So at GDC Online we got the chance to meet with World of Tanks and Warplanes CEO Victor Kislyi. Victor talked about a number of projects going on at the studio as well as some of the philosophies behind Wargaming.net’s approach to building games. He gave us some insight into World of Warplanes’ final stages and talked about the upcoming World of Warships a bit as well.
Victor explained that the sun never sets on Wargaming.net anymore. With offices around the globe the company has been growing quickly over the last few years. He even pointed out that they have servers in remote Siberia now for Russian players who have been active in that part of the world. Another area the company conitnues to grow into is eSports. The company is expanding into more local cybergames areas and continues to work on spectator mode for players. The Wargaming.net Service the company is currently working on will also help players a lot. The service will connect all three games together. The team is very excited about this because you will be able to transfer experience from one game to another. Victor explained that this is a reward for veteran players who will be able to upgrade in World of Warplanes when they start because of their time playing World of Tanks. The service will also connect World of Warships as well when it is launched.
We talked about World of Warplanes and where the game sits this close to launch. Victor explained that the acquisition of BigWorld (a recent technology purchase) has helped them a lot on the building the game. They now have an engine they can modify and work with which gives them a much faster time to make changes. The biggest challenge continues to be the controls of the game and they want to make sure that all planes fly well and more importantly fight well. The Warplanes team is heavily focused on gameplay and polish right now. They want the look and feel of flying a plane to be a great experience even for casual players. The team has been doing endless tests and tweaks to get it right.
We got a long look at the Hangar part of the game which allows you customize your planes. Not only can you upgrade weapons but you can also tweak performance with various parts for your engine. This will play a lot into the fighting as giving your plane more manuverability could save your life in a dog fight. Of course they will allow you to mark your kills on the nose art of the plane which every pilot will surely do.
We also talked about World of Tanks and patch 8.0 which adds true physics to the game. Also the new patch will give players new ways to scout the battlefield. The team laughed as we talked about players driving the tanks off cliffs and making suicide runs. These types of issues are being addressed now in terms of what is next for the game. They are also introducing British tanks to the battlefield.
Overall, the one thing that Victor focused on was the core idea and philosophy behind Wargaming.net. He explained that they truly look at games like when they were kids playing with their toy tanks in the backyard. The idea behind all of the games is to capture those memories in digital form and appeal to all types of players from young to old. They are seeing the games cross generations and cultures. He explained that Wargaming.net really has becoming a multi-cultural company, even a global company for players and fans of the game.
What we have seen of World of Warplanes has been truly impressive. The planes look amazing, the combat is easy to get into and hard to master, spectator mode when you die allows you to watch how the good pilots (the opposite of me) are doing in a fight. The first maps they are launching with are easy to understand and give players plenty of objectives to fight over. They did say that you can win games by destroying objectives on the map, but that most early fights become all about the dogfighting. The game experience is going to be great fun for casual and hardcore players alike. The fact that thery are tweaking the controls so anyone can use any type of device to fly their planes is a sign that Wargaming really does get what accessibility is all about.