I don't know if anyone knows who I am, but I'm a Deaf gamer, and I'm big on tank combat. I've seen a lot of games that go hard-on in either direction of the spectrum: Free to Play (World of Tanks/War Thunder), and then the "hardcore" (Red Orchestra/Red Orchestra 2).
What is lacking, is an actual tank combat game that is set in the perspective of the tank commander/tank crew. If I had a movie to compare, I would choose Fury. Think of this thought I'm having as: "Fury the Video Game".
I even took the time to brainstorm a whole wishlist of features. But considering that Festung Europa is basically a competitor to Red Orchestra 2, I have to wonder if the developers, Jackboot Games, might be biting off too much for them to chew at this point. A dev team that's less than 20 people is a pretty small team. To create a 64-player game with so many assets, would take a ridiculously long time and I worry that the budget will run out, and JBG would end up having to be "bought out" by a publisher. Again, this is just me offering a healthy dose of skepticism. I have seen too many projects promise so much, and yet fall short with a resounding face-plant.
The point I'm trying to get at here with this post, is that there's a distinct lack of a proper singleplayer/coop tank-sim game. Think Call of Duty, but with Tanks. This is a niche that's unfulfilled. We're stuck with playing random matches in War Thunder, or getting stuck in shitty funnel-style maps in Red Orchestra 2. Neither game nor game design style scratches my itch as a tank enthusiast.
I think the easiest way for me to hammer out what I'd love to see in a tank game, is to just copy-paste my brainstorm document here. If there doesn't appear to be anyone - or any game developer - attempting to create a game in this particular vision, I'll probably take a shot at it. Eventually. Assuming I can actually learn Unreal 4.
Tank warfare is a genre that is horrendously underserved in a quality capacity. Currently the only games that offer decent tank warfare are RTS game series such as Men of War; free to play games such as War Thunder (Free to Play), World of Tanks; and the "hardcore sim" (though it really isn't) like Red Orchestra 2 (though I am loath to mention that game due to its bad map design). The majority of these games focus on competitive play and do not offer an engaging experience on the battlefield. The immersion factor is significantly limited.
I want to change that. I want to make a video game that reproduces the visceral feeling of the film, Fury, while also making it clear that it doesn’t take much to make a quality tank game that can be engaging to both the average gamer and the hardcore simulation enthusiasts. Basically, the goal is to make this game the Tank analogue to earlier Call of Duty/Medal of Honor games, while also respecting the prototypical behavior of the assets used: quality, historical accuracy, and engaging.
Game Element Brainstorm List
- Singleplayer/Coop Campaign, able to host dedicated servers for Coop/Multiplayer 2vs2 games, might scale up to 4 vs 4 (or different combinations for balance - after all, Tigers are OP as f*ck).
- Platoon Command/Tank Command, “RTS Mode” for managing your tanks and infantry.
- Quality AI, able to make decisions for themselves in engaging the enemy. (Ambushes, flanking attacks, etc)
- Large maps, at least 20x20 to 50x50 kilometers. Multiple missions within the same map.
- Ability to customize the tanks’ camouflage patterns, decals, etc. Can also put on foliage camouflage, which is one-use only; becomes useless after firing once or twice (primarily for competitive play but can also be used for certain mission types).
- Planned Allied Tanks: M4A1 75mm, M4A3E8, Sherman Firefly, Hellcat, M26 Pershing, T26E4-1 Super Pershing
- Planned Axis Tanks: PzIV Ausf D, F2, and H; PzV Panther, PzVI Tiger I Ausf H1, Ausf E; StuG III Ausf F, G; Tiger II (H)
- Super Pershing is a reward for ace tankers that get through the majority of the campaign with minimal casualties, think of it as a 90% competion reward.
- Other Axis assets: Antitank 50mm PaK 38, Antitank 75mm PaK 40; Artillery: sFH 18 15cm gun;
- Enemy will use camouflage to great effect, including Anti-Tank Emplacements.
- Smoke shells will be a thing using volumetric particle effects, usable by both Allied and Axis.
- Important rule to follow: Both the Allied and Axis actors in the game (player and AI) will play by the same rules...there will be no AI cheaters.
- Ammunition Types: AP, HE, APCR, White Phosphorus (Smoke/Flare)
- Important note: WP can be used as anti-infantry with less-destructive effects to the environment.
- Combat will involve both infantry support and anti-tank; as such, infantry command functions are required.
- Crewman XP will determine their responsiveness to certain things, such as identifying enemy infantry in foliage, ability to precisely take out threats, among other things.
- Future campaigns should take different perspectives, such as the Wehrmacht in the Western and Eastern Fronts.
- Emphasize survival: ejection button will have your crew bail out of your tank if you deem it critically damaged.
- Implement a FPS-lite mode where the tank commander can use his pistol or SMG to protect his crew and tank at close range against infantry, or to dismount and man the larger 50-caliber machine gun. However, moving a certain distance away from the tank will have the game assume you are abandoning the tank, and the current mission ends at that point. The big difference is that dying in the tank will not give you an opportunity to continue the campaign, but bailing out and escaping the battlefield alive will permit you to crew a new tank and continue the campaign.
- FPS Lite can be used to defend the tank from enemy infantry and other threats until it’s time to complete the repairs.
- Can initiate field repairs on the tank in the event of battle damage.
So yeah, that's pretty much all I wanted to say. While I love the idea of Festung Europa, I'm getting sick and tired of the "competitive multiplayer" scene, and just want to play tank combat at my leisure without having to deal with shit-dribbling imbeciles in every multiplayer game I encounter - which is the norm in War Thunder! I'm also quite tired of seeing tanks get a "homogeneous" treatment in video games, largely War Thunder and World of Tanks are the most popular tank games, while RO2 is a lackluster tank experience (not enough tanks, bad map design, etc).
P.S. I am in no way suggesting that Jackboot Games alter their game dev plans for Festung Europa. I've done my research and I have found virtually no game developers out there trying to create a game that comes anywhere near what I described in the above quoted text. So out of frustration, I posted this. On the subject of Festung Europa, JBG, I hope you guys never ever touch Punkbuster. I really hate it because it demands to be always-on.