K.O.S Interview – MMOFPS Goodness with Counterstrike Engine
Questions by Rickee Charbonneau, OnRPG Journalist
– Brian Udarbe, K.O.S. Game Lead
– Bruce Jeon, K.O.S. Product Manager
– Fred White, Director of Marketing & Communications
We at Onrpg have had the privilege of interviewing Brian Udarbe, Bruce Jeon, and Fred White of the K.O.S. staff. Fred, director of Marketing and Communications told us that “…this is the very first free-to-play FPS that uses the Source game engine from Counterstrike, so players of that game will be able to pick up K.O.S. with a short learning curve.” With tons of creative ideas and focused goals in store for this game, one question remains: So what is an MMOFPS? Take a look at this informative (and somewhat humorous) interview to find out!
Onrpg: What is the setting of this MMOFPS?
Brian: I’ll go ahead and breakdown the story in a nutshell. Basically, a North Korean politician was kidnapped and fingers get pointed at South Korea. South Korea now wants to know why they are getting blamed so they do some investigating. They come across some nuclear weapons and let other countries know so now they are involved. More information about the kidnapping is found and the story breaks off into different parts of the world. Each map plays a different part in the story and the players can experience that while in game.
Onrpg: What sets your first person shooter MMO apart from others on the market? Why would someone play this game over another?
Fred: Well for one, this is the very first free-to-play FPS that uses the Source game engine from Counterstrike, so players of that game will be able to pick up K.O.S. with a short learning curve. The skill slots are unusual as well, allowing you to use certain skills in game that can give you an advantage over the enemy. Also, our Pro System is pretty unique in that it allows teams to wager in-game money (crones) on matches.
Brian: And not to downplay other games but I think our staff definitely plays a pivotal role in the success of our game. Many of us are previous pro players from Counterstrike so we can relate to the players. We know what the players want and we cater to their ideas and suggestions. We are also extremely interactive with our community as you can see on Xfire, mIRC, our forums and in game itself. I think being able to be that close to a player’s perspective is very important.
Onrpg: Recently released in its closed beta phase, this game has been fairly populated by the gaming community. What kind of feedback have you been given as of yet?
Brian: Overall, the players enjoy the game. It’s smooth, there are a lot of weapon choices and it feels like a well-made FPS game. Of course, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done with the game and the players have been helping out a great deal with ideas and suggestions.
Fred: We’ve been getting a lot of great response from the players so far. Our own community is growing steadily, and the K.O.S. Xfire community actually grew to over 5,000 in just the first few days of Open Beta testing. It’s currently one of the largest on their site. We have a very skilled and dedicated player base, and we do our best to cater to them.
Onrpg: Why the name “Kill On Sight”?
Brian: We actually discussed dozens of names and I think we ended up changing the name three times before finalizing it with this name. It has an FPS feel to it and K.O.S. sounds cool.
Onrpg: What are the current game modes of K.O.S.? Are you planning on implementing more in the future?
Bruce: In our current phase of beta, we only have two modes: Team Deathmatch(TDM) and Explode (EXP). We have quite a few modes that we are expecting to release as our client gets closer to launch. Players should expect to see a FFA mode called Deathmatch and more territorial modes like Point Captures. I don’t want to get too much into detail but we are also looking to take our Killbots to a new level as well, so stay tuned for that.
Onrpg: Players have the option to practice vs. Killbot NPCs in order to gain experience in KOS. How is the AI system special in this game?
Brian: I absolutely love the Killbot system because it is very convenient. It allows players to warm up, try out new weapons and fill up empty slots in games until new players come in to replace them.
Fred: You can also set the levels of the Killbots and use them as a handicapping system. Nice when you’re playing friends who might not be as good as you are.
Onrpg: Is the controls scheme generic, or do you follow a different style? How steep is the learning curve of the game?
Brian: Controls are very similar to other FPS games using the WASD movement keys. They are very basic and very easy to learn. The learning curve is very low making it easy to pick up if you are a first time K.O.S.er or even a first time FPSer.
Move Around with Vision Goggles
Onrpg: Will you ever consider hosting game-wide tournaments?
Brian: Already being done. During our closed beta, we ran a successful 16 team 5v5 tournament and we are already speaking with leagues that are interested in picking up our game. Our primary goal for the game is to give it a very competitive atmosphere and try to find the best players in the world to play our game.
Onrpg: Does the ladder system affect your game status? Will a higher rank earn you higher privileges?
Brian: The Ranking System is more for bragging rights. However, we have implemented weapon restrictions that require players to achieve certain ranks to use certain weapons.
Onrpg: Are characters in game customizable?
Brian: Yes, the characters can be customized. First, you need to choose 1 of 6 different Special Forces Units from around the world. Then you can outfit your character with different guns as well as different aesthetics such as gas masks, baseball caps, night vision goggles and sun glasses. We plan to expand on this feature in our upcoming versions.
Fred: Also, each Special Unit has a specialty which gives them a bonus in some form. For example, the Green Berets get a +10% damage bonus on grenades, and increased range when using a knife. The S.A.T. gets a bonus of +5 bullets per clip when using rifles or pistols.
Onrpg: What gave you the idea to release game maps that represent different countries of the world?
Brian: The story takes place all around the world and having maps that reflect that is what gave the dev team the idea to do that. I think it is very cool because in a lot of the maps, you can really feel you are in that part of the world.
Onrpg: What do you find most interesting about this FPS?
Brian: Well, FPS games in general are for both the casual or hardcore gamers. Play a couple games to scratch that itch or play competitively for hours. We still hold that true in our game.
Fred: My vote goes to the graphics and smoothness of gameplay. And the game was designed so that you don’t need a screaming game rig in order to play it and enjoy the rich graphics of the world. Beyond that, we have some of the best players in the world playing K.O.S. right now, which makes it interesting and exciting for all of us.
Mercenary Rescue in Process
Onrpg: If you had the opportunity to make one major change to this game, what would it be and why?
Brian: Add in female models to the game. Seriously, I know plenty of women that would definitely play as women!
Fred: I think plenty of guys would, too!
Onrpg: What are your goals for the success of this game?
Brian: First, make this game competitive. We want people from around the world playing our game showing who is the best.
Fred: And we want to continue to give them the high caliber competition that they are looking for. We aim for K.O.S. to be the one game that players from around the world can play to establish an undisputed ranking of the best that first person shooters have to offer.
Brian: Also, keep the cheaters out. And, stay involved with the community. Hear what suggestions players have and try to implement those suggestions for better overall gameplay.
Onrpg: Will players have to ever expect paying for this game? Will it remain free forever?
Brian: Like all our titles, this game will be free to download and play.
Fred: Players can find our game at www.DONTBLYNK.com. We look forward to seeing you in game!