Interview: Pioner Gameplay, PvP, End-Game, STALKER Comparison, Campaign Length and More

Post-Apocalyptic setting in video games is one of the most saturated ones. We have a plethora of games in that setting already. And these games don’t seem like stopping and a new game “Pioner” from GFA Games will be following the same post-apocalyptical footsteps. However, after watching the the reveal trailer of the game, it feels like a mix of The Division (PvP) and STALKER (gameplay and environment).

The game is being touted as an MMORPG as it will feature both PvP and an end-game as well. We had a chances to sit down with the CMO of GFA Games, Alexandr Nikitin to discuss Pioner and its future prospects. He revealed some interesting tidbits about the game and told us that a lot of “big publishers” were interested in the game however, they haven’t finalized one yet. Here is the complete interview:

Pioner Interview

Question: Let’s start with a small introduction. Who is the developer of Pioner and how many people are working on it?
Answer: Our studio GFAGames, now it is 25 people and we are in the process of a big expansion

Question: In how many languages Pioner is going to release? Will we see subtitles in different languages?
Answer: We are definitely planning full voice acting in Russian and English, possibly Chinese. We would like to do subtitles in other popular languages, but at the moment it depends on the feedback we receive after the presentation in different countries.

Question: So the PvP sounds like quite similar to The Division where certain areas are allocated for PvP action. Apart from this, can players expect to see any other form of multiplayer elements like entering someone else’s game for some co-op action or traditional modes like TDM etc?
Answer: We make MMO with an open world, we want our players to move around the world, and not in the “lobby” for a greater level of immersion. And we are in favor of motivated PvP, such as a shootout for killing a boss or control over territory.

Question: In PvP, can players form groups to fight others or it is going to be every man for himself?
Answer: Of course, they can also unite in cooperatives (clans).

Question: Since there is also PVP in the game and it is being labelled as an “MMORPG”, what sort of end-game players can expect from Pioner?
Answer: We will have both PvP and PvE end-game content for everyone to have something to do.

Question: On average, how long it’s going to take to beat the single-player campaign of the game?
Answer: At the moment, the main quest line takes about 15 hours.

Question: After seeing the reveal trailer, Pioner seems only like a blend of different games. Can you share with the fans how this game is going to maintain its unique identity?
Answer: We have a unique lore and we do not know games in this genre, taking into account the setting.

Question: Pioner have Ray Tracing support at launch or maybe, after that?
Answer: At the moment it is in work.

Question: Which digital platforms, Pioner is going to release on (Steam, Epic games)?
Answer: We are in negotiations, at the moment the list of platforms is not approved.

Question: Is there going to be an early access for the game or it will be a direct release?
Answer: We want to start with a beta test.

Question: Will you guys find a publisher for the game or it is going to be an independent release?
Answer: We are negotiating, after the announcement, several very large publishers wrote to us, but everything strongly depends on the conditions. The main thing for us is to preserve the spirit of our game, it is good that many publishers are ready not to interfere with this.

Question: What sort of microtransactions/in-game purchases are we going to see in Pioner?
Answer: Only cosmetic skins that do not affect the gameplay. And even they should be “organic”, without the toxic colors and other things.

Question: Since Pioner is going to have PvP too, are we going to see regular updates (monthly, quarterly) post-launch?
Answer: Of course, we are adding an in-game store just for the opportunity to develop the game and update it in the future.

Question: What are your plans to bring the game on consoles? Are we going to see a next-gen release?
Answer: At the moment, the priority is given to the PC version, the consoles are very interesting to us, but unfortunately we are not ready to release on them simultaneously with the PC

Question: You guys are using Unreal Engine 4 for your game. Did you have a chance to try out Epic Games’ “Metahuman Creator”? The tool is being touted as a blessing for small teams, what are your thoughts on that?
Answer: This is a very interesting tool, it has limitations, but it looks cool.

Question: Let’s talk about Weapon Customization a bit. Weapons can be customized in different ways, right? Are those upgrade have some rarity system like common, rare, unique, legendary etc? How many types of weapons are there?
Answer: The customization weapons system we have ranging from cans as a sight to a laser sight. Weapons in PIONER can be firearms, melee, and projectiles, and of course, of various rarities.

Question: What will be the features of the arm device (just like Fallout I guess) we have seen in the announcement trailer.
Answer: We decided to pay tribute to Fallout in this way, this is a convenient “menu” system served as an in-game tool instead of the Esc button

Question: Will player be allowed to roam the world as they fit or will there be guided sections in the game?
Answer: We will have an open world and locations such as caves. The player can freely move around it.

Question: Last but not the least. STALKER 2 might also be releasing around the release of Pioner. Do you guys see it as your competition? Any concerns that it might overshadow your first title?
Answer: We respect and love S.T.A.L.K.E.R., we consider them brothers, not competitors. We offer a different gaming experience that does not end with quests and we believe that the release of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is rather a plus for us.