What do u guys think about it?
Call of duty world at war.
Posted 09 August 2008 - 10:34 PM
What do u guys think about it?
Posted 12 August 2008 - 01:10 AM
For those who haven't seen it yet, take a look here:
Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:26 AM
Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:57 AM
Indeed, especially since it isn't being made by Infinity Ward, but by Treyarch, which has never made COD for PC. And their COD console entries (Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, Call of Duty 3) weren't exactly the best in the series...
It does look good but I have to wonder whether or not it can keep the level of quality COD4 has.
Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:26 AM
Ok guys, here’s a recap of 2 more Single Player levels that we were shown on the Community First Look event. Both look 100% unique, and appear to be a great deal of fun. Enjoy!
Sniper (unofficial name)
You enter the level as a Russian soldier dizzy and confused, the screen is shaking and everyone around you appears to be dead. Voices of German Infantry can be heard until they eventually appear; the enemy platoon walks past you apparently checking bodies to make sure they are dead. Once they move on, your senses set in and you come back to awareness. Across from you awakens a Russian sniper, who is apparently a higher rank because he guides the mission from here on out. Enter actual Gameplay.
The sniper instructs you to take his rifle since he is unable to wield it, due to a wound. You take the rifle from him and he teaches you how to snipe, waiting for the perfect moment, being the hunter. You hear and see German infantry walking about and he instructs you to wait as a tank rumbles by.
At this point you take aim for your first kill shot and wait until a soldier strafes behind a sitting German, pull the trigger – bang, down the two of them go with a single bullet. You waited and waited, only firing your kill-shot when the roar of planes overhead deafened your shot not to reveal your existence. A dog did take notice however and comes after you and your comrade. In the demo, a skilled hip-shot took down the mutt; perhaps a melee would be even more rewarding.
Your instructor (Russian Sniper) teaches you the art of being a sniper and the thrill of the hunt. How a sniper stalks and takes down his enemy, waiting until the precise moment, hunting your enemy… until… you become the hunted. A German sniper has spotted you while rattling off an ineffective shot. Your leader motions to you and makes a dart for a building; you follow and get in safely through a window.
Not sure of the exact sequence of events here, but you are in the house and spot the building that the German sniper is in. The Russian sniper is playing the role of spotter while you are watching the building intently, there are many windows and the enemy sniper never shows himself for more than an instant in the same window (Also mind you, the window the sniper appears in is totally random, so if you replay the level, it won’t be the same the next time). You have to be quick to the trigger with steady aim, as the enemy sniper is pretty darn difficult to spot and shoot before disappearing – also, because as he appears, he is shooting at you.
You take him down eventually and your shot is heard, bringing enemy infantry to your position. You can hear them outside and then MG fire rains in upon the two of you, among Molotov Cocktails which ignite your inhabitance into an inferno. The only way to go is Up since the enemy has surrounded you. So, you climb the stairs while following your leader, once up top you are on the run when the floor gives way and you fall through catching yourself. The screen starts to flash the trademark Call of Duty red damage pattern when your comrade comes back and pulls you up. You get out and run forward and that was it… To Be Continued scrolled across the screen.
This level which we will dub “Sniper” for the time being, was a real treat since we were the first people on the planet to see it outside of the teams at Treyarch and ATVI. When we arrived, it concluded a span of press weeks where this was not shown to them, it wasn’t ready. We were the first to experience it visually, and it reeked of the essence of the Call of Duty franchise, for those of you whom know what I am speaking.
Flying-Boat (unofficial name)
This level takes place in a sea-plane - the PDY Catalina. Treyarch Studios actually had a company make an exact model of the plane that was assembled at the motion capture studio which was used to replicate the Flying-Boat. They used the mo-cap technology to digitally design the skeleton on the plane, to an inch. With that, they were able to create the plane texturally and graphically, down to a roll of toilet paper in the aft of the plane.
They took it a step further in regards to the animation by hiring a Cirque Du Soleil performer to maneuver from the aft of the plane forward, and vice versa to replicate a soldier rotating from the 2 aft turrets, to the one under the cockpit. At first, the nimble performer did it so quickly that it wasn’t realistic, so they had him do it again to more accurately reflect a soldier lumbering through the plane.
With that, as with the plane, they used that geometry to make a digital model and of course the character you see in game. They showed us a split screen of the performer moving through the wooden skeleton of the plane, next to the video game soldier moving through the COD:WW flying-boat and it was a mirror image. Pretty cool.
Anyways, onto the level itself…
You are in the Pacific and engaging Japanese vessels… well… basically a fleet. Hey, it’s a video game, they have to make it fun, lol. Your Flying-Boat has 3 turrets, two of which are aft on either side, and the other is under the cockpit. Your job is to man the turrets while rotating between each depending on the target. Switching between the turrets is animated (mo-capped) by the Cirque Du Soleil performer and will occur with the press of the Action button.
So, basically you let loose on the turrets and wreak havoc on the opposition, but unlike other games, it isn’t simply getting enough bullets into a boat to sink it. You need to go for the spot lights on the boats first, as that will lessen the flack fire coming your way. Then, shoot at the hull or bridge and cripple it. Damage is specific to the area you target, so if you say… shoot the deck, floorboards will splinter up. It isn’t generic damage where you shoot the boat and different places blow up in sequence regardless of where you are shooting. It’s area specific, which is nice.
While you’re shooting, you’ll realize that you need to lead your target depending on your vector in relation to the boat, it’s easy to see this by watching your bullet path splatter through the surf, which again, is really fun to watch. Targets are a-plenty, and you need to be on your game, the fellas at the Studio make it look easy… but dam, there’s a lot going on in that ocean with seemingly endless targets.
Eventually this level ends like the others with a faded screen and To Be Continued… scrolling across. It looks to be really unique and quite a bit of fun, as a result, is one that I am really looking forward to.
So, that’s it for this update guys, 2 new SP levels to chew on and talk about. As always, feel free to ask questions, I’ll answer whatever I can. Hope you enjoyed this!
Makin Raid (Pacific Campaign) – This is what you all have gotten a glimpse of in the trailer that was on the Marketplace this past weekend. It starts with the cut-scene that you’ve heard of, you are on your knees while your buddy takes a cigarette to the eye, followed by a katana blade to the throat. His back is to you when this happens, blood hits the walls, and then the guy comes for you… At this point a fellow soldier comes in and stabs the aggressor to save your skin: Enter actual Gameplay.
From this point forward, you roll through a Japanese village on the shoreline with some comrades. Huts dot the shore with a jungle inland, you fight resistance and make it through the huts and into the jungle… this is where it gets intense. You’re strolling along and all of a sudden a flair goes up where the previous Japanese lying apparently dead, now spring to life – a frantic firefight ensues… followed by “To Be Continued…”
Palelieu (Pacific Campaign) – Ok again you are fighting the Japanese, as the previous level introduced you to the “surprise tactics” of the enemy, this one expands on that concept – and the feel of COD:WW. This is where the flamethrower comes in handy, real handy as you walk through grasslands with trees around, you constantly need to sweep the area with your torch. The enemy lurks in unlikely spots and you need to flush them out. Hit a tree, and a sniper may drop that is tethered with a rope, sweep some grass, and a guy may spring up screaming while in flames.
This is an essential concept, leave no spot unchecked, slash and burn while keeping a weary eye. Light a fire and watch it travel, know wind direction, and plan where you want that inferno to go! Later in the level you fight for a complex and then participate in a ground battle where tanks are everywhere. Pick up a bazooka and get to work… oh, by the way… this works well while you have an Online Co-op friend sweeping the area with his flamethrower!
Multiplayer looks a lot like COD4:MW, in regards to the Graphic User Interface and Gameplay. Those who love the predecessor, will feel right at home. Party lobby, load screens, map selection, etc., all look quite familiar.
Perks – Yes, they are indeed back. To answer the overwhelming concern, last I heard, YES, Martyrdom and Juggernaught will be making a return. They will be balanced by counter perks and it’s being discussed whether perks such as Martyrdom & Last Stand will be viable if you do not still have that perk’s tool in your arsenal (Realism v Gameplay).
XP – Experience points are back, you can earn them in MP as well as in Co-op in order to unlock new weapons, attachments, etc. Again, Challenges take the place of online Achievements and will add to your overall XP. Keep in mind, what your skill is in MP, will determine what the AI is in online Co-op. Since you earn XP in Co-op, the better you are, the harder the AI opposition will be!
Rank/Prestige – When I was there, I saw a level 65 on the screen, I can only assume Prestige will follow that rank given it was 5-Stars.
Vehicles – Didn’t see any being used in the demo, though I know they will be there in “Certain Gametypes.” Not all Gametypes will include vehicles, so those who like them can play them, and vice-versa.
Maps – The first SP map Maikin Raid was an MP map (not sure of the name). Kind of cool because if you are say… getting shot at in a hut, you can shoot out a wall, jump in the water, and flank your enemy. There was another map with a big building, good short-medium range, and another that was more urban warfare type in the streets. Names at the time were still TBD, so I’m not going to go into specifics on those. The urban street map, was in a night setting though.
Kill Streak Bonus: Yes, they are back. At 3 kills you can launch a spy drone (they did exist in WWII) analogous to the UAV, at 5 kills you can call in an artillery strike, at 7… I was not fortunate enough to see for sure, but I’d bet something will be there to reward the gamer.
Attachments: Yup, instead of a red dot sight, you can get an iron cross sight. On what guns and such, I’m not sure… that’s the only one I saw. I’m sure many did indeed exist in WWII and will be present.
Ok, that’s the cut and dry of it fellas… even MORE detail can be found below.
Don't feel like reading? Well then, feel free to listen to these podcasts interviewing other participants of the Community First Look Event:
Hope this helps!
Ok guys, I was going to post a fully detailed story of the walkthrough, but after reading Sparky's recap, it would be quite redundant. As such, here is his in its entirety. I edited it a bit and added some tidbits here are there, credit goes to Sparky, the original doc/url can be found here: http://www.alexromo....=11#comment-345
"Please remember all information mentioned regarding Call of Duty: World at War are from demo levels/footage shown to us which are subject to change in the final product.”
Day: Friday June 13th, 2008
Location: Treyarch, Santa Monica, California, USA
Josh “JD” Olin (TA Community Manager)
Mark Lamia (TA President)
Hank Keirsey (CoD Military Advisor)
Robert Taylor (ATVI Jr. Publicist)
John Lenaway (Step 3)
Rudedog (FPS Admin)
Brandon (Total Call of Duty)
Matt (Planet Call of Duty)
Jeremy - CHEFS (Xbox)
Arriving At Treyarch
Upon arriving at Treyach, we were all guided to a meeting/cinema room where we were introduced to Mark Lamia (Treyarch Studio Head), Noah Heller (Activision Senior Producer), and Rich Farrelly (Treyarch Creative Director).
After a brief introduction by each, Mark Lamia began telling us about their goals with this new title. Mark said the team’s goal is to step up and create a Call of Duty like no other. He hopes they can show the community they’ve got what it takes to make a memorable game. He acknowledged that the PC community might be a little concerned since Call of Duty 3 wasn’t for the PC, but he says the team plans on interacting with and supporting the various platform communities in the future when they get their own forums up and more info on the game comes out.
Mark sounded really passionate about Call of Duty: World At War, and for the entire studio tour that followed he was with us every step of the way answering most of the questions that came up directed at the various developers we met. If he hadn’t been introduced as the Head of Treyarch, I could have been easily fooled he was a Designer of some sort. It was great to see a development studio’s head not only take time out of his day to give the tour, but to also know so much technical behind-the-scenes information about the game being worked on, it showed a good sign.
After Mark’s speech, they loaded up Call of Duty: World At War.
Level Demo 1 (Xbox 360)
Noah Heller would be demoing this level by himself in the singleplayer campaign. The first level we saw is the one you’ve probably read about in the leaked magazine scans, “Makin Raid” (a working title for the level which can change they said).
The level begins with the player as POW witnessing his friendly soldiers get tortured. A nearby friendly refuses to talk, and is sliced on the throat. I was expecting a fade to black as Infinity Ward usually does to cover up violence, but there were no barriers here as you saw a blood splat hit the wall and your friendly die. As the executioner is walking towards the player to execute him, a quick distraction begins in the back and the executioner is taken out. Friendlies have come to rescue you.
As you make your way out, you appear to be on some sort of island near the beach with a squad of friendlies. The water is fluid and the best I’ve seen in any Call of Duty. The atmosphere of the beach and nearby jungle is eerie and realistic, detailed to the brim with FX, ambient sounds, and level design as I’ve never seen before. It was quite an immersion.
Battle chatter is definitely back as you hear your friendlies giving you warnings and directing you. You start making your way across the beach and through beach huts. You eventually see a hut on fire, and as you make your way around it an enemy on fire pops out and attacks one of your friendlies. The enemy on fire is burning up, and you can see his body and uniform turn to ash, the effect not being 100% scripted to happen just at that moment as we saw it happen later in the second level in real time.
As the player makes his way through the jungle, you can hear various animals and sounds from Mother Nature all around you. The sound is unique and plays at varying volumes, tempos, etc., based on which direction you’re facing, how far you are from the sound, and if there is anything between you and the sound… Call of Duty: World At War has now introduced sound occlusion to the series!
Eventually the player makes his way through the jungle to an area where dead enemy soldiers are laying about. A short dialogue sequence takes place… and up goes a blinding flare. The player’s screen becomes disorientated and flashed, and when you come to your senses, the bodies that were lying on the floor are up and ambushing you.
And it was at this point the demo for this level ended, “To Be Continued…” scrolled across the screen.
Discussion On New AI Behavior + Military Research
Rich Farrelly (Treyarch Creative Director) and Hank Keirsey (CoD Military Advisor) jumped in to explain to us how these Pacific enemies aren’t just German soldiers in Japanese uniforms.
Hank gave us a quick review on the Pacific Theater, and how it differed from the European Theater and even Modern Warfare. It was explained that Pacific enemies presented different challenges to soldiers compared to that in the European theater. In the Pacific Theater, enemies tended to abide to Bushido Code which was a way of dying for the Japanese soldiers, taking out as many US soldiers as possible. They would fight to the last breath refusing to be taken hostage.
Japanese soldiers used techniques such as pretending to be dead, waiting for a US soldier to walk over to them, and would then pull out a knife and take out the soldier. We saw this battle technique first-hand in the “Makin Raid” level. Hank also explained how Japanese soldiers would hold live grenades to their chest in hopes of taking out US troops before dying. I didn’t explicitly see this myself happening in the demo levels, but that’s not to say it didn’t happen as it would be a subtle attack technique. It was also mentioned how Japanese soldiers would hide in trees and in the grass waiting, and waiting, for the perfect opportunity to ambush a US soldier.
Rich jumped in to build upon with what Hank had described to us - how the AI logic has been reworked to suit a new kind of enemy. One of the examples he used was how enemies would (and do use in the game as we will see in the second level) use underground tunnels and fire out of small openings that were hard to hit. US soldiers would then need to send soldiers up armed with flame throwers to flush out the holes, but the Japanese were smart enough to pick up on this and project their main fire at soldiers with flame throwers. In addition, the holes or bunkers, were set up in a grid fashion where they could provide covering and suppressing fire to the bunker under attack from the outlaying positions. That way, if the enemy approached a bunker, others behind it would have a clear line of sight to mow down the opposition.
Level Demo 2 (Xbox 360)
Noah Heller and another Treyarch employee would be demoing this level together in the Co-Op campaign via System Link.
This level’s working title is “Palelieu”, A big terrain level with lots of foliage and grass. Right when the level started, Noah wasted no time in showing us how grass and foliage in the level burn up. He pulled out his flamethrower and began lighting grass on fire. It was noticeable how the fire would spread over the grass/foliage.
The mission began, out of the grass popped up enemies. It was very hard to spot them while they lay prone. So both players began lighting the grass on fire to avoid getting ambushed, enemies would get up screaming as they burned alive, their skin and clothes turning to ash.
Enemies were also hidden in trees, and were quite hard to spot at first. One of the players engulfed the tree on fire and the enemy fell dangling from the tree with a rope tied on him (kept him balanced while sitting in the tree). Noah shot the rope which snapped dropping the dead enemy into a rag doll position.
Both players would often switch back to a different primary weapon so they wouldn’t draw fire from enemies since they had flame throwers. As they made their way up the terrain, nearby friendlies were engaging in battle, and one particular friendly was seen spraying his flamethrower and out of nowhere takes a bullet to the napalm backpack and is engulfed in fire screaming, eventually dying.
The level continued as the players came upon a destroyed building housing enemies inside raining fire on the soldiers. The players made their way inside firing their weapons and clearing out rooms with flame. When they made it the other side of the building, friendly tanks came in to battle enemy vehicles. Both players used the tanks as cover as they got closer to the enemy.
One of the players snuck up behind an enemy tank and was able to jump on top of it and plant a grenade inside it, similar to Call of Duty 3. In addition, they picked up a bazooka and broadsided enemy tanks with it – it appeared as if 2 shots are what it takes. And it was at this point the demo for this level ended.
Food and talk with developers
After lunch, we met with Brian Anderson (Treyarch Lead Artist). Brian being a modder himself and a PC developer, was glad to meet the community guys. He went through some new artistic technology Call of Duty: World at War is using.
He opened up Maya (he was using Maya 8.5) and loaded up a tank model. He explained how vehicles now have various foliage and painting decals on each one, so you’ll never see two alike vehicles in-game. He quickly cycled through a couple foliage and painting decals to show us some examples.
Afterwards , he was telling us about Treyarch’s process for making character models. They use scanners to get highly detailed models of uniforms. He loaded up a uniform in Maya and it surely was detailed; he said such a process is better for the team so he can have artists work on fine tuning other models. The same technology is also used for characters, but he said they mix and match certain features from human scans so the final character product feels more organic.
Brain also went over how bump maps are created for Call of Duty: World at War. He loaded up a program called CrazyBump and gave us a quick demonstration on how easy it was to take a simple texture and create a bump map in just a few seconds.
He finished off by telling us how an artist put an insane amount of work into creating a flying boat down to every realistic measurement, with even a toilet and toiletry down to scale in the flying boat. He loaded up the model, hoping it wouldn’t crash Maya, and when we saw it… it looked just as he said.
We headed over to the Animation department where Dom Drozdz (Treyarch Animation Director) and Marvin Rojas (Treyarch Senior Animator) talked to us about the animation process for Call of Duty: World At War.
Dom explained how Treyarch is using a lot of motion capture for the project to achieve a high level of realism in animations. He went on to talk about how real life sets were created to mo-cap from based on geometry from level designers. He talked about the flying boat Brian had mentioned earlier, and how they contracted someone to build a framework of the interior to life-like measurements just so they could mo-cap actors. They used a special actor for that specific mo-cap, a former Cirque du Soleil performer.
Marvin took the floor and showed us screenshots of 2D plans for the flying boat, and then showed us screenshots of the life-like model that was built. It looked really fragile from the screenshots, almost like a Balsa wood model we’ve all made in high school at one point or another, but he said the model was able to support human weight.
He then showed us a video recording of the Cirque du Soleil performer being mo-capped moving about inside the flying boat model. Apparently he was doing the actions too fast at first moving from one end of the model to the other in under 5 seconds, and they had to ask him to slow down since a soldier wouldn’t have been able to move that fast.
After seeing the recording, Marvin loaded up the raw mo-cap feed synced up with a Call of Duty character model and played it for us a couple times. He pointed out how important the characters footing was in the right positions at all time, thanks to the real life model built, making his job easier to fine tune the animation and less time fixing up and syncing the raw mo-cap. Along with the footing, the raw mo-cap looked pretty sharp and synced up with the models really nicely.
Sound Demos (Xbox 360)
Over in the sound studio area of Treyarch, we met Brian Tuey (Treyarch Audio Director) and Gary Spinrad (Treyarch Senior Sound Design.
We met Brian first who elaborated more on what we saw (technically what we heard) earlier… sound occlusion. The room had a pretty decked out sound system, so it was really easy to hear the occlusion of sounds. He loaded up the “Makin Raid” level we saw earlier but without any friendlies/enemies. He flew around the level to show us how the water has occlusion, all the ambient sounds like crickets and bells, FX like fire and wind, and even weapons as he tossed a grenade in front of his view, and then threw another grenade and hid behind a wall… both grenade explosions sounding very, very different because of occlusion and the player being behind a wall and not in direct view of the explosion.
He then turned developer mode on and we could see visual representations for all the ambient sounds being played in the level, and the distances from where you can hear them with end points. He said ambient sounds aren’t automated and have to be put in by designers, but the occlusion is automatically computed by the engine depending on where a player is located, direction a player is facing relative to the sound origin, if there’s anything between the player and sound, etc. When asked for a rough number of sound channels, he said there were about 78.
We also got a sneak peak at an early production of the intro video to the Pacific Campaign; you know those cool videos you would see in Call of Duty 4 during the load screen. The same people who did the videos for Call of Duty 4 are contracted to do the ones for Call of Duty: World at War, and I must say the one we saw at Treyarch looks nothing like the ones in Call of Duty 4. It has its own take on projecting a sort of history lesson and campaign preparation for the player with a WWII style. Although Mark Lamia said it is a video still being worked on, it looked [bleep] good and something I wouldn’t mind seeing similarly done for the other missions.
We then went over to the next room where Gary was working on weapon sounds. Gary told us how multiple mics were used at the gun shoot (they went to the desert and shot the actual weapons live) for each recording, varying from small microphones that people wear for interviews to full blown microphones. Each microphone catches a different style of sound; one will probably have just the right initial fire sound, while another mic has a nice bass to it, and another with a nice ping, or even one where the mic broke when recording. Gary then demonstrated how he took about 15 recordings of one weapon from 15 different mics, and pieced bits and pieces of each together to get a really nice sound effect.
He then hopped in-game to show us how bullets now emit the gun shot sound, the sound itself traveling with the bullet too. In previous Call of Duty’s, when you fire a weapon, the firing sound is played from the player, so if you fire and turn 180 degrees the sound is still the same. Whereas in Call of Duty: World At War, when you now fire a weapon turn xyz degrees, the volume of the sound plays relative to the direction of the shot, and decreases since sound of the bullet is traveling with the bullet.
All in all, there are 7 different sound channels used to voice a bullet… dam impressive. And with the sound occlusion coupled with this “Anatomy of a Sound,” just wait until you hear a sniper bullet zing away from you – breathtaking.
Level Demo (PC)
Over in a small office, we met Cesar Stastny (Treyarch Director of PC Team) and Mike Denny (Treyarch Lead Scripter).
Demoing the PC level would be Kornelia Takacs, famous for her Quake career where she topped the charts by holding the title of #1 female players and was in the top tier of overall Quake players (regardless of ***).
We didn’t see anything new here in terms of footage. We saw the “Makin Raid” level we saw earlier, but now running on a PC. The graphics looked sharper and the level of detail better. Other than that, it seemed the same to me as the Xbox 360 sku we saw earlier.
Cesar was saying they’ve fixed the engine now so that if you own a really high end rig, it will definitely show. He also went on to further explain how the weapons on the PC are planned to be tweaked different than the console builds because clearly a mouse/keyboard is more precise than a gamepad, so the weapons need to be balanced differently.
We met with Dave King (Treyarch Technical Director) who, also a modder himself, gave us a quick walkthrough of some new technical features in Call of Duty: World at War.
Fire being something we had seen earlier was the first thing Dave went into deeper. He explained how wind direction in levels can spread fire, thus playing as a friendly weapon to the player but also a dangerous weapon that can turn on you.
He said the game is now supporting destructible environments, but wanted to emphasize that levels aren’t 100% destructible, just where it would make sense. He ran into a small hut on a beach and started firing at a wall, and little pieces of board would break off, and eventually he made a small door in the wall where he could run through.
Next came water, he showed how fluid water is now; even its physical appearance is great compared to water in the past Call of Duty’s. He threw a grenade into the water and as it exploded, sent a ripple from the explosion origin – analogous to throwing dynamite it the water to “fish.” Water also supports bobbing stuff such as items or even dead bodies. He was also able to go under water and swim, telling us that if he stayed underwater long enough he would begin to lose life.
He got back on land and prepared us for a physics demo using a trap with a tree log tied to two trees. Down below there were helpless AI standing about, and as he shot the trap off, the log swung down taking out the AI who became attached to the log for a few seconds from the impact, and as the log slowed momentum to swing back, the bodies let go and went flying (ragdoll).
Dave then walked into a patch of grass and crouched down, as he moved through the grass, the grass bent in first person view away from the camera as if you were really making your way through the grass. It was a very subtle thing, but quite cool nonetheless.
One last thing Dave showed us was a new sun technology, where if you stare at the sun and then look back down at the level, the players view takes just 2-3 seconds to get back into focus, similar to how this happens in real life. He said it would be more noticeable if you looked at the sun and quickly walked into a darker area.
Multiplayer Demo (Xbox 360)
Our last stop for meeting developers was with David Vonderhaar (Treyarch Multiplayer Design Director). He gave us a quick outline to how popular Call of Duty 4 was, and what Treyarch is going to do to step-up and make Call of Duty: World At War stand out.
He loaded up a quick test level showing us how ranking, create a class, and perks are going to be mechanics they’re using. He said all the perks have been tailored to fit the WWII setting but also balanced out for Gameplay. To refrain from spoiling any perks, I won’t divulge into the ones we saw.
David explained how maps are going to vary immensely, especially when comparing infantry and vehicle based maps. Vehicle maps are going to be very large by scale compared to infantry maps but balanced out nicely so if someone wants to play as an infantry soldier in a vehicle map, they won’t feel out of place.
I had asked if Prestige was going to make a return on the consoles and a debut on the PC, and Dave said yes. Regarding Prestige on the PC, Mark said it isn’t a matter of whether or not it can be done as the technology is already there, but it’s a matter of making sure it isn’t hackable, which he said they’re looking into.
Jeremy had asked if any of the Call of Duty 3 Gametypes would be making a return, and Dave said yes and no. While Call of Duty 3 Gametypes might not make an explicit return, he said they hope to take mechanics from those Gametypes that were fun and create new ones.
I also brought up the question on what were the engine limitations regarding entity, hud, etc limits, and he said to check his screen (he had the cg_drawFps command on), but the screen was dimmed out from not being used and hard to see. He said more information about limitations will more than likely come when news of the Mod Tools surface. But I would assume the limits have been amped up a bit seeing as there is so much happening in demo levels we saw and even the tech demo.
Overall, multiplayer seemed to be up and running fine, I was itching to get some hands-on though.
Quality Assurance Tour (PC/ Xbox 360/ PS3)
Dave quickly walked us down over to the QA department where we saw about 25 people testing, he said there were more on the floor above us. Each station had an Xbox 360 and PC, and about every other station had a PS3 too.
When asked if they had 24 hour shifts for testing, Dave said not yet. Right now testers are doing about 12 hours.
As I said before, the game seemed to be running fine and I would have gladly paid to buy a version of the build they were all playing. The levels looked nice, the ranking and create a class were up and running, kill perk rewards being called, the whole 9 yards.
Multiplayer Designer Tour
One last stop Dave wanted to show us was the multiplayer design team. We all gathered around the multiplayer designers who were working on level designs in Radiant. Dave was explaining what each designer was doing and where they were going with their designs. Just about every level I saw being worked on looked great. Almost every designer had reference photos or concept art on their desk while working on their level, and a couple levels that were farther along in their design process looked almost like the concept art. Treyarch seems to be aiming for a high level of detail and immersion, and are doing a good job of it.
Misc Info (PC / Xbox360 / PS3/ Wii)
That concluded the studio tour, but here are some more tidbits I found out while talking to developers or were brought up earlier in the day.
Both 360 and PS3 will have 2-Player Splitscreen for Co-Op. Both will also have 4 player online Co-Op. The PC will also have 4 player Co-Op, but obviously, no splitscreen.
Treyarch plans to implement a censoring option for those not mature enough for the grittier side of the game; the option allows a player to tone down swearing, gory effects, etc… They are still tuning what exactly and how much of the game would be censored down when the option is enabled.
When asked if the Tools Tester position had been filled, Treyarch confirmed it indeed was by a community member, but had no comment when asked for a name of the person.
The AI limit in Co-Op is 32 like in previous Call of Duty’s. Co-Op itself runs off the Singleplayer part of the engine.
Co-Op on the PC brought forth the question on how it will be hosted; Treyarch said they are still testing various ways of how that will work out on the PC.
When the question came up on if all the Singleplayer maps are going to be included in the Co-Op campaign, Treyarch said they are still working how that will play out, but if a map doesn’t make sense to have Co-Op in it because the level story is suited for 1 player, they will probably not include it in Co-Op.
The game will be/is running at 60 frames per second on the Xbox360 and PS3. The developers had /cg_drawFPS (a developer command to output the frames per second) on all the monitors running CoD:WaW and the game was clearly at 60 frames.
When asked what 360 being the leading platform meant, they described how the iteration process is faster with the 360 development kits, which allows them to tweak from there for all the platforms. They stated more than once they plan on balancing the game out differently on all the platforms because playing with a controller versus a mouse and keyboard is quite different, and therefore they hope to tweak the weapons differently for players using a controller and players using a mouse/keyboard.
They are aware of the bug regarding the sticky aim option and are looking into fixing it so that it is actually off when you turn it off in the menu on the 360/ PS3. In addition, unlike in COD$ MP, you will have the option to turn off Autoaim – thank god.
Although we did not see any PS3 footage and not a lot of PC footage, Treyarch did reassure us at various times the game is working well on all platforms but due to time constraints and sake of not having to see the same footage three times every demo/presentation, they preferred for us to have more time to see various aspects of the game.
Treyarch are indeed using the Call of Duty 4 engine on the Wii, and plan to support the Wii Zapper. They were keeping info on the Wii version pretty low and had no comment when asked about what sort of engine features were taken out, kept, or added for the Wii version of Call of Duty: World at War.
When asked what sort of ESRB rating they were expecting, they chuckled and were pretty sure it is going to be Mature just by seeing “Makin Raid” alone. Although they said the final verdict on the rating will be announced later down the road when the game is officially sent to ESRB.
First and foremost, I have to invest in a 5.1 surround system now to get the full experience with the game’s sound occlusion. That said, I was really impressed by the game and the eagerness exhibited by the developers in supporting the community. It was reassuring of their promises for support to know that most of the developers we met on the tour were from the community themselves and some even help out modders in current Call of Duty 4 community.
Having gone to the Infinity Ward Community Day, I can definitely say that the experience at Treyarch was something like no other regarding what we saw of the game and the hospitality of the developers. Treyarch, in my opinion, are working on nothing less than the best Call of Duty game to date.
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