Questions by Mohammad Abubakr, OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Matthew Denomme (Marketing Manager) and FallenAngel (Community Manager)
Crossfire is a great and free FPS game. There are many modes and maps to choose from with many updates coming. Watch out for the future updates such as Zombie Mode and Voice chat! If you want to know more about the game, read my Cross Fire Review. Here at OnRPG we have managed to interview the marketing manager Matthew Denomme and community manager FallenAngel. They have done a very good job at answering my questions. I am sure you will enjoy reading through this interview. Especially if you love first person shooters!
Onrpg: Hello! My name is Abubakr, and I have some questions for you about the very entertaining FPS; Cross Fire. First of all, can you introduce yourself?
MD: Hello, Abubakr. It’s a pleasure to speak with you. My name is Matthew Denomme, I am the marketing manager of Cross Fire over at Z8Games. I’m joined by our Community Manager, FallenAngel, on some questions as well.
Onrpg: I would like to start by asking, why should gamers who are looking for a F2P FPS game stop and give your game a try? What makes your game special compared to the many other FPS games?
MD: It’s my opinion that Cross Fire offers the fullest multiplayer first-person shooter experience of all the free-to-play shooters currently out there. Cross Fire’s breadth of content is unmatched at 25+ maps and 35+ weapons, with new content being added on a regular basis via updates. In terms of gameplay, Cross Fire caters to hardcore FPS fans with its tight shooting mechanics, wide selection of realistic weaponry and ever-expanding competitive community. Cross Fire’s fast-paced and action-packed gameplay also makes it accessible to casual players who just want to get a quick shooter fix. Loading up the game usually only takes a matter of seconds and there is always a game available to play in, making Cross Fire a great “anytime” game. In a similar vein, Cross Fire is widely accessible in terms of its system requirements. The client file is ultra-lightweight at around 300MB, making for a quick download, and its relatively low specs ensure it is playable on a wide variety of Windows-based PCs – even slightly outdated, or underpowered machines. Overall, Cross Fire mixes a lot of the elements that make up a great shooter and combines them into a highly-accessible, and not to mention free, package.
Onrpg: Can you briefly explain the story behind Cross Fire?
MD: The world’s deadliest hired mercenaries are threatening the free world and elite agents from across the globe have been enlisted to stop them. Players choose to become either a valiant Global Risk mercenary or villainous Black List terrorist, and are thrust into the heart of a globe-spanning conflict.
Onrpg: In Cross Fire, many if not all maps are based on places in real life. Are you planning on keeping this up for future maps? Why did you decide to do this in the first place?
MD: For the most part, Cross Fire is a game that strives for realism in its shooting mechanics and setting, while also keeping it fun and accessible to all. For this reason, map locations remain fairly rooted in reality. That said, it’s always fun to break that illusion once in a while and I know a couple of upcoming maps that are a little more out there in terms of realism and setting.
Onrpg: Many users, in-game and on the Z8Games forum, complain about cash shop users gaining a clear advantage over users who don’t buy ZP items. How do you respond to this?
MD: We always make sure our players are able to obtain new items for free by using GP which is earned through game progression. Also, weapon attributes are balanced so that skilled players can compete no matter which guns they use. If players choose to purchase Z8 Points (ZP) using real money, they can have access to items essentially for the convenience factor or customization of characters. In addition to this, we have the Black Market where players can spend GP earned in-game to have a shot at winning ZP items and weaponry. Finally, we also run numerous events and promotions each month where players have the chance to earn additional GP and ZP items.
Onrpg: Cross Fire has a lot of hackers, but I can see you are working to get rid of them as their numbers have fallen. But now there is an aimbot released to the public, how do you plan on fixing this?
MD: Our aim is to provide players with a positive online environment where they can play both competitively and casually. To achieve this, we use frequently updated anti-hacking software as well as constant monitoring and moderation of the game by our crack team of GMs and moderators.
Onrpg: In Cross Fire there are many different game modes to choose between. One of these game modes really stands out, as no other F2P FPS game has this. Can you explain how the developers came up with Ghost Mode and how you made sure that both teams would be balanced?
MD: As you can imagine, Ghost Mode took quite a while to balance properly. You might be surprised to learn that most of the balance in this mode comes from the map designs rather than the strengths and weaknesses of each team. For example, the Ghost Mode maps are generally more confined, forcing close quarters combat. Similarly, a number of alternate paths to each bomb site are available, enabling “Ghosts” to move around the map more stealthily and launch surprise attacks from corners, shadows, and back alleys. Don’t get me wrong though, it definitely was also necessary to ensure “Ghosts” could match up against an entire team of players with any type of gun, while only wielding a melee weapon. As for the origins of the mode, it was invented mainly out of a desire to do something in the FPS space that hadn’t quite been done before.
Onrpg: Can you briefly explain how the replay system in Cross Fire works?
MD: It’s important to note that the current replay system is still not quite complete. In its current state, the replay system gathers all the game data from a match as it’s played and places it into a file that can be later re-created within the game engine. Due to its incomplete nature, the current replay system is lacking key features such as fast forward, rewind, etc. We are hoping to have the replay system fully functional in the near future.
Onrpg: While playing Cross Fire you are able to meet many new people and join a clan. How does the clan system exactly work? Are there any special game modes that are only available while in a clan?
MD: Any player can create a clan in Cross Fire once they have reached a certain rank. As a clan leader, players can invite friends and other players they’ve met online into their clan. The clan page tracks the individual performance of each clan member. Based on an aggregate of each clan member’s point totals, the clan is given an overall rank in comparison to other created clans. This allows clans to track their progress against other clans. As a clan member you also gain exclusive access to our Beta Clan Server. On the Clan Server, only clan members can play together against other clans. Clan matches have specific rules and modifiers in order to ensure all matches are played on level ground. Numerous events, such as the currently ongoing Autumn Assault, are also exclusive to clan players only. Basically, the clan system is the backbone of our ever-expanding vision for the competitive side of Cross Fire.
Onrpg: Can we expect to see any built in voice chat in the feature? I personally think this will greatly improve your game.
MD: We are constantly working on new game features and this is one in development already. The inclusion of voice chat will depend on our ability toprovide a system that works properly and does not add significant amounts of lag to the game.
Onrpg: Just recently, there has been an update which allows you to play in widescreen. Can we expect any more updates which will allow gamers who have a large monitor to play at their native resolution?
MD: Cross Fire currently supports 1280 x 800 and 1440 x 900 widescreen resolutions. Higher widescreen resolutions may be supported in the future.
Onrpg: Are there any new game modes currently being worked on? If so, can you share any information about them? If not, are there any planned for future updates?
MD: The only new game mode I can speak on is the highly-anticipated “Zombie Mode” which will see human Black List and Global Risk survivors staving off the outbreak of a deadly biological threat. I can finally confirm that this mode is in the works, under a different name, with tweaks and features exclusive to our version. OnRPG Exclusive: This mode is coming sooner than you might think! You may want to follow Cross Fire’s social media sites for more hints…
Onrpg: A lot of game publishers are now offering their players different ways to earn cash shop credit. You can do things like surveys to earn CS credit. Will Z8Games ever think about adding this feature? I’m sure this might lower the complaints about cash shop users having too much of an advantage over free players.
MD: This question came at the perfect time. Just last week, we introduced the Z8Games Reward Tool to the site. The Reward Tool allows players to take simple surveys in order to earn Z8 Points for free. This is just one of the many ways we have to make ZP more accessible to our players. We also have partnerships to offer bonus Z8 Points when using specific payment methods, cross-promotion giveaways with gaming websites, as well as our own tournaments and user contests where players can win ZP prizes. In the future, we plan to offer even more ways for players to earn free ZP, in addition to payment options which will certainly make the purchase of ZP much easier.
Onrpg: Unlike most F2P FPS games, weapons in Cross Fire do not expire. Instead there is an interesting repair system. What was the reason of using a repair system instead of having weapons with expiry dates? Do ZP weapons have expiry dates?
MD: We know that many games in this genre have weapons that expire after a certain period of time.We feel that if you buy a weapon then you should be able to keep it. The philosophy is, you bought it and it’s yours. In order to keep the game balanced though we introduced the need to repair weapons after heavy use. If you don’t repair your weapon regularly many of its attributes will drop as it becomes more damaged. After a while, a gun will become so damaged that only a very skilled player would be able to get any kills with it. Under this system, players are offered the choice to avoid repairing their gun in favour of saving up for a new one, while suffering a performance drop in the meantime. On the flip side, a player can continually repair their weapon if they like it and have little or no care for a new weapon. This said, we actually do offer some guns that expire, but these are mostly slightly better versions of existing guns. Players can buy these guns with Z8Points which helps to support our company and keep the game running. When the gun expires, they still have the standard version to fall back on, assuming they keep it in their storage.
Onrpg: What type of gamers does Cross Fire target? (Age, Casual or Hardcore)
MD: As mentioned previously, we feel that Cross Fire has the potential to reach a wide audience comprised of many different types of gamers. For the casual player, Cross Fire is accessible and not too complex from a control perspective. For the hardcore, Cross Fire has a rock-solid shooting model that supports more serious competitive play. Demographically speaking, Cross Fire caters to any gamer above the age of thirteen who likes a good shooter and owns a personal computer of decent specs or even slightly lower specs then most current FPS games require.
Onrpg: While playing any online game, players look forward to events that they can have fun at or just gain rare items. Designing events can be quite hard for an online game, but I personally think FPS game events are harder. What kind of events does Cross Fire have?
MD: We are working on a number of events that will definitely please the Cross Fire community. Currently, we are running our first large-scale online tournament called the “Autumn Assault”. Sixty-four clans are competing throughout October for over 750 000 ZP worth of prizes, including ultra-rare golden weapons, and other great prizes. Expanding the competitive aspects of Cross Fire and building a competitive community around the game is something we are looking at closely for the future. Beyond competitive play, we have a couple of fun and exciting events and updates planned to coincide with upcoming holidays, much like the Halloween patch that went in earlier this week.
Onrpg: I’m sure there are many girls playing your game. How come the girl character is only available to ZP users?
MD: The SPOP female operative wasn’t introduced until quite some time after launch. At that time, we were introducing the Item Mall and had to populate it with items we felt were worthy of ZP (real cash). The SPOP character was a significant addition, so it made it in. We understand this isn’t quite fair to female players, however we have recently began selling the SPOP character separately so it can be bought at a low price if you truly want it. We are also exploring alternative ways of distributing SPOP characters in the future, which might not require a ZP purchase. In the end all new characters, outside the starter ones, will cost ZP be it female or not. So it’s just a question of it being a new special character rather than any other reason.
Onrpg: Well, that’s all I have. Thank you for your time!