Earlier today we reported that due to the PlayStation Network outage, Seed Studios will be delaying Under Siege until the PSN services are back online. While we wait for the game release, we decided to hold a quick Q&A with Seed Studios lead programmer Bruno Ribeiro to uncover new details about the title and why gamers should take interest in Under Siege’s upcoming PSN release.
For those of you not familiar with Under Siege, the game is a real-time strategy game exclusively for the PlayStation Network, featuring a full single-player campaign, multiplayer co-op/split-screen, and full fledged map editor. The title also supports 1080p HD visuals, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, audio and video chat, video recording, screenshot capture, and custom soundtracks.
Now onto the interview.
PSuni: How do the Heroes (Eirik, Asgeir, and Kari) play a role in Under Siege? Are they playable and do they come with any special abilities?
Ribeiro: The heroes only appear in cutscenes and are not playable. If we added them to the core gameplay, we could be compromising the possibilities regarding player created maps and campaigns, so we decided to focus on the units and use the heroes to define the flow of the game’s single player campaign.
PSuni: What were some of the core reasons behind developing Under Siege exclusively for the PlayStation 3?
Ribeiro: The main one was that we are a small team, and we could do a better job by focusing on one platform. We chose the PS3 because of the openness of the system, that together with Sony’s push towards user generated content, would be perfect for our plans of an integrated editor and map sharing.
PSuni: How will the video and screenshot capture functions work? Will videos be uploaded to a Seed Studios server, Youtube or are they saved to the PS3 hard-drive?
Ribeiro: Screenshots are taken using the option on the XMB’s photo column, and can be access at any time. This way players can use it to promote custom maps, to create online tutorials for the editor, etc..
Video recording is accessed through an option in the pause menu, during gameplay (except on single player campaign maps, to avoid spoilers), and the video is recorded to the video column on the XMB. From there the player can copy it to an USB drive or use the PS3’s video editor to cut, process and upload the video to Youtube.
PSuni: Once the game launches and the community dives into the map editor, are there plans to eventually release DLC? New props, terrain types, units, buildings and triggers.
Ribeiro: Yes, we have plans to release new components for the editor, but we are waiting for the players to give us feedback on what they feel is more important before we set everything in stone. Our objective is to try and make sure that map creators are only limited by their imagination and not the editor.
PSuni: How does the trigger system and logic work in the map editor? Is there a set list of triggers? Could you give us some examples?
Ribeiro: The trigger system is divided into 3 main components: Triggers, Conditions and Responses. The logic of a level is determined by a set of triggers created by the designer, where each trigger is a tree with various conditions nested together using logic operators (AND, OR, NOT and XOR). When the final result of the tree is “true”, then an associated list of responses are called that can manipulate anything in the game. This is better visualized with an example. If I’m creating a survival map, where the player wins by killing all enemies (represented by team 2) or by waiting for a timer (named “endTimer”) to reach zero, I can create the following trigger:
isTeamDead(2) OR compareTimerValue( endTimer, Less or Equal, 0 )
showGameplayHUD( false ) -> hides the interface
fadeOut( 2 ) -> does a 2 second fade out
endMap( 1 ) -> ends the map with a victory to the player (team 1)
In the editor this is represented in a clean graphical way, so don’t be scared. We will release a video soon showing how to build a simple death match game from start to finish, including triggers.
We’d like to thank Ribeiro again for taking the time to answer our questions. Under Siege has been delayed in Europe until further notice, however Seed Studios hopes to still meet the US launch date next Tuesday, May 3.