Promising slick shooting, explosive gameplay and action movie flair, the upcoming launch of Rogue Company on Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC is one that has many excited. When we were given the opportunity to find out more about the game, and how the cross-platform magic was gearing up, we just couldn’t say no. And that is where Scott Zier, the Creative Director at Hi-Rez and on Rogue Company, came in…
Hi. Please introduce yourself – what is your role at Hi-Rez Studios and on the development of Rogue Company?
Hi! I’m Scott Zier, Creative Director on Rogue Company. I’ve been at Hi-Rez quite a while, as a Creative Director and Lead Design on games like SMITE.
So sell it to us, why should gamers be interested in Rogue Company on Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC?
Rogue Company is a third person shooter with a unique blend of action paced gameplay and tactical objective based game modes. You get to play as a Rogue, a group of elite Mercenaries that operate outside the law, and drop into exotic locations all over the world. Rogue Company is going to be free-to-play, with crossplay and cross progression across all platforms – we’re putting a big focus on making sure it’s easy to play with your friends, no matter where they are!
What titles have been the inspiration behind Rogue Company? Are there any non Hi-Rez games which have provided inspiration? If so, which titles?
We’re big shooter fans, and love pretty much all genres; action, tactical, hero shooters (obviously we made Paladins), and the BR’s. We’ve wanted to make a more realistic shooter for years, and Rogue Company is inspired by different elements from each genre. For the moment to moment gameplay we’ve leaned towards keeping things fun and action packed. With the game modes we’ve introduced tactical puzzles that provide a meta strategy and fun changing engagements.
With so many weapons and a structured class system, how do you see them factoring into the game “meta”? Will different styles be applicable to avoid overcrowding of classes?
In Rogue Company you not only choose what Rogue you want to play, but each Rogue also has a selection of different weapons and devices they can acquire over the course of a match. That selection plays a lot into the meta role you’ll play on your team.
Are you someone who likes to bust in the front door? A roamer looking for a trade? Someone who hangs back and covers routes? As common in most shooters, optimal weapon ranges matter; Shotguns, SMG’s, AR’s, Snipers, etc. Your use of gadgets and grenades matter. And of course each Rogue has a unique ability and passive that works into your play style.
Rogues all bring something different to the table, and we have plans to continue to add Rogues multiple times per year – a similar model to Smite and Paladins.
Cross-platform gameplay has been promised – what challenges were present in designing things around this crossplay?
We’ve fortunately had a lot of experience with crossplay, having recently added it into both Smite and Paladins. A lot of the challenges are more on the technical and production side; making sure we daily playtest on all platforms inside the studio and making sure new features in development are always multi-platform ready. Cross-testing is very important for the design team, as it allows them to make sure features are balanced and play well, and each controller type gets the attention it deserves.
Our design team has spent a lot of time fine tuning the feel of controler versus keyboard and mouse, and in our testing it’s been transparent who is on what. That said, we’re planning on input based match-making when you are not queuing cross-party. So controller players play together (even if using a controller on PC), and so on.
Has the success of Paladins, Smite and Realm Royale affected the way you’ve dealt with Rogue Company? What have you learned from those games?
Certainly! We’re always applying lessons we’ve learned from our previous games, and trying to improve every day. Those titles have given us a lot of experience in how we approach esports, competitive play, and games as a service. One of the reasons we are launching Rogue Company on Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and PC simultaneously is the staged launch experience we had on our previous games. It was a challenge running multiple betas at different times, and a huge undertaking adding crossplay after the fact on those titles, while also bringing them into synchronous patching. It’s a lot easier to start that way – and better for our players too, as no platform is left behind!
From the gameplay reveal trailer, characters seem to have an abundance of personality. Are there plans for a working narrative? Perhaps through maps and descriptions?
Totally! Rogue Company is an eclectic group of mercenaries that save the day, look good, and get paid. We’re intentionally leaning into action tropes to give players a fun environment to play in – taking inspiration from Hollywood action blockbusters.
We have an overall narrative in progress, which will be revealed through maps, limited time modes, and other upcoming releases after the beta.
With the huge support that your titles have received, how viable do you see the free-to-play market for multiplayer titles on next gen?
We see free-to-play, with crossplay and cross progression on all platforms, as the future of competitive multiplayer titles. That includes on next gen platforms. We want to provide games that are a high quality experience that gamers can play anywhere, with ongoing content, and no limitations about where you can play and who you can play with.
Huge thanks go out to Scott at Hi-Rez for talking the time to sit down and chat about Rogue Company. The game will be coming to Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC later in the summer of this year – we can’t wait to see how it all plays out. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled to these pages for further development process as and when we have it. And make sure you follow Hi-Rez Studios over on Twitter.
And if you wish to know even more, the latest gameplay trailer below should certainly be taken in.