Soldiers, we've secured some time with Lead Producer of Beyond The Wire, Mitsu. You might be familiar with his helpful answers in the Discord server but Community Manager BLITZ was able to get some quality time with him on Thursday 7th May to discuss some of the most pressing questions we've seen cropping up from the community since we've announced Beyond The Wire.
Check out the archive below or the write-up.
Q: Who are you and what do you do?
A: Hi, I’m Mitsu. I work as a Lead Producer on Beyond The Wire since January 2019 and am in charge of overseeing the entire production of the game.
My professional background is mostly in Project Management, Marketing and Design, but I really dove into game development through modding in the early 2000s. Then got into tactical shooters like Rainbow Six, Arma and Red Orchestra. Finally, I discovered Project Reality a few years ago and got immediately hooked on the teamwork and player-driven gameplay.
After Squad had released, a few Squad players and I formed up a modding community and started working on a few modding projects. One of which was the Canadian Armed Forces Mod which ever since has become an official DLC for Squad.
Originally I’m more of a marketing / product management person, but through my modding experience and professional experience I’ve been able to marry the best of both worlds, and ever since then I’m essentially in charge of overseeing the entire production of the game which is a lot of organizing, facilitating all the milestones and working on the schedule with other members of the team. More of an organizer than a programmer or artist.
Q: In the announcement trailer for Beyond The Wire we saw American and German troops, which other factions do you intend to include if any?
A: At launch, players will have access to the German Empire, French Republic and American Expeditionary Force. These factions will provide players with a wide range of weaponry and other types of arsenal, and while the British Expeditionary Force won’t be available at launch, they will be released shortly after. We have definitive intentions to release additional content after release but these are the factions we’ll be starting with and I can’t wait to share how they look in Beyond The Wire with everyone.
Q: We know that Beyond The Wire will be focusing on the Western Front of WWI, but do you have more information about any specific timeframes you will be portraying or certain battles that you hope to depict?
A: When we started working on Beyond The Wire, we wanted to make sure that we could experiment with different mechanics without being held back by historical limitations. That’s why we chose to start developing late-war content first. That flexibility allows us to introduce additional variety to the player's arsenal.
We would absolutely love to explore additional fronts and battles. However, given that our resources are limited, we want to make sure that whatever players get their hands on is fun, polished and optimized before we start working on additional content.
Q: Are there any other territories you hope to include in the future?
A: We wanted to cover some of the most iconic battlefields first, which is why we are releasing with Passchendaele, Somme and Argonne. All of these maps are vastly different in not only the biome or the visuals but also in how they play and what challenges they pose. We will absolutely release additional maps depicting other well-known battles of the Western Front but it’s a bit too early to definitively say what maps and factions will be released next. Rest assured, we’re nowhere near done with Beyond The Wire and are in for the long haul.
Q: BTW is touting 50 v 50 matches, does that mean we can expect huge maps with a lot of downtime in between firefights?
A: To really capture the essence of the brutality and high human cost of World War 1, we needed to have a high player count. However, spreading 100 players across huge terrains would not allow us to achieve exactly that goal.
Our maps are large enough for players to get the sense of being part of a huge battle and to allow for flanking opportunities, but we also want to make sure to keep engagements concentrated and intense. As a frontline soldier in Beyond The Wire, there are very few opportunities to take a break. The frontline is always within hands reach, however organized players should be able to see through the chaos and coordinate their efforts to overcome the enemy.
Q: Will the map size allow for vehicles to be present during matches?
A: Beyond The Wire is an infantry-focused game, but we do want to leave the door open for vehicle combat to come into play sometime in the future. That being said at the moment our maps are tailored to boots-on-the-ground combat and we design our levels to work with what is presently available in the game.
Q: From the sounds of things, this seems quite different from other games that are being published by Offworld Industries, are there any challenges that have come with crafting out a different experience than what has come before?
A: We’re super proud of the heritage that we have with Squad, we are huge fans and as previously mentioned we were modding on that game for a long time. There’s an inherent relationship with them but we understand we can’t just take the existing formula and apply that to a different setting. In early experiments we witnessed that this wasn’t entirely fun or engaging so instead, we’re taking a fairly different approach, the pacing of Beyond The Wire is very different from Squad, we’re trying something that is a lot more intense while also providing the tactical options open for players in the match. We’re essentially trying to capture the essence of frontline WW1 combat and large, strategic manoeuvres are not necessarily a part of that, it was largely hand to hand combat and people engaging at closer distances rather than large flanks.
That said, there will definitely be some parallels to Squad, there are some features we’ve inherited that are great and help make BTW a better game but we’ve also departed from many aspects of Squad, namely the melee system which is a completely different experience to what players of Squad have experienced in the past.
The setting itself is an interesting challenge. World War 1 is such a deep and complex historical period and it is sometimes difficult to condense that into a video game. After all, our primary goal is to make a fun and engaging game, but closely after that, we want to give players the opportunity to immerse themselves in what would be known as the most horrific conflict to ever take place.
The balance between gameplay and history is on our mind all the time and we’ll do our best to provide a fun, but authentic experience.
Additionally, working on Beyond The Wire allowed us to experiment with what a tactical shooter can be. We want to provide something new and interesting. The introduction of Melee gave us a different perspective on what challenges
Q: It’s early days and we’re still in development, but people would like to know if you plan to have a console release of Beyond The Wire.
A: A game like ours needs a healthy and engaged community to be successful and we believe such a community can best be cultivated if we release on PC first.
Apart from that, it’s the platform we are most comfortable with. Not only as developers but also as players ourselves. The openness of the PC platform, especially through modding, is what gave birth to many great tactical shooters. Releasing Beyond The Wire on PC just seems natural to us.
We’ve heard and read that many would love to see Beyond The Wire release on console and while we can’t make any promises, we will definitely investigate what possible paths there are for us. But first, we need to develop a great PC title.
If that's not enough for you, we recently showcased some of the Weapon Mechanics & Systems you'll be witnessing in Beyond The Wire when it releases.
Be sure to wishlist us on Steam as it helps us a lot, and be sure to stay safe! We'll see you next time.
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