I was fortunate enough to be included in this outstanding event last Friday. I must say, and I have said this before, in the GhostRecon.net forums, but I truly expected to get to Red Storm and get an introduction to Serellan and a few brief minutes of chit chat then handed off to some poorly paid intern who was in charge of the RSE Visitor Tours Department for the rest of the trip. I must commend the entire team at RSE as what we got was full access and Serellan and Angeline, RSE’s Game Marketing Manager, who devoted the larger part of their day to our group. Thanks not only to both of them, but all the great folks at RSE for the wonderful experience and the opportunity to see their facility first hand.
As Wingshot mentioned we were shown pretty much the entire facility. It was really intriguing to here Serellan talk about how with the addition of their in-house motion capture system they could do the motion capture in small chunks at a time but before, they were forced to contract it out. We also got to see their Equipment Room which housed the weapon models, all different types of model grenades, camouflage suits, body armor and various other interesting items.
After the tour we moved into the conference room and Serellan and Angeline joined us for the Q&A portion of the visit. Serellan said he would just take our 3 pages of questions and type up answers so we wouldn’t have to dictate the whole thing from the recorder.
One thing that was really cool was all the conference rooms had cool names. The room we met in was the Chavez room, obviously after Raw Kryptonite’s hero. I know he is envious now even more than before. As I had mentioned before the main thing I took from this visit was the dedication of the RSE team to their fans. Angeline threw out in response to some question that they religiously review the forums and try to look at what people like or dislike about their games when working on new releases. I believe he mentioned that they were able to implement something like 80-90% of all the popular suggestions into GRAW 2.
I asked Serellan what he liked about developing games on the 360 and the main thing he mentioned was that it was a stable platform so there was a lot less to worry about as far as computer systems and how much you could do with the game without losing part of your fan base due to computers not supporting the minimum requirements and such.
Another big point Serellan touched on and actually brought in the Lead Level Designer, don’t quote me on that title, to discuss with us, were the new maps. Obviously there are plenty of folks out there that will be happy to hear that we have some bigger maps this time. There was also talk of how they recognized how some maps have a tendency to be unbalanced and a good deal of time was put into making sure the spawns and the maps were balanced from either side. The detail and look of the maps and environments is just incredible. The trees swaying in the wind and watching the corresponding shadows on the side of the rock wall on one of the maps I believe it was called Lagoon or something like that. The graphics I must agree with Payle are above and beyond anything we have seen on the 360 so far. The RSE team truly does have something to be extremely proud of with the release of GRAW 2.
One thing that truly caught my interest was the discussion of the game types. One in particular called Team Mission. This game type sounds very exciting to me and from what I have been able to gather it is somewhat of a cross between the multiple objectives (primary and secondary) in Co-Op and uses them in an adversarial game. This reminds me a lot of some of the better maps from Americas Army where you had several achievements and could complete different sets of requirements to be successful. It seems the game type will push the game into a more strategic and team based game being required to be successful. Can’t wait to see this and I hope it turns out as great as I am expecting.
I would like to thank ZJJ for inviting us along on her visit. I would also like to once again thank Christian (Serellan), Angeline, and the entire RSE staff for a wonderful experience and being so open and forthcoming with us regarding our questions and comments.