This page is a repository of community information, speculation, and documentation for the game Titanfall.
Titanfall has been the recipient of many awards. Check out the Awards page for details.
Interview with Abbie Heppe, February 3rd, 2014
Sandoval: So one of the things that I noticed a lot in previous interviews is that you’ve made a lot of allusions to influences on Joel Emslie, the art developer and lead artist. One of those things was Ghost in the Shell, and there was also a lot of mecha stuff. So was that something that came early in the development in Titanfall, or was that influence what jump started the project?
Heppe: Not really, I think that once, you know, originally there was work on sorta power armor and stuff that was not really Titans, so definitely a lot of those things came along as the game was developing into more of a Titan-based gamed, and not just one, you know, not just a shooter. There were a lot of concepts early on, and so there was no day that we said okay this is a, you know, everyone, we’re making Titanfall, this is the game, this is what's going to happen. It was a much more organic process, and at a certain time, it became Titanfall.
Sandoval: Now, speaking of shooters, since you mentioned that, a lot of the kind of well known, I guess you could say titans of the industry, excuse the pun-
Heppe: That’s ok we actually hear a lot of titan puns, believe it or not!
Sandoval: Well, a lot of the titans of industry like Battlefield and Call of Duty have this very hardcore competitive edge to it; do you see that becoming a bug part of the success of Titanfall?
Heppe: You know, we get asked that a lot and you know you try to build a foundation for a fun game that is going to be awesome to play, you know . With Titanfall, we’re not going to be shipping with all the same features to support that that games that have been around for however many iterations, almost a decade I think for some of them, have, but I know that there's so much interest from the eSports community competitively, and we’re definitely interested in what they have to say. We can't build the whole game for them; we have to build an awesome game and hope that they enjoy that and are interested in picking it up and playing it, and carrying on Titanfall for the next few months or years. I think at launch it's going to be interesting to hear their feedback.
Sandoval: Now some of the feedback we’ve gotten [on the Titanfall wiki] has more to do with the servers, the Azure servers, how they’re kind of distributed, and there was a lot of concern, especially amongst Australian gamers, as to how that’s going to function with latency and things like that. Are there any plans going forward to make that experience better for them?
Heppe: Microsoft is building Azure servers in Australia, and I don’t know the exact date they go online, but they'll be going online later this year. In the meantime, we have been testing the game in Australia to make sure they don't get a super ridiculous milliseconds lag, and we are also having a beta, so everybody will be able to play and give us their feedback. Obviously we don’t want anyone to have a bad experience playing Titanfall, and I’m really excited that Microsoft is building data centers to support them; I know that there's a huge community of Australian gamers, and I know we had said at E3 last year that we thought they'd be there by now - they're not, but we're doing everything we can to make sure they get a good experience too.
Sandoval: I had mentioned earlier some of the influences in Joel and the entire team; what do you think have been the biggest influences on the development of Titanfall?
Heppe: It's one of those you know, it depends on what department you’re talking to, and what, you know, whether its design or whether its art. There’s tons of things to draw on, because they’re all looking at very different aspects; animation obviously had to deal with how they moved, and looking at parkour and wall running and looking at stuff to deal with that, and on the art team, there’s the great love of sci-fi and a certain very used future, which is the term Joel likes to use, and the design, you can see a lot of influence from very classic third person shooter games, like Doom and Quake and a little bit of Tribes. Not skiing, but that you’re using movement with momentum, so there’s ton of different influences, but I don’t know that i can break it down to three that would encompass everybody at the studio.
Sandoval: that’s one of the things that I noticed in the gameplay, it’s very…it’s not post-apocalyptic, but it feels like it, but very clean and very fresh post-apocalypse, and that’s really refreshing. Was that something that was done consciously or was it just an organic thing?
Heppe: Well, the look of the game is very much on purpose; we're not a post-apocalyptic world, the world of Titanfall is one that's at the edges of the universe, where people journey to build lives, and it's more like getting to the west after traversing the Oregon Trail, but in space. We want people to see Titanfall and say, “this is a bed, this a home”; we want it to be something that is very familiar, but at the same time, you're looking around and saying, “Oh my God, we're in space!”
Sandoval: Now speaking of these beautiful maps, is there any estimation on the number of maps we can expect to see on launch?
Heppe: We get asked the number all the time, and realistically, we want players to just go in and discover a lot of things about Titanfall for themselves, and the number of maps is one of those things. There are a lot, and they are very varied, even compared to what we're showing you today. Fractured has a lot of open spaces, and Angel City has a lot more vertical flanking and jumping off of buildings and sort of weaving in and out of these passageways. There are maps that are higher; there are maps that are totally different. We haven't even shown one of my favorite ones yet!
Sandoval: This seems to all have been very meticulously and conscientiously done. How much of an impact did the community have on the development of Titanfall?
Heppe: We are always listening to them. It's very rare that somebody is saying something about Titanfall on the internet, on twitter, on everything, and we're not aware of it. For us, we're building this foundation that is Titanfall, so there's a lot of things that we found interesting, or we incorporated, or added later, but this is the game we're making. We hear all of that stuff, and some of it is stuff for a future date, and some of it is stuff that would horribly unbalance the game if we did it. I think you'll remember when we were clarifying, 'yeah, this is a 6v6 game'; it's not that we haven't tested it 10v10 or higher numbers, it's that the game wasn't fun when we did that, and we need to make decisions that make it a fun game for everyone playing it.
Sandoval: There seems to actually be a really large fandom within the team, it feels like you guys are actually fans of what you're developing, and that's such an awesome thing to see.
Heppe: Yeah, well you know, we try to explain to people the reason why we do things, and the reason things are the way they are; a lot of people who are asking for things haven't played the game, so us doing the beta and getting the game out there for people to play and figure these things out for themselves is super important.
The Titanfall Universe