Ghost Recon 3 : Advanced Warfighter GRIN Interview
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Bo Andersson, CEO of GR:AW Developer GRIN.
Location : Leipzig Games convention, Germany, August 2005.
Interviewer : Whiteknight, GhostRecon.net.
Ubisoft recently sent me to the Games Convention 2005 in Leipzig, Germany. For those who do not know of Leipzig, think Johann Sebastian Bach. While there, I attended the press showing of Ghost Recon : Advanced Warfighter.
I met with Michael Zolna (who has hair almost as long as mine; someone commented that he was a heavy metal dude) and Marc Homayounpour at the Ubi booth on the show floor. Taking me back to the Ubi break room, Marc offered me soft drinks and snacks and a place to keep the 6 pack of Coke I brought for Bo Andersson (CEO of GR:AW Developer GRIN). I had introduced myself with my real name but when I told them my "Whiteknight" nickname, the light bulb of recognition went off, and they knew exactly who I was. It seems that my words, thoughts and opinions have really wormed their way through to Ubi. I don’t know if that is a good thing or not.
The Glass Hall at Leipzig Fair.
I wandered around the hall floor while Marc set up the time for me to attend the press briefing. It was during this time that I tried Rainbow Six: Lockdown for the Xbox. I will do a mini report on that for AGR-S.com later. I also tried SimBin’s GT Legends out in a Playseats Racing Cockpit. Normally I am terrible at road courses, but once I got to feel comfortable in it, I was able to get faster lap times. I could imagine having one in my living room, but what I really want is the hydraulic simulator that they had. You need to wear the seat belt to stay strapped in, as it will toss you around if you don’t. If you hit the wall with the car, the seat will roll 90 degrees from the upright position.
Enough about that, let’s get to GRAW.
I first met with Mathieu Girard, the Senior Producer at Ubisoft for the press preview and shared it with Volker Holstein of Games-Power-World (a German games magazine) and another reporter who's name I don’t recall. Mathieu did the standard press preview and answered the basic questions that the three of us had. One of the first things I noticed other than the FPWV was the reticule. It is an almost exact replica of the original reticule we had in GR. He showed us some of the animations with the sliding and diving. I think some will like being able to see your character's feet while doing so. I personally am undecided on the sliding feature, but it may come in handy when under assault from enemy fighters. While most of what I was shown by Mathieu has already been reported on, I will share things not found in the usual fluff pieces by the regular press.
Mathieu Girard, Whiteknight and Bo Andersson
After the press briefing, I talked Mathieu into setting up a meeting with Bo from GRIN. While waiting around for Bo, I enjoyed some of the free Coca-Cola that Ubisoft had provided for the event while meeting other Ubi personnel such as Romain De Waubert De Genlis (producer), Stéphane Decroix (executive producer, related how he had to drop the "e" from his first name when he came to the States to keep from being confused as woman), Mario Lienhart (account manager west) and 2 producers from the Ubi Romania studios that are working on 187 Ride or Die. As it turns out, they are staying down near where I was. I knew this as I saw the two vans that were wrapped in the artwork from the game. Everyone I met at the press booth was really nice and indulged me in the questions I asked of them.
Bo arrived about 1 PM and as it was, Mathieu was getting a lunch break at that time so I got Bo and the demo to myself. I didn’t get to play it, though I wish I could have. Bo showed me some of the finer details about the game and told me a bit about what he also wants to try and add to the game. It was also at this time, I presented Bo with a 6 pack of Coke Classic made right here in Atlanta along with a glass to drink it from. He got a really good laugh over it as he described whom he was going to share them with.
Whiteknight presents Bo Andersson with a six pack of Coca-Cola.
This is symbolic of the Ghost Recon Classic Coke Campaign started by Whiteknight and taken to heart by virtually the entire Ghost Recon fan base here at Ghost Recon.net and on the official Ubisoft forums.
Unconfirmed reports have it that the logo even made it onto the developers desktop wallpaper!