NEWS - Friday, June 29, 2007

TimeShift Multiplayer Exposed

Customization when it comes to TimeShift’s online features, as lead producer Kyle Peschel spills the beans on what to expect. Okay, so ’Multiplayer’ will probably be the name rather than ’Customization’ but you know what we mean. Hopefully. What Saber Interactive is shouting about for now is the ability to tweak, twist and tear up the game modes any way you want. You can adjust the gravity, the run speed, armor respawn time, player respawn time, weapon damage, the whole lot. You can then save your custom game mode and name it, allowing for players to come up with wildly innovative ways of playing TimeShift. "We want users to not only have control but to instantly offset their buddy who comes over who is nothing but a spawn camping whore," says Kyle Peschel, struggling to be heard over the wails of a thousand pained virtual snipers. Elsewhere, Kyle confirms that there will be "over a dozen maps for certain" which cover the traditional Deathmatch, One versus One and Rocket Arena spectrums. This leaves one last, tricky area for the development team to tackle - bringing the timeshifting fun from single player territory into the multiplayer arena. The first problem was that for the timeshifting controls, it means that 15 players would be stuck in a time-loop while the other player would be having fun in what Saber is dubbing "fun for one". They’re aiming for "fun for sixteen", so they’re looking at ways of changing that. The second problem was that time reverse looked like lag. Some FPS games cause rubber banding when laggy (you run forward a few steps, then get yanked back to your original spot) and this is now so ingrained in players’ minds, it’s easy to presume that time reverse is actually lag. The team haven’t come up with a definitive solution yet though they have toyed around with the idea of using ’time grenades’, where the grenade’s explosion will create a small time sphere affecting anyone caught nearby. F.E.A.R. is the only game to have successfully pulled off time manipulation online. Ironically, that was also published by Vivendi. Will TimeShift’s multiplayer be their second success?


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