As promised, here’s your first in-depth look at Homefront’s PC specific features which should hopefully answer a bunch of questions on the MP side. The team at Digital Extremes has been working hard with Kaos Studios in order to deliver the best possible experience and tailor many aspects of Multiplayer specifically to the core PC audience.
We can officially confirm that Homefront will be a Steamworks title making good use of Valve’s excellent toolsets. Steam was simply the best choice to deliver the features we needed on PC. Shameless plug – Homefront is now available to pre-order on Steam right here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/55100/
We also confirm the Official Recommended Specs for the game. A few websites this week released what they claimed to be the official specs, most weren’t. Read on for the final word from Kaos and Digital Extremes.
Finally, we wanted to confirm that you’ll be able to enjoy Homefront in glorious 3D on PC thanks to full NVidia 3D Vision support. We showed it off at CES earlier this year, it looked rad.
The guys at Bash&Slash will be posting a podcast with Digital Extremes & KAOS Studios that covers a load more detail, so hit the link at the bottom of the article for even more info when it goes live later today!
PC SPECIFIC FEATURES
We thought long and hard about the additional features the PC community would appreciate and expect.
From a gameplay standpoint, we’ve done some additional work on the vehicles. On PC, you’ll be able to control all vehicles from the 1st person cockpit viewpoint
as well as 3rd person
. We also added additional control options for helicopters
, to give those players looking for more sim-like controls something to get their teeth round. There are three settings:
: Allows for the best maneuverability, but takes the most practice to master.
: Balanced difficulty and maneuverability.
: Pick-up-and-play level of difficulty, least maneuverable.
We’ve included a Practice Mode
so you can get to grips with vehicle controls outside the pressures of a live match. No need in wasting your hard earned Battle Points!
Lastly, we added some extra vehicle abilities for co-pilots
, such as a Recon function to the Scout heli, and we obviously support joystick
control for all vehicles.
In terms of other gameplay changes - we introduced a Squad Management
system for PC, with Squad based VOIP
. We also offer Clan Support
on PC, and we’ll be tracking more post-match statistics
on the PC platform. As stated above, we’re a Steamworks title and we use Valve Anti-Cheat
to counter cheaters.
We also feature Multiplayer Match Recording
(check out the podcast for more info), and we’ll be releasing a Dedicated Server Browser Executable
to allow you set your own private Homefront servers within 2 weeks of launch. LAN support
in there as well!
Finally, a few tweaks you’d expect as standard - we optimized the UI
to make it more PC / Mouse friendly. We support SLI / Crossfire
configurations for extra performance, and we support 3D through NVidia’s 3D Vision
if you have the appropriate hardware.
Will there be a PC Beta/Demo?
Right now the teams at Kaos Studios & Digital Extremes are working hard on finishing the game at the highest level of quality possible. Of course we’d love to release a public Demo, but this would detract efforts from the main game.
Rest assured, we have conducted a lengthy private Beta on the PC to help us fine tune the game, so any Demo would be for promotional purposes only.
Will a Dedicated Server Executable be provided?
Definitely, we’ve been listening to what the PC audience is looking for and that file will be provided for use. We know it’s been disappearing from the FPS space and want to support the core PC gamer where we can. We need to test the dedicated server infrastructure at ship with the influx of traffic and bug reporting, so we plan to release this within two weeks of the PC title hitting shelves.
Will there be Mod Tools?
Not at launch, no. Right now the team is hammering away at the game, building those tools for Community use would take away resources that are needed on the final game. The good thing is: Mod Tools don’t need to be in a box, so if the PC Community is supporting Homefront, we have the option post-ship to provide the Community with something like that.
What’s with the Microsoft deal, why are they getting the extra map and DLC first? What happened to PC?
We’re trying to release a brand new IP in a really competitive space, and we need as much help as we can get to drive awareness for this game. Microsoft came to us early on, loved what they saw, and offered a ton of marketing support. That support will help lift the profile of all three formats. Having them say; We love the game, it looks great & we want to support it
– is also a great morale boost for the studio, and really validates all the effort going into the project.
But this is a business right, and you never get something for nothing! Given the fantastic level of support we’re getting from them, offering an extra map and an exclusive window on DLC in return seemed like the best thing for Homefront
How many players in Multiplayer on PC?
Homefront will support 32 player servers on PC when the game ships. Our large maps actually play best with that number. We found that the critical factor in delivering ‘Large Scale Warfare’ is less to do with having hundreds of players, and more to do with the density of players in each game.
That said, maximum player count on PC is something we can look at and potentially change if the demand is there for it!
Is there environmental destruction?
Only low-level, mostly superficial destruction – why you ask? Our Creative Director, Dave Votypka has this to say about environmental destruction:
In pre-production we experimented with dynamic destruction, but found that this actually detracted from the experience. We use what we call ‘environmental narrative’ throughout our level design to tell the story of occupied USA, and allowing this environment to be destroyed takes away a lot of what we achieve with this. In multiplayer, because of our focus on lots of vehicles with heavy firepower on the map at all times, destruction would remove a lot of the structures we placed there to support the infantry game and help balance that infantry versus vehicle mechanic. For example, in our map ‘Farm’ there’s a wooden church with a belfry that’s perfect for sniping. If we allowed this to be destroyed early in the game, it would remove that tactical option from the map for the rest of the match.
What are the server requirements?
Server requirements are actually pretty low, such that more processing power simply yields the ability to run more servers concurrently.
Will there be Linux Support?
No dice, sorry guys.
What anti-cheat measures are you utilizing?
Valve Anti-cheat is included, as well as a number of other techniques for protecting content, executable code, and game memory.
Will there be any kind of tournament support?
Demo recording support will be available on dedicated and listen servers. Also, automated demo recording upload is possible with some simple scripting. There’sSteam-Group based Clan Support,
Player Stats, & Leaderboards.
Will there be Spectator mode?
Yup, via the admin commands.
Are there server admin tools?
Yes, dedicated server tools and RCON.
Will there be Eyefinity Support?
Not initially, but this is something we could add if there is strong demand for it.
Steamworks seems to be the mostly-likely DRM solution for the PC release. Will this mean that Online Pass will not be implemented for the Steam versions of the game?
There will be no online pass for PC Homefront. DRM is something we take very seriously from the end user point of view. While some form of DRM is vital, we want it to affect the user experience as little as possible. Our DRM is Steamworks based, and will require the user to have a Steam client (to which they need to log in during the installation process). Steamworks DRM is the least intrusive that we have seen, and it does not require the user to keep original disks. Since we are also distributing the game via Steam, it is the obvious choice.