While at E3 2014, PlayStation LifeStyle’s Dan Oravasaari got to sit down with Sony Online Entertainment’s Senior Art Director on PlanetSide 2 Tramell Isaac, to discuss the upcoming free-to-play PC MMO shooter that’s being ported to the PlayStation 4.
In the chat, Dan and Isaac talk about the micro-transactions, whether PC gamers will get anything in return for jumping ship and more.
PlayStation LifeStyle: Could you tell me a bit about PlanetSide 2?
Tramell Isaac: This is basically a console game. What we did with the PC, we are going to bring that over as much as we can to the PlayStation 4. There will be very little difference, but what you will see is that visual difference of it will be a lot higher on the PS4, then they are on the standard PC. So, basically like playing the PC game on ultra, you will see that on the PS4.
The play styles will basically be the same, and the only thing that will be different will be the UI and the interface between the player and the game itself. We will be taking advantage of some of the PS4’s unique abilities with the controller, using the touch-pad, using the some of the Share button and things like that. But, all-in-all, it is a visceral first person shooter, massively multiplayer, with thousands of people on a server playing against you with 3 different factions. The exact same thing it is on the PC.
One of the new things we did want to do is to make sure that the PC version was not just ported to the PS4. We wanted to make sure that the PS4 version stood alone as a console game, and felt like a console game. That is one of the reasons why we are putting a lot of time into the UI and making sure it feels like a first-person-shooter.
MMOs give you lots of targets to shoot at.
PSLS: Was the game built from the ground up for the PS4?
TI: We shipped PlanetSide 2 in November 2012, and we started with our own homegrown engine and basically made it so that it worked on the PS4, and ported all of those features from the PC version over to the PS4. As far as our technology internally, it was all built from the ground up. This is our first PS4 game with this technology, so, for the most part, yeah, it was built from the ground up to make PlanetSide 2 stand out on the PS4.
PSLS: Will PS4 gamers be able to play against PC gamers?
TI: No, they will have separate servers. You are going to have PC players playing with PC players and PS4 players playing with PS4 players. We are talking about doing some porting of the characters or something like that for the people who are already playing the game, but we don’t have any definite details on that. But, we are definitely trying to make sure the PC players who want to play on the PS4 get something in return.
PSLS: Could you elaborate on how micro-transactions will work in PlanetSide 2?
TI: They will be exactly the same as to how they are on the PC version. So, our market place will be exactly the same, it will incorporate all of the things we already put into the PC version, including the Player Studio items as well. The time table in which they occur on the PS4 will be slightly delayed due to the types of restrictions in regards to pushing items to our PC client versus having to go through verification with Sony. So, it will be a little bit delayed, but right now we don’t have any time frame of how long it will take, but we are trying to make the gap as small as possible, so we can keep the PS4 as close to the PC as possible.
Looks and feels more like a shooter than an MMO.
PSLS: How will DLC work for both products? And are you currently working on any at the moment?
TI: Everything we do is free. Everything is free to play. We don’t actually do DLC, we do updates and our current cadence is currently around every two weeks to a month. Like I said with the PS4, that cadence is going to be slightly delayed, but we are constantly updating the game. We are constantly adding new weapons, new vehicles, new maps and we are adding a new map probably later this year – probably around the end of summer, somewhere around there. It is called Hossin, our swamp map. So, we are constantly adding those things in, and everything we do, we push it to the PS4 and it will all be free.
PSLS: Do you have a release date or a release window you are shooting for?
TI: No release date at this point. Our focus at this point is that the PC version is done justice on the PS4. We are going to try and get as many of those features as we wanted on the PC side ported over and working as possible and then go into beta. We don’t have a date on that either, so just stay tuned and we will be releasing more information about that in the next coming months. But, the bottom line is that we want to make sure that this game feels just as good as it does on the PC for the PS4 and we can’t really put a date on it. We just got to make sure that when it goes out, it feels right, but it will definitely be this year for sure.