HomeFront: An Exclusive Interview With David Votypka, General Manager of Kaos Studios

Posted By | On 22nd, Nov. 2010

GamingBolt recently had the chance to interview David Votypka, General Manager of Kaos Studios, and Creative Director on Homefront. We talked about their upcoming shooter and how different it will be from the rest of the competition.

GB: Homefront focuses a lot of economic aspects of a society. Do you think the more casual audiences who are just looking for a fun experience will be able to keep up with the story?

David Votypka: We’ve definitely put a lot of effort into crafting our ‘Future History’ to make the world of Homefront feel credible and real – so sure, we’ve looked at economic, environmental, financial, political and social factors, as these are the big forces that shape history. But the game’s plot – the story you play – is simple and accessible. That was one of the lessons Milius taught us!

GB: What are you planning to do with Homefront that keeps it from becoming just another unremarkable face in this ever growing crowd of First Person Shooters, where games like Call of Duty, Halo and Killzone have made their marks and have more or less dominated the genre?

David Votypka: From a gameplay perspective, we think gamers will find that our blend of action and story-telling feels very different from the current crop of first person shooters. There’s an emotional dimension to Homefront that we don’t feel other games have explored, and it’s been fascinating for us to see how strong a reaction our first playable slice of single player code has provoked. Then there’s the setting itself – our vision of Occupied USA is unlike anything you’ve played in before, so we think that’s pretty exciting for players to discover. When you add mutliplayer, and all the innovations we have there, we’re confident we stand out from the other guys.

GB: Are you looking for a more single player approach for Homefront or a more online focused one?

David Votypka: I’d say they have equal focus. We have two full teams working on the single and multiplayer components. Our aim is to deliver a AAA product, and that means you have to have great single and multiplayer. Nothing less will do in this genre.

GB: The online of Homefront certainly has a lot of new, innovative features, like the battle point system. How exactly does the said system work?

David Votypka: Battle Points are currency that you earn in-game for your actions. Kill an enemy – earn Battle Points. Assist a team mate – earn Battle Points. Capture an objective – earn Battle Points. Battle Points are not like XP – they do not accrue between matches. Instead, you spend them directly in-game as you earn them. You can spend Battle Points instantly in-game to replenish your ammunition, or purchase equipment including rocket launchers, EMP grenades, drones and airstrikes. These items can all be bought in-game immediately, via the D-Pad. Alternately, you can save your points up, and respawn into the map in a vehicle. Our Spawn in vehicle mechanic  means that rather than have vehicles spawn on the map, prompting a foot race to see who can get there first, you actually spawn in your vehicle if you choose to purchase it.

GB: Are there any other online/offline new features that we should be aware of but aren’t?

David Votypka: Let’s just say that there are more features that you are not aware of, but you should not be aware of them. Yet 🙂

GB: It has been stated that environments have a major role to play in the in-game action. Would you please detail this aspect of the game?

David Votypka: In Homefront we use a technique called ‘environmental narrative’ whereby we use the level design to tell a story, and help explain the game-work to the player. So for example, in the level ‘Oasis’, which is a resistance camp hidden in the suburbs, you’ll see an NPC on a stairmaster that’s been rigged up to a water pump – this kind of attention to detail makes you understand how the resistance are living off the grid with no electricity or running water systems, other than what they can improvise. Another example – in the same level, you can explore the operations room and see the plans and blueprints up on the wall that detail the upcoming mission. Everything we put into the environment has a purpose, to make the game world feel ‘real’ for the player.

GB: It looks like you guys are already geared up for Homefront 2. That confident your FPS will be successful enough to warrant a sequel?

David Votypka: Let me answer that by saying we’re confident the game will be good enough to deserve success 🙂

GB:  If Homefront 2 really does come along, what kind of changes do you want in it that Homefront? Would you adopt for a different angle of the same kind of story or something like that?

David Votypka: We’re focused on getting Homefront 1 out the door right now!

GB: Is there anything else you want to tell us about the game?

David Votypka: The final battle does not feature not you versus Mecha-Kim-Jong-Il on a giant transforming battleship. So you can put that rumour to bed.

We thank the team at Kaos and specially to Mr. David Votypka for giving us their valuable time.

About Homefront
The year is 2027. The world has suffered a decade-long energy crisis, and economies have crumbled. Reduced to a mere shadow of the super power it once was, the United States became the target of a North Korean takeover. American malls, suburbs and city streets are now battlegrounds as the civilian resistance fights for freedom. Featuring a compelling single player story crafted by John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Red Dawn), Homefront immerses gamers in an interactive and cinematic FPS experience where they will assume an infantry role or take command of a wide variety of aerial and ground vehicles. In addition to the single-player experience, Homefront will deliver a robust multiplayer experience. In a land stripped of freedom, the brave will fight for their home.

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