WOLFENSTEIN PROMODE CONCEPT
- first approach: some notes without any knowledge about the future game -




What does the multiplayer mode of the Wolfenstein sequel need in order to be attractive in competition?
(for players, viewers, casual gamers or e-sport scene more usually.)

We are thinking about the game itself (some people call it RtCW2) and not anything else.
This future game has to be the most skilled and the least random possible to be competitive on the e-sport scene, while keeping the good and fun aspects from RtCW (or RtCW:ET in a lesser way) which make that we love this game type so much (classes, team play, objectives, stopwatch, etc). We propose some stuffs to improve the game in this precise purpose.
We hope this page will give you some ideas to get the best game possible! Keep in mind these are just some ideas to improve the game competitively and some observations are principally based on an experience from the Quake3 engine. Everything can be discussed.


I. MAJOR FEATURES

Feature

Details

Consequences

WTV

- Wolfenstein TV to broadcast the events
- Or create a multigames IDTV as Source TV from Valve -- concentrate the energies for all id games based on the same engine
Note: There is a very large viewers community close to ET, with some matches which collect 2500+ viewers at the same time (HUB servers necessary)

- Developing community and competitions
- Doom3, Quake4, ET:QW and of course the Wolfenstein sequel could have their TV for events broadcasting with an IDTV

Good netcode

- When aiming at the right place, hitting

- Skillful, randomless

Accurate hitboxes or per-poly hit

- When aiming at the right place, hitting
Note: a per-poly hit detection can be discussed with the randomness of the model animations -- especially the legs -- but in RtCW, you have to make headshots! An undeformable zone (trunk and head in the player model) which can be hit without any failure if the tracking is perfect should exist

- Skillful, randomless

Allow hard tweaking

- As simple items, wolfparticles, tracers, fog, blood, gibs, picmip 8, unlocked cvars excepted wallhack's one, etc.
- Try to make a light game without compromising the graphics in high quality (hard job)

- More FPS, more accessible game, better gaming experience

Raise 60FPS cap from Doom3 engine

- The Doom3 engine is capped to 60FPS. Today, Quake4 can't overpass this 60FPS limit. Many monitors can have more than 60Hz refresh rate, it's sad that we can't get benefit from this
- 75FPS would be a minimum; 125FPS or higher would be just nice

- Better gaming experience
- More competitive

No buggy demo and built-in avidemo system

- We hope that we don't have the same buggy demos that Quake4 out of the box, and never the Doom3 demos which need many Gb to be stored
- Use an image file format that stores Z-depth informations when capturing with the avidemo system, besides the classical TGA files (look at OpenEXR for example)
- Some cvars for external cameras (freecam, followplayer X, angle of view, camera files support from GTKRadiant, etc) when demo viewing
Note: on this point, RtCW and ET demos are very good with mods

- Developing community
- Creating movies close to the game, good advertising
- Z-depth storage in frames captured could improve so much the video making universe with many other perspectives of editing

Hitsounds and other sound effects

- When shooting at someone, hear a sound which can differ between bodyshot and headshot, or differ in intensity if the hits are repetitive (as in CPM -- more you're hitting, more you're hearing)
- Low volume or adjustable volume for hitsounds or other things like environmental sounds, weapons sounds, music sounds, player movements sounds to remain discreet, in a good sound environment

- Better control
- Enjoyable but some people find that the hitsounds are annoying for aiming

Toggle screenshake

- Turn on or off the screenshakes when shooting, zooming or being hit (client-side)
- Or set the value of screenshaking (the value 0 is authorized)

- Pointless
- The player has the choice: if he wants a beautiful and realistic game for playing, watching demos or making movies, he can. The gamer who wants to be the more competitive cans disable the feature
- Better control

Toggle bobroll, runroll, walkroll...

- Turn on or off the bobbing when walking (client-side)
- Or set the value of bobbing (the value 0 is authorized)

Same as above

Toggle impactvibration

- Turn on or off the vibration generated by the explosion (client-side)
- Or set the value of the vibrations intensity (the value 0 is authorized)

Same as above

No pistol, SMG or sniper recoil

- When you shoot, the crosshair stay at the same place with all weapons and doesn't go upper
- Let the sniper rifle behave as the rail gun in Quake4 (same damages with and without zooming, no recoil or shakes when shooting and zooming + auto unscope after shooting a la AQ2/CS/etc, significant recharge time to compensate this, make the bullet pierces multiple bodies and heads when hitting)

- No useless recoil FPS dependent
- Avoid anti-recoil scripts

- Better control for everyone
- Skillful sniper

No XP points

- Ban XP points rewarded by skill upgrades which have nothing to do with competition

- The game isn't perturbed by a feature which destabilizes a round. It doesn't unbalance even more a game -- only real skills have to do it to be fair

SDK

- Software Development Kit

- Create mods close to the game which is vital for its life expectancy

Linux version

- id has always supported Linux community in the past -- we hope that the Microsoft and id's agreement for the exclusive release on Xbox 360 won't break this
- Linux support also for the community tools that will be released (for generating MegaTexture, making maps with GTKRadiant, etc.)

- Larger community

Multi-processor or dual core support

- Possibility to enable or disable the multi-processor or the dual core support in the game interface as in Quake4 with the 1.2 patch

- Performance boosting



II. ALTERNATIVE FEATURES

Feature

Details

Consequences

MP Bots (source)

- Practice and train offline with bots

- It encourages new players and trains the veteran players
- Life prolongation of the game

In-game auto-download and auto-update

- In-game download of pk4 files needed for game server connection on FTP or HTTP servers
- In-game updater to install new official patches

- Useful and practical
- Easy connections on game servers
- Reactivity and reliability

Autoaction

- When starting and/or ending a round, the client makes stats, screenshots, demos, etc... Many leagues need them

- Demos and screenshots aren't forgotten -- practical
- Stats files

Demo autoname

- Demos are autonamed with tags, nick (POV), map, format (duel, 3on3, 6on6, etc) or date

- Easy administration of your demos base -- practical
- Allow to keep a trace for the history

Toggle Quake3 drawgun style

- No weapon vibration when shooting or moving
- Adjustable opacity with an alpha channel for the drawgun display
- Why don't unlock gunX,Y,Z cvars which are cheat protected if we can drawgun "0"?

- Players who use drawgun "0" usually can keep it at "1" value with benefit

Variables in chat

- Players can send in teamchat to his teammate the amount of ammo or the health he has, the last player he kills, he hits, etc.

- Better communication, increase teamplay

In-game voice chat

- Built-in voice chat program with good quality and good audio codecs (high bitrate) as in TS or Ventrilo with Speex for example
- Keep the possibility to disable it
Note: Like in Quake4

- Multi-platform
- Non-experienced players which don't know TS, Ventrilo or others voice chat programs can directly communicate between them
- Team play increased

HUD

- Possibility to customize the HUD as you want... Ammo under the weapon, Health at the left side, Power at the right side, compass at the top... which fonts size? etc.
- Team overlay: viewing all your teammates names in a box on the screen, with some infos like their location on the map, their ammo, their class, their health, etc.

- Having info (name, class, ammo) by pointing a teammate with your crosshair is also a good feature
- No triangles above the teammates or enemies that indicate their locations through the walls like in ET:QW -- use bright skins system instead
- Objective infos with flags like in RtCW

- Customization
- More teamplay

Coach

- Possibility to a team to callvote to name a spectator as its coach who has a splited screen with all the players POV and can use say_team function to communicate with his players

- Increasing teamplay, nice training for LAN

Shoutcaster

- Possibility to callvote to name a spectator as shoutcaster on the server, to overpass speclocking, to view dynamite timer or names on the players' head

- Developing community

MVD

- MultiView Demos (as in CPM)

- Possibility to view every POV with a client-side demo of several Mb

Brightskins

- Toggle bright skins
- Choose which color to use

- More competitive, better control

Skins

- Ability of choosing the skins (face) for your class model which keeps the same uniform to recognize what class it is in game
- Force skin cvar (client-side)

- More variety (women, black people, etc.)
- Customization
- Cool in movies

Flags

- It's just a game -- don't feel obliged to use true Nazi and American flags. A red one with the eagle and a blue one with a star inside are well for red team (Axis) and blue team (Allied)

- Less political and restrictive
- Free distribution in Germany



III. SUGGESTIONS ON GAMEPLAY

Feature

Details

Consequences

No vehicle in MP

- Vehicles slow the game down, increase the spam, are just lame
- No turrets or deployables that auto aim

- Playing infantry is preferable and preferred in FPS
- More fair (no vehicle versus person battle...)

Choice of weapons

- Be able to choose weapons (with their specificity to balance them -- as rate of fire, damages, windup, speed of projectiles or hitscan, number of bullets in a clip, max ammo, reload speed, overheating, running speed when holding them, but not spread which is random) according to the class like in RtCW with Thomson, MP40, Venom and Sten for example...
- Diversify the type of aim with alternative weapons besides the hitscan weapons as SMG, pistols or sniper rifles: projectile weapons (as plasma or nail gun in Quake), different grenade trajectories, speeds, bounces, damages or explosion type (after hitting the model or after a 5 seconds delay) and explosion area (splash) between the grenades, etc. but well balanced for not having a spam-based game but a punctual and skilled spam
- Diversity of weapons but balanced weapons addition with weapons 1,2,3,4,...,N: same chance of winning a duel for two players of same skill level with a good weapon overall -- not overpowered weapons as Panzerfaust in RtCW (a max ammo of 1 for Panzerfaust with the splash from RtCW could be nice -- "punctual and skilled spam") or overpowered rifle grenade in ET for example
- Avoid landmines, mortar, artillery or other "I can't see you but I can kill you" weapons which fuck up the game. They are OK for Battlefield-like, not for Wolfenstein or others Quake oriented games
- Avoid "stationary" weapons as MG42 in ET
- No iron sight
- Alt fire on each weapons to change the weapons mode and their reaction (fire rate, damage, animations, etc)
- Same arsenal of weapons for both sides (Axis and Allied)

- Less repetitive and boring, more fair and fun
- Developing skills and tricks (as fast knife gibbing) for each weapons
- Very large possibilities: it gives depth to the game
- No random kills (distribution of the artillery impacts) or area blocking with an artillery which slows the game down or an easy spam of grenades thanks to their big splashes
- Team play increase between the soldier (with his "BFG" Panzerfaust) and the lieutenant thanks to this "max ammo of 1" idea
- Iron sight slows the game down and favors camping

Lower spread, no spread or no spread increase

- Lower or remove spread of this fake hitscan weapons (MP40, Thomson) because of this spread which is random
- Remove the increasing spread when moving the crosshair quickly
- The only acceptable spread would be a predictable and non-random spread that we can avoid (a spread from the 20th bullet for example)
- Ideally, weapons should be 100% accurate to reward skill. It means no spread
- If there is a shotgun or something that responds like this, it should have a predictable dispersion (with the same figure as in CPMA) and not a random one

- No random weapons but precise, skillful, true hitscan weapons
- Why penalizing a player who aims better or who moves by increasing his spread when moving his crosshair?
- Backshooted players have a chance to kill the backshooter without penalizing his reflexes.
- Avoid the half-spread exploit with a mouse rate which is the half of the FPS
- Better weapon control

Weapon damages

- Keep a significant difference between headshot and bodyshot damage for hitscan weapons as MP40. It can be seen again with others new weapons?
- Make the gib harder as in RtCW instead of ET

- Team based game with objectives but personal exploit possible (eg, rampage with many headshots) to save the day or to make your team win
- Force the players to be very aggressive, they don't only need to kill and gib the engineer, but to kill the more opponents as possible with the harder gib
- This will increase medic's role: the easiest gibbing is, the more useless the medics are
Note: exploits were possible in RtCW, less in ET

Same damage amount with and without helmet

No comment

- Two players with same HP: the main thing that cans separate them is the skill, not the helmet on their heads which is partially random

Damage amount according to the distance

- Same damage at any distance or a proportional one like it seems to be in the ET:QW beta. But not like in W:ET with that invisible line.

- Better control
- Quicker game -- no need 8HS to kill someone at long range

Faster weapon switch

- It will be very nice to be able to make more combo kills, not only be killed because you haven't ammo anymore and you are switching slowly...

- More fun, quicker gameplay, skillful
- More combo kills (SMG then Luger, Luger then knife, etc.)

Reload interruption

- Allow weapon switch during a reload; the current reload is canceled and you are able to use another weapon as pistol, knife...
Note: like in CS

2 possibilities if you face an opponent while reloading:
- You think that you can manage the enemy until the end of the reload
- You prefer to switch to another weapon to keep your chance to kill the opponent [you will have a time penalty for your switch to prevent abuse]
It favors action instead of inactivity

Knockback in midair

- If you are being hitting by someone, you move back only if you are in midair
- Low knockback on the floor
- Separate this with two cvars like g_knockback on the floor and g_airKnockback in airs

- Better duel (free movements and free shoot) and less ping dependent
- Keep the possibility to be boosted by someone who is shooting you in your back while jumping
- Jumping in duel is annoying for the jumper: he has knockback

Trickjumping & physics

Possibilities:
- Strafe jump
- Circle jump
- Circle strafe jump
- Double jump (from Quake2 and not ETpub) and stair jump

- Ramp jump
- Slide jump (crouch slide) only in hillside or on a plain too?
- Bring back grenade jumping, air strike marker jumping, etc. from RtCW

-
Ability of bullet jumping to go higher on a box for example or bullet climbing on a wall (as plasma gun in Quake3)
- g_speed, g_gravity, g_airControl... server-side cvars to change physics as you want
- Possibility to lower the speed while crouching with g_crouchSpeed and g_crouchRate cvars for example; g_walkSpeed cvar is also a good idea
- View this OSP 0.9 demo to see how strafe jump could be
- Boost buddies or opponents with a +action or +activate bind...
- Same speed for forward, backward, strafe left and strafe right is preferred for fast-paced duels in close range
- Loose accuracy on a jump impulsion, but stay accurate in air sometimes after this impulsion. Same for crouch

Note: Double jump could improve the game so much!

- Gain speed on a plat area with double circle jumping, bullet climbing, double jumping on a box (or on a crouching model) then strafe jumping, etc. Not only in a hillside as ET
- Skilled, fun and fast movements to have a better gaming experience
- Very large possibilities -- it gives depth to the game
- Movement is a main part in Wolfentein as aiming -- don't neglect it!
- Avoid crouching/jumping, then standing, then crouching/jumping, then standing... in duel -- the crouch has to serve for hiding in priority and the jump for moving
- Team play dimension with the possibility to double jump on a model which is crouching or to be boosted by a teammate
- Total control on the game play and physics with many server-side cvars

Stamina bar

- Stamina bar is unfair on asymmetric maps, the defender has stamina for dueling an offender who has nothing
- Jumping or sprinting by being in air shouldn't take stamina anymore and stamina bar should reload twice as fast for example

- The sprint is more balanced in favour of the attack and we keep this non-linearity in duels and trickjumps thanks to this sprint

No prone

- Prone is lame and slows the game down

- Faster game, more fun

No lean

- Leaning means camping and is unfair. It slows the game down, it's boring for viewers and it's just an easy way to manage to kill someone
If leaning is included: what about an animation for viewing just the head of the leaner which could be aimed?

- Faster game, more fun
- That favors the offensive play

Lower fall damage or raise the limit when falling

- If falling, don't be crushed on the floor which slows down the game, and players aren't forced to play in a less spectacular way

- Quicker gameplay
- Better trickjumping, fun

Same HP

- Same health points for all classes and no HP according to the number of medics or lieutenants in the team!
- Medics don't have their HP which raise automatically but can take their medipacks of course

- No overpowered classes -- every classes can kill every classes at the same level of skill
- Fair duels (with good balanced weapons) which is more pleasant

Drop objective

- Be able to drop the objective (documents, gold) that you hold on the map to give it to a teammate
Note: Like in a CTF game

- A new team play dimension

Maps and scripting

- Well balanced and small maps adapted for about 6on6 competition format and for close or mid range in priority instead of long range actions or very long runs which are usually boring (no Fueldump maps adapted for 14 on 14 battles)
- No MG, ammo and health cabinets, random artillery (like on mp_beach)
- Allow the mappers to be the most creative possible with a scripting language -- for spawn points customization in their maps for example

- More pleasant for viewers, more fun for players
- Small map means more FPS

- Increase team play between lieutenants and medics
- Spectacular and fast-paced


Be creative!



CONCLUSION


It could make the game fast-paced, fun and skillful for players, with aggressive, enjoyable and spectacular actions for viewers.
But the final word remains to the Wolfenstein's developers, future modders and hopefully to the community to rule them all! ;-)

Written in March 2006, last update on July 30, 2007
Contact
pheex on QuakeNet IRC network or by e-mail for feedback
Thanks to 
dirrty, jeje, jt-brako, madscientist, maleficus, mote, scam and sol about some ideas that got picked to produce this synthesis