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    PlanetQuake | Articles | Interviews | Big Fuzzy Focus: Military Forces Q3
   

Big Fuzzy Focus: Military Forces Q3
Taking Military Forces Q3 for a spin
— by Pappy-R


 - click for full size image
While on the ground, check out the details!

Introduction

The Military Forces Q3 version I got to play for testing has actually been a few versions improving for a while. Now at a spot where some fun and definately new gameplay is offered to players, we'll be looking at the same Alpha that will be released to the public tomorrow. This just just a taste of what the project will bring to the Quake III players, but such an addicting teaser, you'll be eagerly waiting for any and all updates that come your way. At least that's how I was about it.

The goal of Military Forces Q3 total conversion is to let multiple people play in military campaigns by using vehicles you've probably all seen in movies or even on the news. So far, we get to play with two WWII planes in World War II mode, four in Modern mode and we also get two ground vehicles in Modern era combat, and this is where some real fun comes in. Here's the list of vehicles to date:

  • (WWII) U.S.A.F. P-5d Mustang
  • (WWII) R.A.F. Spitfire Mk 5b
  • (Modern) F-16 Falcon
  • (Modern) Saab JAS 39 Gripen
  • (Modern) F-5 Tiger
  • (Modern) F-15 Eagle
  • (Modern Ground) M1A1i Abrams Tank
  • (Modern Ground) BRDM2 Recon Vehicle

    *Note: More models will probably make the Alpha release version.
  • Each one of these vehicles is different from the others, even in classes of jets and planes where you'd think one is just as good as the other. Air physics have been tweaked to the point that different planes will suit the different pilots in us all, and making those crucial errors in flight can often bring about hilarious deaths. Landing and taking off alone are something you'll have to learn, and the instrumentation is crucial in these areas. Try landing the F-5 for a while and then going to the heavy F-15 Eagle that eats up runway like it's half priced. Get some ground vehiles going, and the tank can actually destroy buildings for some great campaigns on the one available map. The level you'll get (Desert Storm) is quite large and takes a while to fly across, even at top speed. Having to support ground vehicles that have a long trip to make will be cause for many a grey hair for pilot and driver alike, but get them to the target is what you'll have to do.

    There's definately enough to do in the version of Military Forces Q3 we'll be getting, but how hard is it to change from running and jumping to flying and driving...quite easy. After taking a quick look at the ingame menu, you'll see you have a few new binds to make, and they're important, but easy to do. The flight physics and control is extremely newbie friendly, and after a couple times of hitting mountains, you'll be bombing enemy territory. There is a learning curve to taking this one all the way home, but it's quick and fun to just learn as you go.

    My last thoughts on the Alpha is that the gameplay is a true blast, and the included features are enough to cause a whole lotta people to jump up and take notice. Waiting for more in the way of releases will be the hard part.

    Interview

    Pappy: Tell us a bit about the project.

    Bjoern: In Military Forces Q3 the player gets the chance to move around the maps in all kinds of vehicles (atm only planes and tanks, later also helicopters, jeeps and even boats, and also run around on foot). As in all shooter games the goal is to kill your enemies and stay alive as long as possible. MFQ3 is not aiming to be a sim, it is meant for people playing fps games without having to read hundreds of pages in manuals before being able to control your vehicle. The control system is a simple point-to-fly, where you just aim your camera in the direction you wanna go and the plane just follows you. Later there will be an alternative control method that is a bit more realistic and which will allow you to do all sorts of maneuvers like barrel rolls and loopings (to satisfy the sim fans as well, but still keeping the game as simple as possible). One special feature of the project is what we call "gamesets". This is some kind of mod within the mod. Before starting a game you can select whether you want to be placed in a "modern" environment (flying jets like the F16, and driving tanks like the M1) or in a WW2 environment (using Spitfires and Mustangs and the like). (Later we can also easily support other gamesets that the community would like to see, like for example WW1 or Vietnam or even a future set). Compared to "normal Q3" everything is scaled down by a factor of approximately 8, which means you are quite small (which you can see when you load up one of the standard Q3 maps). This was necessary to have large enough maps with enough space for planes to fly around. Currently we are supporting the standard gamemodes like deathmatch, team-deathmatch and CTF, but later we plan to have other teamplay modes as well (like capture and hold, or also missions like escort a vehicle from a to b etc). Also at the moment we only support multiplayer, but later we plan to have the following modes: Training (where you can learn to handle all those different vehicles and weapons), Single Mission (destroy some target, defend something, escort something etc) and also a Campaign Mode (which is just a series of single missions, where the setup of the next mission depends on the outcome of the previous one).

    Vehicle and weapons wise, MFQ3 is coded in a way that theoretically allows an unlimited number of vehicles and weapons (only limited by memory constraints). When the project started I decided not to have a fixed list of vehicles that will go into the mod, but rather have the community decide what they would like to see in the game. So if someone wants to see an F/A 18, he can just go and make one and send it to me, and provided it is good enough quality wise I will add it to the game (there will most probably be no support for plug-in vehicles as the setup of the vehicles requires too much data to be prepared, it would be prone to cheating and complicate matters too much). In the current version you can find an F-5, F-15, F-16 and JAS-39 and the M-1 tank in the modern gameset and a Spitfire and a Mustang in the WW2 gameset (but there will probably be added 2 or 3 more vehicles for the public release). Weapon wise we have only machineguns, rockets, free-fall bombs and the ballistic tank-gun in the game at the moment. But there will soon be guided anti-aircraft missiles and anti-ground missiles, laser-guided bombs, mines and other weapons. Each vehicle has its own loadout (and therefore its own role, which it is good at) and characteristics (like speed, maneuverability, armor etc). To find out what the vehicles look like and what their capabilities are you can look at the "encyclopedia" which is available both in the main menu as well as in the game. There is also a radar system in the game to help you find your enemies quicker (but careful, it also gives away your position), a GPS to navigate (showing heading, altitude above ground and position) and at a later time there will also be a map to find your way around the landscapes.

    Next: More Inflight Info


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