Gears of War 3 Interview

| 24 Feb 2011 19:39

SB: And the medals?

JB: Medals are long-term awards, and the cool thing about medals is when you're in the lobby searching for a game, it shows your gamer tag and things like your medal and your title which is associated with your medal. For example, everybody that plays in the beta gets the beta tester medal, which means until the end of time you can identify yourself as being a beta tester on Gears 3

We kind of used them to help people define their play style. There's some for Lancer specialist-so you tell people I have X number of kills under my belt with a Lancer and it's my preferred weapon. They start off bronze and then there are multiple levels that go up increasingly. The more experienced you are with it, the bigger your medal becomes, the cooler you look online to all your friends, and the more bragging rights you have.

SB: Does that actually show up in the game itself?

JB: All of our characters are very iconic to our series and we want to maintain that, but we want to give people the chance to customize themselves. Based on whatever conditions you meet, you unlock specific weapon skins, and then people can say "Hey this guy must be good with that weapon." So, for example, everybody that participates in the beta is going to get a specialized weapon. People who preordered Bulletstorm are going to get a specialized weapons game so everybody can see "Hey that guy was there." Some of them are really cool and some of them are very easy to spot and identifiable, some of them are camouflaged. It's all kind of how you want to play.

And also along with that, we're doing characters. In the beta, I believe it starts with Marcus and Dom and then to the drones and the grenadiers and something for the Locusts. You progress towards unlocking more and more characters, and of course you see the characters' heads and personalities. For the beta, if you play enough, you will eventually unlock Coltrane. Now, Augustus Cole is a soldier on the Cog forces who used to be a professional Thrashball player, which is their version of football. So you will unlock him, in his football uniform, out on the field playing.

SB: That's pretty cool.

JB:If you continue to play with that one and continue to do well, then you'll actually unlock that so when you get the full game you'll get to keep that. So, on day one, playing a game, you're running around as a Thrashball Cole. Then everyone knows not only did that guy play in the beta, but he kicked ass. This is your chance to show something off and show something special.

SB: Okay. That's actually really cool.

JB: Anyway, all these things feed into that same grind. The experience. Going for unlocks. Keeping you coming back to the game.

SB: But it's all just cosmetic? There's no practical advantage, right?

JB:Well, the one that's not are the executions. In previous games, we had several specialized executions that everybody had. So, what we did is separate those out to basically a slow, medium, and long execution. Each and every weapon in the game now has its own specialized long execution. The short execution is mainly like it always was; well, now it's a kick. The medium ones are the curb stomps, like the iconic execution. Each weapon has its own specialized long execution that you can only unlock by doing well with that weapon. Once you unlock it, you can use it, and every time you use it you gain more experience. It takes a little longer, it's riskier to pull off, but you get more experience by doing it, and it's a total showoff thing to everyone to say "I did something cool."

Another big change for us is everything is online now. Even just sitting at the main menu, you're in a party. All of your friends can see you, they can come join you, you can party up. The main advantage to doing that is you can create a party with your friends before you've even started the game. Which player do you want to be? Single player? Co-op? As opposed to before, it was "Call your buddy, say you're playing, and do you want to join me?" Then we have to search and find each other. It was a big mess. Now it's all very smooth and integrated.

Another big thing that we're doing is the event calendar. You'll be able to see this Friday is headshot Friday. It's whatever craziness we want to do. Turning on and off mutators. All weapons become the boomshot. Whatever we want to do. We become the puppet masters and can have fun with certain events. That'll all be updated regularly.

SB: Thanks for your time, Jim.

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