Hayes (COO) from S2 games has kindly agreed to answer a vertiable
barage of questions from FRAGtopia staffers and readers about
their new game Savage. Special thanks go out to Raluca State
from Zeitgeist Communications for arranging the interview
people were involved in the making of Savage, what was the
development time like, and what would you say was the greatest
challenge you faced?
Savage had an
incredibly small development team: 3 full time programmers
along with 3 full time artists, 2 contractors, and execs.
Together with this team we’ve created an innovative
game combining 2 genres as well as an entirely new game
engine. I’m extremely proud of the team we have. The
largest challenge I would say was finding the balance between
too much commander control and not enough. Even though the
commander is the guy in the driver’s seat we have
to ensure that all 30 people under him are having a positive
Savage is one of the most unique games we've seen in
ages, and just the sort of thing I've been wishing that
someone would create for years.... What inspired you guys
to come up with it, and what were the biggest influences
on the game?
We had originally
started working on a typical RTS game and a little over
2 years ago Marc Deforest, S2 Games’ owner came to
us and said “I want to change the game up”.
He then sprung the current idea on us. So we grumbled for
about 2 minutes and quickly realized that even though it
was a giant task it could be amazingly cool. Why control
AI when you can have real human interaction. This brings
so much more to the table leadership, trust, human intuition,
all which create a more dynamic playing field.
This is a unique genre you've ventured into, and regrettably
it seems that games that are too different (even if they're
really, really good) don't seem to sell well. Any worries
or trepidation about taking such a risky step?
a risk when you do something new. But we made very deliberate
choices when designing Savage. Plain and simple, we didn’t
want to work on some cookie cutter game. We designed Savage
the way we actually wanted to play. The biggest hurdle is
trying to get people to try something new. Once they do
most of the players are hooked quickly.
The savage back story just seems to scream for a single
player game... Any plans for something along these lines?
You never know.
We have a ton more story we would love to have see the light
of day but right now all of our energy is going into Savage
and the current content updates we are working on. After
this one we’ll be most likely looking at putting in
a few more game types.
Everyone wants to know... Why are workers so darned
dumb sometimes? (The computer controled ones, not the human
players) :) Any plans for AI improvements?
Well first I’ll
start by saying pathfinding in a true 3D game with dynamically
changing obstacles and where the workers have to interact
with real human players is a very complex issue. Far more
complex than in a traditional RTS. Now with that said you’ll
be happy to know the worker AI has already been redone and
you’ll get to see it once our content update goes
Will the game be patched with new races, units, maps
etc in the future, or will such things likely be an retail
We are currently
working on a gigantic free content update. Some of the things
you’ll find in this update will be entirely new and
rewritten network code, demo recording, 2 new healer class
units, new structures, upgrades, balances, tweaks, all new
weapon effects, items are now handled first person making
them feel much better, and more. We really want to show
that when we say we are dedicated to providing support for
Savage we mean it.
Distribution question: Do you think that the online
method (ex. downloading the game) is the wave of the future?
For us it was
a great way to reach players who were interested in the
game who didn’t have access to purchasing it.
Considering how critical a good commander is to the
team, and to everyone having fun, why does it seem so difficult
to impeach a bad commander?
This has changed
now and it should be easy but the old system required about
66% of the players to vote for a vote to pass. So this means
if you have 30 players on your team and the vote is 15 to
1 it wouldn’t pass since only 50% voted. So again
this has been lowered and is now much easier to pass votes.
Savage seems to be a game that works much better with
voice communication. Have you considered integrating voice
communications into the game?
looked into a couple but they didn’t exactly fit our
needs. Right now there are several free voice com apps available
that players can use. A good deal of the Savage clans use
them when playing. We don’t have any immediate plans
to build one into the game but it’s something we’ve
always wanted to do.
And of course, the world's toughest question...... There's
so many games out there for people to play right now...
Why should they try Savage?
think of too many games out there with the amount of team
strategy Savage offers. We designed it from the ground up
with hardcore teamwork in mind. It is perfect for clans
and the players who want more than just a simple deathmatch.
The addition of the commander with an RTS view was just
the most logical choice for the person behind the organization.
is one of the most unique and interesting games we've played
in a very very long time. The first time we tried it was
at a little 8 person LAN party. We started playing it, and
9 hours later looked up to realise that the sun was coming
up. It's an unusual game that keeps you hooked for that
long. Go, download the demo and give it a try. Virtually
every person I know of who's played it has gotten horribly
addicted to it. :)
more info and the playable demo from the Offical Savage