Recently I got to speak with the team behind the pending 3d Shooter Section 8. I want to thank them for taking the time to answer our questions and to Jay at Sandbox for arranging the interview
OCMS: What is the background and setting for the game?
Section 8 is an intense sci-fi shooter set in the future when humans have begun colonizing alien worlds in the far reaches of the Milky Way galaxy. While it is set in the distant future, we wanted to make it feel realistic and relatable to the player. You will not find something like lasers or teleportation in this universe; everything is very mechanical.
OCMS: What are some of the locales gamers will see in the game?
Players will be able to battle on everything from lush, green planets to barren desert planets in Section 8. Each map in the game is absolutely enormous in size and has a very unique feel for a memorable battle experience each and every time.
OCMS: What are some of the weapons we will see and do you have a favorite? Is there alt fire modes?
The player will have the choice to equip themselves as they see fit through what we call a “Loadout.” Each Loadout consists of two primary weapons, such as an assault rifle, missile launcher, machine gun, pistol, shotgun, or sniper rifle.
Instead of alternative fire modes, each Loadout allows the player to equip themselves with grenades, repair tools, or shoulder-mounted mortars. Combined with passive modules in the suit that modify everything from the player’s armor to their stealth, the player has near-limitless choices for customization to play the game as they see fit.
As for a favorite, I prefer to be a heavily armored, machine gun-wielding, death machine.
OCMS: Will vehicles be used in the game?
Players will be able to requisition a wide variety of on-demand turrets and other aids including vehicles. Currently, Section 8 features two different purchasable vehicles—a Heavy Tank that features four differently equipped seats, each with a unique and impressively destructive arsenal, and a powerful Heavy Armor with chain guns attached to both of its arms. Both vehicles are unique to each faction.
OCMS: What forms of multiplay does the game include and will there be co-op play?
Section 8 will include one major type of multiplayer gameplay, though no game ever plays the same thanks to burn-in spawning, on-demand vehicle and tactical asset deliveries, near-limitless loadout customization, and Dynamic Combat Missions. Players will also have the choice to play with all human players, bots-only, or a combination of the two. In fact, two players can even join the same team and face off against 30 other bots if they wanted.
OCMS: What engine is the game using and what are some of the new features it will offer gamers?
Section 8 uses Unreal Engine 3, so players can expect great performance and impressive next-gen visuals.
OCMS: What can you tell us about the A.I. in the game?
We are currently still optimizing and tweaking the AI to be not only competitive against the player, but intelligent and realistic as well.
OCMS: Blending action with a detailed plot can always be tricky. How have you attempted to create this element, and will scripted events be a part of the game?
While multiplayer is definitely the focus of Section 8, we do have an exciting single-player story that details the background behind the conflict of 8th Armored Infantry and the Arm of Orion. Fully voiced acting and scripted events are all part of this mode that help make it a memorable experience.
OCMS: What are the biggest obstacles you faced in creating the game and the biggest success?
In general, the first-person shooter genre is overcrowded with stale features and concepts. It was a bit of a challenge to create something truly innovative in this genre—something that stands out from the crowd—but we believe we have succeeded in doing this, and it’s incredibly exciting.
One of the biggest technical issues we faced when creating Section 8, was the burn-in feature. Not only were there significant risks for gameplay allowing players to literally drop anywhere on the battlefield , but we pushed the game’s engine to its limits. When the player burns-in to battle, they are actually dropping head-first from over 15,000 feet in the air and falling at neck-breaking velocity. This was no easy task to conquer, but the end result is something truly spectacular.
On a similar note, burning-in is one of our biggest successes in our game. It completely eliminates the predictability of other first-person shooters by allowing the players to have the freedom to drop anywhere on the map, eliminating the most annoying aspects of first-person shooters—spawn-campers and 30 second respawn times.
Overall, we are most proud that our game is truly original and innovative. Even better, we created a game that we love to play and we hope others will, too!
OCMS: What are some of the enemies players will face and will there be Boss battles?
In the story mode, the player is Alex Corde of the 8th Armored Infantry who is up against a splinter faction called the Arm of Orion. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that there are events similar to “boss battles” in Section 8, but you’ll have to wait and play the game to find out more!
OCMS: What formats will the game be released on?
Section 8 will be released this fall on both the PC and Xbox 360.