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Insider Chat - Programming Team At Bohemia Interactive

by Steven Williamson on 8 November 2010, 11:38

Tags: 505Games, FPS

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Arma 2: Private Military Company add-on imminent

This interview offers an insight into the programming team at Bohemian Interactive's Studios, who have worked on titles in the Arma and Operation Flashpoint series. We ta;l with Lukáš Gregor, programmer in Brno team, and his colleague Filip Zigo, who discuss engine upgrades to be brought along with Arma 2: Private Military Company, answer questions about developing games for the PC, and talk about life at the Brno office.

Tell the people a little about yourself. What's your role? How long have you been with BIS? Which games have you contributed on and which is your favourite BIS game or mission?
Lukáš: Before I started working on Bohemia Interactive projects, I worked as a junior programmer in Altar Interactive. At Bohemia, I worked on several minor features to get acquainted with the Real Virtuality engine, and wrote some of the localization tools used for our projects. BI wasn't an unknown studio - I'd played the original Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis. It was the first game like that I'd played and, particularly back in those days, it was really impressive.

Filip: I joined Bohemia Interactive when Operation Arrowhead was being finalized. Before joining BI, I worked in a software company dealing with multimedia. I currently work on implementing some new gameplay mechanisms. And my favourite game from BIS? It's certainly our current project. :)

And can you give us a random fact about yourself?
Lukáš: I study at the University of Technology in Brno. I've changed my main subject to Computer Graphics during my work for BI. Filip: Random? 11000110. :)

How will the engine upgrades brought along with PMC improve A2OA's gameplay?
Lukáš: Shotgun shells are something quite common, and now the game's arsenal certainly feels a lot more 'complete'. The new shotgun ammunition will add some additional tactical option, especially in close quarter battles.

Filip: Video playback can give us a great boost for storytelling. People seem to love the cutscenes from the Flashpoint times on, and this technology enables us to deliver the videos in desired quality to anyone regardless of their PC power, contrary to the traditional cut-scenes, where the result depended strongly on the hardware performance.

Specifically, can you reveal a little more about how the shotgun ballistics are modelled?
Lukáš: The main difference compared to the single bullet shot is the spread simulation of the shot pellets. Now the shotgun ammo is simulated differently and is approximated by several small projectiles behaving similarly as in real life; although, the amount of simulated pellets is much lower compared to reality. Normal ballistics still apply, and it is assumed that the shotgun ammunition cannot penetrate materials effectively.

Is there any other use for this technology, or has it been developed solely for the shotguns?
Lukáš: The feature started with an intention to accurately simulate common shotguns shells, but we realized the use could be much broader. The damage cone effect can be configured for various other weapons types, e.g., claymore mines.