even go so far as to argue that they are just two versions of the exact same idea!
As we know, that’s not the case and likely for the best because type of play could prove to have some major unbalancing. What is the approach taken to make sure certain weapons do not become last-ma last-minute clutch also maintaining their uniqueness?
The way weapons work in the game resembles CS:GO. Y:u start with a fundamental sidearm and can select one primary at the start of the round. There is not any other limitation to pick primary weapons, therefore we have to be sure they are on similaa similar footingdon’t feel restricted to one match second .
When balancing or designing our weapons, we are always taking a look at the situations it is great initially, and then at its general use in different conditions. Quantum League matches evolve quickly: a sniper rifle might be the ideal option when you begin the loop, but 7 seconds later it could turn from an asset to a liability. This situational equilibrium ensures that the player is often doing weapon decisions based on his strategy for your loop, and this is something we would like to encourage.
Players who stick to their favourite weapon may wind up feeling limited outside of the weapon’s ideal situations!
This strategy has enabled us to reach Early Access using a weapon choice we consider balanced without any obvious choices, with the only regret of not being able to offer more diverse combinations.
Q: What is the post-launch service seeming? Can we anticipate new modes and maps, together with characters and other customizable things ?
We’re eager to share our plans for future upgrades to this game ogame,the game moves Early Access! I can’t supply details right now but I’d say that players should expect additions to all areas of the experience.
We are constantly working on maps and modes, and will be unveiling our content programs very soon.
Q: Would we expect to see some new time mechanisms? Or maybe crazier level designs with more dangers and other degree interactions?
I surely hope so! But at this point, we will need to consider not just what we would really like to do, but in addition if our neighborhood thinks that would be a welcome addition to the sport.
The fact remains that we believe in taking these next steps if community feedback enables it, due to the same”complexity goldilocks zone” I was mentioning before. If our players enjoy the sport and demand more brain-bending mechanics, then we definitely have more in shop
Q: We’ve asked other programmers this exact same question, and also to give the people at home a notion, how has COVID-19 impacted the development aspect of things viewing that most are working from home? What challenges is the team facing as they adapt to this new work style?
The whole studio changed over to working from home in mid-March before our regional government purchased the federal lockdown, so we’ve been lucky in having time to prepare. In general, our studio has been split into smaller, self explanatory teams so the company overhead wasn’t that bad. Sure, we have had a rough first two weeks, but now everybody is back at regular capacity.
The toughest thing we are needing to adapt to is overlooking each other’s physical presence, which it turned out influenced several processes one takes for granted: giving and receiving feedback, keeping tabs on what everybody else is doing or even remembering to hang out together rather than just working, are things we’ve needed to think carefully about.
Also, launching a match and being unable to have a suitable launch party where we could hug and (physically) pat ourselves on the back is heart-wrenching!