Splinter Cell Double Agent Developer Q&A

Last 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 the developers of the upcoming title, Splinter Cell: Double Agent from Ubisoft. We put this to our community via our forum and in return we received some pressing questions from our members. Five of the most interesting and inventive questions were selected and submitted towards the Q&A interview.

Today 360Monster is pleased to announce that all five of our submitted questions were chosen for the Q&A, alongside other contributing XCN members (also listed) each with their own pressing questions. What follows an in-depth Q&A exclusive to XCN members, with the Ubisoft Producer for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent, Daniel Roy.

What new things can we expect to see in Splinter Cell: Double Agent that we’ve never seen before in the series? (www.livegamers.fi, www.xboxaktuell.de, www.gamevillage.nl)
A lot of things, for sure! In this episode, Sam goes undercover as a terrorist, so you will be able to see him live and interact with the enemy instead of lurking in the shadows. There is also a much wider variety of environments for Sam to explore, including maps taking place in broad daylight, or on the roof of an international hotel in Shanghai.

What does the Xbox 360 bring to the world of Splinter Cell Double Agent that wasn’t possible on previous systems? (www.xbox360next.de)
For one thing, the X360 being a graphics powerhouse, we were able to really push the visual envelope. As a result, the entire game now looks much more organic and lifelike than in previous installments, and we’re definitely a step ahead of current X360 games. Also, we were able to finally open up the environments, and create some areas where you can see as far as the eye can see. The result, you’ll see, is quite breathtaking.

Will there be any new gadgets for Sam Fisher to use in Splinter Cell: Double Agent? What is your favourite Sam Fisher gadget? (www.livegamers.fi, www.myxbox.at, www.xboxdynasty.de)
There will be plenty of new gadgets for Sam to play with, including new and upgraded vision modes, and some unorthodox upgrades to his existing gadgets. My favorite gadget from previous Splinter Cells has always been the sticky cam, because it feels really hi-tech yet plausible, and it allows you to be really sneaky with the enemies. Well, in Splinter Cell Double Agent, you can still get the sticky cam… But please the terrorists enough, and they’ll upgrade it with a more, well, explosive alternative…

Sam is working with the terrorists in Splinter Cell: Double Agent. How do moral choices affect the terrorists and Sam himself? (www.ng-gamer.nl)
Everything in Double Agent is linked to choices, about whether you will follow NSA orders, or try and secure your cover within the terrorist organization. Ultimately, the choices you make in the game will affect thousands of innocent lives, and some major characters might even live or die depending on your actions.

How have you divided the balance between stealth and action? (www.livegamers.fi, www.xbox360next.de, www.xboxworld.nl)
We didn’t approach this question in terms of balance; rather, we focused on stealth throughout the game, but thought about ways to extend the notion of stealth. That’s how we came to develop stealth in daytime, for instance, or stealth in the middle of war. In this environment, the action is definitely more fast-paced, but it remains a stealth experience; if you don’t avoid the enemy, you will soon die a violent death.

Do you have any plans for downloadable content via Xbox Live Marketplace? (www.360monster.com, www.xbgaming.co.uk, www.gamebattles.com, www.xbox360next.de)
The Splinter Cell series, and the Tom Clancy’s games in general, have always pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with downloadable content for Xbox and X360. In fact it’s safe to say that it’s part of all project teams’ objectives to be thinking about that. So yes, we do have plans for a robust rollout of new downloadable content, but we’re not quite ready to unveil that yet. Right now, we’re focused on bringing a killer standalone game to the fans and new players.

Will there be a spectator mode to see the best players in the world, like PGR 3’s Gotham TV?

Spectator mode is only available when players die, sort of like a kill cam, for learning and improvement purposes.

Will we see the return of our favourite multiplayer modes and will there be any new game types in the mix? (www.360monster.com, www.xbgaming.co.uk, www.xboxliveaddicts.com, www.gamebattles.com, www.xboxdynasty.de, www.gamevillage.nl, www.ng-gamer.nl, www.xboxmaniac.com)
Double Agent Online Multiplayer takes the best from previous Splinter Cell multiplayer modes and integrates it in a brand new game mode. The original teams (Spies & Mercenaries) are back, but with new objectives and a strong focus on making the game clearer and more accessible for beginners and progressively deeper with every match played.

Will there be a separate cooperative campaign for solo and multiplayer? How many missions can we expect to see this time around? (www.360monster.com, www.gamebattles.com, www.xboxdynasty.de, www.xboxworld.nl)
The cooperative game mode is split into numerous coop Challenges. These are missions with one to three human Spies against Mercenary bots. With 4 difficulty levels and various objectives, they’re a fun way to learn and improve as a team. There will be around 30 of these challenges. They include a specific leaderboard and some of them will be included in special events on Xbox Live!

Do you think Double Agent will revolutionize the Splinter Cell series like Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter did for its license? (www.360monster.com)
We definitely hope so! We’ve certainly tried to push the license in new, interesting directions; we didn’t want to just settle with making a prettier Splinter Cell for next-generation. We felt we had to take a conceptual generation step as well.

Xbox Live has allowed developers to do more than ever before with multiplayer games, what will the new Splinter Cell offer in this field that previous versions and other Xbox titles haven’t already done? (www.360monster.com, www.xbgaming.co.uk, www.xboxelite.co.uk, www.livgamers.fi, www.xboxdynasty.de, www.gamevillage.nl, www.ng-gamer.nl, www.xboxmaniac.com)
The development team used a lot the Live functionality, including the friends list, team management and various leader boards. Moreover, the Coop challenges will be delivered as episodic content, and we’re planning competitive events for teams.

Can we expect to see any familiar multiplayer maps from previous Splinter Cell games? (www.xboxliveaddicts.com, www.gamebattles.com, www.xboxdynasty.de)
Unfortunately, no. All the multiplayer maps have been created from scratch. The team didn’t want to reuse existing, old content because that would have diluted the new mechanics in the game, and wouldn’t have reflected well on the new 3 v. 3 dynamic.

How many players will Splinter Cell: Double Agent support? (www.xboxelite.co.uk)
SCDA for the Xbox 360 will support matches between up to 6 players – 3 spies on one side, and 3 mercenaries on the other.

What ideas have you had for the achievements in Splinter Cell: Double Agent? (www.xboxelite.co.uk)
In order to create the Achievements for X360, we sat together all the guys on the team who really cared about Achievements on the X360, and we tried to come up with a list of Achievements we as players would enjoy the most and find the most interesting challenge. I can tell you it was no problem coming up with good ideas, because a few of us on the team share, shall we say, an unhealthy obsession about our Gamerscores. Ultimately, we established a list of Achievements that are both rewarding for casual players, but also offer some cool challenges for hardcore players who want score the whole 1000 points. Unfortunately, my favorite Achievement didn’t make the cut… It required you to knock out all the civilians you could find in the Shanghai hotel, and was called “The War on Tourism”. J

Can you give us any information on the upcoming Splinter Cell movie alluded to at the end of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory? (www.xboxelite.co.uk, www.myxbox.at)
It’s still in the works, definitely… But unfortunately, we are bound not to divulge any details at this time. Sorry!!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our members for submitting their questions to us and stay tuned for more developer Q&A sessions on 360Monster.


Anthony Barker

Anthony is the designer, developer and owner of Console Monster. In his spare time, Anthony is a keen gamer who enjoys playing mostly First-Person Shooters and Racing games. When he is not developing games or tweaking this site, Anthony likes to be on the slopes snowboarding or hurtling down off-road tracks on his mountain bike.

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