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COD "has almost ruined a generation of shooter players," says Tripwire

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Initial post: Mar 14, 2013 7:27:35 AM PDT
HorizonBrave says:

Earlier this month I visited Killing Floor and Red Orchestra 2 creator Tripwire Interactive to play Rising Storm, the upcoming standalone expansion to RO2 (look for a preview on Monday). After the demo, Tripwire President John Gibson and I got talking about the state of first-person shooters, and Gibson laid out a detailed criticism about the way Call of Duty "takes individual skill out of the equation." Gibson also expressed frustration over how difficult it had been trying to design a mode for Red Orchestra 2 that appealed to Call of Duty players.

PCG: How do you feel about the state of FPSes?

John Gibson, President: I think that single-player shooters are getting better. I think they're finally coming out from under the shadow of the Hollywood movie, overblown "I'm on a rail" linear shooter. I'm talking about Call of Duty-style shooters. In the late `90s, you had the original Deus Ex, which was an RPG-shooter. And those kind of games almost took an eight year hiatus. And I'm so excited to see them coming back with interesting gameplay. Like the Fallout games, even though their shooting mechanics could really use some improvement, just mixing a really cool story, but not a linear story, one that you create yourself. The melding of RPG elements and shooter elements has been great. I've seen this reflected in a lot of the reviews, it's like, "Okay guys, we're tired of this on-rails experience."

On the flip side, I'm really discouraged by the current state of multiplayer shooters. I think that, and I hate to mention names, because it sounds like `I'm just jealous of their success,' but I'm really, I feel like Call of Duty has almost ruined a generation of FPS players. I know that's a bold statement, but I won't just throw stones without backing it up. When I was developing Action Mode [for RO2], I got a group of people that I know that are pretty hardcore Call of Duty players. And my goal was to create something that was accessible enough for them to enjoy the game-not turn it into Call of Duty, but try to make something that I thought was casual enough but with the Red Orchestra gameplay style that they would enjoy. And we iterated on it a lot. And just listening to all the niggling, pedantic things that they would complain about, that made them not want to play the game, I just thought, "I give up. Call of Duty has ruined this whole generation of gamers."

What did they complain about?

Gibson: It's the gameplay mechanics that they become used to. The way that players instantly accelerate when they move, they don't build up speed. "The weapons really don't have a lot of power" [in RO2]. They're all very weak. The way they handle... They're like: "I hate Red Orchestra, I can't play it." Well, why? "Because the guy doesn't move like he does in Call of Duty. Call of Duty has great movement." Why is it great? "Because it just is, I just like the way it works." So you don't like the momentum system in Red Orchestra? "Yeah, it sucks, it's clunky, it's terrible." Well, why? "It's just because I'm used to this."

I make it sound like there was a combative conversation, probably because I get a little emotional when I think about it. But it was really a calm discussion of, "What don't you like?" and "It doesn't feel like Call of Duty." Almost every element boiled down to "it doesn't feel like Call of Duty." And really, watching some of these guys play... one of the things that Call of Duty does, and it's smart business, to a degree, is they compress the skill gap. And the way you compress the skill gap as a designer is you add a whole bunch of randomness. A whole bunch of weaponry that doesn't require any skill to get kills. Random spawns, massive cone fire on your weapons. Lots of devices that can get kills with zero skill at all, and you know, it's kind of smart to compress your skill gap to a degree. You don't want the elite players to destroy the new players so bad that new players can never get into the game and enjoy it. I'm looking at you, Dota. [laughs] Sorry.

But the skill gap is so compressed, that it's like a slot machine. You might as well just sit down at a slot machine and have a thing that pops up an says "I got a kill!" They've taken individual skill out of the equation so much. So you see these guys-I see it all the time, they come in to play Red Orchestra, and they're like "This game's just too hardcore. I'm awesome at Call of Duty, so there's something wrong with your game. Because I'm not successful at playing this game, so it must suck. I'm not the problem, it's your game." And sometimes as designers, it is our game. Sometimes we screw up, sometimes we design something that's not accesible enough, they can't figure it out, we didn't give them enough information to figure out where to go... but more often than not, it's because Call of Duty compressed their skill gap so much that these guys never needed to get good at a shooter. They never needed to get good at their twitch skills with a mouse.

Players like Elliot [Cannon, Lead Designer] and I, back in the Quake and Unreal days, you know, we had to get good at aiming. These guys don't have to anymore. The skill gap is so compressed that like, "The game makes me feel that I'm awesome." These guys, when I actually watch them play, they're actually very poor FPS players. And I don't think it's because they're incapable of getting good, I think it's because they never had to get good. They get enough kills in Call of Duty to feel like they're awesome, but they never really had to develop their FPS skills beyond that.

And it's a shame because when you do that, when you create a shooter like that, you're very limited on the amount of depth that you can give the game. It's all gotta be very surface level, like I'm sitting there eating cotton candy and I never get any meat and potatoes. And it's frustrating for me as a designer to see players come in and they're literally like "In Call of Duty it takes 0.15 seconds to go into ironsights. In RO2 it takes 0.17 seconds to go into ironsights. I hate this."

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 7:29:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 14, 2013 7:31:05 AM PDT
Beau says:
"because it sounds like`I'm just jealous of their success,' "


Posted on Mar 14, 2013 7:30:12 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Sep 9, 2013 12:30:36 PM PDT]

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 7:33:37 AM PDT
Soulshine says:
I don't know what Killing Floor or Red Orchestra 2 is. PC games?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 7:34:45 AM PDT
He says it ruined a generation but he was only looking at hardcore Call of Duty players, that doesn't really compute.

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 7:35:02 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 7:36:01 AM PDT
That Emu Kid says:
They aren't Call of Duty, so don't worry about it. They aren't important.

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 7:36:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 14, 2013 7:39:18 AM PDT
JJ4prez says:
Red Orchestra 2 is a niche title for MP users for PC. 99% of the users that play it probably don't even play COD. People who play COD probably prefer that type of game play and would never transition to a game like RO2.

I don't really understand RO2's guy for ranting like this. If anything RO2 is A LOT like the COD1/UO, in fact it's almost the same thing. The only thing is in RO2 you can't drive vehicles.

RO2 is a fun and entertaining game, but the controls are wonky, the graphics are sub-par, and the game play is ...okay. I definitely like playing it, and it's fun, but there are better games out there, that AREN'T COD.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 7:36:54 AM PDT
Soulshine says:
Well I bet there's shooting in them.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 7:38:17 AM PDT
Red Orchestra 2 is a WWII combat game with a much heavier focus on realism.

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 7:38:47 AM PDT
StriderNeo15 says:
COD has ruined pretty much everything.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 7:39:28 AM PDT
That Emu Kid says:
Yeah, man. If you like playing CoD over RO2, there's something wrong with you. You've been ruined.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 7:39:58 AM PDT
Tilapia has ruined everything for Cod, "Ooooh, tilapia, so exotic!"

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 7:40:22 AM PDT
JJ4prez says:
I like both, but both are completely different play styles.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 7:41:06 AM PDT
So it sounds like I'll prefer COD.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 7:42:55 AM PDT

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 7:44:11 AM PDT
JJ4prez says:
Most people do, RO2 has a loyal following. And if this guy is talking PC MP games, COD isn't even that big anymore on PC.

Because BF3 is an amazing PC MP game - so I don't know why he is complaining. DICE didn't have any issues with making a badass FPS game on PC.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 7:44:58 AM PDT
StriderNeo15 says:
Why would anyone eat Tilapia when COD is available, COD is so much easier to eat and makes me feel like I'm really good at fish eating whereas Tilapia would probably be way to hardcore for regular COD eaters.

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 7:47:20 AM PDT
Shanghaied says:
I quite agree with some of the points he's making, but I don't think the games he's made are examples of the highest echelon of FPS shooters.

CoD is wildly successful because it incorporates a lot of players. It does this by compressing the skill gap. All sound points.

You can't complain about making a game that caters to traditional FPS disciplines when you're comparing it to one that doesn't. In my opinion, neither RO2 or CoD are good examples of twitch, traditional high-skill FPS games. They aren't very popular in contemporary video games, because they're ******* hard.

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 8:04:37 AM PDT
Kr155 says:
COD has ruined nothing

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 8:23:30 AM PDT
FOGE says:
It won't be long before the ADD generation gets tired of Call of Duty and moves onto the next big thing.

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 8:44:43 AM PDT
how has COD ruined anything? does Activision force other publishers to make crappy fps? no, let's blame corporate suits who just want a quick buck out of the trend train

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 8:54:04 AM PDT
Sparhawk says:
Activision tricks gamers into playing bad FPSes, and then gamers force other publishers to make games they like. Which are bad.

I don't like the Red Orchestra model because you tend to die at the opening of an encounter rather than interacting. The gameplay is in travel and positioning rather than dodging live fire.

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 3:36:40 PM PDT
Deadcell says:
It sounds like Red Orchestra 2 sucks and he's just mad about it. People play and LOVE games like Resistance, Halo, Far Cry, Killzone, Crysis, and many others despite them not being identical to CoD.

CoD did not ruin FPS gamers of the generation. Again, apparently Red Orchestra 2 just sucks and he's mad because someone made him aware of it. Stop development and move on, you lost.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 3:48:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 14, 2013 3:49:21 PM PDT

he's ranting about why his game testers are comparing it to COD... but he freaking, "got a group of people that I know that are pretty hardcore Call of Duty players."

ummm... so you would expect them to compare your game to COD (A game they apparently love) and probably be pretty bias towards it.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  39
Total posts:  82
Initial post:  Mar 14, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 17, 2013

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