here at Ten Ton Hammer love online first-person shooters, so we became
delirious with joy when we heard the announcement of Tribes Universe
This online multiplayer shooter is based on the Starsiege: Tribe
universe and will probably result in many missed hours of work when it
is released. Ten Ton Hammer sat down with Erez Goren, Hi-Rez Studios CEO & Tribes Universe Chief Designer, to tap into Tribes: Universe.
Please tell us a little about Tribes
is an online shooter
that features massive PvP battles on large, persistent open spaces
where there is an on-going struggle for territory control. The game is
set inside the fictional game universe popularized by such classic and
beloved titles as Earthsiege
and Tribes Vengeance
Tribes and Tribes
II were favorites to many a
LAN party. How do you plan on captivating that feel of a party shooter
game and translating it into an MMOG?
I think that “LAN Party” feeling comes from a few
different aspects: Really great game performance,
“wow that was awesome” gameplay, the special
shoot-em-’up competitive camaraderie that comes from playing
with friends, and, of course, Nachos.
seeking to bring you all of those same things, but you’ll
still need to bring your own Nachos.
Are you focusing more on the shooter aspect of the game, or are you
adding more RPG elements?
We are focusing primarily on the shooter element. In
addition, we expect to add a territory control meta game and a high
level of world immersion to ensure that players feel that they are
participating in an evolving, persistent world and not just a
In terms of development, are you building a new engine, or using
existing technology and knowledge from your work on Global
We are using the Unreal
Engine and many of the technologies we developed for Global Agenda
engine is flexible and allows for many different game implementations.
The major tech work on this project, and it’s very
substantial, involves a significant server-side
re-architecting to better support very large battles. We’re
also switching to Scaleform technology for our user
interface, which will allow for a significantly sexier UI.
Dynamix and Sierra On-Line were powerhouses of development and game
publishing in the 80s and 90s. How do you follow a show like that and
meet fan expectations?
"One difference from most
typical shooters is that there are more roles to play and all players
don’t have to be engaged in pure shooting.
We are huge Tribes
fans, and we certainly feel honored to own the Tribes
Franchise, and are deeply aware of the expectations that carries.
Nostalgia is always a tough thing to work against, especially in
gaming, and we certainly know it is a difficult line to toe between
honoring the games that made the Franchise what it is, while also
working to extend the Franchise into the future.
I think it has really helped us to be doing this right on the heals of Global Agenda
which has given us a solid technology foundation and a reservoir of
lessons and experiences to draw from.
We understand that it's a separate team working on the title and not
Agenda team. How much has this
expanded the Hi-Rez offices?
We are adding additional people to the company, and are moving into new
offices in December that will accommodate our growth. How many total
additional people we add will depend ultimately on the progress we see
over the next few months, especially as we finalize some of the core
Right now, we are organizing the Studio into two different teams -- one
and one for Tribes Universe
We have new people on each team, and Global Agenda
veterans on each team.
Are vehicles still going to play an important role in the newest Tribes game?
Yes, vehicles will be an important part of the game. They will mostly
be designed for support functions rather than to be primary damage
dealers. Support functions include transport, forward spawn
locations, ammo replenishment, stationary defenses, etc.
Will the game feature a "holy trinity" of healer, tank and DPS classes?
Action from Tribes: Vengeance
No. The game is designed around every player being able to do
significant damage in addition to support functions. A player
can wear heavy armor and shields and be more of a
‘tank’, or carry more repair devices as an
‘Engineer’, but there are no defined
classes. There is also a lot less healing than is
typical in an MMORPG game.
Will the game offer PvE or is it primarily PvP?
primarily around large-scale PvP. One difference
from most typical shooters is that there are more roles to play and all
players don’t have to be engaged in pure shooting.
For example, a player can specialize in transport of other players,
focus on defense repairs, or focus on coordinating groups of
players in a large scale attack.
Two words can describe the original Tribes experience: Smooth and
Fast. Is this the theme you're aiming for in Tribes
Smooth and fast will play an important role. Tribes Universe
will also emphasize group strategy, counters, progression,
specialization and tactics that are more extensive than anything a Tribes
game has had before.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers at this
We’re very grateful and pleased with the reaction to our
initial announcement of Tribes Universe
We’ve been flooded by enthusiastic Tribes
fans, as well as fans of games like Planetside
and, of course, Global Agenda
that are telling us this is a game they have always hoped would be
made. We’re working as hard as we can to bring a great game
to the Tribes
Community and very much appreciate everyone’s support.