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Sniper Elite 3 squad system tackles 'screw-ups', new vehicle 'kill-cam'
Posted: 06.02.2014 18:06 by Simon Priest Comments: 0
In our chat with Sniper Elite 3 senior producer Jean-Baptiste Bolcato we learn our sniping mishaps won't be quite as punishing this time around, thanks to the new squad system bunching up AI.

The Rebellion team has also been adjusting their signature kill-cam, having rebuilt the skeletons of our hapless squishy targets, but vehicles also get one.

In Sniper Elite V2 their kill-cam was hard-coded but now they've developed new tools for their artists to really flesh out (pun!) the kill-cam with more muscle and organs.

"...it was quite hard-coded before, partially procedural but also a list of blueprints and text files. Now we have tools for the artists to work on the cameras, to work on each detail, each breakage of bone. On top of that we reconstructed the skeleton from the bottom up, added the layers of muscles, the organs," explained Jean-Baptiste Bolcato.

"It was already working quite well but we've improved the tools and we've improved a lot of detail within it. On top of that we added the vehicle kill-cam , which is still work in progress but working quite well. We focus on engines and fuel dumps and that kind of stuff. So you zoom in take a shot and it shows the fuel tank in flames and then you pop it again and get a cool explosion. Each level also has its own long-shot, a little bit like the V2 rocket level in the last game, there's always a cool shot that changes the story."

Watching a truly wince-worthy demise is great, but what about those... accidental screw ups? Rebellion has now formed squads amongst the AI which communicate among their members, meaning that a stray bullet hitting something or someone it shouldn't have won't have the entire Third Reich down on you.

 
"Yeah, so basically they all have their own senses, they're all individuals but they're also attached to a squad. The squad have their own directives as a whole. There's ranks in there, so if their leader is there the soldiers are going to be a lot punchier. There's lots of little touches like that," Bolcato continued.

"The snipers are different, they can shoot you but they can also communicate to the rest of the squad so that they react quicker. Compared to V2, which was suffering a bit because as soon as you screwed up the whole army descends on you, some troops will have specific tasks, so those guys will keep guarding this set area and they're not supposed to leave. So that's the way we keep things zoned, and then you can de-escalate things by relocating."

Sniper Elite 3 takes place before V2 and will also explain why our character, Karl Fairburne, was a lone wolf and a rather cold methodical sharpshooter. "In the third one we're trying to explain why, so in the story there's going to be stuff in there that explains that," he assured us.

Check out our full interview with senior producer Jean-Baptiste Bolcato, and also our Sniper Elite 3 preview.

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