Earlier this month 360Monster was invited as part of the Microsoft Xbox Community Network (XCN) to submit a selection of questions, which would be answered in a Q&A session with Rich Farrelly, Creative Director at Treyarch – the developers of Call of Duty 3.
What follows an in-depth Q&A exclusive to XCN members, with Rich recently this month.
Did you have any veterans of the campaign advising on the game?
Absolutely. We have a great advisor called Lieutenant Colonel Hank Keirsey who has a lot of experience in military history as well as tactical matters. He advised us a lot on the way the game looks and feels, and he also acted as an invaluable point of contact for other veterans of the battles. He personally introduced us to four other veterans who were actually in the units that we portray in the game. All of that coming together makes for a very accurate experience.
Have there been any specific movies or TV shows that have influenced the look and feel of Call of Duty 3?
Pretty much all of them! If you could see the bookshop in my office you would know what I mean! I have over 200 books on WW2, I have pretty much every WW2 movie ever made, I have Band of Brothers and this great BBC series that has been invaluable for us. Whether it’s a comic book or a academic documentary we’ve looked at it and it’s had some influence on the game!
So how do the four separate soldiers interact with each other?
Well, every time you see one of our videos we’re wrapping up one part of the storyline and taking you into a new part. This is where the crossover between the soldiers comes in. There are some moments in the game where you’ll see characters from the different nationalities crossing over too, like when one of your Canadian squad members turns up in the Polish campaign. It’ all about cause and effect so there’s a lot of cross over like that for you to look out for.
How many players can play simultaneously in the multiplayer mode, and what new multiplayer game modes have you added?
We really went above and beyond with this. We have 24 players out of the box which is far beyond any previous Call of Duty game on console. We also have 6 game modes, some old and some new. We have your standard Capture the Flag, then we have a new One Flag mode. We have Battle and Team Battle which are similar to Deathmatch modes. We brought back the Headquarters mode from other Call of Duty games. And we have one all-new mode called War which is a kind of progressive Capture the Flag mode. For instance, in a level there will be five flags and you have to fight over the middle one and then once someone holds that position it becomes like a kind of American football game, with both sides advancing and pushing back on the front. It’s great fun and the good thing about having the one specific flag to fight over means there’s always a major firefight going on.
Was the War mode inspired by other games like Battlefield or was it something the Call of Duty community suggested?
Well, it’s the kind of online game mode that a lot of games are moving towards. We worked on another Call of Duty game called United Offensive which had a similar mode in it, so we really took our cue from that and grew it for the Xbox 360.
Tell us a little bit more about the vehicles and how they’re used in the single-player game.
We’re really excited about the vehicle because up until now you’ve only ever been able to drive a tank in the single-player game. Now we’re able to offer you many more vehicles, and we highlight this in the British campaign in CoD3. It focuses on the British SAS operating in central France so you get to drive around in one of these SAS assault jeeps which is bristling with machine guns. The level has on-foot gameplay and then you can jump into the jeep and free drive. We tried to make the way the jeep feels very unique and take advantage of all the fun things you can do in a vehicle, so driving through stuff, jumping over things, doing E-brake turns around corners, being chased and so on. You can even see your squadmates on the jeep firing weapons at the enemy while you drive. It’s a very intense experience and really adds a new dimension to the gameplay.
How does the addition of vehicles affect the multiplayer game?
For a start the maps are larger because there’s so much extra hardware to fit in! There’s much more mayhem too because you suddenly have enemies in tanks, motorcycles and sidecars and so on. The vehicles are multi-occupancy too, so you could have a friend in the sidecar of your motorbike who jumps out and grabs a flag while you take out the defences, then you both roar off! Or if you’re in a tank you can be driving and firing the main gun while your friend mans the machine gun. It’s pretty exciting adding all those new ways of laying waste to the enemy.
Do you think it adds a whole new layer of strategy to the multplayer game because you now have a complete fighting force rather than a group of footsoldiers?
That’s exactly the intention. Some guys will love being infantry men, some people will love commanding tanks, and other will love driving the fast assault vehicles. The really cool thing is that vehicles aren’t invulnerable on the battlefield. If you’re on foot and up against a tank you’re not necessarily helpless – you can hop up onto the tank, drop a grenade into the hatch and kill the crew. In addition to that we also have the class system in place so everyone can now choose whether they want to be a Medic, a Scout or whatever. All the classes have unique strengths so we’re really letting people play the game in the way they want to.
What plans do you have for the future of the Call of Duty series?
Well, we’re just getting this one out the door so we’re concentrating on that for the moment! But we are looking to the future and we’re kicking around a few ideas. Like I said WW2 certianly isn’t tapped out, but that’s not to say there aren’t more possibilities out there. Again, watch this space, and I’ll look forward to sharing more ideas with you all in the future!
Can you see the Call of Duty series being taken out of WW2?
Like I said, anything’s possible!
Thank you for your time Rich!