GDC 2005

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					Introduction
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
                              Example: Quake
           Military Games, especially shooters, are heavily influenced
                                                & Halo
            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
    Example: Ghost it from in the market. Sci-Fi games can
         distinguishing
         distinguish
       Recon & themselves visually, even if the gameplay is the
         same. Military games lack some of that versatility.
        Battlefield
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 fun
    or “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”
Franchise Fun?
 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
                 Design Staff
    The more detail in a project, you either need
      GR2 Xbox               GRAW 360
     more time or
    (Entire Game) more people. If you end up
                         (Just Multiplayer)
     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!
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
Summary
Thanks for your time!


      Christian Allen
     Game Designer
    www.serellan.com
   Serellan@yahoo.com

				
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