With the Day Zero edition of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare hitting the shelves right as I’m writing, Sledgehammer Games Co-Founders Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey are holding an AMA on Reddit, providing interesting details about the game.
Schofield started by explaining that getting the game on PS4 and Xbox one wasn’t an easy task:
Just getting the game onto next gen platforms was tough. All new engine and tech, learning our way around that was time consuming but that’s where the three years came in handy.
Here’s a recap of the most relevant details shared:
- Minimum Xbox One resolution is 1360×1080, and dynamically scales from there to full 1080p. That’s over 50% increase from last year accoeding to Condrey. The game runs in native 1080p on PS4. Both versions run at rock solid 60 frames per second.
- A third person toggle isn’t ruled out for the future of the franchise. It was already in COD games in the past. COD is about quick twitch play, which is a bit harder to do in third person, but Schofield is open to all ideas.
- The setting was chosen because the folks at Sledgehammer are fans of future science and tech. They’re also huge sci-fi fans although they decided not to go full sci-fi. It felt extremely interesting and WW2 had been done quite a bit. They wanted to try something brand new.
- The story started with what would happen if a PMC went rogue? What would a powerful CEO actually want… and Sledgehammer’s answer was more power. He started with an ideology, as most do, but it eventually went too far (as many do). But the studio also wanted to inject the story with emotion and very relatable characters. The futuristic elements were a lot of fun to design and work into the story and gameplay, so Schofield thinks that they didn’t get in the way of the campaign, but they enhanced it.
- The studio spends a lot of time trying to make sure the characters stick out in the places they want them to. They look at their color, their shape, silhouette, they add sound, VFX, etc. But there are places they want them to be more difficult to spot. Its not like enemies in real life wear pink and stand out in the open all the time. So they mix it up a bit. They pick the style first and then make the game assets around it.
- The slot limit in the armory meant to drive players to make meaningful decisions about what supply drop loot they keep in they inventory. The devs will definitely be listening to the community on this one as they move ahead.
- Condrey is really proud of the big innovations in multiplayer like Supply Drop Loot, Virtual Lobby, Create an Operator, Virtual Firing Range etc.
- XP progression was included as part of the ranked play offering to encourage people to join and compete, while leveling up through normal progression.
- Challenge-based loot expires over time. Players can re-earn it at any time by completing the challenge again.
- Condrey really feels that the game is a “True Next-gen Experience.”
- Exo movements were introduced at the very beginning of the design process so they had the three years to add new movements and refine the ones they started with. It was all about fun. When they found one that was cool they would prototype and implement.
- The game includes a color blind mode.
- A significant amount of time and energy was spent on Sledgehammer’s proprietary anti-cheat solution for PC.
- According to Condrey, COD:AW brings for the franchise the Biggest change in player movement and mechanics through the Exo in nearly a decade. There are also robust changes to multiplayer. Kevin Spacey and the rich narrative in campaign are also perks. It’s the most ambitious game Sledgehammer has ever made, and thanks to the extra time from Activision for a 3 year dev cycle, they couldn’t be more proud to share it with fans.
And if you’re curious about what Sledgehammer’s Michael Condrey plays when he’s not shooting people in the face on COD, here’s what he likes: “Hearthstone, Destiny, anything Naughty Dog. Waiting for a next gen God of War : )”