Throughout my time at Full Sail University Online , I have come into contact with many top notch video game people. I have been in contact with oversea gaming companies like At7addak.com, professors who have worked on the design of many different kinds of games, and one other professor who is the Senior Producer of Wargaming.net, Chris Keeling.
Without hesitation, Chris Keeling accepted to do a follow up interview with me about the new hyped up game, World of Tanks, after having his video interview with ASAP. (You can take a look at his original interview with ASAP by viewing the attached video.)
Follow-up interview with Chris Keeling:
1) Will you provide the fans an overview of who you are and what you do with Wargaming.net?
I am a game designer, writer, and producer. I’ve been in the industry for about 15 years, mostly as a freelancer, and recently I also spent a few years as a teacher of Game Design at Full Sail University. I’ve worked mostly on military games (due to my 23 years of active and reserve service in the US Army), including Panzer Elite, America’s Army, Twilight War, and Order of War, among others.
2)For those who do not know what World of Tanks is, can you provide us with an overall description of it and how much it costs to play?
It’s a fast-paced online multiplayer action game where you drive mid-20th century tanks around a wide variety of lush battlefields; everything from fields and woods through cities and jungles. Best of all, it’s free to play! We’re constantly adding new maps and vehicles, like the 17 Chinese tanks we just added this week in version 8.3.
3) How is the Mac version design of World of Tanks progressing so far?
I know it’s been proposed and seriously considered. I’m not sure where it’s at in resource allocation or in scheduling, so I honestly have no idea when it might come out, assuming it gets approved (which I hope it does!).
4) You stated in your interview with ASAP that the original tutorial system was not very good and that it will be redesigned. How is that process going? And can you tell us what kind of special bonuses players can look forward too?
It’s coming along nicely – it’s much more like a tutorial you would expect to see in a AAA game, as in any of the modern shooters that are popular right now. It’s got its own map with markers and waypoints and a professional voiceover with on-screen guides. There’ll be a few things you’ll get to try out in the tutorial that would normally cost Gold in the game, and of course you’ll get to take a couple with you when you dive into the multiplayer game.
5) Am I correct by saying that a lot of the design of this game is solely based on your knowledge of the equipment from actually serving in the Army?
Heck no! The original designers are in Minsk, I have only helped out a bit here and there. They have plenty of knowledge of their own – the VP of Production is a former Russian armor officer, and most of the management staff, including the CEO, have served as military officers. Not to mention that I’m not quite old enough to have served with any of this equipment, since we cut off our top tanks at the end of the 1950’s, before I was even born. I do plenty of research, but I am far from the only one.
6) Are there any plans for making another World of Tanks title but for a different Era?
Not for at least a few years. Right now we have a lot of projects in development (only a couple of which I can talk about) and these are going to take all of our time for at least the next year or two, after which we can start thinking about adding more games to our portfolio.
7) How is the addition of Season and Historic mini campaigns coming along?
These are in development for Clan Wars, our “end game” world war between the clans/guilds/factions that fight for terrain on a global map. Expect to see some of these things (likely most of them, at least in an initial state) implemented by this Summer.
8) Have the Chinese tanks entered the battlefield yet?
As I mentioned earlier, we just brought them in with the 8.3 update, after taking them out of 8.2 and seriously rebalancing and tweaking them. They were a bit OP, but now they’re leaner – fast and light, with rapid-fire guns, but with less armor.
9) Which is your favorite new Chinese tank?
My favorites are the Type 59, a Tier IX medium tank, and the Type 62, a Premium Chinese light tank based on the Type 59. If you have the older Premium Tier VIII Type 59, I suggest trying out the one in the tech tree, as it has some nicer options (which is why it’s an entire Tier higher…).
10) Can you happen to tell us which mobile devices this game will be coming too? Or maybe even a date that we can look forward too?
No, I am not going to say what platform(s) we’re working on or when you might see it. But as I said, you can expect to see us on more platforms within the year. Likely more than one.
11) Would you be able to give us a little hint as to what the future unannounced projects are?
This is why we call them unannounced… because we’re not announcing them yet. But I will say that not all of them are in the “World of…” World War II vehicle combat genre.
12) Are there any other future changes to this game that we should know about besides the addition of the Chinese tanks?
I think our proposed feature list is up around 400 items – IIRC it’s a 25-page bullet list. Yes, there are lots of things coming to World of Tanks, including many more maps, more tanks, more game modes, more Clan Wars options, and more eSports competitions.
13) Any last word advice for both current and new players to World of Tanks?
My son taught me a new perspective on the game recently. There is no grind when you consider every match to be a fun tank battle. When you play the same tank over and over (which he quite enjoys), you’re getting more and more skillful in that tank, in the maps, and in the game in general. I tend to play my tanks once for the day to get the XP bonus, then move on to another tank (I have too many to play them all once a day anyway). He’s perfectly content to play one tank for hours because he loves that tank and just enjoys the game for the entertainment of playing it. I guess I’ve been “gaming the game” and taking it too seriously. From now on I am going to relax and just appreciate it more!