A couple of days ago, we had the pleasure of sharing an interview we did with Andreas Firnigl, during a Wired Press event in London, to discuss Arcade Paradise. What you might not know, is we also had the chance to meet with a few other developers, played a variety of compelling games and have plenty of other interviews we can’t wait to share with you. Therefore, will you please welcome Jon West, an Associate Producer at Wired Productions as we discuss all things Tiny Troopers: Global Ops:
Taking things to a Global Scale:
Miketendo64: What is Tiny Troopers: Global Ops and how does it tie in with Joint Ops?
Jon West: It is a sequel to Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops, a mobile game that was ported to consoles. Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is built from the ground up for console. It also has a lot more features and looks a lot better and is built for old gen and next-gen so Nintendo Switch, Steam, Xbox S/X series, and PS5. We have added local co-op with fixed screen so players can’t go outside the screen. There is also online play as well. It is all co-operative, there are no competitive modes meaning no PvP but the multiplayer is cross-platform across all platforms as well.
Miketendo64: How does Tiny Troopers: Global Ops differ to its predecessor?
Jon West: Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is a Twin-Stick Shooter that is slightly different to its predecessor. You can only control one trooper, the other troopers on your team are AI-controlled and they follow you instead. In the old game, the team would move as one controllable unit but in this game, though they still follow your lead and will always be behind you, copying what you do.
Miketendo64: What were the biggest challenges in making Global Ops?
Jon West: To be fair, it has taken the recipe of what Tiny Troopers games are, doing the AI rather than a single controller operating all of the units as one. That was the big thing for us. Then it was just making sure that online play, especially cross-platform play online worked. That was probably the hardest challenge; getting the online mode to work properly. Especially in regards cross-platform, which is particularly difficult. That and getting all the platforms to agree to it. Everything else has been generally okay.
Miketendo64: In terms of game engine, Global Ops is running on Unity, correct?
Jon West: Indeed, it is. For Tiny Troopers: Global Ops, the developers have been using a custom version of the Unity Engine so the graphics and stuff is mainly all done by them. It did take us quite a long time to animate how they walked properly. Because they have short, stumpy legs, we didn’t want them to walk like South Park characters. It took us months to get the right. The developers went through thousands of iterations and what you see in-game is the best we could come up with. It’s South Park-esque but it isn’t full on “crapped your pants”. When you upgrade their speed later, they really go for it and it is quite funny to watch.
Tiny Changes, Big Ambitions:
Miketendo64: Having gone from Joint Ops to Global Ops and having a different developer create the sequel, what are some of the biggest things you’ve had to consider when approaching this project?
Jon West: The new premise for the game did take some brainstorming as we wanted to take the game in a slightly new direction whilst staying true to the principles of the game. This also includes trying to keep the troopers looking as close to how they originally looked as well. It is quite a difficult combination to get big heads and small bodies at a reasonable proportion without going too far. The earlier troopers actually had bigger heads than the ones in the new game.
We have come to terms with the fact that the weapons that the troopers hold are always going to clip through them. There is not anything we can do about that because of the size that they are.
In regards customizing how your trooper looks, there isn’t anything in place at the moment with the likes of different uniforms but it might be something we look at with future updates. The HQ can change its appearance though as you complete missions.
Miketendo64: Is there anything you would have liked to add to the Tiny Troopers series?
Jon West: Well, with the Tiny Troopers franchise being quite established as it is, we can’t go too crazy with ideas like shoving loads of aliens into it or something. The game is themed on the military keeping it quite realistic in a way (game’s aesthetic aside). As it is predominantly Kukouri’s title and they own the IP, we have to agree with what they propose so we can’t go too far away from the IP or go to mental with it. Global Ops is a bit crazier than Joint Ops, even though it had the Zombie DLC, it doesn’t go too crazy.
Miketendo64: Having worked on the previous entries in the Tiny Troopers series, can you see yourselves still making more titles in the near future?
Yeah, definitely. 1000%. Joint Opsdid really well, especially at retail. We feel like Global Opswill also do as well and the physical is probably where it will do best on Switch. Tiny Troopers is such a great franchise to work with and Joint Opscontinues to be one of our best-selling games.
Miketendo64: Hopefully, it won’t be the case but should Tiny Troopers: Global Ops not sell as well as Joint Ops, would it still be a winner in your book?
Obviously, it depends. As a business, quite a lot of money and time has gone into developing these games so we would love to see some recoup come back from that. If we don’t see the recoup then it is something that we would seriously have to think about. We would do a post mortem to see what went wrong and why. With the way that games work and current trends, current trends change and things can get difficulty economy wise. As we are working with a lower price range (not $50) for this game, we would like to think that it would still sell well in relation to the budget of the game. That does account for indie games in general, really.
Operational Content Debrief:
Miketendo64: What is the general lineup of weaponry that your units can use in Tiny Troopers: Global Ops?
Jon West: The weapons are split up into primary and secondary weapons. Primary weapons consist of handgun, SMG and Assault Rifle. These are the three main weapons and then there are about eight secondary weapons like the Rocket Launcher, Shotgun, Flamethrower, Grenades, Grenade Launcher, LMG, and a couple more. You also have spawn items like the airstrike and the drone, which is essentially a turret that follows you around.
Miketendo64: In terms of missions and content, how much content is there in Tiny Troopers: Global Ops?
Jon West: There is about 8 hours worth of content in Tiny Troopers: Global Ops. The campaign is made up of six chapters with each chapter having around 6-8 missions, totaling over 40 missions. The game also has a number of difficulty levels including the Insane Difficulty, which doesn’t unlock until you beat the whole game on Very Hard mode.
There are also many different customization options and upgrades that you can unlock. There is plenty to keep you entertained but if you are really, really good at the game and are only playing missions, you could probably beat the game in about 6 hours though a more casual player will be closer to about 8-10 hours.
Miketendo64: Since an Online Multiplayer is available, what is it players can generally expect to do online? Is it just the missions or is there other content/modes?
Jon West: Generally, it is just the story missions that you can play online but they adapt to where you have to press A to interact with objects. It requires all players to perform the action. Interactions also act faster when everyone is together. The concept is the same regardless of what mode you are playing but it does adapt to how many players are playing together. The more players there are together, the more enemies will be added to each scenario to keep the difficulty balanced.
Miketendo64: On the subject of customization, how much is available within Global Ops?
Jon West: You can upgrade and customize your unit and that of your AI team members. One thing that has been removed is the Specialist from Joint Ops so your AI troopers can only have their weapons upgraded in order to rank them up. Your character-controlled trooper can do everything else. The whole point is that when you play local co-op, is that everyone is playing as their main independent trooper so you can have any customizations you want. If one player wishes to be a medic, they can still be a medic. If any of your fellow troopers in your unit fall in combat, you can revive them.
Miketendo64: Is there much in the way of cutscenes in the game?
Jon West: There is a cutscene at the beginning of the game to introduce you to it and then one at the start of every campaign to create a story for them, followed by another at the end of the campaign and one more when you finish the game. All cutscenes are fully fleshed out and comic-drawn with custom sounds and voiced as well.
As the game uses modern techniques with clever uses of lighting and shaders, Tiny Troopers: Global Opsis not graphically demanding on consoles. As for performance, on the likes of Nintendo Switch, the game will run at 30 fps but next-gen consoles will be aiming for 60 fps. If we can get more on Switch, we will try but 30 fps is generally our target. As the game is not a first-person shooter, you don’t typically need high fps.
Miketendo64: In terms of gameplay controls and button mapping, is it the same across all platforms, or are there some variations at play?
Jon West: Controls will pretty much be the same throughout all platforms. The Switch version is a little bit different, mainly because the button layout is a little bit different as opposed to the other consoles’ controllers. The PS5 will have adaptive triggers, haptics, and all the rest of it. For the Switch version, you won’t be able to use a single Joy-Con. You will need to use a pair in order to play as the control scheme doesn’t support single Joy-Con.
We would like to thank Jon for his time in speaking with us and for anyone keen to check out Tiny Troopers: Global Ops, while there is no release date for the game announced as of yet, with Gamescom on the horizon that can easily change in the next week.
About Tiny Troopers: Global Ops:
The Troopers are Back! – Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is a fast-paced arcade twin-stick shooter, in which you lead an entire squad of Tiny Troopers on action-packed missions to take down hordes of unscrupulous enemies from all corners of the world!
Lead your Squad in Epic New Missions – Yes, the Troopers are ready! Battle hardened, razer focused and raring to take on daring new missions! So, suit-up and lead your squad into explosive battles with epic campaigns against legions of heavily armed adversaries, you’re the best of the best, and it’s time to prove it in Tiny Troopers’ biggest ever ops!
Team up with Couch co-op – Be prepared to be thrown right into the thick of battle with explosive new game modes, and remember, we never leave a soldier behind! Are you ready to dodge withering hailstorms of gunfire, evade devastating explosions, and avoid traps? Then answer the call of duty and lead your squad of Tiny Troopers to victory in an all-new multiplayer battles and 4 player couch co-op.