It has been over a year and a half since our early environmental test and weapon teaser trailer was released and we feel it's time to reveal some specifics about In Country: Vietnam. Many of the core members of Pop Smoke are long-time veterans of the Red Orchestra mod community, having worked on the successful Mare Nostrum mod for Red Orchestra: Ostfront. Many of us are also experienced clan members since the days when RO was a mod itself. We drew on those experiences when initially setting our goals for IC:V and asked ourselves a couple questions:
- What is it about the Red Orchestra series that has kept us hanging around for over 7 years?
- If we had Mare Nostrum to do over, what would we do differently?
The answer to the first question was easy: the community. Our favorite memories of Red Orchestra are of intense battles with and against our friends, tense moments watching the cap bar creep along, frantic shouts of frustration and joy over teamspeak, the after-battle rush when a planned attack goes perfectly or the relief when the defense holds. These are the memories we want players to experience when they play IC:V.
The second question is just as easy. Simply put, producing Mare Nostrum was a slog of epic proportions. For many of us it was our first time creating a full mod. In many ways we underestimated the effort required. We underestimated the amount of turnover that would happen within the team. We underestimated the amount of stress and strain that some folks would end up enduring to see the mod through to completion. In a few cases it lead to great people burning out and leaving the community entirely.
With these experiences in mind we put down two defining goals for IC:V:
- Squad-sized combat - representative of iconic Vietnam combat and suited to clan play
- Limited initial release with frequent updates
- Two sides, US Army and North Vietnamese Army (NVA or VPA - Vietnam People's Army)
- Basic infantry weapons
These two simple goals have guided our development to this point. We are keeping our greater ambitions in check and focusing on putting together a small, tight, exciting and engaging initial release. That's not to say that we don't have grandiose visions of what IC:V can become, just that we are going to take measured steps to get there.
We also don't want to keep our fans waiting forever! Mare Nostrum was released two and a half years after the release of RO:Ostfront. That's way too long. By the time we released the final 1.41 patch it was over 4 years since we started working on the Mod. This time around with IC:V we want to release much sooner and then follow on with regular game play and content updates as often as practical. Please keep in mind that Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad was just released mid-September 2011 and the RO2 SDK was released in January of this year! We didn't get our hands on it until the rest of the community did. We have however made a lot of progress on IC:V assets using the Unreal Development Kit but that work still requires some porting to RO2. There is then all of the development that had to wait for the SDK such as coding, animating and level design that are now in full swing.
In the coming days I'll be authoring several more posts going into more detail about the content and features we're working on for the initial release of In Country: Vietnam. Please check back for more!