That also brings up an interesting point when you say you've got a two-man team. Is that a realistic scenario for you -- in the situations that they've been deployed into, in the game?
WM: I'd never do anything by myself. Always going to be at least one other guy. And, potentially there could be three, but if you're going to have three, you might as well have four. So you're usually going to be in pairs; so you can operate in pairs, typically. And usually, and in a lot of cases, those pairs are joined together, so you'll have a six-man team somewhere, where you can operate together. But you're not going to be out there by yourself. Too much of a liability on the company, anyway. Who's going to do that? No one guy can do all that.
But at the same time, like, like I said earlier: there is a profit to be made, because this is private business. So, if I can send six very, very highly trained guys into an area, pay 'em a little bit more -- or a lot more -- be able to make a better profit than sending twelve guys, that's better for me.
And it could be better for them as well: it's a lower profile, they're able to get the job done, and if they need help, maybe they'll train indigenous forces to be their shooters. Pay 'em in cash. Get them on board. You know? Go to Afghanistan, train up a bunch of hardcore Afghan fighters to be on their team, instead of bringing in twenty Americans -- or, we call 'em "patriots". "Patriot fighters". Or "Third-Country Nationals." It's the way to go.
This is high-level talks, about how stuff goes, or might go. How much of that drills down to the game? How much do you feed in? Do you just feed this stuff in, and then the developers take it and run with it?
WM: Well the beauty of it is, is: you're going to play in these scenarios, and then in between scenarios, there's cinematics that kind of describe what's going on. And that's the beauty of animation. I mean, you can create a story, and make it anything you want. As opposed to trying to shoot a movie, I mean it's difficult to do that.
Although everybody's becoming more technologically advanced, and people are just getting basically smarter, because there's more information available to everybody. And they're able to do that in the game; they're able to kind of make you smart on what's going on, from start to finish. So you're going to start out, really, knowing really nothing about what's going on; by the end of the game, you're understanding.
And at the same time, they can tell a story. So they can either make it go good or bad, or they could just kind of keep it the same. But they, they're able to tell that story through the game, with the smart use of the cinematics, and you get smart on the game as you go. You're able to learn different things, and gain more money, and buy more weapons, or, you know, customize your weapons better, so...
Would you say your influence was more in the, you know, the nitty-gritty of what these guys might encounter; how they might operate? Or was it more in terms of the story? Where did your influence come in?
WM: I think it was different levels. Obviously, in the beginning, they were more interested in getting some of the hard stuff down. Like, you know, how do we customize weapons. And I played a big part in the customization of the weapons; because you can kind of sit there and pontificate, and come up with a lot of ways to do it, but to really make 'em look real, and to make them look good -- and then there's, like, a couple "fantasy weapons." Where they really bling the stuff out; it's really kind of funny. But you got to have that whole level, because being in situations like this is funny. I mean, the whole God damned thing's funny, if you ask me.
WM: Yeah, it is surreal. But no, there were different levels. There's like, down into the nitty-gritty of how the actual equipment and gear looks, all they way up to just conceptual issues, like in the writing. So...
Do you think that, like, the stuff like the "blinged out" weapons -- and I mean that word has been tossed around a lot, as regards this game -- and also the skull-masks -- do you think that's a little silly?
WM: Once again, we're back to "entertaining." You know, do you want a couple of guys that have just human-looking faces, or do you want a couple of guys that are running around blasting people, one guy's got a skull mask, and the other guy looks like he's got flames on the side? I mean, that's cool. And to sell the game, the game's got to be cool. And this game's definitely got those elements.
Now realistically? You know, if you're over in the desert, in 120 degree heat, do you want a ballistic mask on your face that's not really going to withstand a shot from an AK-47 round? A 7-6-2 by 39 round, with a steel penetrator that's going to go through a ballistic face shield? Unless it's got a metal plate in it. They're not made of ceramic, so yeah, realistically? It's not normal. But then again, you're not going to wear a big riot face mask that you've seen police do -- that have a big giant, thick shield on the front of it? I mean, you're going to have to have a big-ass neck to carry that thing around. Like a bison.
So those are unrealistic pieces, so why add 'em? I mean, let's make those guys look daunting, and cool. You've seen -- you've got commando teams all over the world, that wear balaclavas, and wear face masks when they do missions, and they go, and they look scary, and they hit. And that -- there's a purpose for that. They're supposed to dominate that room; they're supposed to go in there and scare the living crap out of you. And it adds a whole level of domineering to, to it. And that's what they do. And so that adds that element of it. They do it very well.