Exclusive CoDfiles.com Interview With CoD2 Team

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Nearly two years ago, a World War 2 FPS hit the gaming community and made waves around the world. The first Call of Duty shocked many with it's stunning visuals, amazing gameplay, and gripping mult-player action. In fact, that game is still one of the top played online multiplayer games today. Coming this fall to your PC will be the much anticipated Call of Duty 2 which promises to take the FPS world for a ride again and we're more than ready. I've had the chance to ask a few questions of Todd Alderman, lead designer of CoD2, a few questions about this upcoming hit and he's responded with not only the answers but with detailed bios of the games miltary advisors. Read on and enjoy.
What can you tell us about the amount (and type) of research your team put into the new game? We can only expect that CoD2 will continue the close attention to detail that the original paid. Todd Alderman: As with any project we take on, research and authenticity is at the forefront of development. With Call of Duty 2 we started out with speaking in depth with our military advisors, Hank Keirsey and John Hillen. Our military advisors provided us with great insights into the mind of a soldier and tactics used on the battlefield. This provided an excellent base to enhance Call of Duty 2’s AI, allowing squadmates and enemies to fight more intelligently. Another valuable resource for Call of Duty 2 is our use of reenactors. These guys are WWII experts. They provided us with authentic weapons, uniforms, and equipment used on the battlefield. It proved to be a valuable source for ensuring our characters and weapons look as real as possible in the game. The team participated in weapon shoots. The shoots provided us with authentic sounds to record as well as allowing us, the developer, to feel what it is like to fire WWII era weapons. The experience allowed us to translate that feeling into the game. We also sent many team members on location to places in North Africa and France. The photo reference gathered and experience of actually being there helped us to create a new level of atmosphere. Call of Duty 2 features the battle of Pointe Du Hoc, which many of our team members visited. The difference between just seeing the location in a photograph and actually being there is what allows us to bring home an authentic and engrossing experience. What can we expect to get out of the new game engine (physics, models, the "feel" of the game)? Based off of everything we've seen so far, the game is looking amazing compared to anything we've seen before. Todd Alderman: The new engine allows us to push the envelope even further than before. Graphically, we’ve been able to up the realistic look through the use of normal maps and specular maps. These new enhancements enable us to give the world a feeling of texture and depth. In-game effects have allowed us to push the atmosphere to the next level. The wavy heat haze seen in the North African missions, brutal snow flurries in Stalingrad, and the rain soaked terrain atop the hill at the famous Pointe Du Hoc. We want the player to only feel like a soldier, but to feel like they are actually there. The new engine also provides improvements to the AI. Enemy soldiers use organized tactics to confront the player, establishing a base of fire while the maneuver element flanks your squad from the side. Fortunately, your teammates use the same system to take on the enemy intelligently and to create intense firefights. How interactive is the new "chatter" system? Will the interaction with the NPC's be strictly story driven or will there be different options on how you can interact? Todd Alderman: Battle chatter is a new feature special to Call of Duty 2. Your squadmates will tell you where the enemy is and what they are doing in real time. The sheer volume of voice included in Call of Duty 2 is staggering -- we’ve recorded over 20,000 lines of dialogue. Squadmates will tell you things like ‘Enemy on the left, top floor!’ or ‘Behind that low wall!’ all in real-time. The chatter is context sensitive so your squadmates will tell you exactly where the enemy is all in a realistic delivery, as if you were there and they were real soldiers. The battle chatter system breathes new life into the characters you fight alongside, while at the same time giving you valuable information on the enemy’s tactics. As our advisors informed us, as soon as the first bullet is fired, there is no silence. What inspirations did you have for the new game? Anyone who's played the original Call of Duty can easily find themselves feeling as though they're watching one of their favorite war movies. What drove your imagination for Call of Duty 2? Todd Alderman: Authenticity and atmosphere are big points for us at Infinity Ward. We’ve been making WWII games for a long time and have become WWII buffs ourselves. Books, movies, and historical film footage have always been a staple of reference for bringing the experience to life. With Call of Duty 2, we pushed to take the atmosphere and epic intensity to the next level. What is your (and/or your team's) favorite new gameplay feature? Todd Alderman: There are a lot to choose from. The battle chatter system would rank up pretty high since it brings a completely new element to the game. My personal favorite would have to be the new smoke grenades. I never get tired of seeing the grenade spark, becoming a huge wall of almost tangible smoke, then watching tracers fly through as you duck down to cover while the enemy plows through. On top of looking amazing, they add a new element of gameplay, mobile cover. By allowing the player to cover a specified area and move undetected, strategy and tactics become more personalized. What can the multi-player fans of CoD expect from CoD2? Will it be a new and improved version of the very popular original or are there any new surprises? Todd Alderman: We aren’t releasing any details on multiplayer just yet. Stay tuned.
As we promised, here are the bios on Call of Duty 2's military advisors. Based off these, I'd say this game is in good hands accuracy wise.
Call of Duty Military Advisor Bios
John Hillen John Hillen is one of America’s leading commentators and analysts on military affairs, international security and World War II military operations. A decorated combat veteran with a PhD from Oxford University, Hillen is an authority on warfare and is a consultant to ABC News for military affairs. He can be frequently seen on Good Morning America, World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, Nightline, This Week and other ABC News programs. A prolific author, he has written two critically acclaimed books and numerous articles on military issues. Prior to embarking on his business career, Hillen was an Army officer (Captain – retired) and international security scholar. During his military career he served the world over with combat units including the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, the 82nd Airborne Division and the 5th Special Forces Group, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his combat actions during a battle in Operation Desert Storm. In addition to his PhD, Hillen holds a Master’s degree from the prestigious War Studies program at King’s College London – where he did a number of special research projects on World War II. He also has a Bachelor’s degree from Duke University. Hank Keirsey Hank Keirsey is a retired Army Colonel, decorated combat veteran and authority on World War II military history. He has spent his life coaching, mentoring and building teams, and leading them under stress. Keirsey has created winning organizations that have succeeded under the most demanding conditions, from field training and combat to corporate environments. Commissioned as an infantryman from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Keirsey’s first tour of duty was with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Since then, Keirsey has served in a wide variety of leadership and staff positions both in the United States and overseas. During the Gulf War, Keirsey (assigned as Executive Officer) and his airborne infantry battalion spearheaded the attack into Iraq. Keirsey was awarded the Bronze Star for his role in the successful offensive. After the Gulf War, Keirsey was assigned to the Army’s premier combat training center at Ft. Polk, Louisiana, where he designed a course to train leaders in critical decision making – later becoming the staff and leader-training model for the entire Army. Keirsey holds a Bachelor’s degree from West Point, a Master’s degree in history from Duke University, and has taught history and military ethics at West Point. He is also a master parachutist, a ranger, and has earned the Expert and Combat Infantryman Badges.
The staff of CoDfiles, FileFront, and I would like to give a big thank-you to Todd Alderman for his time and effort in conducting this interview and the great intel he's given us on this game. Please feel free to leave your comments on this article below. Lee 'Big Daddy' Cooper FileFront Network Public Relations lee@filefront.com
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