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Plan of Attack Interview (9/05)
| Posted by Brent on Oct 05th 05 01:38 AM
Monday, we scored an interview with the Plan of Attack half-life 2 modification.

HL2Central.net: What is your mod about? (for those just hearing about the game)
POA: Plan of Attack is a strategic FPS that puts the focus on teamwork and  strategy. It's unique in its adaptation of an in-game strategy system, and the gameplay system is a blend of several other FPS titles.

HL2Central.net: The current weapon selection is fairly small. Do you have any plans on adding more weaponry, and what would you say the maximum number of weapons would be for your modification.
POA: Plan of Attack has a total of 17 new weapons, with unique weapons for each side. I wouldn't say that the arsenal is small. It's on par with similar FPS titles.

HL2Central.net: Many "outsiders" take a look at your mod and find it hard to determine differences between it and Counter-Strike, thus passing it over. What are the key differences?
POA: The key differences are in gameplay. If you sit down and give the game a good hour-long play, the differences will become apparent. There is much more teamwork necessary to win, more strategy, and victory on a map is never as linear as in Counter-Strike.

HL2Central.net: Do you have any alternate game-modes planned (king of the hill most notably)?
POA: Yes, we do. We're hoping to release the new gameplay mode in our nextrelease.

HL2Central.net: Are there any plans for a demolition class capable of carying more
grenades and RPG ammo?
POA: We've talked about adding a class with some of those characteristics, but nothing is concrete.

HL2Central.net: What are your goals both optimistically and realisitically for
this modification?
POA: We've already met and exceeded our goals with Plan of Attack. We've successfully implemented several new technologies (ModStats, strategy system) to the HL2 universe, and we released the game in a very aggressive timeline, hitting our release date perfectly.

HL2Central.net: If it came down to adding a feature that would attract a large quantity of users, and losing a portion of your dedicated users, would you add the feature?
POA: We would add the feature if it would improve the quality of Plan of
Attack.

HL2Central.net: How much money is universal stats system costing? The bandwidth must be through the roof.
POA: It's costing us one dedicated server. The bandwidth usage is reasonable, as the system has been designed - and optimized - with a large number of users in mind.

HL2Central.net: Many game servers (for any game) do not enable stats because when stats are enabled you attract "stats whores," what do you have to say concerning this issue with your ranked servers?
POA: We built our stats to reflect the values we wanted to encourage in Plan of Attack. For instance, capturing an objective is "worth more" points than simply killing an enemy.

HL2Central.net: Small question concerning community feedback, have you been
acused of copying the idea battlefield 2 with your universal stats,
even though you have been out long before BF2 was released?
POA: To my knowledge we haven't been accused of this, and you're right, our service was out first. In addition, being accused of copying such a basic idea is ridiculous. Ideas are a dime-a-dozen; it's the implementation that counts.

HL2Central.net: What size is your development team and how much would you say being geographically local to each other helps in development.
POA: It would have been impossible for us to release Plan of Attack if we weren't located next to each other. I dare say that any geographically separated team is going to face a big challenge in releasing a high quality MOD within a reasonable timeline. Saying "when it's done" is fine in the amateur world, but that doesn't fly if you have a publisher funding you - which, by the way, Valve doesn't have to worry about. :)

HL2Central.net: Is there anything you wish you could go back in time and change for the modification?
POA: Not releasing a beta version with an un-cubemapped map before our mention in Steam news.

HL2Central.net: And finally, when is Beta 4 coming out?!
POA: This Wednesday, two days earlier than planned.

Because this was an email interview I had to ask a few more questions after I received these answers..

HL2Central.net: Is this upcoming release going to contain the remake of light?
POA: No, but we're actively working on that for future release. It's definitely our best map yet.

HL2Central.net: Are you going to be making HDR compatible maps now that Valve has enabled the ability to do so?
POA: We haven't had a chance to look at the HDR support yet, but if it's easy for us to implement, I don't see a reason why we wouldn't put it in as an option.

Alright, that is it, attached is a link to our
preview of Beta 4 and some pictures from it.
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