Greg Goodrich Blog Post - Standing Up - Medal of Honor News

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Greg Goodrich Blog Post - Standing Up - Medal of Honor News

Post by Administrator on Mon 12 Apr - 12:37

Medal of Honor Executive Producer, Greg Goodrich, has posted a blog on about the process of developing Medal of Honor and his Tier 1 beard.

I’ve spoken at length in the press about one of our internal development philosophies regarding getting the new Medal of Honor game “stood up” as early as possible. This simply means that we’ve scheduled our production in a manner which allows for the team to focus solely on getting basic functionality in, the levels built, and the game up and running from start to finish. Once the game is standing, we can look at the entire product, play it in its entirety and determine if it is going to be any good without having to worry about how it looks.

Essentially, we achieved our goal and Medal of Honor was standing in December of last year. Since then, we’ve ripped apart a few encounters and redesigned them because we quickly found that they just were not living up to the quality level we expect for this game. Luckily, we hadn’t spent any time making these levels look good so little effort was lost and the strategy worked.

Now, we’ve returned to a state where the game is completely playable once again from beginning to end and we are happy with the pacing, the story, and most importantly, the game play elements that have made the final cut. Now we can focus on making it look pretty, adding the spectacle, recording our dialog, and generally everything else that is involved in polishing and finishing a game. We believe this strategy is the best way to give our fans the most enjoyable Medal of Honor experience possible. And it is working.

But here is the problem with this approach.

Since December of last year we’ve been aggressively promoting our game. You’ve seen the results of this in the trailers, the magazine articles and screenshots we’ve released. The trouble with this is that when you proceed with a strategy that basically delays the beauty, the spectacle and the flash of a polished game it isn’t ready for prime time until later in the development process. And since we painted with broader brush strokes in the beginning, the game really isn’t in a good place to demonstrate to anyone except for those who understand why the decision was made to stand the game up early. Simply put, a car dealership isn’t going to pull an unfinished automobile from the assembly line and let a potential buyer take it for a test drive.

But we realize that this is all part of the process. So at times during the normal cadence of production we’ll pull a small team aside and ask them to take certain pieces a little further and get them to a state that won’t embarrass us if we show it to anyone outside of the immediate family.

Every morning I wake up, check the status of the beard I’m currently trying to grow, pour myself a bowl of cereal and then log onto the forums and begin to read the comments. I generally respond to every single post. Although I rarely hit “submit” when doing so. It’s funny. I get really close at times and then think, “What is this going to sound like a few months from now when someone resurrects this thread and makes you look like an ass?” It’s a difficult balance. But there have been some great discussions on our forums and generally people are paying close attention and getting it right. Especially the folks at Gamervision who do a frame by frame analysis of everything we release.

Just recently, on the Medal of Honor forums, there have been two separate discussions regarding our character and weapon models. Basically, the “gear heads” are telling us that there are issues. Big issues. And that we’re getting it all wrong. This is compounded by the fact that we have been trumpeting “authenticity” as one of our core tenets. I got into one of these discussions and tried to explain everything I’ve just said above in a few brief sentences. It didn’t work.

But let me assure you, we are paying attention. For instance, we know that an M4 rifle needs a gas block. Whether it’s direct impingement or a gas piston driven system, with an a-frame, flip up or a low profile gas block beneath a free float rail, an M4 needs this essential piece of steel to direct the gas from the fired cartridge to the bolt carrier in order to cycle the action. And it will have one. We also know that most operations do not require certain units to dress in indigenous clothing to blend in. But I can assure you that there will be moments when our Tier 1 Operators will be fully kitted out in assault gear. But currently they are still being built. The Afghan “Hobo” look was something we decided to take a little further at the beginning of development because we felt this was a new face we could put on our warriors and it would be different and set us apart. Building Special Operations Forces in assault gear is easy, and they are coming. And lastly, the Rangers. Yes, the U.S. Army Rangers. The 1st Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment is an elite special operations unit of the U.S. Army and they are certainly not to be messed with. They are fully capable, professional, and have a very strong heritage and tradition in kicking ass. And we are going to honor them and give them their proper nod. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about Tier 1, the “Sledgehammer” and the “Scalpel” but I can assure you that we know full well that Rangers lead the way. Hooah!



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