“What’s it like to design a vehicle for World of Tanks? How accurate does it need to be?”
Those were my first two questions at my E3 meeting earlier this month with Wargaming. I had been genuinely curious as to how the developer/publisher created its machines of war, whether it was a tank, plane, or battle ship.
“Realism is key,” I was told. “You can’t fake something that has decades of history. You need to be authentic.” But how authentic? Can you fudge even a little, for modeling and performance’ sake? “No, not with tanks.”
Wargaming has a dedicated internal team that lives, eats, and breathes the research of the vehicles it intends to use in its games. Known as the “Militaria” team, it focuses on realism and authenticity. Often times they’ll visit locations and factories where vehicles are stored and made, pour hundreds of hours into examining blueprints, and reverse engineer anything possible to make sure they are as accurate as possible. The tanks, ships, and planes need to move right, attack right, and look right.
“Because the people who play our games are fans not of just the digital experience, but of the vehicles in it. They’ll call us out if they notice even a bolt out of place.” The fans are hard core military history buffs, and if not right away then eventually become that. Being a part of the Militaria team means that you’re often thankless. You need to be a dedicated military nut just to make it in the group, and that’s not including the incredible amount of time needed to do your job.
So how long does it take to be that accurate?
“Well, without going into too much details, we’ve spent over three thousand hours on our bigger ships in World of Warships.”
That’s a lot of blueprints.