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Defiance: Meet The Dev Team – Gary Stelmack

meet the devs

Defiance-Community released another episode-interview from their “Meet The Dev Team” series. This time they introduce Gary Stelmack to the community, who is responsible for the combat experience in Defiance. Basically, he talked about how the combat system works in Defiance and how they implanted a shooter combat mechanic into an MMO game. He also talked about how they made it fun to play with both controllers and mouse-keyboard controls.

Elizabeth: Let’s start with your name and title, and how long you’ve been with Trion?

Gary: I’m Gary Stelmack, I’m the Senior Combat Designer, and I’ve been with Trion for about 10 months now.

E: In the 10 months that you’ve been here, can you talk a little bit about what your main duties are and what you’ve done for the game?

G: I’m basically overseeing combat, in general, which is a really broad area, so I get to deal a little bit with AI, a little bit with our weapons and our shooting model, kind of everything that goes into what makes running around in the world and shooting things fun. So we’ve been doing a lot of work to get our pacing right and get our feel for the player power level up into a really good feel for the experience that we’re trying to project in Defiance.

E: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve encountered in the past couple of months?

G: Well, one of the big things is working on a massive online shooter. You’ve got a lot of situations where you have to compensate for lag or performance issues or even just latency back and forth to server centers, and you have to build your combat around the concept that it may take a little bit for the fact that you’ve shot to go out to the server and for the server to come back to you.  We kind of adjust the pacing to take that into account, so we’re not a Call of Duty pace-wise because we may have a little bit longer, so we give that bit of error margin so still feels really good to the player, but we can still convey that you’re more powerful than what you’re facing out there in the world, that you’re a little bit better and a little bit more heroic.

E: So Defiance is a shooter, but it’s also multi-platform. How do you make the experience fun for both mouse-and-keyboard and console controller?

G: Well, there are actually a lot of tricks you can do with the controller. You can adjust both the responsiveness of the controller to capture that same kind of feel. You can also do certain things with aim assist, with snapping the targets a little bit. The important thing is you do that subtlety so that it’s not, hey, the game is helping you out, and you’re really looking to compensate for that precision on the controller while not completely eliminating the player’s skill. So it’s a really fun balancing act that you have to play with to keep that balance back and forth.

E: What were you doing before Trion?

G: Prior to Trion, my entire career was spent at Red Storm Entertainment working on Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. I was there from the moment Rainbow Sixlaunched, so more or less, the entire duration of both those series.

E: So other than Defiance, what games do you play?

G: One of my favorite ones that I do a lot of playing is actually RIFT. It was one of the big things that made me look at Trion as a company to come to was just the quality of RIFT as an MMO. I’m heavy into a lot of the other shooters that are out there on the market. You know, Call of DutyBorderlands, you know, all of those that are out there right now. Most recently I finished Max Payne 3, so I try to dip into a little bit of everything. I’m also a really big fan of online flash games because you can see some really innovative, really creative stuff that people are doing there as well.

E: Beyond the world of gaming, what do you do with your days?

G: Well, one of my big hobbies that I like to do is stained glass, the Tiffany-style stained glass which is a lot of fun. It was actually something that I got into about two years ago, and that’s always a really big fun creative challenge, because being a designer, I’m artistically challenged, and so it’s fun to figure out how to build things like that. I’ve always been a work with my hands person, so now that I’m out here living in an apartment I don’t have my wood shop all set up, but hopefully I’ll be able to get back to that. I’ve also got a lot of pets that occupy my time.

E: Thanks so much for taking some time to answer our questions.


Source: Official Site


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