Introduction Who is this guy? Game Designer – Red Storm Entertainment Assistant Designer ...
Transcript of Introduction Who is this guy? Game Designer – Red Storm Entertainment Assistant Designer ...
Who is this guy? Game Designer – Red Storm Entertainment
Assistant Designer Designer Lead Designer Lead Multiplayer Designer Creative Director
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Franchise Ghost Recon: Island Thunder – Xbox Ghost Recon 2 – Xbox GR2: Summit Strike - Xbox Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter – Xbox 360
Military Service USMC - 1995-1999 USAFNG 1999-2001 USANG 2001-2004
Modder Started out making mods for Rogue Spear
How are military games different?
Movie Trend Influence on Perception of Reality Military Games, especially shooters, are heavily
influenced by movies, because the public’s perception of what is “real” is so heavily influenced.
The Audience Military Shooters tend to have an older audience than
other shooters. Many military shooter fans, especially in multiplayer, want a more mature audience, as opposed to more mainstream shooters.
The Dev/Publisher A critical part of marketing and selling a military
shooter is distinguishing it from in the market. Sci-Fi games can distinguish themselves visually, even if the gameplay is the same. Military games lack some of that versatility.
Example: Ghost Recon &
Example: Quake & Halo
Why does this matter?
Recap of last years talk – Navigating the Minefields
Range of Military Shooter Games & Genres
The Next-Gen Military Game & Gamer
What’s the difference now?
What gamers expect The majority of military gamers don’t want a
“sim” or an “action game” or an “arcade shooter.”
They want it all! Great Graphics Immersive Gameplay Expansive Worlds Perceived Realism Riveting Single Player Expansive Multiplayer
“John Wayne, Chuck Norris, and Tom Hanks” As war movies have progressed and
matured, so have games.
Games Evolve, Developers Evolve
Next Gen doesn’t change the focus, only the possibilities!
Breaking the mold Identifying your strengths Blending realism, fun, and action Answering the question – “What is your game
about?” Franchise Development – Keeping the core,
refresh the feel
Perception, Perception, Perception! It matters what the player perceives, not what
is actually happening
Production Challenges in the Next-Gen Military Arena
The Push for More and More
As a larger scope is demanded from the games, the need for a strong vision is even more important
The sheer volume of production material is not just a challenge for the Producer. The keeper of the vision must be able to adapt to new expectations of development
Bigger isn’t necessarily better!
Is 200 guns better than 50? There is a tendency to reflexively add “more” of
everything. The standard hasn’t changed – quality over quantity.
You must balance variety versus gameplay distinction. The more of anything you have, the less distinctive those items will be. This is especially true of weapons.
Bigger isn’t necessarily better!
Map size and player funor “Now lets make every map 10Kx10K!”
Play space size must be tailored to movement speeds, engagement ranges, types of transportation available, field of view, etc. etc.
“Big” can mean different things to different people, and on different playspaces.
LOS directly affects “size”
More investment by developers and publishers means more pressure on existing military franchise
Can “New Features” overshadow the core gameplay of your game?
Team Size The more detail in a project, you either
need more time or more people. If you end up with more people…
You must now Communicate Authenticity & Vision to hundreds of developers, not dozens.
Delegation of the Vision becomes key! You can’t do it all now!
GR2 Xbox (Entire Game)
The Killer is in the Details…
With a next generation game, the expectation of quality and the scope of content demand more attention to military authenticity than ever before.
Example: Authenticity Check on a 500 poly weapon model, vs 1.2 million poly normal map model
Authenticity vs Product Placement “The Real Deal” can be great, but put the game
before your contractors, and don’t let consultants overwhelm you. Focus on what benefits to the game.
Case in Point: GR2 v GR3 Ghost Recon 2
Nov 2004 – Xbox Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Mar 2006 – Xbox 360
GR2 Xbox & Summit Strike Staff of ~50
Experienced GR vets, with new folks
Stable Engine Established “GR” Map Design/Mission
Flow Managing New Directions
Single Player Focused Design
“Oh, we are are #2 on Live?” “Hurry, change the ads!”
GR:AW Xbox 360
Staff of 250+, 4 studios Managing Authenticity Feedback Figuring out who is who?!?!
Two Engines Separate SP & MP Development Changes to SP meant double the work for MP
Team Managing Consistency while balancing Gameplay
Inter-studio communication Language Barrier “Old Team” & “New Team”
GR:AW Xbox 360
Contiguous Environment Ambitious SP Plan
How to adapt to Single Player? Focus on SP Consistency, MP Variety
Dedicated MP Team Initial MP Direction – “Put Everything in!” Innovating through design
Customizable Game Modes Co-Op Campaign
Marriage of Marketing and Development (gasp!) Selling our Features!
GRAW 360 – The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly The Good
Separate MP Development led to dedicated MP features
Power of next-gen hardware allowed graphics & art to flourish
The Bad Separate MP Development led to
tons of headaches and work replication Graphics and Art flourishing was a lot of
work! The Ugly
Handling team morale Designing in a Vacuum