Interviews// Call of Duty: Black Ops - Josh Olin

Posted 26 Aug 2010 18:15 by
Games: Call of Duty: Black Ops
SPOnG: Does it concern you guys that you're looking at the different conflicts getting ticked off by the Call of Duty franchise and that you're running out of wars?

Josh Olin: No, there's still a lot of legs left, there's still a lot of things we can do. As long as the players still want that kind of action there's still a lot of conflicts and stories we can tell.

SPOnG: How long is the single-player campaign? The length of the campaign in Modern Warfare 2, although it's obviously not your game, was criticised by a lot of people. How many hours have you got in this one?

Josh Olin: We're not entirely sure yet, and there's definitely a sweet spot. A game can be too short and you don't want that, and a game can be too long and you don't want that. You don't want people losing their attention span, you don't want them sitting around the controller and not finishing the game, so there is definitely a sweet spot that you want to aim for and a lot of that's driven by the kind of content you have in your story. So, the game will be long enough to tell a great story and long enough to get all of what we want to say out there.

SPOnG: Do you think we'll see more Black Ops, Cold War games from you guys or do you think you'll be moving into new conflicts?

Josh Olin: It's tough to say. We're just so focused on finishing Black Ops, we haven't wrapped our heads around the future just yet, but anything's possible. It's a pretty awesome game.

SPOnG: What point are you up to in development now?

Josh Olin: We're just approaching release candidate stage, so in the next four to six weeks we're going to be submitting our first release candidates to first-parties, so they're going to start reviewing it and making sure that it's publishable on their platform. We're very close.

SPOnG: Infinity Ward tends to develop for PC, 360 and PS3. You guys tend to develop for more platforms. Does that come from you or from Activision? What drives that?

Josh Olin: What drives that is tool chains. The engine itself is a multi-platform engine. So, if content runs on the 360 it will run on the PC, it'll run on the PS3. Each platform has it's own dedicated engineering team to make sure that they're catching all the nuances for that platform, so that's all done concurrently in parallel.

We do develop primarily for the Xbox 360, simply because the development tools and the pipeline there is very fast, it allows us to make iterations very quickly. So, it doesn't mean that the PS3 or the PC are poorer by any stretch of the imagination. They have their own teams. It just happens that that's why we demo on the 360. It's our flagship platform. It's not that we are 360 fanboys or anything, it's just that that's where it's easiest to develop.

SPOnG: There were rumours of a subscription charge for multiplayer...

Josh Olin: You will not have to. I was quick to nip this in the bud we didn't want it spreading any more than it already did. You will not need to pay to play Black Ops multiplayer at all. So, you'll buy the game, pop the disc in and you'll be able to play everything on that disc. I mean, you've got to subscribe to Xbox Live.

SPOnG: Did you see Inception? (***In case you didn't guess, MILD SPOILER WARNING FOR INCEPTION***) You know that snowy bit towards the end? To me that screamed 'Modern Warfare 2!' Did you notice that?

Josh Olin: It kind of did, you're right! Actually, when I was watching it I was watching with my girlfriend and she was like, 'this looks a lot like Call of Duty'. It wasn't as much Modern Warfare 2 because she's seen some of the Black Ops stuff too and our snowy level for WMD is kind of a lot like that too. It's fun, right?

SPOnG: Thanks for your time!
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Games: Call of Duty: Black Ops

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