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Earlier, we spoke to lead designer Chris Ferriera about the game. Earlier, you were talking about how it went back to desire to make a co-op game. Could you tell me where that came from?
Reid Schneider: Right. Absolutely. So we, when we began thinking about the game, we had a lot of different ideas about, you know, the setting; about where we wanted to take it. So we looked at this sort of, you know, this "cops and robbers" idea... What we knew is that we felt co-op was really -- we began to see the seeds of co-op really taking shape on Xbox... with Halo, and things like that. And we, a lot of us are huge fans [of games] like Double Dragon, and Contra, and the thing was, when you look at when you played Contra as a kid.
We looked at that more and more; we were like: next-gen is hurting for this kind of thing. No one's really [done] that yet. So that's, that's a sweet spot for us. That's where we, that's where we want to be. And the team was, they were really excited about about [it]. So we thought this was, it was for us, it was about having a really narrow focus, focus, you know: Do one thing, and do it better than anybody else. We're not going to be a squad management game.
We're not trying to do squad management tactics, you know, Rainbow Six. This is really about playing co-op, playing with a buddy, or playing with partner A.I., and just enjoying that experience. And so for us, we always said that one of the guiding principles for Army of Two is: "Co-op's not the mode, it's the game." And every design decision we made was always about: "How does this leverage co-op?" And if it doesn't focus on co-op, then don't do it.
How did you go about taking this
idea to management, as you said, and convincing them to go with it?
RS: Well, we were, we were really passionate about it. And had a "won't take 'no' for an answer" kind of attitude. I think we, at EA Montreal, we were really about generating variety, and making interesting stuff. The execs at EA saw what we were doing... we were really thinking about, "This is where we want to be." And we were a team -- you know, credit to them, because the team was so passionate about these ideas. I think that passion, and that focus really convinced execs at EA that these guys really want to make it.
I think whenever you have people who are so passionate, so driven on one core idea, they have a vision; they have a dream that they want to make. That's what sells something. And passion, when you talk to someone who's got passion, it carries over. Whether it's passion about making video games, or playing paintball. People with a passion about something: Those are the people that I want to invest in, and that EA would want to invest in.
Now is this the first project that
the team has worked on? The studio's relatively new, right?
RS: The studio's relatively new. Myself, the animation director, the art director, the lead level designer -- we all worked together at Ubisoft, actually.
RS: Exactly. Yeah, we all worked together -- we made the original Splinter Cell. And then we all came to Montreal as a group, and we -- that was really the genesis of the core team. And along the way, we've added some amazing, amazing people. I'll give you an example: our Lead A.I. Programmer. And our Lead Programmer as well; and our Lead Platform Engineer. These guys have done a great job. Injecting new blood into that team was really, really great. It really forced the team to think of individual directions, and the new people who've come on the team have really made the game their own, and huge credit to them.