The team at Reto-Moto has been trying to break the FPS genre from the common grind for years. They were the folks behind the original Hitman game, yet after being pulled into the big developer market, they’ve decided to break free, go indie, and again make their mark on the industry.
Their latest game, Heroes & Generals, which is currently playable as a free beta, brings a massive, persistent world where battlefields, available units, and reinforcements are decided by players in an RTS-style General’s map.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Jacob Andersen, Game Director at Reto-Moto, about Heroes & Generals, and how they’re breaking the FPS mold.
TechZwn:It’s nice to see developers breaking from the COD model for a FPS game. I’m curious what your thoughts are about why this is important? I know FPS games were starting to get a bit stale.
Andersen: An FPS game at its core is just plain fun. I personally don’t think that the genre will ever get stale. Some people will just get bored with it from time to time, but I’m sure they will eventually end up playing an FPS game again at some point. We hope to create a game where players will not completely drop out if they get bored but merely play some other games and then return at a later time – hopefully to discover that the game has evolved. Team based FPS games are the most fun ones but it also seems that the most commercially successful ones lack real team play. We would like to try and change that.
TechZwn: Just going off the last question, you’ve brought in some interesting concepts—like using player spawns and unit types to simulate support and strategic troop movement. Can you talk a bit about why you chose this route?
Andersen: Well, we just felt it was a natural extension of the FPS genre. Really like putting gameplay rules on top of a tournament system. 🙂
TechZwn: Just back to the direction a lot of other FPS games are taking these days. Some of the main features are cinematic stories, constant action, and quick gameplay. I think it’s interesting you’ve taken a more realistic approach with Heroes & Generals. What are your thoughts about this, and why did you choose the route you’ve taken?
Andersen: We have been developing single-player games for a decade now and frankly those stories and especially the cut-sequences always seemed to get in the way of good solid gameplay. I think the quick gameplay is great, allowing players to get into the action quickly. And I also think there is a need for an action game that has a slower tempo (than for instance COD), where you have time to think a bit before going into action.
We sort-of had some of the same thoughts when we created the Hitman games. At that time shooters were extremely fast paced (Quake) and very ‘boss/target’ driven. With Hitman we wanted to create a different kind of action game where you could walk around on the map, do some investigation and preparation before going into action. I always liked the free-roaming aspects of the Hitman games, although they’re very difficult to actually design and create :-).
TechZwn: Is there anything you see missing in FPS games these days that you’d like to bring into Heroes & Generals?
Andersen: The ability to bring reinforcements to an ongoing battle! I think is pretty unique for Heroes & Generals. It puts a real interaction between players on the battlefield and the commanders ‘sitting outside’. It expands the gaming experience. Also other obvious features like the connectivity between mobile devices and PC’s in games is something that I think you will see a lot of in the future. We are trying to incorporate it into our game with our upcoming Androis and iOS app ‘Heroes & Generals: Mobile Command’, where you’ll be able to access and play the entire strategy part of the game.
TechZwn: Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Andersen: To all of your readers: Go to www.heroesandgenerals.com and sign up for a beta-key. We would love to have you join our community and help us make a better game!