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FPS Trainer Interview

The world of competitive online multiplayer First Person Shooters can seem daunting to a newcomer but Developer Play2Improve is trying to fix that with their latest project: FPS Trainer. We got the chance to talk to the Developers at Play2Improve and ask a few questions about FPS Trainer which has just recently entered the beta phase of testing.

PLAYER AFFINITY: Describe FPS Trainer to those who may not have heard of it before?

Play2Improve: FPS Trainer is a free-to-play, browser-based game designed to improve your First Person Shooter skills. You can sign into the game using Facebook and organize matches with your friends.During the game you receive coaching in the form of context-sensitive audio feedback and useful graphical overlays (kind of like an augmented reality FPS). After the game you can analyze your performance using our kill-shot-visualization debrief and post the results and your progress on to your Facebook wall or to Twitter.

PA: Where did the idea for FPS Trainer come from?

Play2Improve: My background is in designing games for education and training (over 10 years experience, developing 25+ shipped titles). If I don't practice constantly I always find myself getting beaten and frustrated whenever I join a public multiplayer FPS like Halo or Call of Duty. The match-making systems are fairly flawed and there really isn't any useful help available or ways to improve beyond piling hours into practicing (which isn't always possible when you have a full-time job!). Strategy guides and FAQs are more suited to narrative-driven, single-player games, rather than dynamic multiplayer environments. More advanced players are usually too busy pwning noobs to help you out.

PA: Why choose FPS trainer, why not RPG trainer or RTS trainer?

Play2Improve: FPS Trainer is the first in a planned series of titles aimed at competitive multiplayer games. The genre is currently more popular than ever before and online multiplayer is booming; therefore, it was a logical choice for our initial product - particularly when such high levels of skill are required to compete effectively online.

PA: FPS Trainer combines small elements from different FPS games, what games do you think influenced it the most?

Play2Improve: The basic free-to-play game is influenced by fast-paced titles, such as Quake, Unreal Tournament and Warsow. The graphical style is somewhat influenced by Tron. We are about to release a realistic tactical shooter add-on pack to help people improve at games such as Call of Duty and Counterstrike.

PA: A lot of Console Gamers play FPS games nowadays, any chance of them getting a console version of FPS Trainer?

Play2Improve: FPS Trainer can actually be played using a pad, rather than mouse/keyboard if you need to brush up on your console FPS skills. Dedicated console ports are planned for later this year though...

PA: Speaking of the popularity of console games, why did you choose to develop FPS Trainer for the PC to begin with when a lot of FPS games these days are very popular on consoles?

Play2Improve: Browser-based games are accessible to the largest audience and offer a good outlet for innovation and proving concepts - just look at Minecraft!

PA: Social Networking integration looks like it is a key part of FPS Trainer, why is this?

Play2Improve: Again, the potential audience for social games is huge - we are aiming to utilize all the benefits that social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, can bring to a more hardcore game experiences - such as scheduling matches with friends through Facebook events, posting results, taunts and progress to walls and making the game as accessible as possible to a casual audience - we aim to replicate the popularity of games such as Uberstrike, which currently has over 1m monthly active users across multiple browser-based platforms.

PA: FPS Trainer is currently in beta, what features will you be adding as time goes on?

Play2Improve: The tactical pack is coming very soon. We have loads of new single player training challenges because the previous version has been more focussed on multiplayer and sometimes people just want to play alone. Our AI training bots are about to get a major personality transplant and will also allow you to practice against your friends, even when they're offline (I can't talk about these features much yet though!). An iPhone/iPad App is also imminent.

PA: What's next for Play2Improve after FPS Trainer?

Play2Improve: We will continue to support FPS Trainer for the foreseeable future, including establishing a community presence in non-English speaking countries, where the game has proven to be surprisingly popular. 
Once the market has been proven for real-time coaching to improve your video game skills, we will move on to other genres. We also have plans to partner with companies with major franchises to add value to their titles with game-specific coaching content.

Check back with Player Affinity for our in-depth feature on FPS Trainer.


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