Red 5, developers of Firefall, recently revealed their new eSports toolkit for the aforementioned game – one that's really quite innovative. Observer and Broadcast, the two new modes being previewed at Gamescom during the Firefall beta tournament hosted by ESL, have the potential to really help Firefall take off once the game launches.
“At Red 5 we feel that it’s crucially important to eSports and pro players that developers make their games fun to watch and easy to follow”, said Mark Kern, CEO of Red 5 Studios. “This new eSports Toolkit provides an unprecedented set of tools that will help shoutcasters produce the best possible broadcasts of Firefall’s elite competitive gameplay, thus improving the spectator’s overall experience”.
In Observer mode, anyone can choose to watch matches through an assortment of cameras at their disposal including the Action cam, a dynamic top down view of the map that automatically zooms in on action so players can more easily keep track of the action. This is something that has plagued shooter eSports specifically for a very long time. There are also the more static cameras that are placed in key areas around the arena allowing for easily accessible viewpoints and the standard player cams present in other games.
Broadcast mode is where this game will really shine, adding in a number of key features, including on the fly instant replay controls, a multicamera preview for advanced shoutcasters that use two monitors, allowing you to jump from cam to cam quickly duing a broadcast and player cards, a system that uses in game stat tracking to generate professional level stat cards to be displayed during broadcast, much like traditional sports.
I'm looking forward to seeing how well this game does in the coming months. The gameplay certainly seems solid enough, and if there's this level of support for shoutcasters going in, a community following them is sure to follow. Observe what happened with StarCraft II and casters such as Husky and Day. Starcraft would not have had the same following that it did without engaging personalities such as these. Like I said, color me interested.
Dustin Steiner is GameZone's eSports Correspondent! Follow him on Twitter @VGHC_Deitis and check out Video Gaming Hard Corps, where he is a local tournament organizer for the S. FL. Fighting Game Community.