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Killing Floor 2 Interview With John Gibson

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Killing Floor 2 Interview With John Gibson

Editors Note – The transcription was done by Luis Valbuena

Gaming Instincts was delighted to speak with Tripwire Interactive’s president John Gibson about the state of Killing Floor 2, the upcoming Killing Floor Incursion, and his thoughts about the upcoming Xbox Scorpio.

Leonid Melikhov

Hello everybody this is Leo from Gaming Instincts, I’m the co-founder of the website and journalist, I’m speaking today with Tripwire’s president..

John Gibson

Hi, John Gibson, founder of Tripwire Interactive

Leonid Melikhov

Sounds Good, what are we going to be talking today Gibson, Killing Floor 2 right?

John Gibson

Killing Floor 2, PlayStation 4!

Leonid Melikhov

When is it coming out?

John Gibson

It’s coming out this fall.

Leonid Melikhov

It’s coming out this fall, finally!

John Gibson

Yes

Leonid Melikhov

Sounds good, why did you guys decide not to go with the Xbox One.

John Gibson

You know, nothing against the Xbox One, but being an independent developer and early on when we talked to Microsoft, they weren’t really open to dealing directly with independent developers and when we talked to Sony, they were very excited about dealing with independent developers.

Leonid Melikhov

How long ago was this?

John Gibson

Long time ago.

Leonid Melikhov

Before the Xbox One?

John Gibson

Uhh.. I can’t remember exactly when it’s been, but it’s been a while.

Leonid Melikhov

 Ok, I just wanted to gauge the timing.

John Gibson

That friendliness towards indie developers really set us up in the direction with Sony.

Leonid Melikhov

Ok, sounds good.

John Gibson

I’ve since heard that Microsoft has gotten a lot more open.

Leonid Melikhov

Yeah, they have a lot of indie stuff as well, they’re doing pretty good now but that’s besides the point.

John Gibson

That’s not to say we’ll never do an Xbox One version of the game, but definitely the PlayStation 4 first.

Leonid Melikhov

Sounds good, so was it difficult for you guys to develop on the Sony platform or not really, going from PC?

John Gibson

You know, there were a couple of challenges, really the biggest challenge it’s just performance, because PlayStation 4 is a powerful machine, but a PC is usually fairly cutting edge and it is a somewhat different architecture but you know it’s been very exciting, we are getting close to our performance targets, not quite there yet, but we are doing pretty good.

Leonid Melikhov

I’m glad you’ve mentioned the performance targets, what are you trying to target, 60fps?

John Gibson

We are trying to target 60fps.

Leonid Melikhov

With a game like this, I think 60fps would be perfect, yeah.

John Gibson

We are well above 30fps.

Leonid Melikhov

30fps Stable.

John Gibson

We are well above 30fps, stable. but we are shooting for 60fps

Leonid Melikhov

1080p?

John Gibson

1080p absolutely

Leonid Melikhov

I see, are you willing to downgrade to 900p for 60fps, what is more important to you, frame rate or resolution and why?

John Gibson

Um, you know as a gamer, I would say frame rate, depends on who you talk to at my company.

Leonid Melikhov

Right, I know, it’s a touchy subject.

John Gibson

I think for us, we don’t wanna compromise, I mean right now we have the game running at what we consider our ultra settings on a PC, so our highest level of visual fidelity, so I don’t think, if we did anything, we’d probably wouldn’t go 900p, we would probably crank down some details, but we are pretty sure we can get there.

Leonid Melikhov

Sounds good, so how long has it been in development for on PlayStation 4?

John Gibson

It’s been in development for a year and a half to 2 years

Leonid Melikhov

On the PlayStation 4 in particular?

John Gibson

Yeah, PlayStation 4.

Leonid Melikhov

Oh OK, and you went in early access for the PC when?

John Gibson

I believe it was on April 2015

Leonid Melikhov

So it’s little over a year now.

John Gibson

Yeah

Leonid Melikhov

Sounds good, are you guys planning on doing additional content, are you going to be supporting both platforms at the same time?

John Gibson

Absolutely

Leonid Melikhov

Like Simultaneously?

John Gibson

Yeah, I mean, that’s a big thing for us at Tripwire, we are very well known for a very long post-release support of free content for our games, I mean, we did the original Killing Floor, we put out free updates 5 or 6 years after the initial release.

Leonid Melikhov

That’s been a long time, wow.

John Gibson

We just think it’s, You know, a game doesn’t just come out and then it’s done, for us, it’s about giving back to the community that supports your games and we want to bring that same kind of ethic to our PlayStation 4 version.

Leonid Melikhov

I see, what made you make Killing Floor 2 as opposed to making a new IP.

John Gibson

For us, we made the original Killing Floor, we were still a really small company, we had about 10 or 11 people, we made on a really small budget and I think we made pretty good game, but we wanted another chance at it with a reasonable budget.

Leonid Melikhov

I see, so you really wanted to push it more, because you had more money to put into production, in order to realize the vision that you had?

John Gibson

Yeah, we wanted to make the game that we really would have made the first time around, had we had the resources.

Leonid Melikhov

Ok so this is “The Killing Floor” for you guys?

John Gibson

Yeah, we also really wanted it to be able to come to consoles this time, and with the original Killing Floor, we were on an older engine that wasn’t really well suited for consoles.

Leonid Melikhov

What engine is it in particular, is it custom made?

John Gibson

It is a highly upgraded version of Unreal Engine 3, we actually call it Unreal Engine 3.5 or Unreal Engine 3.75, we’ve completely replaced the lighting rendering, we’ve added a lot of high end effects like full-scene reflections, and just lots of things on top of it.

Leonid Melikhov

Any particular reason you didn’t go with Unreal Engine 4, or was it the timing?

John Gibson

Unreal Engine 4 wasn’t ready yet, when we started on this, I don’t think 4 was even out, but one of the things we’ve learned is when a game engine is new, it is better to let it mature a little bit before jumping into it.

Leonid Melikhov

I see, are you guys thinking for future projects, whatever is going to be, whether you guys will be jumping on Unreal Engine 4 or are you looking at other engines like Lumberyard from Amazon.

John Gibson

We have another game in development, a VR project using Unreal Engine 4, Killing Floor Incursion, which we just announced yesterday.

Leonid Melikhov

It is another game set in the Killing Floor Universe?

John Gibson

Yes, and it’s using Unreal Engine 4, but we are always looking at what’s out there as far as engines are concerned, but we do really like Unreal.

Leonid Melikhov

I see, so can you talk a little bit about Incursion, why is it VR, what made you do VR?

John Gibson

For a very long time, we’ve been between Valve and Oculus, we’ve seen what was coming, even before 2 or 3 years ago.

Leonid Melikhov

So you’ve seen Half-Life 3 (Laughs)

John Gibson

I wish I had seen Half-Life 3

Leonid Melikhov

(Laughs)

John Gibson

Even with my friends at Valve, I can’t get any information about Half-Life 3, and every time I ask them about Half-Life 3, I get eye rolls.

Leonid Melikhov

Eye rolls?

John Gibson

I get eye rolls!

Leonid Melikhov

That’s so sad, anyways, moving on.

John Gibson

VR, yeah, We’ve been trying it out for a while and it was very very exciting, but when we were right in the middle of developing Killing Floor 2, it wasn’t a good time for us, so recently as we integrate the LAN for playing with the PS4 Version coming for it too, so you got a little bit more bandwidth, and it’s such an exciting medium.

Leonid Melikhov

Right.

John Gibson

Killing Floor Incursion is a shooter.

Leonid Melikhov

Is it on-rails?

John Gibson

It is not on-rails, you control where you want to go.

Leonid Melikhov

Ok, just like a regular FPS.

John Gibson

You control it using the touch controllers, you are able to teleport around the space.

Leonid Melikhov

When you say touch controllers, are you talking about the Oculus touchpads, because I don’t think they are out yet right?

John Gibson

They are not out, we have dev kits.

Leonid Melikhov

Oh, but the dev kits are, yeah.

John Gibson

So, we are able to fully explore the environment, you pick where you want to fight, you can scavenge for weapons, for ammo, and really at this point it’s still very early as far as our announcements go, we are not giving a lot of details, but it’s definitely not a rails shooter and it’s not stand in one place shooter.

Leonid Melikhov

It’s more of an experience.

John Gibson

Yeah.

Leonid Melikhov

And probably for you guys, it’s mostly like, Hey lets see how VR turns out for us and see what we can do with it in the future, it’s really testing the bounds.

John Gibson

And its really uncharted waters, you know, when you develop for a console or a PC, normal games, normal shooters, most problems have been solved, but when you get into VR.

Leonid Melikhov

New issues arise.

John Gibson

Yeah, there’s new issues, new challenges.

Leonid Melikhov

Field of view and all that stuff?

John Gibson

How do you make guns feel good in VR, you know, that’s a challenge.

Leonid Melikhov

Yeah, like how do you make it more immersive than it already is and all of those things, oh well, I see.

John Gibson

It’s exciting!

Leonid Melikhov

It is exciting, you guys are thinking of 2017, 2018, when is it going to be out?

John Gibson

For incursion, we are not ready to say yet.

Leonid Melikhov

It’ll be ready when it’s ready.

John Gibson

It’ll be ready when it’s ready, yeah.

Leonid Melikhov

And you are developing it for PC and?

John Gibson

Right now, we are developing it for PC, for the Oculus Rift and touch, but other platforms would come after that.

Leonid Melikhov

Are you guys going to be supporting HTC.

John Gibson

we’ll do the Vive after we do the Oculus rift.

Leonid Melikhov

Are you thinking of maybe doing PS VR in the future.

John Gibson

We are considering it.

Leonid Melikhov

You are considering, OK that’s cool.

John Gibson

All the other VR platforms are definitely on the table.

Leonid Melikhov

I see, that’s cool, awesome stuff, what is for you the most exciting thing.

John Gibson

About working on VR?

Leonid Melikhov

Yeah.

John Gibson

It’s the immersion that we can bring, you can feel like you are there, you just played Killing Floor 2, you saw those spider-like creatures, when you see that in VR, when you see that it’s a human size spider jumping at your feet, your heart just skip a beat and that immersion is so amazing.

Leonid Melikhov

Yeah, I think that’s the next step for FPS games, because, how more immersive can you make FPS games today, like, yeah you had Doom little sprites, and you had the build engine with 3D blocks, ok now you have higher fidelity visuals, better textures, but how much can you really go and I think VR is that answer.

John Gibson

Right, it’s shooting scary things in VR, is incredibly fun, melee in VR is incredibly fun.

Leonid Melikhov

You guys don’t have a demo or anything here right?

John Gibson

We don’t have a demo here.

Leonid Melikhov

Ok, I see, probably next year you will.

John Gibson

For sure.

Leonid Melikhov

Awesome, something I wanted to ask you, it’s kind of a little bit out of the Killing Floor thing, but it kinda goes into the industry talk, and I just want see your opinion on this as a developer. What do you personally think of Project Scorpio from Microsoft.which is a 6 teraflops console, 8 cores, 322 gigabits a second. its an insane machine that’s coming out next year, how do you guys feel about the whole transition that is happening with these consoles, it’s not necessarily a next gen console but it kind of is, it’s not really a cycle because it’s just being upgraded, but the specs are so high, that is pretty crazy, how do you guys feel about that, how do you think it’s going to affect game development in the future?

John Gibson

You know, I think it’s smart for both Microsoft and Sony, the Neo and the Scorpio, what you are seeing now is people on the PC side, PC’s gained so much traction, because it iterates much faster, because of the hardware advances, on the console side, you do have  the benefit of developing for a set specs, and I know a lot of people are scared to like, oh if the consoles iterate faster, it’s gonna make it harder on developers, but guys like us who have been developing PC games for 10 years we’re like woo hoo! give us, more power!

Leonid Melikhov

Yeah right!

John Gibson

Especially with VR coming.

Leonid Melikhov

Of course, you need the processor, the GPU.

John Gibson

For VR Experiences, you need a high-end processor, you need faster GPU.

Leonid Melikhov

So, 4k on a Project Scorpio for Killing Floor 2 (Laughs)

John Gibson

You know, 4k is absolutely a possibility.

Leonid Melikhov

Of course, it’s the future, I mean, just like HD was an early adoption.

John Gibson

I think 4K is exciting, I think more exciting is the VR possibilities.

Leonid Melikhov

Really?

John Gibson

Absolutely.

Leonid Melikhov

I’m excited to see both, personally, I don’t know which I would like more because I haven’t experienced it yet, but yeah, and one more thing,  the Scorpio, you are able to play Xbox games on all of the platforms, the PC, the Scorpio, which is their high-end console, the slim, which is in the middle, is also upgraded with a raw GPU and a CPU and the other Xbox One, which is the lower entry machine, so you buy one game that works on all the devices but here is the question, how would developers make a game where there are able to take advantages of all these platforms, do you understand what I’m trying to say, it’s a complicated thing now.

John Gibson

I understand what you are trying to say, but to me, especially with our PC background, that’s a simple solve problem, I mean, when we develop a game on the PC, we have to support a 100 or a 1000 different permutations.

Leonid Melikhov

I think what people are scared for are, OK you have this powerful machine and if you exclusively develop for that really powerful machine, which in this case is the Scorpio, then it’s not gonna be running on anything lower entry, even though you bought the game for those 3 platforms, that’s the scary part.

John Gibson

I think good developers are going to make sure their games run really well on the lowest end machine and  they are just gonna crank up the visuals on the higher end machines.

Leonid Melikhov

So basically, they are just gonna have to lower the fidelity for the lower end machines.

John Gibson

Yeah, and we for example we have things we are looking at for the higher-end consoles that we’ll turn on for Killing Floor 2, aside from just 4K.

Leonid Melikhov

OK, so Killing Floor 2 is coming out in the fall, you don’t have a date or a month?

John Gibson

We don’t have a set date yet.

Leonid Melikhov

Right, OK, well I’m looking forward to playing it, it looks pretty fun!

John Gibson

Thank you!

Leonid Melikhov

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

 John Gibson

Alright, good talking to you!

 

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