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Brian Pelletier
Raven | Project Leader | Oct 24 2000, 18:26:17 (ET) |

Name: Brian Pelletier
Description: Project Leader/Art Director
Project: Star Trek

About Elite Force's teammates.

We all know everyone has their own opinions and we have heard that
Elite Force's teammates are revolutionary and surpass any teammates
done for other games and we also heard that the teammates were nothing
new and they had problems and didn't really work that great. I would
have to disagree with the later and say that the teammates could have
easily been a hindrance to the gameplay and now I know why no other
company has ever tried to make a FPS game with up to five teammates
Working alongside you at one time. At one point in the final stages of
developing the teammates, I wasn't sure if they were going to work out,
they just had so many problems and every time we would fix something
another problem would crop up. Just getting them to follow you was not
an easy task and something we tweaked with all the way up to the final
days. Sure we could get them to follow you but the game took place in
tight hallways and small rooms so you would be bumping into them, they
wouldn't get out of your way, they would constantly get stuck on each
other and they followed the player like a heard of sheep. Also making
them always follow the player everywhere caused problems with them
feeling like real intelligent characters so sometime we had to have
them stand their ground or take up a position while the player went
exploring. Then we had the consistent problems of the team not even
following you and you might need one of them to open a door for you to
later on and when we did get it to work someone eventually found a new
way to break a level with a teammate. Plus with elevators and teleporters
there were always problems with how a teammate could get left behind.
It was getting to a point where we weren't even certain if we could get
them to walk through an entire level and we might have to do something
drastic. Luckily it never came to that and we were able to get them
working in the levels. They may have ran funny to catch up to the player
or jumped down long elevator shafts to stay in formation, but at least
they stayed with the player through the whole level no matter what kinds
of crazy stuff they player was doing. Then came the problem of trying
to balance the combat with the teammates. We started getting our enemies
in the levels and the teammates were so good they killed most of the
enemies leaving not much for the player to do. So we didn't have them
shoot as often but then THEY were constantly being attacked instead of
the player, and the game combat became shoot the aliens attacking your
teammates, which was not fun. So we had to balance the combat so the
player still felt threatened by enemies attacking them and teammates
helped but not to the point where they did all the work and eventually
we got something that felt really fun for the player. It's funny now
when I hear people say that the teammates were stupid because they hardly
killed any enemies or that the enemies always attacked the player but
hardly the teammates; If they only knew how not fun the gameplay would
have been had we not balanced it out the way we did.

Brian Pelletier
- Project Leader: Star Trek Voyager Elite Force

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