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The Future of the Military Shooter (X360)

Red Storm's Christian Allen talks about what we can expect from the next generation of war games.

By Will Tuttle | March 24, 2006

If there's one thing that Red Storm's Christian Allen knows, it's how to make a kick-ass war game. After all, this is a man that's worked on all of the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon titles, serving as a designer for both the single- and multiplayer aspects of the games. Plus, he's not just another one of gaming's many armchair soldiers. He's served in the Marines, the Army National Guard, and the Air Force National Guard, all of which helped him to make the Ghost Recon games more authentic than many of their lesser counterparts. After getting his start as an award-winning modder for the Rogue Spear series, he headed to Red Storm to make his mark on the gaming world. Most recently, he served as the Lead Multiplayer Designer on the stellar Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for the Xbox 360, which is one of the reasons that he was tapped to talk about the next generation of war games at GDC 2006.

The rest's here. :thumbsup:

If anyone knows where a transcript is, please link it.

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The Future of the Military Shooter (X360)

Red Storm's Christian Allen talks about what we can expect from the next generation of war games.

By Will Tuttle | March 24, 2006

If there's one thing that Red Storm's Christian Allen knows, it's how to make a kick-ass war game. After all, this is a man that's worked on all of the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon titles, serving as a designer for both the single- and multiplayer aspects of the games. Plus, he's not just another one of gaming's many armchair soldiers. He's served in the Marines, the Army National Guard, and the Air Force National Guard, all of which helped him to make the Ghost Recon games more authentic than many of their lesser counterparts. After getting his start as an award-winning modder for the Rogue Spear series, he headed to Red Storm to make his mark on the gaming world. Most recently, he served as the Lead Multiplayer Designer on the stellar Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for the Xbox 360, which is one of the reasons that he was tapped to talk about the next generation of war games at GDC 2006.

The rest's here. :thumbsup:

If anyone knows where a transcript is, please link it.

He was in the marines? Didn't know that . Thats cool I want to join. But want to know how is it first. Many props serellan.

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I don't see anything wrong with mixing in weapon jams. Thats actually kind of challenging. It makes you really appreciate your pistol as a backup. I hope developers continue to experiement with the balance of realism and fun.

silent_op

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Thanks, guys.

I don't see anything wrong with mixing in weapon jams. Thats actually kind of challenging. It makes you really appreciate your pistol as a backup. I hope developers continue to experiement with the balance of realism and fun.

silent_op

I was actually talking about broken weapons (i.e., broken FP, cracked slide, squib rounds exploding your barrel, etc), not necessarily "jams."

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how about future multi maps including the ability to hide/snipe from/at your enemies ,because all

the maps right now are run and gunners style,what i really liked about ghost recon 1 was the camouflage used to blend in with the bushes

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how about future multi maps including the ability to hide/snipe from/at your enemies ,because all   

the maps right now are run and gunners style,what i really liked about ghost recon 1 was the camouflage used to blend in with the bushes

That is a pretty cool aspect of GR1 (PC). One thing I hope developers can work out is some sort of balance for MP (co-op and team vs team). I find it annoying when I have all my graphic settings turned up and someone else is playing with everything stripped down, so they can spot tangos or other teams behind cover. I understand their reasoning, but what is the point in wanting to have an immersive experience if you don't want to turn on all of the settings ( as much as your system can handle )?

I know this can be a very delicate issue. Some people may not have the ability to run their game on high. I'm sure developers will contiue to find some sort of balance setting for future titles.

silent_op

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The Title of the article at GameSpy is followed by "(X-box 360)" and this topic is posted under the "PC Game Forums". Are we talking about the future of war gaming on the consoles only? Or are we talking about the future of war gaming across the board, which would include the PC platform?

And a (ok, a couple) question to Serellan, is your work only focusing on the X-box 360 platform in the future? Will you be doing any PC related design for future titles? What is your thoughts on the whole Console vs. PC debate we see going on now days? EDIT: I think the session description for the lecture answers these questions for me: "Focus is on the design, research and resources needed for a designer to overcome the production, communication, and design challenges faced when working on next gen consoles. " :(

"...players are increasingly gravitating toward more authentic experiences" - This, coming from someone who is in the thick of things is very good to hear! :thumbsup:

"However, Allen warned, developers must be careful not to fall into the "bigger must be better" trap. He stressed that quality is still more important than quantity, particularly when it comes to stuff like weapons and maps." - Again, very comforting to see someone on the inside focusing on quality vs. quantity. :thumbsup:

Thanks

Edited by Uncle_Buck
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Thanks, guys.

I don't see anything wrong with mixing in weapon jams. Thats actually kind of challenging. It makes you really appreciate your pistol as a backup. I hope developers continue to experiement with the balance of realism and fun.

silent_op

I was actually talking about broken weapons (i.e., broken FP, cracked slide, squib rounds exploding your barrel, etc), not necessarily "jams."

Nice point considering that special operators in the US use proof rounds that contain higher amounts of power per casing. this in turn puts more stress on the receiver which = cracks..

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Do you really want your avatar to break his ankle while frantically running across a field or have to deal with a jammed rifle during a firefight? Of course you don't, even though that's what happens in the real world.

I do not agree. Such things should be available but the level of realism should be adjustable.

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The Title of the article at GameSpy is followed by "(X-box 360)" and this topic is posted under the "PC Game Forums". Are we talking about the future of war gaming on the consoles only? Or are we talking about the future of war gaming across the board, which would include the PC platform?

"Focus is on the design, research and resources needed for a designer to overcome the production, communication, and design challenges faced when working on next gen consoles. "  :(

Neither are you. :blink:

Just kidding, perhaps I misunderstood the above?

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Thanks, guys.

I don't see anything wrong with mixing in weapon jams. Thats actually kind of challenging. It makes you really appreciate your pistol as a backup. I hope developers continue to experiement with the balance of realism and fun.

silent_op

I was actually talking about broken weapons (i.e., broken FP, cracked slide, squib rounds exploding your barrel, etc), not necessarily "jams."

Nice point considering that special operators in the US use proof rounds that contain higher amounts of power per casing. this in turn puts more stress on the receiver which = cracks..

That's not correct. We use standard ball, tracer, and match grade ammo. We had pistol slides crack but it was inferior weapons manufacture, not ammo. And after multiple tours in the mideast, and a lot of weapons fire, my M4 has never jammed. No one on my Team ever had an M4 jam.

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It's interesting that the audience was next-gen console devs and not PC platform devs.

But are those target market console fan boys and girls really looking for all that realism that PC gamers crave, and can X360 or PS3 deliver it?

PC gamers do not have the market on wanting realism. Plenty of them do not care for realism. Remember the most played game in the world? PC title? Yes. Realistic? Of course not. Counterstrike anyone? It is sheer snobbery to suggest console gamers do not care for realism. You sound like one of the games marketers who is also wrong. It is what happens when games are not made by gamers. And while we are at it, some PC gamers tend to be an older crowd for many reasons, only one of which is their aversion to new technology. It is incorrect and out of line to slander an entire group of people - console gamers - which you apparently know little of.

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I agree, since I stopped playing consoles(Sega, PS1) regularly years ago, I'm not up to date on what fan-boys and girls want, only with what they are willing to settle for which is less than what the PC can and should offer.

I don't like the CS Quake type of PC game, but I agree that those that do are likely not to mind playing consoles and often do.

I've not to date seen or heard of any game that is better on console than what is offered on PC, and understand that the only way that would be possible would be to dumb-down a PC game that was designed for console.

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I agree, since I stopped playing consoles(Sega, PS1) regularly years ago, I'm not up to date on what fan-boys and girls want, only with what they are willing to settle for which is less than what the PC can and should offer.

I don't like the CS Quake type of PC game, but I agree that those that do are likely not to mind playing consoles and often do.

I've not to date seen or heard of any game that is better on console than what is offered on PC, and understand that the only way that would be possible would be to dumb-down a PC game that was designed for console.

Here is what you can do. First, you can stop referring to console gamers in the way that you do. You have been more vocal and temperamental than anyone on the GRAW PC forum so you have no reason to refer to console gamers as fan boys and girls. You have single handily epitomized that nom de guerre. The fact you play a game on on PC makes it no less a game. So if you are implying that PC games are in some way more adult than console games, you are wrong. A game, regardless of it's platform, is a multimedia experience. Period.

Counterstrike gamers are not more prone to play consoles. You failed to understand the issues. Most Counterstrike players are very much wed to keyboard and mouse. What I am saying is the king of unrealistic shooters was a PC game regularly drawing more people than any console game every dreamed. Get off your high horse about realism and PC games.

The fact there are not more realistic games for the console is not based upon the desires of console gamers. It is based upon the incorrect marketing beliefs of companies like EA. You know, the company known for producing unrealistic FPS titles for the PC.

If a console wasn't capable of providing a lot of depth, the greatest PC programmer in gaming history wouldn't have chosen the 360 for his primary platform. John Carmack is a millionaire many times over and could have stayed with PC development if he so wished. PCs will always outpace consoles, but to say they are incapable of depth is narrow minded. Despite all the attempts at perfection, online programs such as Gamespy do not even rate as a poor man's LIVE. Anyone who doesn't have a modern console isn't really in a position to make any comment on next gen consoles. Reading about it doesn't equate to in-depth knowledge that comes from many hours of gaming any more than reading accounts about war makes you a realism expert.

GR1 was an extremely unrealistic shooter. I like it to this day, but that does not change the facts. Been there, done that, got the T shirt many times over. Don't even attempt to get up on your horse. You don't have the credentials in this regard. Unless you are gaming VBS1, then you are in love with unrealistic PC titles.

Every title is unrealistic in some regards. You believe there are degrees of acceptiblility. And there are. But they are based on individual perception and desire. The world isn't going to let you establish the realism standards for them...unless you are a Design Lead with total freedom. You are not. Even then, it will only affect a narrow percentage of the gaming population.

I respect what others wish to play. You do not. In taking such an approach of demeaning another's hobby of console gaming, you have forgotten the purpose of gaming - to suspend belief and entertain. That is of course unless you are using some of the realistic military only simulators. But then again, you are not.

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It is incorrect and out of line to slander an entire group of people - console gamers - which you apparently know little of.

Hatchet, if the majority of consolers were of your same or similar mindset, the console market/audience would not be perceived by developers and publishers in the way they are now. You are a part of a seemingly growing minority in the console market (when it comes to "tactical/realistic", real world military based games). I'm most likely wrong in even making you sound like a console only player.

I find it strange that even PC gamers are out right viewed as being "realism"/simulation die-hards. If that were the case, we would have more games that stuck with the true hardcore Rainbow Six style game play. Not even the Rainbow Six (PC) franchise has stuck with it (look at Lockdown). Although it could be said that this is due to publishers and developers wanting to take shortcuts and porting games (console to PC). Obviously it would be best to create a game to appeal to a particular platform's (perceived) audience. This may or may not be the cheapest or easiest route to take.

I can't help but think that the current perception of the PC audience really stems back from the days of the super "realistic" difficult to learn combat flight simulators (example Falcon 3.0, my favorite). Of course there may have been other genres that helped to label the PC audience as being more "brain over twitch" oriented. Luckily for me and others like myself, that mark has remained. I do think that there is a majority of PC gamers who prefer the so called "thinking man's" game play. That majority number however may not be much larger than the PC gamers that feel otherwise.

I've been so picky about my games that I only play GR1. I played Raven Shield a little, but my friends were not into it. I like playing with my group. I don't know what it is about GR1 that makes it feel like it's "realistic". Some how it just seems so, compared to other titles. I liked Rogue Spear, but I never liked the floating reticle, which all GR1 fans use. It is just the spirit or maybe the way people chose to play GR1 that makes it "feel" realistic. I always wanted to play VBS1, but I just couldn't justify spending that much on a game. Armed Assault on the other hand, I'm looking forward to (fits my price range).

The console audience for the most part is continuously remembered as the Super Mario Brothers, Street Fighter, Afterburner, etc. "twitch" audience with a short attention span. Unfortunately this makes it very difficult for the seemingly growing minority to step out from underneath that negative perception.

silent_op

Edited by silent_op
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It's interesting that the audience was next-gen console devs and not PC platform devs.

But are those target market console fan boys and girls really looking for all that realism that PC gamers crave, and can X360 or PS3 deliver it?

Yes, we console fan boys and girls do like gritty nasty ugly military hardcore realism in-game (with some cinematics and color filter of Black hawk down, Man on fire and Collateral :rofl: ) and x360 is already delivering it with GRAw.

Edited by Lysander
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It is incorrect and out of line to slander an entire group of people - console gamers - which you apparently know little of.

Hatchet, if the majority of consolers were of your same or similar mindset, the console market/audience would not be perceived by developers and publishers in the way they are now. You are a part of a seemingly growing minority in the console market (when it comes to "tactical/realistic", real world military based games). I'm most likely wrong in even making you sound like a console only player...

The console audience for the most part is continuously remembered as the Super Mario Brothers, Street Fighter, Afterburner, etc. "twitch" audience with a short attention span. Unfortunately this makes it very difficult for the seemingly growing minority to step out from underneath that negative perception.

Firstly, that isn't true. Secondly, Mario Brothers, Street Fighter, Afterburner and other 'twich' games can be just as good as something like Ghost Recon. There's no negative perception needed.

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It is incorrect and out of line to slander an entire group of people - console gamers - which you apparently know little of.

Hatchet, if the majority of consolers were of your same or similar mindset, the console market/audience would not be perceived by developers and publishers in the way they are now. You are a part of a seemingly growing minority in the console market (when it comes to "tactical/realistic", real world military based games). I'm most likely wrong in even making you sound like a console only player...

The console audience for the most part is continuously remembered as the Super Mario Brothers, Street Fighter, Afterburner, etc. "twitch" audience with a short attention span. Unfortunately this makes it very difficult for the seemingly growing minority to step out from underneath that negative perception.

Firstly, that isn't true. Secondly, Mario Brothers, Street Fighter, Afterburner and other 'twich' games can be just as good as something like Ghost Recon. There's no negative perception needed.

Silent Op, Sup is correct. Too many companies are out of touch with the gaming public. If they understood their target audience, every game would sell like hot cakes.

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Then Hatchetforce, why don’t you take your written abilities and join us? Instead of bashing on the good people that have been screaming their outrage on different forums, trying to make the makers understand.

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