Published on February 14th, 2017 | by gareth0
For Honor Interview With Game Director Roman Campos Oriola
As we look at the launch of the game today, I had a chance to speak with Roman Campos Oriola, Game Director of For Honor who was kind enough to speak to us about the new game.
What is the background and setting of the game?
The game is set in a fictional, alternate world where players are dropped into a decades old feud between the three Factions. Years prior to the game’s events, the evil goddess Apollyon forced the three Factions to fight for resources and the survival of their clans by all but destroying their worlds. Our vision with For Honor is to create a raw and visceral action experience that immerses players in a believable battle amongst skilled and deadly elite fighters from the 3 greatest legacies of warriors – Knights, Vikings and Samurai.
What can you tell us about the three factions in game and their abilities and differences?
In For Honor, players are able to pledge their sword to one of three Factions—Knights, Vikings or Samurai. Each Faction is distinct in their motivations and how they play. The way that all three Factions are depicted in For Honor is based on facts and popular legends. They are inspired by history even though history never saw a war between Knights, Samurai and Vikings. Apart from their differences in appearance and weaponry, each of the three Factions brings its own representations of what is a warrior: Warrior of passion and fire for the Vikings; Warrior of skill and focus for the Samurai; Warrior of knowledge and gear for the Knights.
Which is your favorite and why?
I’m a Knight! I’ve always loved knights, armors and swords so… And Knights fight to defend their people and their family.
What are some of the weapons players will be able to use and how will they be assigned and obtained?
Weapons will be decided largely based on what faction you are playing at the time. For example, Viking weapons include a variety of axes and short swords, samurai weapons include the katana and nodachi swords and knight weapons include the longsword and flail. Each faction is also comprised of four Hero types, each with a different weapon, armor set and combat style. As players level up their Heroes, they will unlock additional Features and customization elements including new gear.
Do you think PC players will need a gamepad or will they fair as well with a mouse and keyboard and can they customize their controls?
What we’ve seen in our recent live periods is that it really comes to personal preference. Our game has first been developed with a controller in mind and we support a wide array of controller options on PC, but we also offer fully customizable keyboard and mouse controls.
How long is the solo mode and will you have co op?
Solo mode features 18 missions across three big chapters, one for each Faction – you start as the Knights, then switch to the Vikings to end as the Samurai. How much time it will take for you to see the end of the story mode really depends on how you play. Each mission can be played in several levels of difficulties and the full story mode experience can be enjoyed in two-player online coop.
The game has a unique visual look, how was this determined and how did it evolve over production?
We knew from the start that we did not want to make a historical game, we wanted to have the freedom to adapt the source material to our medium and transform it into our own things. We have three main pillars when it comes to the art direction of the game. First, the invitation to imagination: we wanted to create a world with lots of diversity, and that is mostly conveyed by our 3 different regions, Ashfeld (Knights), the Myre (Samurai) and Valkenheim (Vikings).
Each of those 3 regions have a different mood, with Ashfeld featuring bright skies and dry lands, The Myre jungle-like vegetation and swamps, Valkenheim cold and snowy weather. This diversity can be experienced in our multiplayer maps and story missions. The second pillar is the amplification of reality. For Honor is in a certain way “bigger than life”, we amplified some elements such as the size of the fortresses or the recognizable pieces of our Heroes’ gear and attire. In this way we also take into account the pop culture references to find our own representations between history and fantasy. Last but not least, even if our action takes place in medieval-like battlefields, we build a world full of modernity, in the way we approach the battlefields that take influence from more modern ones or in how we use unexpected graphic treatments.
What can you tell us about the sound and music of the game?
Sound and music are a major part of the For Honor global experience. We try to always first define the boundaries between authenticity & fantasy in which we want to sit in. We like to be precise & accurate to a documentary level, but videogames have this particularity of also being a product of pure entertainment. Sharing some historical facts through a fully playful medium.
With that in mind, we did research on all character types, the armor they wore & the type of material they were built with. We do the same for weapons, & even for environment & structural elements like wooden gates, mechanical features of war machines like battering rams, etc… We also looked for movie scenes featuring these elements to see how they have already been treated in their own specific context by other fellow sound designers.
For Honor’s music and themes can be divided in three categories: The Outgame score covers mainly the menus & the metagame sections of the game. Providing a peaceful musical background for all the time the players will spend managing their assets, their inventory, customizing their characters & items. Centered around the multiple faction themes, these would evoke peace.
The In-game narrative score is used in the campaign. As they support the narrative, they do tell stories on their own. Each faction has its own musical structure & instrument set. Each faction music has a specific vibe, a genuine rhythmic presence, a unique soul.
The In-game Drums of War, are the heartbeat of the battlefield, the metronome of duels, the musical representation of the art of battle. They can be intimate, or they can be brutal.
Will the game support 4K?
Yes. The game supports 4K on compatible displays connected to the PS4 Pro. It also supports native 4K on PC with the adequate hardware and configuration.
What forms of multiplayer will be supported?
For Honor features a lots of diverse ways to play Multiplayer, in coop or in adversarial. The story mode is playable in 2-player online coop. The game features 5 multiplayer modes at launch, Duel that is 1v1, Brawl 2v2, Dominion is objective-based 4v4, Elimination is a 4v4 best-of 5 rounds mode with no respawn and Skirmish is our Team Death Match mode, also playable in 4v4. All those modes are also fully playable with and against bots, so there is also a lot of opportunities for coop/PVE play in For Honor.
Is DLC planned?
We recently revealed our global post-launch plans for post-launch. Our goal has always been to support For Honor in the long-term, for us the launch is really just the beginning.
Our post-launch is based around the Faction War, our metagame that echoes the fantasy of the permanent conflict between the Knights, the Vikings and the Samurai. Seasons of the Faction War will last 10 weeks and between each season we will release new content, such as new maps and new Heroes. The new Heroes will be unlockable by just playing the game, but Season Pass owners will get exclusive early-access to the 6 Heroes planned as well as other perks such as XP boosts or customization option.
We have three golden rules for our post-launch: all maps, modes and new features will be free for all players so we don’t split our user base. And while there is possibility to buy packages of Steel, our in-game currency, with real money, all the shortcuts are gated by progression so you can’t get high-end gear if your Hero is still level 1.
What makes For Honor different from other games in its genre?
Thanks to our innovative Art of Battle control system, For Honor delivers an experience that brings the true emotions of what it is to fight to the death on a battlefield, whether you play against other players in one of our multiplayer modes or on your own in our story campaign. The Art of Battle delivers the feeling of real dueling without sacrificing accessibility and simplicity. What we’ve done is take the most important parts of actual melee fighting, boil them down to their emotional essence, then work with martial artists and professional stunt people to mo-cap every possible move in the game. We then used a brand new method called motion-matching, a technique that brings unprecedented realism and fluidity to animation.
What have been the biggest challenges and triumphs?
Bringing something completely new is always a big challenge. With our new approach to melee combat and our will to make players experience the true emotions of sword-fighting, we had to come with our own original ideas in many domains, such as controls or map design. As for the achievements, I believe we already managed to attract a really positive and committed community of players through our Alphas and Betas – we’re so excited to interact with that awesome community of warriors for the years to come!