Heroes & Generals is a new WW II first-person shooter game with strategic elements developed by Reto-Moto, a independent studio, which is founded by some of the original team of the Hitman series. We went to discover more about it.
MMOBomb: Can you introduce yourself and give us a small description of Reto-Moto?
My name is Jacob Andersen. I work as a Game Director here at Reto-Moto. We’re a small independent team consisting primarily of Hitman-veterans. We started 3 years ago, building a new ‘web enabled’ game engine from scratch, for use with online actiongames.
MMOBomb: By moving from blockbusters such as Hitman and Kane & Lynch to Heroes & Generals is your way of trying something that otherwise you couldn’t?
You can say that. When we decided to abandon ship we were eager to try and work with online games and explore the power of the communities the games in this field have.
MMOBomb: Heroes & Generals is set during WWII but you didn’t go for a full realistic approach. What kind of concessions did you make to benefit gameplay and flow of the matches?
We are very focused on the accessibility of the game. It should be fairly easy to get your ‘daily 5-minute action fix’ . At the same time we want to have the weapons and vehicles behave as realistically as we can without losing first-timers. You can say it’s ‘easy to learn, hard to master’.
MMOBomb: The idea of mixing FPS and strategy isn’t a new one but it’s not very often that we see it. Why did you choose such an approach instead of going for the easy route – meaning, a pure WWII multiplayer FPS?
I think it was the idea of a community driven game that led to the idea that the battles should be strung together by a strategy meta-game. When we initially discussed the game idea it just seem so obvious.
MMOBomb: What kind of influence does a General has in the game? Can anyone be a General, and if so, is there a way to reward the competent and downgrade the bad ones?
Basically anyone can own and handle an Assault Team and become a Commander and succeedingly become a General, but he have to perform well to be a good General. Because the command structure is entirely player driven, the good players will be on top. The game have many similarities with real war. A great General will have to take the inexperience of new commanders into account when creating his battleplan.
MMOBomb: Seeing that the game is set in such a large scale war, how many maps and different settings can we expect at launch?
We currently have 6 maps that we are tweaking with 3 different gamemodes on. We also have some early city levels but they will be introduced when the strategic game is upgraded with ‘cities’ (clusters of battlefields). The maps in H&G are very different from what you usually see.
We do not have 2 sides going across the map towards the other’s base but instead we have an attacking force at the edge of the map and a defending force at the center (with supporting forces at the edge). The maps can be attacked from any direction providing a lot of different combinations of gameplay. It takes quite a while for the players to ‘learn’ the maps and how to play if the enemy suddenly comes from behind.
MMOBomb: Your business model seems to be somewhat different from the usual item micro-transaction. In what way does a purchase affect the player and his teammates?
We have introduced something we coined ‘Social Free to Play’. The idea is that the spending of some players will benefit other players as well as the spender. A player can purchase an Assault Team and upgrade the spawn slots with weapons/mods, that other players can use when they play the action game.
Upgrading your Assault Team will of course increase your chance of winning the battle and therefore it also benefits the Commander/owner of the Assault Team.
MMOBomb: When do you expect to launch an open beta?
That’s hard to say. The closed beta still offers us some time to iron out the bugs on the server, but we are working hard to get there sooner than later.
MMOBomb: Anything else you want to add about Heroes & Generals?
Well, I hope your readers will join us moving forward. It has already been a great help to get feedback from our community and it’s very rewarding for us as developers to create a game for the players that (hopefully) fit their dreams.