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Designing Filmic Games: Paul O'Connor And The Bourne Conspiracy
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Designing Filmic Games: Paul O'Connor And The Bourne Conspiracy

March 14, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 8 of 8

Well, to look at it from a film perspective. A camera in a video game is usually a crane. It's not a handheld camera. But people use different kinds of cameras in film for cinematic reasons.

PO: Well, cameras are used prominently in places in Gears of War. When they're sprinting to cover, the camera gets kind of low. I feel like I'm watching Full Metal Jacket or something. It's handheld. It's like "great!"

But that only works because the cover system is so well-implemented and because Gears isn't full of a lot of guys who are sniping you from long distance. The engagement plane is pretty close between you and the enemy, so I can leapfrog to cover and fight guys, as opposed to run out in the open and get shot down.

Then it wouldn't work, because I'd say, "My camera's gotten into a tunnel and I can't see the enemies. It's not fair." But they've given you a break, and they're going to lay off of you, because all of the energy is going to come out of the camera setup for the running.

So we tried to do the same thing. We'll move the camera around, but it's during the fights... I've done the input, and now I'm getting response. If the camera was jumping around on you when you were trying to line up your enemy or do a disarm move or whatever, you'd hate it. You'd pitch the controller in a second, because it wouldn't be playing fair.

The first time I really noticed [handheld camera] it was in Dr. Strangelove. The cockpit sequences in Dr. Strangelove, where they're attacking the airbase, were so authentic that I thought, "This has got to be combat footage. There's no way that they shot this." And that's where Spielberg went back to for Private Ryan.

MS: A key part of the shooting is that we have a cover system. We used Unreal 3, as you know, so our guys had the luxury of picking and choosing the parts of the Gears of War cover system that we thought that fits the Bourne shooting experience.

Because you get the whole Gears source code, don't you, when you get the Unreal license?

PO: We got the whole level layout, too. That was a cold bath for my guys when they saw how they built the Gears of War levels. They look a lot more complex than they are. They're brilliantly executed in that regard.

Article Start Previous Page 8 of 8

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