3 min read
28 Mar

We got to have a chat with the devs of Ground Branch a True First Person shooter, here is what they had to say about the up coming title.

Edited by: C. Daley

For Outlet: Nationfusion / FraggedNation

NF: Hey there, let's start as most of these do. What is and who makes up the studio behind Ground Branch.

GB: Hi, first off, thanks for the interview and helping to support Ground Branch. The Ground Branch team is small but very dedicated. At the moment there are 5 of us, each focusing on different aspects of the game. Though both Kris and I tend to do many different things.

NF: After playing GB the clear intent of the game is tactical slower paced shooter, what's the idea behind future additions to this? Will we see a planning phase, or live insertions into the missions?

GB: That is correct. The game, by design, is geared around a slower paced experience. There are no “classes” or player structure as we want players to decide for themselves how best to approach a situation. We want them to work as a team to decide what equipment they need to take with them and how best to solve problems. 

We will definitely be adding in map insertions, with the ability to choose the type of insertion you want to use. It will work the same way the spawn choice works now… So some can insert by ground while others come in by helicopter fast rope for instance. 

We may or may not do a full planning phase. There will be pre-mission planning, but at this time we are undecided on how involved that will be. 

NF: GB seems ripe for user made missions and community content. Is there plans for an easy to use mission and level creator or workshop support?

GB: Ground Branch is a perfect game for modding/mission making and we plan to fully support it! Full mod making with the Unreal Engine Editor will be available and we would also like to provide a slimmed down version for just mission making as well. 

We also have something we call the Map Kit in development that allows users to create play spaces in game then share them. 

NF: GB really reminds me of a modern take on old school tactical games like Rainbow 6 however the movement and some aspects seem clunky still. What's been the biggest challenge for the team and how are you approaching it?

GB: We set out to create something with the old school feel, but with some modern direction to it. Except the clunkyness of course. :) 

The biggest challenge by far is the lack of a dedicated professional animator. We have spent countless hours trying to find someone that understands and believes in what we are doing with the game, while being able to produce the quality full body animations we need within the budget we have. Once we can solve that problem then any remaining clunkyness will go away. 

NF: Fans of team play will love the customization available here, how and what ways do items and gear make it into the game?

GB: At first we started with a basic list of items we felt covered the majority of needs for the game. Something to fill in every category we setup. Then from there we added in some variety to players had choices. In some cases we added weapons or items because we had them, were easy to make or were of high quality and available for purchase. So we aren’t going for the giant list of weapons/gear at the start. We really like the customization aspect as well and can’t wait to see all the fun things modding will bring. 

NF: One super interesting aspect is the realistic depiction of First Person, you are able to fire weapons from any of the states showing a need for firearm safety in a game. What other aspects of this true FPS feel would you like to see in the game?

GB: We like the system a lot as well! I think, and others agree, the coolest aspect of our TFP is it is what you see is what you get in the truest sense. What you see in first person is exactly what others see in third person. We have one character model and one set of animations. Every other game we know of (including ones you see your legs), other than VR titles, still uses a different model and animations for 1st/3rd person. The problem there is they never synch up 100%. So you could be on a corner and feel covered, but in reality your 3rd person model(what others see) is slightly exposed and can be shot. Since the hit registration is on the 3rd person model you get shot, even though you see yourself as not exposed. 

The biggest thing I am waiting for though is when we add in prone. I think that will be something that works extremely well with our TFP system and will provide a unique new aspect to the game.  

NF: To close out, GB isn't your average FPS and yes has alot of work to do. Could you tell us what your most proud of in its current state and what we can look forward to in future updates?

GB: Its been a long and hard road to this point, but we are finally getting noticed and building a nice user base. I’m most proud that we never gave up and kept developing even though we had no money and other commitments. We always joke that we are just stubborn and that may be the case. But as they say…. Nothing worth having comes easy. 

That being said, as a group, we are super happy that the game is fun. Even in its current state It’s just fun! And at the end of the day that is all you want. We have lots of things coming in the future. The biggest short term addition is going to be a complete sound overhaul in the next couple of months. Mikołaj (Mikson on discord) is doing a great job starting over and completely replacing all the placeholder sound work in the game. He knows his stuff for sure.   

 We like to look at games like  Insurgency: Sandstorm as inspiration for what can be achieved with Unreal Engine 4 and smaller budgets. So that should give you some idea of where things are going.  

NF: Thanks for your time, we look forward to seeing all the Ground Branch has to offer.

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