Transcript of the Episode 5 of "Girls of Tarkov" podcast with Nikita
Q: What part of Streets of Tarkov will be featured in the first iteration? Will it be downtown or a suburbs? What will it look like? And how many PMC players will there be in the first iteration of Streets?
A: I want to say right away that we didn't plan to have the entire city even in the final iteration of the location. There will only be the most interesting part. The city itself is quite large, and we designed it in such a way that we could gradually expand the Streets of Tarkov. The first iteration will be the part of the location that's closer to the center, without the suburbs. Initially, the suburbs were planned as a separate location, but we decided to move it into the DLC. At the moment, the key task is to make the main city: it will be a large part, where some buildings will be closed, some parts of the streets will be blocked off. This is an ambitious task that involves a large number of developers. It's a difficult and unique task, which is hard to fulfill in the level of detail that we originally thought of.Also, we pay special attention to optimizing the location itself, so that players have the same or better FPS than on the Lighthouse location. Due to a large number of objects and textures, we had to implement new optimization modules and processes. Now it's already possible to run around the location, but there is a question of the number of players. One of the main conditions for launching the city is the ability to keep a large number of NPCs and players on the location in the long run. There will be many points of interest, bases, and patrols in the City. For example, within one house and the surrounding streets, we already need a minimum of 15 Scavs. And that's one house out of many. All of this requires the implementation of a new system that will allow us to place up to 100 entities (players and NPCs on location) at a time. In the first iteration, we won't have this yet, but we want to get to those values later.
Q: Will there be bosses in the first iteration?
A: The first iteration won't have bosses and some mechanics. In the trailer, we’ve shown a BTR Taxi. The BTR requires a city with all the streets. The player will have the ability to pay for a ride on the BTR, with which you can quickly get to certain points, and for an extra fee, will also be able to use the turret.
Q: Will it be possible for Raiders to ride the BTR?
A: We'll see. The mechanics that will be in the city will combine everything most interesting in the game. The final iteration of the city will bring a lot of new mechanics related to AI, new exits, access to the Lab location. The current iteration will be the first step towards the full launch of the city, and will also allow us to add new areas in the future. Our main task now is to launch the first iteration of the location with good performance, not lower than on Lighthouse. And the City is a lot more complex than Lighthouse.
The mechanics that we use to optimize the Streets will be used in the future on other locations, which will greatly increase performance.
Q: In one of the videos, we saw the ability to break walls. Will we be able to break down walls with grenades like RGD or F1? Or with weapons, such as grenade launchers?
A: There will be special places where the walls are already damaged, you will be able to go through by destroying them. Perhaps the breaches will have “health”, and in order to destroy them completely, you’ll need several grenades. We will also have landmines, and with them you will be able to mine and blow up walls.
Q: Will it be possible to crawl through the ventilation system in Streets of Tarkov?
A: The location has a lot of interesting places and details with unique aspects. I know the overall structure of Streets of Tarkov, but there are too many details and nuances. I knew every part of Customs by heart because I made it myself. However, the city is being worked on by dozens of people. This will be the most interesting location to explore. You'll learn everything by exploring the location yourself. You'll constantly discover something new.
Q: Will the first iteration of the map have new exit mechanics that we haven't seen before?
A: In this iteration, there will be standard exits. But there will be different exit options in the future, such as using a flare gun to extract.
We want to move away from simple and free exits. Everywhere else you'll have to do something unique: pay with cash, show up at a certain time, use the flare gun, pull the switch, and so on. These mechanics will not apply to the Scav exits. They're locals and know the places well.
Q: We talked about the mechanics of deforming walls and physically making the environment and boxes behave correctly during an explosion. Will there be similar mechanics in other locations?
A: Yes, they will be added in the future. We physically won’t be able to add them to every location with the first iteration of Streets. We may even disable physics for the first iteration of Streets. But in the future, we will add them to every location.
Q: Will there be new ways to open doors in the Streets? Like a mechanic where you have to enter a generated password in a panel to open a safe or a door.
A: We've been planning this mechanic for a long time. We even have a finished model of the code panel. We want to integrate this into the game in the future.
Q: Will it be possible in the future to use elevators in the city? For example, go up from floor 1 to 10 and get on the roof? And will there be a new vertical movement?
A: There will be a lot of vertical movement in the game, but it won't be possible to walk through any building from top to bottom. It's complicated technically and will take a very long time. The city will have lots of unique places to go, but there won’t be a possibility of exploring any building from the bottom floor up to the roof. With the current level of detalization, this will simply be impossible to even load into Streets, because the detalization will be even more insane, with even more objects and all that. In certain buildings it will be possible to go to the roof, but not in every building.
Q: Will the Lab location no longer be available in the menu where all the maps are displayed?
A: The Lab location will disappear from the map selection menu. The location will need to be accessed through other locations.
Q: Is the entry system (access card) final? Will there be any other entry systems to this map other than the card?
A: The current infil and exfil system to and from any location is temporary. Once we have everything ready, we plan to rework the mechanic entirely. At the beginning, the player won't have instant access to all of the locations and will need to unlock them sequentially.
Q: Will the number of players in the Lab location change?
A: Unlikely. If there are too many, it'll be overkill. We have game conditions. For example, 20 people in the city all together will not be able to go to the Laboratory, because the location has a limit to the number of players.
Q: Will there be sniper bots on the roofs of the City?
A: There will be, but I don't know if in the first iteration. It's not entirely clear what we'll be able to implement in terms of bot intelligence. I can only say that there will be various bots on Streets, but what kind and in what quantity - this is unknown. The first iteration is a test one, aimed at exploring, looting, without adding new features and mechanics. Also, we plan to add some base quests to the location, but the story quests and a large number of new mechanics that are currently being worked on will only appear upon release.
Q: Will it be possible to use the grappling hook?
A: The mechanic is interesting, what about adding an ability to ride an ice sled too? But we're not going to go too crazy.
Just imagine that we built a plane, tests are going on. And then they tell us “make a third engine in the tail, it will fly faster!”. Anything is possible, but only if you stop the development and redo everything. For example, it's impossible to completely rewrite the network from scratch in the game now. We’ll need half a year to rewrite it and two more years to test it. Someone will say “why didn’t you make it properly the first time?”. When we first started doing everything, we didn’t really know much – we had no idea how to bring such a project to life.
We essentially created a new genre. But we still have plans to finalize and greatly improve the network. Next year, we have changes planned to be able to launch a big number of players on Streets of Tarkov.
Q: Can you share with us what state the Arena is in right now?
A: It’s going very well. Everything is going pretty much on schedule. There's a separate team working on the Arena, but we also have to get the EFT team's developers involved to resolve tricky issues. We will let you know very soon when the beta will start and how the mechanics will work. You have to understand that there are a lot of connected things when developing Arena: the launcher, the website, the backend. This takes a large amount of time. It's essentially another project with an appropriate approach.
Q: Will there be a 1-on-1 mode in Arena?
A: Yes, there will be. Within a special game mode.
Q: Will it be possible to create weapon presets and share them directly in the game, without needing to make a screenshot and publish it in Discord?
A: Actually, this was in the plans. Saving presets and the ability to share them. We even planned an upvote system for presets. After all, we have so many builds and such little things are very important.
Q: In the future, will it be possible, for example, to shoot while opening doors? The player opens the door with his left hand and holds a gun with his right hand.
A: It was planned. We showed it in the very first trailer. Now it all depends on whether we'll have time for this kind of thing. I think we will, but later.
Q: In the future, will it be possible to shoot from the supine position or turn from lying on your stomach to your back?
A: It was in the plans.
Q: Will there ever be a "dust off the ground" animation when shooting while prone?
A: Why not. We’ll add it.
Q: Are there plans to allow players to use repair kits in a raid, if you found it as PMC or Scav? To fix weapons or armor.
A: No, this is not planned. A full-fledged repair is not an in-field thing. Replacing armor plates in the field is possible, but full-fledged repairs - no. If in the future we’ll add a custom durability indicator to each element of the weapon, where each part has its own durability, maybe that would be possible. For example, you found a weapon bolt in a raid, so you can change it on the spot, and there would be less problems. But you won’t be able to just clean a gun with a rag and magically make everything fine.
Q: Will this patch bring an expanded statistics of damage at the end of a raid (received or dealt) on each enemy? All types should be separate - weapons, grenades, melee weapons?
A: Not in this patch. In the future - perhaps.
Q: Could we add to the overall statistics how many raids we conducted on each map? It would be nice to see how many raids we played on our favorite map at the end of the wipe.
A: Maybe. Expanded statistics will be added in the future.
Q: Can we make statistics so that at the end of the raid it would show the number of players on the map? But this stat would be restricted to players in a party and will only be available if you were killed last or if the last member of the team extracted from the raid. Such statistics could also include the amount of damage, who you hit and who you killed, and even who was talking through VoIP nearby (this, by the way, would help to send reports for toxicity).
A: We've always tried not to give out too much information. But in general, the plan was to have the results of the raid come back after a while with basic stats. But that's not realistic. Perhaps this will be done as a kind of in-game service. We'll see.
Suggestion - automatically create a dialog when a person shows you their nickname (because sometimes you can't remember or write down the nickname of a person you've met in a raid)
A: That's a good idea. It would be nice to implement.
Q: In the future, where will we see feedback on our reports on suspicious players? Will it be a system message in-game or a notification in the Launcher? Will it be instant notifications after a player is banned or once a week/month? At which stage is the whole system now? Will it appear in the new patch or will it come later?
A: This will be a system message in-game. I don't know the status of the current task. Right now, our heads are busy with other things, but we have been working on it.
Q: Nikita, a long time ago on our podcast you said that it is planned to add the ability to report a server. Is this functionality still planned?
A: This task was planned.
Q: Earlier on the podcast, it was said that there would be a redesign of the lighting. Are you planning to decrease the shadow effect in the next patch, or to avoid having to redo the entire lighting, expand the settings of PostFX, so that the players have the opportunity to adjust the shadows on their own (not much, like 2-3 positions).
A: Self-adjustment definitely won't happen. It's either the same for everyone or nothing. Changes in graphics in the future will affect many aspects, including the shadows. Work is already underway, we’re making various adjustments, but we’re not adding it to the game yet.
Q: What's your favorite event you did? Do you like the more hardcore or the more fun and relaxed events?
A: I, of course, like the hardcore, when people struggle, when the event entices you. Not just a farming thing, but an event where people realize that when they're in it, they have to give it all they've got. Or when streamers play Tarkov during the event. They understand that the people who are watching it don't want to exert themselves, but to watch them suffer. It's all part of the big concept to me, and I like it.
I don't really like simple events that change some parameters, that don't fundamentally move the gameplay. But they are still necessary, not everyone can participate in hardcore events. A lot of new players come in and think “alright, cool, let’s play”, and there's hell going on! Scavs are attacking everyone, bosses are running around with scythes. And the new player thinks “where the heck am I?”
Events should be vivid, memorable and short.
Q: Do you have a dream to implement a new cool event?
A: Of course I do. An event that changes the game. For example, an event that will change the seasons, add new characters. We have a lot of ideas and they're being worked on. These are complex, full-fledged events. I would especially like to mention the ARG events (like we did with bottles, for example). We want to make them on a larger scale. So stay tuned. It'll be cool.
Q: Nikita, we know (or guess) that within each event developers usually test some new features and mechanics that may remain in the game permanently in the future. I really liked the idea of containers with random loot that can only be opened in the stash. On Halloween, these containers were shaped like pumpkins with all sorts of goodies inside. Can we expect to see these containers outside of events in the future? (Maybe some locked medical bags or document folders that you'll have to open, for instance, in the Hideout using the workbench).
A: Yes. Like the unique flare gun cartridge that can summon Scavs. It’s still in the game and can be found.
Q: Tagilla had a new scythe during the Halloween event. Will the scythe still spawn on Tagilla during the wipe/patch? Or only for event time?
A: Only for events. But it's possible that in the future we'll add the ability to use two-handed edged weapons with a leveled up strength, maybe as the elite perk. For example, taking Tagilla’s hammer or finding a scythe. But this will be a unique case, you’ll have to do something to use it.
Q: Do you plan to add event related voice lines for Bosses or Scavs? For example, Tagila says "Trick or treat" and if you do not give him any loot, he will attack you. And to coincide with Christmas, he’d attack you with a staff!
A: There are nuances to the voice acting. Some of the voice actors don't work with us in the office. If there will be a voiceover, it will only be those who are available. By the way, the new voice acting will be added in the next patch. We voiced the bosses on the Lighthouse, and also Killa and Tagilla. I need to check if it'll be in the patch. It was supposed to be a surprise. There will be crazy voice acting, just as I like it. I went to Moscow, and we voiced them there. The actors who voiced the characters of the game recently, they are close to us. And we can always ask them to voice new phrases. With actors who voiced characters a long time ago, there are problems. The probability of them voicing phrases just for fun is small. Usually, when you write everything down, you don't touch it afterwards. But in fact, situations can be different. Voice actors themselves come to the studio, listen to the old recordings, and voice new, cool phrases in that style.
Q: There was a unique event this fall that we just have to talk about. It was unprecedented in our game, because it not only touched the in-game part of Tarkov, but also the real life of the community. I'm talking about the event - The Chronicles of Ryzhy. Nikita, can you briefly (or not so briefly, if you want) tell us about that event (idea, implementation and so on)?
A: All the people in the team make amazing and unique events, they’re doing a great job. The many years of my philosophy that I dictated are finally bearing fruit. They’re doing what I always wanted to do. And they do most of it on their own. This is great! The main thing was the organization. Big thanks to everyone who supported the event - players, emissaries all around the world, those who helped without asking for anything in return. This event benefited not only the gaming community, but also all of us - developers, emissaries who are closely involved in development. It was cool to see that people are interested in doing something unique and cool. We are moving the lore, and now the 3rd series of the Chronicles of Ryzhy is out. The lore of the game is constantly moving and expanding, the most interesting will come with the story quests. When there is a large amount of information about lore, and when a person knows about the universe of the game, plus they take part in development, then it becomes easier to come up with something new within the framework of the concept. And when there are all professionals around, and they know what they are doing, and there are many who are ready to help, this is feasible.
Q: If it isn’t a secret, will Ryzhy become a boss?
A: I have no moral right to say such things. I personally do not lead the story with Ryzhy, and I myself am as interested as you guys are. I’m even scared of what this will all lead to, and of course, if I understand that something goes wrong, I will definitely intervene. But now I'm enjoying what I've been doing for years. Usually, I was always aware of everything, but now there are moments where I myself am surprised. And it's very cool when I see something and understand that I would do it the same. And for me it's a good indicator that the guys who work there clearly understand the trick, and that's cool.
Q: It's almost December, New Year is coming up. Nikita, do you have New Year's events planned? Do you plan to surprise the community with something new?
Maybe we'll see snow in Tarkov (at least in the sky), build a snowman in the Hideout or launch fireworks from the flare guns that are already in the game?
A: I hope we won't exhaust ourselves to death by working on this patch. Making a snowman is cool, of course, but there's so much work that it's terrifying. Build a real snowman to support BSG! #BSGsnowman! The hardest thing happens on New Year's Eve, we have a lot of work. I’m afraid to say “let’s make something interesting on New Year”, because everything interesting is already being worked on right now. I already wanted to add so many cool unique needed features, but right now it’s impossible for us. We did have prototype snow, I remember. It was procedural snow, but that's just a sketch.
Q: Do you plan to make PMC clothes in the New Year style?
A: We already have some elements: hats, beards and so on. But a staff for a boss would be cool, of course. For example, for Tagilla. But what if? Who knows?
Q: Will there be events where you perform a certain task? For example, you press buttons in three different parts of the location at the same time and fireworks start?
A: That's cool. Maybe not fireworks. It is possible that everything explodes and the raid ends, but this is just an idea right now. Anything is possible.. Let's see how the patch turns out, and if we have time, we'll come up with something. If not, then there will still be something anyway.
Q: Nikita, we dream of hearing some new soundtrack from you in the New Year's Tarkov style
A: Let me explain: this doesn't work that way. In order to write a track, you need something incredible to happen: a good mood, inspiration. I'm not good at New Year's style, I'd rather write something heavy with a guitar. I don't like modern New Year's music.
Q: The new boss on Lighthouse, Zryachy? Are there any details about him?
A: No comment.
Q: Will there be radios, like in the trailer?
A: No, they will be added later. Everything will come eventually.
Q: Will there be another way to unlock Scav quests for players who don't invest in the Hideout? For example, do some sort of mission as a PMC.
A: Maybe. All of the mechanics around the quests will be reworked for the game's release. We also plan to change and reshuffle the quests with this wipe so that players will experience the already familiar experience in a new way.
Q: What changes in general are planned for the Hideout? Maybe some new modules will appear?
A: A workout zone will be added. And remember the idea of having a cat in the Hideout? It's become a full-fledged task. It will be done someday.
Q: What overall changes are waiting for us in the new wipe? What co-op features will be added in the new patch?
A: There will be a lot of adjustments. Weather, bot settings, 1HP for everyone. etc. Some of these settings will be added in this major patch. Settings for content creation will also be added in the future.
Q: Will there be a hardcore mode, for example, turning on the checkbox in the menu and there will be no access to the Flea market?
A: It is planned.
Q: In the future, is it possible to have notes describing the history of locations, or something that would give us hints to the game's lore?
A: The mechanic of reading books and notes will definitely be there. There will be a lot of it. Books, for example, could be used as manuals for crafting. There will be a new craft requiring books. Much of crafting will also be expanded with the addition of story quests.
Q: Are there any plans to add some of the servers with a ping limit (50, 100, 150)?
A: We try to make the most efficient use of the available pool of servers. If you split servers by ping, then at some point there may be a shortage of free servers.
Q: Will there be items such as "gold cards" or tools for breaking into rooms added to the game, which could open any door in the Lab a single time - the player could choose which room he wants to open?
A: A master key is in the plans. Actually, the black keycard was originally planned as a master key. And it was supposed to be the most expensive key. But it turned out a little differently. The black card will be changed in the future.
Q: Will it be possible to create a queue for crafting? And the ability to cancel the craft, without losing items?
A: We do have a skill that lets you make two crafts at the same time. I thought about the queue, but this mechanic should force you to return. When we have an app in which it will be possible to start crafts, it will be more interesting. The queue is simple - it makes life easier. And the app will not be simple. When you install the app, you can only see your profile. If you want to manage something, earn it. All of this will take time. You will need to unlock it in the game as well.
Suggestion: after the wipe you don't have to examine items in the hideout while testing is in progress.
A: It all depends on the type of wipe. Sometimes you need a full-fledged wipe.
Q: What mechanics are planned to be introduced in terms of atmosphere, such as PMC smoking a cigarette or when the PMC is tired from running, he'd be wiping sweat from his forehead?
A: I've seen the "lying on the couch in the Hideout" animation ready. But in general, these things take time and effort. When we have time, we add it. There will definitely be some new animations.
Q: What about looting cars like crates (big containers) - trunk or glove box, using a crowbar when breaking into cars?
A: Not out of the picture. Maybe for the doors too, for example.
Q: Having the ability to permanently assign the position of certain items inside the stash. Will there be such a thing?
A: There is a task to do that, yes. I’ve seen it appear somewhere. It was fully described, and it looked like it was being worked on. And I'm wondering if it'll make it into the patch or not. There were several types of blocks for it, a block for movement and others. A lot of features were made, but they didn't make it into the last patch.
Q: We’d like to see how all this was created in some big documentary, for example, how the soundtracks to the game are recorded, the sounds are written, how the game is created within your company in general. Do you have any thoughts of ever doing that?
A: We're already doing that to some extent. We have a full team for that. And we will definitely implement something like that. We have a lot of old material, it's been fun. And we have to put it all back together, of course. Everything used to be simple and clear, but now we have a lot of people. This year we hired 60 people.
Q: If you could go back in time, would you make the game differently?
A: We're doing the game that we originally intended. The only thing is, I'd pay more attention to the technical stuff. No one expected a niche project to become so popular. So of course I would have paid more attention to some parts of development. But 95% of the stuff I would have left as is.
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