GRAW 2 : Interview with Olivier Dauba
Content Producer at the Ubisoft development team -
other press members of XCN (Xbox Community Network), we have been able to ask
some questions to Olivier Dauba, content Producer at the Ubisoft development team,
about Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 on Xbox 360.
: Will the graphics in the multiplayer part of the game be as good as the
single player in GRAW 2?
Olivier Dauba : This was not the case in the
previous title. We've devoted a huge amount of engineering resources to stepping
up the graphics in GRAW 2 multiplayer. The biggest upgrade by far is a switch
to more advanced lighting effects, including a dynamic lighting and shadowing
system. We've also revamped the special effects so you'll see the shimmer of heat
from explosions and burning buildings, wind and helicopters effecting smoke and
foliage, advanced bullet impact effects, distance blur
XCN : Will it be possible to
superimpose my face onto characters, like in Rainbow
Olivier Dauba : We won't be supporting face
mapping, but we've piled on the character customization options, including female
characters and more FFW gear. Fans of other Clancy games might even recognize
a few new headgear choices
How does the multiplayer experience differ from GRAW?
Olivier Dauba : First off, weve listened to a lot of fan feedback
and worked it into GRAW 2 to really streamline the multiplayer experience. Were
doing things like adding an in-action scoreboard, more detailed weapon statistics,
and an entirely new spawn system. One of the coolest individual features weve
added is the ability for players to medic fallen teammates if they take an incapacitating
non-lethal wound. This makes teamwork and tactical, coordinated movement even
more important in GRAW 2. Breaking off into 2-3 man squads in a team or co-op
match can make sure that if you go down, one of your buddies is around to eliminate
the threat and get you back in the action. Thats not to say weve gone
soft though, dont expect to get back in the fight after taking a .50 cal
round to the chest Well also be shipping with significantly more content
than the original GRAW, in terms of number of maps and the addition of new game
types, a slew of new weapons, and more customization options.
: What kind of rank system are you building in GRAW2?
: Were building on what we offered in GRAW 1 and improving the stability
of ranked games and working to address specific ways some users found to exploit
the system. This time around players will not only be able to see their current
rank, but keep track of their progress towards their next rank increase.
: How did you integrate realism in GRAW2 ? Do you have military interlocutors
for the tactics, the weapons ?
Olivier Dauba : Realism & Accuracy
have always been key into the Ghost Recon franchise. We're working this into different
levels. The first thing is the collaboration with weapons & gear manufacturers.
We work closely with them to make sure we include the latest stuff available.
the Ghosts look like the US soldiers will in the next year. The second thing is
the work with the Natick,
an US organisation that defines what is going to be the Gear & Strategy of
the Soldier of the Future.
XCN : What is the single biggest difference
in game play compared to GRAW and how did community feedback factor into this?
Olivier Dauba : The community was asking for more supports (heavy
), more precision in their control & more strategies
available. The Cross-Com 2,0 is the direct answer to that request : allows to
control everything, from planes to allies, allows to pilot directly some of the
supports (UAV drone, MULE...) & gives you a more detailed understanding of
the battle situation. This is what is going to make GRAW game play refined and
improved for more variety and choices.
: Will this be the best game on 360 ever graphically? If so how?
Dauba : GRAW2 will be one of the best in the competition (and this is a tough
one!). The main thing is that we are building on the very strong basis of GRAW
original engine. So that most of the time is spent into optimizing, adding new
effects (Ambient Occlusion, Dynamic Weather...) or creating impressive SFX (see
the explosions!). The other point is that we're not using tech for tech's sake.
For instance, a huge work has been done on post-processing filters that drive
emotion, help in game play and increase immersion a lot.
: With the success of the online Co-Op when the game first came out, have
you considered to make the single player maps and objectives, into online based
Olivier Dauba : With GRAW 2 weve decided to keep
the co-op campaign unique because it allows us to do a number of things that wouldnt
otherwise be possible. We can give players an experience that was designed for
co-op game play from the ground up, which is something you cant do if it
has to work for one player just as well as it works for sixteen. Because the co-op
missions are designed for a large group of players to fight through together,
weve added in a lot of opportunities for players to use cooperative tactics
to take down separate objectives simultaneously, setup diversions, and ambush
XCN : Where have
you taken the single player? Are you going back to the roots of the game and building
on what made the game so popular?
Olivier Dauba : GRAW2 is happening
on the US/Mexican border, kilometres away from Mexico city. We feel that location
is great for the variety of environments (rural zones, deserts, towns
the constant feeling you have to be very close & feel very differently than
on the other side of the border.
: What type of co-op are you adding to this game?
Olivier Dauba :
Beyond graphics improvements I mentioned above, we're lengthening the co-op campaign
and doing some really cool things with the mission objectives themselves. We've
added what were calling conditional objectives which are tied
to secondary objectives throughout the co-op campaign. In GRAW 1, the co-op missions
had secondary objectives that were optional and gave the players a bit more choice
in completing a mission. In GRAW 2, were expanding on this idea so that
secondary objectives become key tactical choices in how a co-op mission will play
XCN : What new innovative
weapons and gadgetry can we expect to be using or see in action in GRAW 2?
Olivier Dauba : Apart from the Cross-Com 2,0, we have plenty of new stuff.
The Ghost now have access to the RX4 Storm series : modelled & designed (even
the smallest details like the gas valve) from an existing weapon. Seeing the MULE
in action will be great too!
XCN : Thanks a
lot for your time and your answers !
Related links :
Recon AW 2 videos
Recon official site
Xbox 360 interviews
Gazette, February 8th 2007
Thanks to : Olivier
Dauba, XCN, Ubisoft