To round out our preview coverage we had a short Q&A with the game’s Designer, Mark Yetter, to answer some of our burning co-op questions.
Co-Optimus: Swarm mode seems to share a bit in common with Monday Night Combat's Blitz Co-Op mode, namely the addition of adding emplacements for defense. Was there any inspiration there? What games/modes inspired it?
Mark: The inspiration for Swarm mode was actually a custom setting of our Conquest mode in the original Section 8 which pitted a small number of players against a bot team 3 or 4 times as large. Players really loved this mode so we wanted to flesh it out into its own fully separate mode.
Co-Optimus: What do you think of the growing popularity of co-op play? Was this one of the reasons you added Swarm?
Mark: The popularity of co-op play isn’t surprising at all. It increases the satisfaction of accomplishments in the game when you can share them with your friends. Collaboration and cooperation are also fundamentally satisfying for players. We definitely had this in mind when we were designing Swarm mode.
Co-Optimus: It seems the maps are shared between the modes, some of the single player sections become multiplayer maps - etc. Are there any design tweaks done on each map for the mode of play you are on?
Mark: The Swarm mode maps match some of the Conquest locations, but we chose and tailored certain control points to fit the type of gameplay we wanted to see for swarm. The smaller map segments in Swarm are meant to support a more Alamo style of gameplay that allows for the defending team to hold out for as long as possible against the overwhelming enemies.
Co-Optimus: How many maps are there planned at launch for each respective mode?
Mark: There are 4 maps at launch planned for both Swarm and Conquest modes.
Co-Optimus: Swarm mode was incredibly fun and intense, but I also found it a bit difficult at first. What's a good strategy for surviving the first few waves of enemies?
Mark: Early in the Swarm match the waves of enemies are much smaller, so the best tactic is to quickly identify where the enemies are coming from. This can be done by seeing them visibly dropping in, and you can focus fire them down individually before they get a chance to get up close. If you can manage the first few waves, you can start calling in some defenses, like turrets.
Co-Optimus: Will we be able to requisition vehicles in Swarm mode?
Mark: Yes, both the Hover Bike and Mech are able to be requisitioned in Swarm.
Co-Optimus: Is there cross platform play (since its using GFW Live)?
Mark: There is no cross platform play.
Co-Optimus: With the bot support, will we be able to play co-op Conquest mode? Basically all humans vs AI players if we wanted.
Mark: Playing Conquest with humans vs. bots is possible in Prejudice, and can be a very fun way to play!
Timegate seems to have really listened to the community for Section 8 Prejudice, implementing a lot of changes requested from the first game, and adding in some great features to boot. Whether the game has the legs to survive is yet to be seen, but the seed is certainly being planted. Section 8: Prejudice is out later this year on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC via digital distribution for $15.