Hello IM Dev Team and fellow IM folllowers,
It's been 6 months since i last visited the IM website. I decided to stop by to see how development of this product was going. So far, I've been impressed with what I've seen and read in the Sitreps and Briefing Room content. I can see there's been a lot of work done so far by the team and Christmas is right around the corner. I just want to start by conveying my appreciation for the dev team's hard work and dedication to the project so far on Interstellar Marines. It's looking to be a great product, and I'm sure everyone is looking forward to celebrating the season holidays soon. I apologize if I'm repeating some points already posted by others.
Positive impressions so far
Impressive radio sound FX filter and occlusion.
The technology the dev team has developed to simulate the radio FX for player to player real-time speech filtering was extremely impressive. I've never seen anything like it in any game and I found myself cheering out loud while watching the demonstration in the GDC presentation. This is definitely a defining technology for the game.
In-Game Environmental Effects.
The environmental effects on the players visor, water effects, reflections, and so forth look well done so far in the demonstrations and screenshots I've seen so far.
Lighting - Lens Flare.
One of the most noticiable lighting effects that I've enjoyed seeing is the lens flare filter for the player's gun's tactical light.
Player character/equipment animation. HUD display
The character animation looks good. The ability to open and close the player's visor is a wonderful feature that adds to immersion, as well as being able to see the character's smooth hand animation for for gun reloading/cocking, etc. I believe one of the focusses of IM should be immersion over your typical running-and-gunning FPS shooter. Seeing/imagining yourself as the player actually taking the time to put on a silencer (the gun shouldn't just leave the screen then reappear with the desired equipment in less than a second) really helps to create this feeling. The HUD display based on the video demos I've seen so far look well done.
What I haven't seen in the demos yet but would like to see...
Player character hand gestures.
Again, this is a immersion feature. This is an FPS shooter with coop play in mind. Most developers will start off by sticking a gun to the character's hands, and that's all you see and all you do is pull the trigger. However, I think it would be great to go beyond this and be the first to do it. I think it would be great if the dev team could incorporate a set of animated player gestures as a feature for player-to-player interaction. For example, a player can press a keyboard hotkey to make their chracter's hands point forward, salute, perform military hand signals, a friendly wave, etc. Besides simply holding a gun, I would like the character to be able to hoslter his/her weapon and be able to perform other movements/gestures that wouldn't normally be possible while holding gun. Such as interacting with a game-world keyboard or device, and your teammates would have to protect you while you are interacting with the world. Other fun geatures would be giving a thumbs up, perhaps a dancing move... I'm sure you get my point.
A selection of character audio phrases.
The built-in voice/radio chat systems looks great. But I'm sure not everyone plays games with their best friends all the time. Some people might prefer not talking in-game. Instead, the player can still enjoy some level of audio interaction by introducing some voiced audio presets (eg. Battlefield 2/2142). The player can press a hotkey to bring up a menu of audio phrases the player can use to interact with other players. For example, there would be presets for phrases like 1) "I need a medic", 2) "Well done solider!", 3) "I owe you one", 4) "Incoming hostiles!". And perhaps a selection for random chatter or jokes (eg. "I could use a vacation").
I wonder if the IM team is going to implement some kind of RPG-like skill or character advancement system. The first thing that comes to mind would be something like an unlock system like Battlefield 3 or something like from System Shock 2 to keep the player interested and rewarded for continued gameplay. The ability to choose a female character? A different selction of character voices? Changing player's character appearance?
I hope the in-game ITO facility will have some mini-games like a shooting/training range that allows players to hang out to test their skills in a controlled environment for competition or trying out that new weapon or tool. Perhaps an in-game coin-op arcade machine in the lounge. Interactive toilets. Some cool animating displays or posters like in Deus Ex 3. A in-game vehicle simulator mini-game for various vehicles available to the ITO. How about a pool table? Will the player be able to pick up objects in the game world? Some fun things to think about.