sniperghost_85: Has the Ghost Recon series turned out the way you wanted it to?
serellan: i don't work on ghost anymore
sniperghost_85: yeah i know, but I was wondering if it turned out the way you liked
serellan: well, there are always things you would change, but games are a collaborate effort, and i think ghost has been successful in general
sniperghost_85: is that a canned response?
serellan: no, it's how i feel
serellan: if i had the chance, if there was things i would go back and change, hell yeah. every game i worked on is like that, but that's just how it is
sniperghost_85: what things would you change if you could, hypothetically speaking
serellan: lots of things...from the minor to the more major...i could write a dissertation, both on decisions i made and decisions that were made for me...but you have to accept that on a franchise, especially one with such a dedicated following. you know, i used to be pissed at george lucas, but after picking up the GR franchise, i feel for him
serellan: the thing is, players don't care why things turn out the way they do, and they shouldn't, but as a developer, lots of things affect your decisions, whether it is technical issues, branding issues, competition, performance, test, politics, the media, etc etc etc
sniperghost_85: well as far as one thing that seems to be the big issue on the forums, OTS vs FPV, which would you have preferred the games to
sniperghost_85: Do you think ghost recon would have been as successful if it were FPV instead of switching over to OTS in GR2?
serellan: well on gr2 the decision was made when i came on after it, after that it was an established part of the game, it would be lame to take it away from players that liked it, so i would have gone for both, ideally i would have provided more options for players to filter their games based on it
serellan: we planned fpwv for graw but it got cut due to various technical and time issues
sniperghost_85: a gun view or something like it?
serellan: yeah, a full gun view in fp
serellan: but the technicalities of doing both was just too much, so we reverted to the gr2 style
sniperghost_85: right, alot of time to create guns from scratch
sniperghost_85: and made sure all the animations work and what not
serellan: well, not just that, animation, perspective, reloads, matching visuals, etc etc
sniperghost_85: yeah alot of work
serellan: yep a lot of work and a lot of balancing...there comes a point where you have to balance quality too, if it's not gonna make the cut, and be balanced for gameplay, you would rather omit a feature than half *** it
serellan: if you can't do something right, its often better not to do it
sniperghost_85: Must have been asked this question before I imagine huh
serellan: but really, when i look at other franchises, i think ghost has held pretty true, even if details have caused issues
sniperghost_85: what about damage models and things related to bullet related damage, how did you guys figure some of the numbers out for the guns? Are the damage values specific to the gun or to the projectile it fires, in a manner of speaking?
serellan: well, technically, the damage is controlled on a per-gun basis, but in practice, I based things on ammo. The problem with expressing damage to players is that it is a bit too realistic for it's own good, as there is a lot of randomness in it.
serellan: just like real life, a 5.56x45 round doesn't always drop a person in X number of shots to the torso
sniperghost_85: is body armor factored in as well?
serellan: yes, the numbers are balanced based on the idea that targets have basic body armor
serellan: penetration comes into play too
sniperghost_85: didn't imagine you guys went so in depth into that
serellan: oh yeah, thats part of the issue
serellan: i started with real data on the major calibers, ballistics data and stop ratio testing, and then tweaked for game feel
serellan: there is this perception among players that "tactical shooter" means 1 shot kills, when in real life that isn't the case, so you have to fudge things to meet player expectation
serellan: but even so, unless you give a totally false system, people will read their own thoughts into it, like the the idea that the FAMAS is more powerful per shot than the AUG, when in fact they are exactly the same in game.
sniperghost_85: to bad you couldn't simulate entry and exit wounds
serellan: visually, we didn't, but overpenetration is part of the system
sniperghost_85: ok, heres a good question. Why couldn't a downed player pull out a pistol, ala COD4, to defend himself a little?
sniperghost_85: that bugged the hell out of me for a while
serellan: lots of answers to that, you can look at any system...why can't the COD4 guy crawl to cover and bind his own wounds?
serellan: or how come he can't dig a whole and crawl into it?
serellan: or take off all his clothes and dress up like an enemy?
sniperghost_85: true although I think it would make gameplay, as far as dressing up like the enemy and self dressing is concerned, a little
cheap for self healing and too confusing for some players for dressing up like the enemy
sniperghost_85: digging a whole would require alot of coding to allow that
serellan: my point was that you can take any system and say "why can't I X"
serellan: especially when a game comes out later than another...every game world has limitations
sniperghost_85: right, was that option explored though?
serellan: honestly, no, it wasn't the point of what we were looking at for wounding...we wanted to reward teamwork, reward teams that stuck together
serellan: it's easy in hindsite to say, "would this have made this feature better", and yes, I think it would have been cool to do now...but you don't often have a lot of those luxeries during development serellan: again, i don't know a dev who will say "oh yeah, that last game was perfect, I wouldn't change anything"
sniperghost_85: right, i was about to say that it would have taken up to much time to implement
serellan: there's all sorts of factors, not just time...balance, the paralax effect from ots, animation, does it support the gameplay, how does it affect scoring...etc
serellan: of course time drives all of those factors to some extent
sniperghost_85: time is the enemy to perfect a creation
serellan: to some extent, yes, but also designers would never ship games unless they had some kind of time limits
serellan: we would constantly be changing **** forever, and never move onto something new
sniperghost_85: yeah halo would have never been released
serellan: nor would have R6 or GR
serellan: talk to anyone dev and ask them if they would have pushed out the schedule of their games to change something (except producers and the people that pay the bills), they would probably say yes
serellan: which is why move directors don't get to make that call either
serellan: hell the guy that made Blade Runner has just done his 3rd directors cut
serellan: 25 years later
sniperghost_85: yeah, look at george lucas
serellan: although i don't think i would replace the guns in SS with radios
sniperghost_85: I don't suppose you jumped over to bungie to get early play time for halo wars did you, lol
serellan: nah that was halo 3, lol. You'd move across country and quit your job to play a game month early, right?
serellan: alright man, i'm out
serellan: take it easy
sniperghost_85: k man, take care