Titanfall 2 Developer Interview

Titanfall 2 Developer Interview

With Titanfall 2's release right around the corner, we chatted with Respawn's COO Dusty Welch and art director Joel Emslie during their time at Tokyo Game Show. On the agenda: Feature creep, animation work, and Gundam.

I’m Keith from NZGamer.com – cheers for sitting down to talk to us about Titanfall 2.

Can you give our readers a brief rundown on some of the biggest changes coming to Titanfall 2, and what were some of the big additions that you really enjoyed working on?

Dusty: Maybe the most obvious is that we now include a full, bespoke, action, adventure-packed single-player campaign to the game. It’s deep, it’s memorable, it’s meaty. As a player of the game myself, I would say there’s no two levels back-to-back that look like anything else. We’re going from being a foot soldier, to battles inside your Titan. You’re exploring the world, doing puzzles, it reminds me a lot honestly of playing Half Life 1. It really hearkens back to a game that is more of an exploring mans, thinking-man’s game, melded together with this dynamic that Titanfall brings – this fast, fluid, Pilot and Titan combat which is really exciting.

Multiplayer also. There’s a surprising emotional connection that you’ll get with your 20-ft. tall Titan. [laughs]

Joel: We worked really hard to identify the strongest elements from Titanfall 1, and bring that into a new game. One of the things that I’m really most proud of – I really love single-player – but I really love how multiplayer has turned out.

When we did internal testing, I found myself sitting down with Titanfall 2 multiplayer for a good four hours straight, and I wanted more [laughs]. And I hate to say it, but I didn’t have that on Titanfall 1… I think that we had the knob cranked up to 11, and then ripped it off. It’s great, and insane.

I believe that when you’re trying to evolve the game and make it better, I love the refinement and balancing that we’ve made. You can sit there for it for a long time, because there’s a tonne of unlocks with it. You really need those hours to get deep into the gameplay.

Dusty: And I think we heard the audience. We introduced in Titanfall 1 this new universe, and this great new gameplay mechanic that seems to have changed the FPS genre. But the audience wanted more – so we gave them more customisation. More Titans – you’ve got six in there. You can customise your pilot, your Titan. Progression was a big piece that we needed to improve going forward in the sequel. Now you’re progressing your weapon tree, your Titan tree, your Pilot tree.

There’s a lot of depth and replayability there.

Joel: Yeah some huge changes. We’ve added physical-based rendering, we have a new audio system, we have streaming, depth-of-field. We have dynamic resolution, where depending on what’s happening on-screen, the system will intelligently scale up the fidelity, or bring it down a bit to keep that smooth 60 through single-player and multiplayer.

So I guess that naturally brings me on to my next question, mainly aimed at Joel. Titanfall 2 is a bigger game than its predecessor – campaign, Titans, weapons. How has it been from an artistic standpoint fleshing out the world of Titanfall?

Joel: Absolutely a dream come true. I think that doing Titanfall 1 was amazing – a great experience. It was surprising. But at the end of development – I did a lot of art in the art book, and we’ve done another one as well – the feedback on the art book was “Wow, there’s so much universe here in this book – I don’t see it in the game yet.”

From an artistic standpoint, going in and having an opportunity to do a really deep, single-player world and universe – and our levels had to be massive for the mobility of the pilots – we really went after that. But it was important for us to visually stand apart from the other shooters on the market at the same time.

We went with a very grounded, believable visual language for the game, but also went a little more exotic and saturated. We took advantage of the idea that this is a science-fiction world, and crazy stuff happens there. It hit every bell that we wanted to hit artistically, and what we wanted to do, and it’s in a great place.

For me, playing through the single-player now is a perfect moment of seeing everything come together visually, and with audio and gameplay, and just sit back and enjoy it.

Continue reading on page 2.


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Comments Comments (1)

Posted by LukeB
On Friday 23 Sep 2016 8:55 PM
Nice interview, I quite liked the part about them being Gundam, District 9, and Blade Runner fans - gives me faith in the story that they're going to give us.

The part about how they feel like there's a strong bond between the pilot and titan is something else I'm really looking forward to checking out next month :)

Please let the campaign be good. Please let the campaign be good. Please let the campaign be good.