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Titanfall: freedom of movement makes higher player counts “uncomfortable”

Thursday, 9 January 2014 22:49 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Titanfall’s comparatively low maximum player count came about as a direct result of the freedom of movement it re-introduces to the shooter genre.

Speaking with Polygon, lead designer Justin Hendry said that the fact that players can move in all directions across open maps means anything higher than 12 players is too chaotic.

“The higher the player count, the more uncomfortable the game gets,” he said.

“Unlike in most games where you can sit there and guard the two ways in, in Titanfall the guy can come in through the window right behind you, he can come from the window to your left, he can come from straight ahead, he can come in from the stairway and he can come in from the doorway, or whatever.

“Essentially there are five directions you can get killed from and the higher that player count, the more likely you are to get killed from behind and the more difficult it is to kind of manage your surroundings.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Hendry confirmed that along with AI and Titan mechs maps can play host to around 50 combatants. He stressed that Titanfall doesn’t play like other shooters, and shouldn’t be judged by those standards; if you go in looking to play a Call of Duty clone, you might not enjoy yourself.

Titanfall seems to be stepping away from the formulaic approach dogging multiplayer shooters of the past decade, a move which has met with surprising resistance from the community.

Respawn’s debut effort hits PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in March.

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21 Comments

  1. monkeygourmet

    They are really having to justify this player count, aren’t they?

    As long as the game is fun and plays well, I’m not fussed about player count. It’s not like I’ll be doing that well playing on PC with 360 pad anyway! :)

    What is strange is the play throughs that journo’s had on the PC version… I don’t recall anyone mentioning player count before or the fact they were shooting AI soldiers?

    Was the player count higher in the demos? Was AI included? Is this player count choice a new thing?

    #1 1 year ago
  2. POOhead

    lol implying gamers no best, probs the reason why we have had sucky games since kids could use the internet, bioware is proof of this

    #2 1 year ago
  3. zme-ul

    Hendry confirmed that along with AI and Titan mechs maps can play host to around 50 combatants

    so .. wait! shooting at ~50 AIs is not uncomfortable, but shooting at more than 6 enemy players is ?!?!?!

    #3 1 year ago
  4. sh4dow

    Reminds me of Doom 2 LAN sessions back in the day. We purposely played only the first level on nightmare with four players because you could barely run for more than five seconds without coming across somebody.
    Ah it was fun trying to get to the shotgun… and finding that it isn’t there any more… and getting killed half a second after realizing that.
    Or two people running to grab it at the same time, only to be kiled by a third one behind them who got the rocket launcher… Haha.

    Suffice it to say I think chaos can be incredible fun. And decent balancing (as it was the case in what I just described), you can make sure that skill matters a lot and not just luck or having the best weapons and then killing everyone immediately after respawning.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. POOhead

    @3 do you even know the difference between players and ai?

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Legendaryboss

    @3
    Cloud powered AI = Easy. Players = Varies. Yes it can be uncomfortable if players are skilled enough however for AI thats a completely different story.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. zme-ul

    @5 I’m gonna’ answer your question with another question, since yours is dumb
    have you ever played Quake III Arena or unreal Tournament with bots (AI)?

    #7 1 year ago
  8. POOhead

    lol obviously the ai was shit back then, its 2014 not 1994

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Arcnail

    @1 I think a lot on the net, as usual, are crying their eyes out before having played the game.. thus a bit more talk from the company about it.

    I’ll, oh I don’t know, reserve judgement until I play the game before I say one thing or the other about it.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. mal617

    Day one buy. Too much crying going on

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Harrow

    @1 your going to play the PC version with a pad :/

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Ireland Michael

    ““Unlike in most games where you can sit there and guard the two ways in.”

    Very few shooters are designed that badly. Don’t justify your own bad design by dissing other games, especially when the ones you made are some of the worst.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. The_Red

    I have a problem with this. There are already more than 12 other AI players in the world which make things crowded, complicated AND “uncomfortable”.

    So this isn’t about this. It is simply about their game not being able to have more than 12 plus bots plus AI due to technical limitations (Cloud POWAH!).

    #13 1 year ago
  14. NocturnalB

    So it was a decision made based off of level design. I think a lot of people myself included just assumed ya know. “Titan”fall, giant mechs, everyone just thought a massive battlefield full of robots would be awesome, which it does, but with the levels designed how they are, I understand now.

    The maps are too open to be very strategic. 32v32 would be just true chaos, but not in a good way, basically just 64 people at a general flashpoint beating their heads against the wall, people would be dying at a ludicrously fast rate, no one would feel like a real winner, and the people that play for strategy just simply wouldn’t.

    I still plan on trying it out. If I want BTB I’ll just find my fix elsewhere.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Hcw87

    @13
    So you’ve played it? You do know the game is a mix of campaign and multiplayer elements tied into one, right? The AI are spread across the map guarding objectives, and you have to kill them to capture the objectives. You won’t have a situation where 5 AI are rushing you for example. The players/mechs will be your largest (maybe only) threat.

    Also, there are no technical limitations as they’ve stated it’s for gameplay purposes, which is completely fair. The days of getting shot in the back constantly is hopefully over when this game comes out.

    So again, play the game before rushing to conclusions, and the age-old ”Cloud POWAH” is way overused allready. Doesn’t make you look very intelligent.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Llewelyn_MT

    So, Titanfall reintroduces to the genre the freedom of movement totally forgot since, like, 2012 PlanetSide 2 and Tribes Ascend. Luckily, those games didn’t age that much, so people may still be able to find their complete lack of shame in player count engaging.

    It’s curious you can only get shot from one of the five directions in Titanfall. This can only mean you cannot shoot up or down.

    On the other hand, if it’s not confusing to have AI characters instead of players, this can only mean the computer controlled opponents don’t shoot the players. Otherwise it would be just as confusing.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. gomersoul

    So do bots not count as additional players now? Too chaotic? Bollocks

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Harrow

    It’s a shame tribes (ascend) didn’t take off again it was fun as fook.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Fin

    @17

    No they fucking don’t, why is it so hard for people to understand.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. rasmithuk

    Here’s a few reasons why the ‘technical limitation’ claims being made don’t make any sense. Everything here assumes a doubling of the player count and the removal of the bots to keep the bandwidth requirements around the 48 entity limit (which is probably the closest to a technical limitation you’ll find).

    Client GPU: Not much difference here. Assuming you’ve got half-decent culling code in the engine, doubling the number of players wouldn’t increase the draw rate much, unless you’ve got a completely open map with no obstructions at all (something we haven’t see so far in any of the maps). Even then the performance limiting part of most engines is shader throughput, which is limited by average complexity and the number of pixels to process, not the number of vertices, so increasing the number of pilots/titans on screen isn’t going to hurt much. Also since there’s a limited number of titans available there wouldn’t be an increase in the memory requirements, unlike racing games where every player could be using a different car (usually the reason there’s a player limit on these games).

    Client CPU: The effects from doubling player count here would be minimal. Hit detection would discard most other players early on, leading to a minimal increase in the time taken. The engine’s occlusion code would remove most of the other players so there wouldn’t be a doubling in the number of primitives to be drawn. In short, it wouldn’t make much difference.

    Server CPU: Even if all the player hit detection is done on the server it’s not going to add much, due to early removal. Running the bot AI on the server is going to use a lot more processing time than the players that would replace it. In other words, removing the bots and adding 12 additional players would probably decrease the CPU load on the server.

    Bandwidth: Since the bot positions have to be sent to every player and we’re assuming they’ll be removed to add real players there wouldn’t be much increase here since it’s still 48 entities per update. Also since they’re using dedicated servers they don’t have to worry about ensuring that the majority of clients have enough upstream bandwidth to be hosts, making the task even easier.

    In short, if Respawn removed the bots there’s no obvious technical reason they couldn’t double the player count. In theory they could leave the bots in, assuming they don’t add too much load to the server, and up the player count to 9v9.
    Even if they did decide that everything the believe about the game is wrong, and that people that have never played it are a better judge of what’s fun then they are, changing it now would require re-balancing the game and making changes to every level they’ve built.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. bradk825

    I really don’t get all the fuss. 6v6 works great in other games. I wasn’t expecting a huge player count from Titanfall and depending on the map size it wouldn’t likely even make sense.

    #21 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    The suspend/resume feature in PlayStation 4′s 2.50 firmware update is causing some issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall. Killzone: Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla has said that the game is experiencing some issues in some instance where the suspend/resume feature is used. The timing of when players put the game in suspend mode does have an effect, […]

  • Bungie on Destiny matchmaking: “We believe there’s no substitute for a pre-made team”

    Crazy though this may seem, it’s possible that Destiny shipped according to plan. History points to community as a crucial component, far from the contingency that many now suspect. Paul Davies spoke to Bungie for clarity. “The community always engineers the best solutions for bringing players together. While Matchmaking is a great resource for introducing […]

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]

  • Kojima Station show suspended

    In another episode in the the ongoing kerfuffle between Hideo Kojima and Konami, the publisher has suspended the Kojima Station web show. Recent tweets from the newly created Japanese Metal Gear Solid account confirm that Kojima Station will not be broadcast tomorrow, but would not provide a date for the next episode. The Tweets were […]

  • Watch Battle Royale for free this weekend on Xbox Live

    Square Enix is celebrating the launch of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD by offering Xbox Live members in the UK a free rental of Battle Royale. Starting Saturday, March 28 and through Sunday, March 29, Xbox Live members in the UK will be able to rent Battle Royale through the Xbox Video Store, for free. The […]

  • Bloodborne journal, part 1: managing anxiety on the path to the Cleric Beast

    Bloodborne is both like and unlike the Souls games. Brenna descends into Yharnam with reluctance and trepidation. Need help succeeding in Bloodborne? You need our Bloodborne walkthrough and boss guide. Bloodborne isn’t Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. Let’s get that out of the way right off. I enjoyed both Dark Souls games, but it was […]