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The Medal of Honor series rebooted with its 2010 iteration. It raised the series' fortunes considerably, but it felt like two different games. The multiplayer was built by Battlefield creators DICE, and the single player campaign was developed by Danger Close.
The new iteration of the franchise does not take this tack, as mentioned by producer Luke Thai in a recent Gamasutra interview: "In 2010, Medal of Honor was also perceived as two separate games in one box. And we've taken steps this year to really bring those two halves together."
To find out more about this process, Gamasutra sat down with Kristoffer Bergqvist, a DICE veteran from Sweden who moved to Los Angeles to join Danger Close as its creative director of multiplayer. He was charged with changing the studio's way of making multiplayer games.
Here he explains how he changed the way the team develops multiplayer games, what defines the feel of a game and how to try to achieve that, and how the team kept out of the geopolitical situation this time around, taking a page from EA Sports' book, not CNN's.
Why did you move over to Medal of Honor?
Kristoffer Bergqvist: I think there was a really interesting challenge. I just looked forward to work with the Medal of Honor team. I mean, we have a lot of guys who's been there since the first Medal of Honor, 14 years ago. Just working with them is really cool. It was also interesting to be able to sit in the office, work together with the single player team to really define what Medal of Honor multiplayer is.
How do you define what it is? I know you're not starting from scratch again, but in a sense...
KB: We started with a very open, or blank, canvas. That's what we wanted to do. We wanted to take what was good from [Medal of Honor] 2010, of course, but mostly we wanted to really root this multiplayer in the close relationship with the former and active military personnel that Danger Close has. That has been a big part of Medal of Honor since the first days.
So we sat down and talked with the U.S. Operators from the Special Forces community for hours and hours and hours, and just listened to them. One of the first things they talked about was the other guys they met, who had been deployed from all over the world. We are an international dev team and so we latched onto that: "This is really cool, we want to get that in." So, a lot of that is that kind of discussion.
They also brought up the entire concept of fire teams, which I don't know what you've read about that; it's a two-man fighting unit we have in the game. It's you and your friend. With such a small unit, we can share a lot of information with each other. So we share position, we share information on enemy positions, we share ammo, we even respawn each other. But that is also a good example of what came out of the discussions with the consultants that we worked with. So it was really interesting working with the franchise from that angle.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter
Did you work with consultants much at DICE?
KB: We did, we did. We had military advisors, both American and Swedish, and they all did a great job. But at Danger Close, the relationship is on a completely different level. It also helps being in the same country and meeting people firsthand, so you can build trust in a different way, I think.
What does that offer you from a creative perspective?
KB: As an end result it brings pretty cool ideas. It can bring ideas on small levels. So, we started designing -- we wanted a booby trap. We knew we wanted that. So we started sketching on this Claymore mine and they came up to us and said, "We don't use those anymore. We use this thing." And they showed us a little mine, we call it the spider mine, that you place and it fires out tripwires in all directions. It goes off. We're like, "That's cool. That's new gameplay right there." And you'll see it in our game.