Titanfall: Respawn Didn’t “Set Out to Design a Narrow Band Game”
“Inclusiveness” is the key word here.
Now that the Titanfall beta is set to wrap up, Respawn Entertainment’s Fairfax McCandlish took to the official forums to talk about the game’s inclusiveness. As indicated in several impressions thus far, Titanfall features AI bots which can be killed easily for points. The bots were criticized for their lack of intelligence (which we can confirm) and for limiting the overall player count.
Though they serve a deeper purpose in terms of overall strategy, the essence of the game according to McCandlish “is to be inclusive. We want many different skills to be valid. For example, pure aiming (tracking or snapping) is often favored over leading in shooters, so we added weapons that have travel time or fire projectiles. Parkour and smart pistol reward maneuvering skill. Pilot combat is highly lethal (low time to kill) whereas Titan combat is low lethality (higher time to kill).
“Each play style requires different skills, and all are valid in Titanfall. The reason for inclusive design is not just to sell the most copies. Inclusive design gives you a wider variety of opponents and situations. It is part of the appeal of asymmetry in games.
“Testing a narrow band of player skill, like insta-gib or kar98 only servers definitely have their place too. Mirror matches in Street Fighter or Starcraft are also fun. However, we did not set out to design a narrow band game. Shooters famously have several already. What they do not have is a place for fans of different shooters to get together on common ground and settle things once and for all.”
We personally enjoyed the approach since it allowed for more strategy and careful application of skill as opposed to charging blindly. Titanfall will release on March 11th in North America and March 14th in Europe for Xbox One and PC, with the Xbox 360 version releasing on March 25th/28th.