TennoCon 2018: Warframe enhances sights and sounds with new skins, ‘Frames, pet skins, music, and more
At TennoCon Live 2018 I got to learn a bit more about these aspects of Warframe. Of course, no panel would be complete without a reveal or two, and we were treated to a few fun ones, from the two new ‘Frames and skins to the introduction of pet skins to the discovery of Creative Director Steve Sinclair’s hidden voice role in game.
The Art of War(frame)
Although Revenant was first introduced to the community earlier in a dev livestream, this new warframe got some screen time to show off more details during the con. As the Eidolon ‘Frame, it makes sense that its creation was started for Eidolon and is very influenced by that update.The second warframe was unveiled during the panel and again during the TennoCon Live presentation. Code named Garuda, this elegant death machine was born from concept art by a fan. Garuda is very avian, a combination of a bird of prey and a vampire. She sets herself apart from the other vampiric type of ‘Frame by being extremely visceral with her prey: Her abilities are all about the gore, according to Live Operations and Community Producer Rebecca Ford. That said, devs did point out that she is more elegance and less rage. Her massive claw, however, has not been decided to be part of the ‘Frame and abilities or a new weapon. Ford described her as a harpy, tearing into prey and using them as meat shields.
Two warframes in development may not seem like a lot, but it is more than were introduced this past year. In fact, during our interview Ford told me the one thing she wanted to see in the future:
“I am hoping that Warframe will release more warframes faster. We’ve released one warframe this year and that’s the slowest we’ve ever been, So I’m hoping that at the end of this year we’ve released so many playable characters that people can catch back on to, ‘OK, this is the real fun — the experiementing with different builds and with a new ‘Frame'”
Besides the new playable characters, as expected new weapons and new skins were revealed. What was not expected was the revelation that kubro skins are coming! The dog-like companion that fights by your side has its own skin coming. New weapons include the Prime Gram, a Vauban Deluxe Bundle, Revenant shotgun, a Corpus bundle, and a Corpus Glave. The audience was also treated to a look at the new Venus Solarus United Sentinal.
More deluxe skins are also incoming: First Nyx and Limbo, then Titania and Nezha. (Fun fact: Two of those skins were designed by community designers through TennoGen turned DE employees!) More skins also include one for Nidus where his armor transforms as he adds on his attachments. During the Q&A, devs shared that they are at the point where they are now thinking about the second-generation deluxe skins, so more warframes will be getting their second deluxe skins.
Part of the panel focused on Sacrifice. Devs described how Sacrifice was approached as a play so the world building was more integral than other times. The story in Sacrifice was told using props, so art was very key. They then disclosed that the hospital room was actually meant for something else, so all the original props were scrapped and new ones made. The good news with that, devs said, was that the items are never actually tossed but can instead find their way into decorations for ships or dojos.
During the Q&A for the art panel, devs said they have big plans going forward for the dojos despite the fact they have been left behind for a little while. More customization, like players have for their orbiters is working its way into the dojo system. We also learned that the instrument from Sacrifice will be coming to the dojo. For those who are interested in creating concepts for the game, TennoGen (the avenue for doing just that) is opening up what people can contribute. Another feature that devs will be revisiting is facial customization. Additionally, they will be revisiting customization of orbiters so things that couldn’t be customized before will be sometime soon.
While some may discount the importance of sound in a game, it is a key element of the ambience, and it really bring the game to life. Both the past and future iterations of the game count on sound. For instance, it turns out that sound will also be a main component of the new conservation feature in Fortuna by utilizing the echo-lure to help entice creatures out of hiding. The sound panel at TennoCon focused on in-game sounds as well as the voice acting, even having voice actors present.
While reveals themselves aren’t as prevalent in this panel, we did get a couple of juicy tidbits of news. The first was from the final clip of that video highlighting the making of sounds (with some heavy foreshadowing of Fortuna since it was all ice and snow); the ending hat led to the reveal that Umbra’s roar is none other than Steve Sinclair himself. The second welcome piece of news was when devs said that they felt it was time to make another soundtrack, a comment the audience enthusiastically agreed with. Devs noted that it’s also possible that music that never made it into game (because it didn’t quite fit what was needed) could be included in the soundtrack.
Folks who appreciate the voice acting in the game got to meet some of the faces behind the characters… or more specifically, the villains. The audience was able to hear from the voice of Ballas himself who traveled to the con from Scotland. We also heard from the man behind Nef Anyo and Tyl Regor. A fan cosplaying as Ballas also joined the stage at the end. The actors praised the quality of writing that allowed them to really bring the characters personality and life, and they voiced appreciation at being able to watch the character develop over the years as the game grows.
During the Q&A we learned that while there are no immediate plans for adding more songs to Octavia’s repertoire, the devs would like to at some point. Also, when asked if there could be more variety in tracks for areas in game, the devs said they’d like to revisit and add but needing music and sounds for quests takes priority.
Check out the rest of our TennoCon 2018 coverage!