RipTen: One of the moments I really enjoyed in TKOH was the surprise action flashback sequence and despite my last question, I’d love to see more. How important are moments like these as a story-telling device for you?
Jay: It’s quite funny you should mention that, actually. More than any other missions in the campaign, these are the ones that’ll get a mention in a review or a forums post. Some would see it as the defining achievement of the game: blending high-fidelity copter gameplay with the massive potential of our large-scale sand-box world. Others, though, couldn’t be more critical, considering it to be a bit of a design mis-step – despite the fact that we quite purposefully made such missions optional! Really, I think it speaks a lot about the broad player-base we can attract, and the real challenge of producing the kind of gameplay that can satisfy everyone.
RipTen: What levels of complexity can simthusiasts expect with one of these Russian beasts? Where do the Hinds sit between an experience and a study-sim?
Joris: You can expect a helicopter on the same level as TKOH stock helicopters when it comes to artwork, simulation and systems fidelity. The Hinds really needed a functional retractable wheeled Landing Gear System, so taxiing and rolling takeoff were added. We also felt like we needed some improvements to the Operation Arrowhead weapon systems and targeting methods, so we’ve implemented those. One of my favorite things to do is hovering about two kilometers away from an enemy piece of armor, holding my cursor over it, and guiding the missile to its target. You really need to keep marking the target, because these missiles are not fire-and-forget. Then you see the impact in your Thermal Imagery MFD: mission accomplished.
RipTen: The deep mod-scene is always a big draw for BI titles, does the inclusion of the Hinds DLC bring anything extra for these guys? And what are some of your dev team’s favourite mods for TKOH?
Joris: It brings the improved and added engine features, which should allow for some high-tech attack helicopters. We have not yet seen fully new TKOH helicopters in the community, but we do realize the level of detail and complexity has gone up quite a bit since previous games.
Jay: Hopefully, the recently released sample model will provide a solid basis for those looking to build a helicopter from the ground up. Like Joris says, the complexity for creating high-fidelity models has gone up in recent years, and often this is cited as the reason for not supporting modding in certain games. To some extent, I’ve got to disagree – you should never underestimate the passion and dedication behind a mod: from a single guy making a mission about herding cows, to a whole team of enthusiasts working together on a bigger project.
Joris: The custom content we’ve already enjoyed took has form of scenarios, Time Trials and re-skins. I’m personally always pleased to see new custom Time Trials pop up, which are really simple to make, but deeply satisfying to beat!
Jay: Go download them now!
RipTen: You’ve hinted in the past at the future of the Take On name, will we see a Take On Jets or Take On Tanks anytime soon? Are we looking at ‘ArmA-lego’ here, like the integrated battlefields of the DCS and Flaming Cliffs series’? If you like, I’ll just give you my credit card details now and you can take what you need, when you need it?
Joris: The name was certainly designed for that purpose ;-)
Jay: Take On All The Things! Coming exclusively to PC, Summer 2017.
RipTen would like to thank Jay and Joris as well as BI’s PR manager Korneel for their time. Stay tuned for RipTen’s Hinds review.