War Thunder's Creative Director Kirill Yudintsev speaks of the games future plans during an interview with a gaming news site
Several days ago on November 14, an article was posted on mmorpg.com detailing an exclusive interview that they had managed to set up with War Thunder's Creative Director Kirill Yudintsev. In this interview Yudintsev in a way made up for the disappointment that was the original Q&A he did on stream which left many players feeling cheated and quite disappointed in that little to no answers were given on interesting and unique topics (only generic already previously answered ones). During the Q&A portion of the interview,
MMORPG: What do you contribute to that too?
The reason why people do play the game a lot is simple: War Thunder is the only game on the market that can fulfill the various wishes of military vehicle fans at once and in one place. Yes, there are other standalone games about World War 2 era tanks or about modern jets or about one specific helicopter. We have made these types of games before. But War Thunder is the only game that encompasses all of these gameplay experiences. It allows you to jump from a tank to a fighter jet in one gameplay session. It gives you the opportunity to follow the history of tank building starting from the early 1930s into the XXI century, from World War II to the Cold War and beyond. This is very cool and unique.
MMORPG: How long do you plan to support War Thunder?
Games as a service, like War Thunder, are supported whilst there are people playing it. Right now, interest in War Thunder is only growing, millions of new players are coming to War Thunder and old players remain with us or return to the game to see new content and new features. For example, many people that enjoyed World War II-era planes and tanks return to try naval forces or helicopters or modern jets and tanks. Obviously, we need to do more new features and content to stay on top.
There are also new gaming platforms coming in the near future and we are planning to make War Thunder available on them as well.
Basically, we have some development plans for the next 2-3 years. There is not much sense in planning for a longer period of time. The reason is that we do these plans based on player feedback, so we need to check how they’ll like the features that are in production right now.
(Editors Note: These development plans include as stated in the other Q&A and elsewhere The Swedish Ground tree, Italian Naval, a Pan EU Tree, and several other tree's and most likely a fair number of new vehicles)
MMORPG: What are the biggest successes that you have seen for War Thunder? Updates, new features, platform launches, whatever. Looking to see what things were more successful than you initially imagined.
The biggest successes are obviously the new types of combat vehicles that bring with them completely new gameplay experiences. This is the main reason why players come to the game or return to it. The most recent examples of huge success are modern tanks and jets. The greatest one was probably the initial launch of ground forces in 2014 that brought millions of new players to the game.
The user-generated content initiative was also far more successful than we initially thought. Basically, people create new skins and even new vehicles on their own and earn money for that by selling them. Some of our 1st of April events, i.e. the submarines event, was also far more popular than we ever envisioned
MMORPG: What would you say are the game’s biggest failures and more importantly, what did you learn from these failures that ultimately improved the overall game?
It was probably wrong to start our Naval forces with only smaller ships, like torpedo boats and submarine chasers – the mosquito fleet. Some of our players didn’t like this idea. The reason is that when we’re talking about military vehicles and ships, people usually want to try something famous. They prefer vehicles they read about in history books or in the news. Of course, all the famous ships are usually the bigger ones, like the Yamato battleship. So, we’ve introduced destroyers, cruisers and are slowly approaching Battlecruiser sized vessels to make sure that players will get what they want.
One of the reasons why we started with smaller ships was that we thought that our players would be bored with very slow battles between larger ships and would prefer faster-paced mosquito fleet battles. In the end, we discovered that some of our fans do like their naval battles slow and realistic, so we’re giving them that now, and those who prefer fast-paced naval action have it too - and all this without compromises and creating reinvented vessel-classes.
There are also lots of challenges to meet in the future. The game grows and grows, so it becomes more difficult for new players to get to what they want in the game in particular. The same applies to new game modes.
(Editors Note: The comment on the introduction of Battlecruisers/Large Cruisers is rather interesting in that recently files for several of those ships have been found, namely the USN Alaska Class "Large Cruiser" and the VMF (Soviet) Kronshhtadt class)
MMORPG: What do you plan to bring to War Thunder in 2020?
There will be several completely new tech trees, including Swedish ground forces, Chinese and Italian helicopters, and the Italian navy. We can even announce and show you the work in progress versions of several specific vehicles, like the Swedish Ikv 91 self-propelled gun, the Italian Trento heavy cruiser, and the Saetta-class gunboat. They are not in the game yet, so these are the screenshots from our dev tools.
Players will also get newer jets and bigger ships, including Battlecruisers. We cannot disclose the specific dates or the release order of all these updates (basically because they are in development and plans may change because everything really depends on the feedback of players), but you can see the scope of the vehicle line-up we’re working on. And these are just a few examples, we have a lot of more cool stuff in the works.
It is a bit easier to talk about vehicles than about other changes, like UI\UX improvements, new graphical and audio features, or new gameplay types - just because the latter can take much more time than initially expected (for example upgrading to new audio engine that was done in 1.91 took more than a year in development!) or can be even closed before releasing to public or after open developer tests by players feedback
(Editors Note: The Swedish IKV 91 appears to be a mistranslation as there is no Ikv 91 Self Propelled gun. Furthermore, the image they showed of this vehicle is actually that of the Ikv-72.)
MMORPG: What are your long-term future plans for War Thunder?
Though we already have 1500+ vehicles in War Thunder, we are still a long way from covering all the interesting examples of military hardware produced in XX and XXI centuries. What we’re trying to do is to put all of them into the game if it makes sense gameplay-wise. Right now, we are doing a lot of research and internal experiments to understand how and what to add next.
We think that what will be most noticeable will be changes to Naval forces battles that we are planning to do next year. We’re also working on improving World War mode and other gameplay experiences based on feedback from our players.
The release of War Thunder on the new platforms could be big news for some of our players, though we cannot specify the timing or the list of those platforms due to NDAs.
MMORPG: You have land, sea and air vehicles, is there a chance you would consider adding infantry? If not, why?
War Thunder is all about military vehicle simulation. Infantry would be tough to implement and balance properly without significantly changing War Thunder that our players already know and love. That’s why we have another, infantry-focused military action game in the pipeline, which is called Enlisted. We will have more details about Enlisted in the near future.
MMORPG: What do you think Infantry could bring to the table if you decided to go that route?
Obviously, secondary armament, like machine guns, and anti-personnel munitions would become more useful. Other than that, it’s hard to guess as the balance would be completely different from a lot of unknown variables and it would be a different game. That’s pretty much the reason we’re not going to add infantry to War Thunder.
MMORPG: What have the developers learned the most about player behavior over the years that War Thunder has been released into the wild? Is there anything players have done that has surprised the team?
Our community never stops surprising us. War Thunder players are super creative. They love military vehicles and military history, so they express this love not only in the game or on other media like Reddit, but in real life as well. We’ve already mentioned that some of them are creating content for War Thunder, but there are fans doing amazing stuff offline – like building paper models of War Thunder tanks.
The most exciting thing our players regularly do is that they show War Thunder to their grandparents that actually flew the real aircraft and operated the real armor represented in the game. Sometimes they even use a VR headset and the full-fledged simulator set up to help veterans feel those machines. This kind of activity is extremely good for everyone: it helps young people reconnect with their senior relatives and it helps veterans to feel young again. It also improves the perception of the whole video game industry in modern society that is still a bit afraid of these new kinds of entertainment.
MMORPG: Do you envision a time in the future where players can create their own joint armies or countries and battle against other armies? What I mean is, could I bring my air force, you bring your ground force and someone else brings their naval fleet and we join up in the same battle against other players?
We have something like that in World War mode where some of the players command armies on a map and other command specific vehicles during the battles between those armies. In this case, people who are good as pilots, usually use aircraft, while good tankers take ground vehicles. This mode is divided into seasons, the first one was available this summer and the next one will be available very soon, so there might be more features that you might like.
MMORPG: How has the response been on console since it was released? Have you seen greater numbers there versus Steam? And how has the console development helped improve the PC release and vice versa?
Yes, we have more new players enjoying the game on consoles than on Steam. The policies there are hard in some ways (especially cross-play policies) and there are also very limited marketing tools, but there are probably more potential players for our game - and with comparable consistent fixed hardware (which is actually better than an average PC).
Usually porting a game to another platform improves overall code quality. The main challenge for the console version of WT is UI. It is not easy to maintain UI and UX of a huge game with a diverse range of gameplay modes like WT good on all platforms. But this usually makes it better for all players in the end. There is still very much work to do here and we’re committed to it.
Overall a rather interesting Q&A than Answered many new and interesting questions. For the full Q&A, and the source of these questions one can visit the following website https://www.mmorpg.com/war-thunder/interviews/war-thunder-7th-anniversary-exclusive-interview-with-creative-director-kirill-yudintsev-1000014112