CRYENGINE-powered tactical online WW2 shooter Vanguard: Normandy 1944 is available on Steam Early Access today, and we spoke to Tom Dudley from Pathfinder Games to find out more.
Vanguard: Normandy 1944 features authentic real-world battlefields which will immerse players in the intensity of close-quarters infantry combat, where teamwork and tactics are vital to success. Pathfinder Games was formed by a group of hobbyists who wanted to create a tactical World War II game unlike any other on the market, and CRYENGINE is the engine that they chose to achieve their vision. We spoke to Tom Dudley, Founder/Director of Pathfinder Games, to find out about their journey and discover what players can expect in the game.
Hey Tom! Congratulations on the launch. What can players expect on day one?
Thank you! Players can expect to jump in and experience a slice of hectic, fast-paced tactical infantry combat on battlefields that were fought on over 75 years ago. Our primary game mode, Raid, requires players to communicate and stick with their squad to attack or defend crucial objectives, and win the fight. Spread across three maps, each with day and night lighting, players will become immersed in the Normandy setting thanks to the stunning CRYENGINE visuals.
How do you see the game evolving during the early access period?
We’ve been tweaking the gameplay of Raid, our primary game mode, over several months to make it accessible and, above all, fun. We want to continue implementing player feedback throughout the early access phase, and we want to encourage our players to let us know their ideas. We really do read everything!
This release is only the start for Vanguard. We plan to not only add more weapons, maps, and factions but also extend the game mechanics and player experience with additional features to encourage and reward teamwork. We will also have a roadmap, so we are able to be transparent with the community who will see exactly what features are planned in future updates.
Can you tell us a bit more about the Raid mode?
Raid is an attack/defense game mode divided up into a series of areas. Each area contains multiple objectives; the attackers must capture just one of these objectives to advance to the next objective. Lives are very limited for both teams, with players respawning as a team in waves.
The attackers win if they can successfully capture one of the final objectives in the last area before the timer runs out. The defenders win if they can hold at least one area until either the timer runs out or the attackers run out of respawns. The limited time available forces the attackers to press their assault, but they can be creative with their tactics. Meanwhile, the defenders must prepare for an assault from any direction.
The launch follows a successful closed beta. How has your community helped you to get to this point?
We’ve had a great group of people helping us out with beta testing, and all their ideas and feedback have helped make the game even better. It can get a little bit technical, due to creating this unique game mode from scratch, but engaging with playtesters and having creative chats with everyone involved has really helped us to keep improving the game and make it the best it can be.
Have you got any tips for running a successful Kickstarter campaign?
I think the first thing you need to do before you approach a Kickstarter, or any kind of crowdfunding, is to really be transparent about why you need funding and to be as honest and upfront as possible. We made it clear that we only needed the funding goal for basic launch costs, such as servers and middleware licenses. Of course, we use CRYENGINE, and so we have no subscription fees to pay!
We contacted as many games journalists as possible but found the best results came from YouTubers and streamers who created videos based on our type of game-hardcore tactical multiplayer shooters. Our advice would be to engage with them early and invite them to playtests so they can create videos for their community and give their opinion on the game you’re making.
What is your favorite part of the Vanguard experience?
I think you might get different answers if you asked different people on the team, but a couple of our developers were watching streams of a recent playtest and were ecstatic to see people play and have fun with Vanguard. It made the long and challenging development period 100% worthwhile, and we can’t wait to see more players try the game and enjoy themselves.
You can check out Vanguard: Normandy 1944 on Steam right now. Are you making something cool with CRYENGINE? Let us know in the comments, on the forum, or via Facebook, and Twitter. Don’t forget to join the community and our CRYENGINE development team over on the official CRYENGINE Discord channel.