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Posted June 28, 2015 by Joseph Rositano in Feature
 
 

Smite Developer Interview – E3 2015


While at E3, Rocket Chainsaw had the opportunity to sit down with Smite’s Senior Producer, Andy Anderson.

During the interview we’ve asked Andy for an outline on how the team decide on which playable gods will appear in the Smite, questions relating to the Xbox One beta and if he has any insider tips for new players.

 

Rocket Chainsaw: What process does the development team go through when they pick a new playable God?

Andy: That’s a pretty long process we go through. We start by picking what game power we’re going to assign to the God. We have someone who does a lot of research on the Gods, and we land on a couple of Gods to choose from. We start doing concepts and figuring out general ideas for the God’s personality, characteristics and abilities. Then we start doing actual concept drawings, and then develop from there. We do rigging, animations, effects, and all the general steps you go through to put a God out. We do play testing it which is actually started before the artwork is complete. We test the abilities and try to get it balanced – we do this pretty much every day. It’s a high-level process.

 

RC: You’re currently in a beta for Xbox One. Any plans for Smite to come to the PS4 or Wii U?

A: Right now we’re focused on Microsoft. They’re great partners and we’re happy where we’re going with them.

 

RC: Has cross play been considered for Xbox One and PC?

A: Technically that’s possible, but we feel like there’s not going to be an appetite for that so we don’t have any plans for it.

RC: With so many gods in the game, how do you balance the roster? What kind of tweaks have to be made?

A: We do balance changes in every patch released. Our design team does constant deep analysis, looking at winning percentage and how matches are played. If a God is over-powered we’ll look at ways to nerf them or if they’re under-powered we’ll look at ways to buff them. We also sometimes modify items to help out with balancing.

 

RC: How do you come up with ideas for the Match of the Day events?

A: We have a few people in our team that come up with ideas and we also look to our community . We’re very open with our community and we’re always looking for ideas from them.

 

RC: Any new gameplay modes planned for the future?

A: Nothing yet.

 

RC: Traditionally, online battle arena titles are favoured on PC as opposed to console. What made the team decide to bring Smite to Xbox One?

A: Some of our PC players play with a controller and they gave us feedback that it works really well. The third person camera immerses you into the action more which translates well to a console environment and has a natural feel. It’s been a lot of work figuring out how to make the UI and controls all work on the Xbox One.

 

RC: Have you had any Feedback from the Xbox One beta that has lead to changes?

A: The last patch which we released [on the Monday before E3], we had some enhanced features namely we redesigned the display hub for items. Previously the item menu took up the whole screen but we’ve split this now and items are more accessible with fewer button presses. We will continue to work on improvements through monthly updates which also add additional Gods.

 

RC: When is the final build of the Xbox One version due?

A: We’re expecting to release the final build in late [American] Summer.

https://hirezstudios.blob.core.windows.net/sitefinity/smite/awilix-default-card.jpg?sfvrsn=2

RC: What’s the feedback been like at E3?

A: E3 has been good. It’s been pretty consistent feedback across the board for the game. ‘It’s fun to play’, ‘it’s not that hard’. We’re also seeing really good stats from the beta so far. We’re seeing longer average minutes played with users on Xbox compared to PC. To us this makes sense as a lot of players would be on the couch where it’s more comfortable.

 

RC: Have you got any inside tips for newcomers to the game?

A: Take the base tutorial and play the Practice Arena. Pick out a God that suits your play-style, such as a long-ranged God if you play a lot of shooters and try them out in Practice Arena to get comfortable with their abilities. The single best thing you can do is find a friend to play with.  That person can walk you through it. Our game fun in PvP on its own, but with four or five other friends it’s even more fun.

 

Rocket Chainsaw would like to thank Andy Anderson for taking the time to see us at E3. For more information on Smite, you can check out our Co-Op Review of the PC version.


Joseph Rositano

 
While Joseph's main hobby has always centered around video games, he's also taken an interest in movies, musicals and traveling around the world. No one quite knows what Joseph's true motivations are, but rest assured he is always planning his next grand adventure!


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