- Disintegration is a sci-fi first-person shooter combining FPS and real time strategy elements.
- V1 Interactive is a new 30-person independent development studio founded by Marcus Lehto, the co-creator of Halo.
- Disintegration is available for pre-order today on the Microsoft Store for Xbox One, available June 16.
Next week, Xbox fans will have a chance to jump in and play a new type of multiplayer game, one that combines the tactical strategy of an RTS mixed with first-person shooter elements. To dive into more details on this upcoming game, we had a chance to catch up with President and Game Director at V1 Interactive Marcus Lehto to talk about how Disintegration aims to differentiate itself from other multiplayer shooters, its familiar (yet unique) sci-fi setting inspirations, and a few new details about the single-player campaign.
Xbox Wire: The mix of ground forces capturing objectives and field control with the Gravcycle is a distinctive gameplay component that helps Disintegration differentiate itself from other multiplayer shooters. How did you arrive at this RTS meets FPS element as the core multiplayer feature for the game?
President and Game Director at V1 Interactive Marcus Lehto: Several years ago, when I first started working on Disintegration, it started as a very standard RTS with the camera in the sky. We had band selecting and micromanagement of units on the ground just like one would expect. It was interesting and fun to play, yet I knew we needed to do something more to stand out as a unique game, and the standard RTS approach was not going to work.
So, late one night, I had a kind of epiphany, where a vision for how the game could be incredibly different and unique formed. I wanted us to try making the camera in the sky an active participant in combat along with the units on the ground.
We knew within the first week that we had landed on something very special and were very excited about continuing to develop this core concept.
This led to months of exploration which clearly identified several aspects that would require solutions, such as inventing brand new ways to engage with a limited number of ground units that was much more fluid and contextual and felt natural to the player. This was so important to get right because we are asking the player to also control their aerial vehicle and fire on enemy ground units. We had to constantly boil things down to the essentials to keep the core combat loop streamlined and feeling great for the player.
Xbox Wire: The world of Disintegration looks unique and yet familiar at the same time. Can you dive in and share some of the sci-fi/world inspirations that helped bring Disintegration to life?
Lehto: From my work in creating the Halo universe from scratch, to my work on Destiny, and now with Disintegration at my new studio, my style has a certain feel to it which some might recognize. But that’s where the comparison stops. Disintegration plays and feels like a completely different game.
When it comes to sci-fi inspiration, I’ll watch almost any movie, good or bad, because almost every one of them has something that will spark the imagination.
Then, a large part of Disintegration’s inspiration came from the world around us. I looked at our increasing reliance on technology, the human consequence on the natural world, and wondered what could happen if we left these things unchecked. Disintegration’s universe is set in one possible world where logical conclusions are drawn out to create one extreme possible future.
Xbox Wire: Can you share some more details on the story campaign mode of the game? Will it feature co-op? How long is it? Any other elements you want to share about it?
Lehto: First off, I’m a big believer that to build a compelling universe for a game, it must have a compelling story that captures the player’s imagination. This in turn gives legitimacy for nearly everything else that lives within the fictional universe we create, from single player on into multiplayer.
The story campaign will range anywhere from 6-10 hours for the average player. It’s a healthy mix of missions that lets the player slowly master the tools at their disposal over time.
Our focus was to create a great single player campaign. As a small studio, we wanted to make sure we didn’t stretch ourselves too thin, so there is no co-op play in campaign.
Within the campaign, players will be able to upgrade their Gravcycle and story characters that come along with them in missions. These upgrades come from searching for salvage between combat encounters and finding essential upgrade chips throughout the campaign missions.
Xbox Wire: Can you share some more details about the various Crews in the game? What makes them stand out from one another?
Lehto: Fictionally, the Crews are kind of like futuristic motorcycle gangs that each have a unique aesthetic theme they embrace.
Each of the nine Crews in multiplayer are designed to fill a loose role in combat. If a player wants to be the big heavy with massive onboard weapons and huge ground units that smash enemies to bits, then Warhedz might be a good choice. Or, if a player wishes to hold the perimeter and keep enemies at bay with a long-range marksman rifle while also supporting teammates with a healing ability, then Tech Noir would be great option.
We wanted to make sure that players have a healthy choice to pick a Crew that suits their play style.
Xbox Wire: It looks like Disintegration has done a great job of involving the community early in the development process, and most recently with technical beta. What are some of the ideas that the community helped you develop further?
Lehto: The community is and always will be one of the most important parts of any game. It’s especially true for us at V1 Interactive, because we’re a very small indie studio of only 30 people. So, we really do require support and help from the community.
During the technical beta earlier this year, we had a fantastic number of people join us online to stress test the multiplayer game, the servers and really put the game though the ringer.
The community we built during that time was so helpful! They gave us so much feedback on what they felt worked or didn’t and what they would love to see as additional features in the game. We took all that feedback to heart and tackled much of it for the final release.
Xbox Wire: Thanks for the time today. Any final details you’d like players to know about Disintegration before its release on June 16?
Lehto: We’re very excited for you to finally be playing a game that is very different from your typical shooter. I’ll ask that you set aside your preconceived notions of how a first-person shooter is meant to be played and look at Disintegration with fresh eyes.
Thanks again to Marcus for taking the time with us to talk about Disintegration. You can pre-order the game today from the Microsoft Store for Xbox One and play it starting on June 16.