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From DICE to Danger Close: The Man Who Changed Medal of Honor
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From DICE to Danger Close: The Man Who Changed Medal of Honor

October 24, 2012 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 4 Next

It's interesting to hear you talk about this stuff because we're talking about very concrete things, like people going into other countries fighting each other, killing each other, but at the same time it's abstracted out in this creative process. How does that interface for you in terms of looking at these situations as though they're real situations? Versus looking at them as though they're exciting gameplay designs.

KB: For us, we're pretty focused around the gear. We know that the players out there. They want to use this gear. They want to be in the boots and use the equipment that these guys do. So we want to get that absolutely true and authentic. Like I said, a Swedish M249 has to look like as a Swedish M249 or that feels false.

So, our take on the multiplayer is [that it] turns into a sport really fast. Immersion, in a big way, kinda goes away after an hour or so of multiplayer gaming. What we have done is that we've taken this sport take on multiplayer, because that's what it turns into.

I need to backtrack a little bit -- the international Special Forces I talked about. When we heard our Operators talk about them, there was a lot sense of pride of them. They were very honored by being close to them; they did a great job. But every single Operator we talked about was assured that "my unit is the best one." Some of them in the Army, "The Navy Seals are great, but we? We are better." Same thing for the Seals. They say the same thing.

So, we started working with that, and this rivalry. So we decided to take a page out of the FIFA and EA Sports book and let you represent your nation in a more red versus blue scenario. So I can have my Swedish clan and I can go out and compete with a Navy Seal clan to show who's best. So, where I'm going with this is that, we're trying to stay out of the politics, where we were, to this. It's not about -- you see what I'm saying?

You're saying it's not about the geopolitical situation.

KB: It's more about the units, what they do, their training, their equipment, and them battling it out to see which is the stronger one.

The players want to feel like they're, as you said, in the boots of these operatives. They want authenticity. How much of your audience do you think plays it for that sort of aspirational fantasy, versus people who just play it because, as you said, after an hour, it becomes a sport to them, and they just enjoy the fun of it. Are those mutually exclusive or not?

KB: I don't think they are... I don't think they are. I think the authenticity of the gear is really important, it's important to put the player in -- even if we stay out of the geopolitical situation, I think it's important to put the player in a narrative that makes sense, that he can understand and relate to.

Seeing an M16, for instance, makes the player associate with everything he learned about an M16 from other games, from videos. So I think it adds a lot to the experience even if you're not a gun nut, to know that this is real, this is the real equipment that is being used out there. It's a big deal for me, personally.

I've been told there's a big push this time to have cohesion between the single and multiplayer. I'm curious about, first of all, at a creative level, why that was undertaken.

KB: I think a lot of it was very fundamental stuff. That we wanted to have the same feature sets. The last game didn't always have that, and we got a lot of feedback from players, like, "You can do this is in single player, I want to do it in multiplayer as well."

So it started from there. "I want the guns to feel the same." "I want peek-and-lean functionality to be the same." I think that's just basic player behavior. We teach them that this button does this thing, that this button does A, then that button means to do A, even if the player goes over to multiplayer. I think came from there.

It was also about defining Medal of Honor multiplayer. Then we felt that the multiplayer needs to fit into the Medal of Honor shape. It came from there. But most of all it was just to make sure that the player feels they're playing the same game, you learn how the M16 works in single player, nice, you can step into multiplayer and use it here. Different kind of challenge, but I know how my toolset works.

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