Balancing a competitive multiplayer game so every encounter is your ideal blend of fast and interesting is no easy feat, especially if you're working on a game where your players can choose to climb into a 25-foot-tall walking tank.
But that's exactly the challenge Respawn Entertainment faced in designing its Titanfall games; at GDC 2017, Respawn game designer Carlos Pineda gave a great talk about how the studio did it, and what other devs can learn from the experience.
According to Pineda, Titanfall 2 was in a unique problem space for shooters in that Titan fights could last minutes, compared to more typical shooter engagements which tend to be below 5 seconds. The lessons of low-time-to-kill shooters no longer applied, so the team had to draw from other genres to find new sources of depth. Fighting games, MOBAs and MMOs became new sources of inspiration.
In the course of his talk he explored the process by which Respawn broke down the shooter combat formula and applied lessons from other genres to create a unique combat experience. It was a fascinating presentation, one well worth watching (for free!) over on the official GDC YouTube channel!
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