Why 256? MAG developers explain in diary #2
Last week we learned about the back-story behind the Shadow War but, in yesterday’s new edition, Zipper Interactive delve head-long into the one topic that’s on everyone’s lips: 256 players!? Are you guys insane?
Zipper stalwarts, Steve Suhy (Technical Art Director), Jason Tartaglia (Technical Director), Ed Byrne (Creative Director), CJ Heine (Lead level designer), Andy Beaudoin (Lead Game Designer) and Alan Van Slyke (Producer) all chime in about the mammoth undertaking of having 256 players on one map. They notÂ only speak about how ground-breaking such an endeavour is, but also the inherent challenges that comes with smashing the current confines of tactical online shooters.
It’s interesting to hear for instance from Jason Tartaglia of how the game performs wonders, not just from a networking stand-point, but on a rendering level too. With so many players and an impressive field of vision, it’s heartening to hear that the frame-rate, even when all players converge towards each other at the end, consistently remains at over 30 frames per second.
This week’s developer diary also addresses the tricky concept of balance in a game with so many people frantically running about shooting everything that moves. The Zipper-ites mention how novice players can drop in at quiet zones in the map (in an effort to deal with the vicious spawn-die-spawn cycle) and how they have paid particular focus towards wanting the player to always feel empowered. IndividualsÂ should always believe that they can influence how the battle will end.
Check back next Monday for what we can only assume will be Developer Diary #3.