Field Ops Interview (PC)

Strategy Informer: Firstly could you introduce yourself to our humble readers and let us know your role at Freeze Interactive?

Mourad Majeri: My name is Mourad Majeri. I work at Freeze Interactive as Senior Producer on Field Ops.

Strategy Informer: Where did the idea of creating Field Ops come about and why did you decide it would be best to make it a FPS/RTS Hybrid?

Mourad Majeri: Freeze Interactive are a team of gamers, who decided to form Freeze Interactive when we understood that the games we wanted to play would never be on the shelves unless we make them! We always enjoyed playing military games (FPS or RTS), but we felt that something was missing. Our aim with Field Ops was to give players the feeling that they are experiencing a modern global conflict, through the eyes of both a Commander and a soldier. We decided that the best way to be a commander was to play in RTS, and the best way to be a soldier on the field was to play an FPS. So we decided to mix FPS and RTS, and Field Ops was born, along with the Real-Time Strategy Shooter genre.

Strategy Informer: We've read about the current features which you've announced for Field Ops, are there any which you've yet to announce or talk about that you would like to share with our readers?

Mourad Majeri: We have already announced the main features behind the game. We will be adding some minor features during the next few months of the games development, but this is largely depending on the time remaining once our main objectives have been met.

Strategy Informer: What can you tell us about the graphical and physics features?

Mourad Majeri: As you have seen through screenshots released, the graphical part of the game will match and overcome the current benchmark for the RTS genre. Our team is currently making some additions to the engine, to make sure that the shadow and lighting will reach an even higher standard. Stay tuned, our engine didn’t show its limits yet! We’ve put lots of efforts to bring good quality visuals into the FPS perspective to be able to display a range of environments and effects. We are very proud about the FPS graphics, knowing that the game is not a pure FPS game but a mix between two genres.

Strategy Informer: What sort of system requirements are people going to need in order to play Field Ops?

Mourad Majeri: Unfortunately we do not have final specifications just yet. What I can say is that the game will be playable on a 2 years old PC spec: (1,5 ghz, X6xx - X8xx or GF 5,6,7…) if the resolution is set correctly.

Strategy Informer: Once Field Ops is released, what kind of support do you plan on giving your community? Do you think it's likely you'll release any tools that will allow people to create fan related content like maps or mods? We've seen this kind of content increase sales so if you've decided to not release something like this, why has that decision been made?

Mourad Majeri: We plan to release tools as a downloadable package to support the community on or just after the release of Field Ops. We plan to support the community by releasing additional tools such as map packs and by creating special events for the mod community, in which they can win prizes.

Strategy Informer: We are really interested in the main feature for Field Ops, where you are able to jump from RTS mode to FPS mode at any given time. Could you please give us some information about this feature and let us know what it's like?

Mourad Majeri: This feature is very easy to use. The first time you play it, you won’t believe it! When you are in RTS view with one of your units selected, you simply have to press one key whenever you want to switch the camera/mode in FPS views (the camera slides in real time into the first person perspective). The player decides when he wants to switch in FPS view or RTS view depending on the situation/event that he has to handle, but also depending on his own skills and preferences.

Strategy Informer: We're told that there will be exciting multiplayer modes for Field Ops, could you tell us a bit about these modes and how multiplayer will shape out?

Mourad Majeri: We will have 3 different multiplayer modes: Bomb Run, Conquer and VIP. They are self explanatory. Obviously these modes are standard modes from multiplayer FPS modes, but are completely new for an RTS player. We have put lots of additional efforts, resources and time to make the multiplayer component very entertaining. Being able to play RTS while your friend is playing FPS is a completely unique experience, compared to other standard multiplayer games. This really comes to create a new genre of gameplay.

Strategy Informer: What sort of weapons will we get to use in Field Ops, we know there has been some details released for this on the official website but are there any which you've yet to talk about?

Mourad Majeri: Yes, there will be different weapons for each soldier class. For instance the Anti Tank Guys have anti-tank missile launchers available which are very efficient against most kinds of hostile vehicles. It’s a quite precise weapon with devastative firepower, but the re-load process is time consuming, and it has only 4 spare missiles as default ammunition load. It’s one of the few weapons that is very efficient against enemy gun ships and heavy armors. There will be also unique weaponry for each class. For instance the demolition expert class can use a “Car blasting explosive”. This is used to trap a car and block a way if needed (self destruction on contact or programmed explosion).

Strategy Informer: Could you also tell us about any vehicles which we'll get to play with in the game?

Mourad Majeri: We will have several kind of vehicles to use in Field Ops including ground vehicles, attack choppers (AH1W COBRA) and patrol boats. Mainly the use of vehicles in-game, is to get more firepower and protection for you Spec Ops soldiers. They are also used to fight against enemy vehicles or destroy walls to create new ways to work through a mission. The way that you use the vehicles is quite similar to the FPS view, but the camera views will be in third person view (TPS) like a racing game.

Strategy Informer: As a gamer, what's your favorite part of Field Ops, what makes you proud to have helped create it and why is it a game people will like?

Mourad Majeri: Frankly, quite everything is this game makes me proud! The game has been in development for more than two years. During this time, we have faced different challenges that we overcome such as the graphics in both perspectives. Also by mixing the two styles of gameplay, we have exposed flaws that we have had to solve by creating specifics tools to fix them. I’m a great fan of RTS genre and always play new RTS released but today when I play a new RTS game, I feel really limited…as if something was missing!

Strategy Informer: What's the currently release date and is it possible we may see some changes in the future?

Mourad Majeri: The Current release date is Q1 2007.
We are very close to finishing the game now (we are in polishing phase), and are eager to show our baby to the entire world in a few months.

Strategy Informer: Do you plan on releasing a demo or doing a beta test so players will be able to get a taste of what Field Ops is all about before they decide on buying this title?

Mourad Majeri: Yes, there will be a demo for sure. We are also speaking to a number of parties regarding beta testing. Details will be announced soon.

Strategy Informer: You're team has been working hard on Field Ops for sometime now, we're sure you've ran into a lot of problems but which one has been the most annoying and time consuming for the team?

Mourad Majeri: Yes there are. One of them was to create tools that will allow a player to command soldiers in RTS view, to balance the FPS views. We created the “Advance Command Tools” so the player can quickly and efficiently give troop orders and let the AI do the work. The first tool is the Target Zone, and allows your troops to focus on a given target, that will then let you decide if an enemy will come from this direction, The AI will automatically shoot down the threat as they have a high reactive levels when you use a target zone. This tool allows the player to cover all positions. Also even you move your soldiers they can still focus on the target given which quiet useful when you have to cross a street.

Strategy Informer: Thanks for taking the time out to answer our questions! Is there anything you would like to say to the fans of Field Ops which are eagerly awaiting the release of this RTS/FPS in 2007?

Mourad Majeri: Yes, but my message is for all players which are circumspect about our game: Even if you are a hardcore fan of FPS games or RTS games, you will be surprised by the game mechanics. For instance, our goal for the multiplayer is to reconcile these 2 communities and make them cooperate in the same game, where for the first time you will be able to create a team with your best friend who plays only RTS or FPS. And for the fans! Stay tuned, Field Ops will be there soon!


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