As "GoldenEye 007: Reloaded" hits game store shelves around the world, MI6 caught up with Activision to talk about the new title...

Producer Interview

7th November 2011

MI6 recently caught up with Activision producer James Steer to talk abut their latest videogame under their exclusive James Bond licence, "GoldenEye 007: Reloaded", as it hit store shelves across the world this week.

How did you start out in the games industry? What exactly do you do as a producer?
After university I started out as a level designer working for a UK based developer called Intelligent Games, at the time we were working on the Dune franchise with Westwood Studios. As a Producer I manage all aspects of the video game development cycle from Activision’s point of view. The main part of this is dealing with developers on a day to day basis, from the concept stage right through to the release of the game. We also interface with many other departments within Activision such as Marketing, PR, Finance, Legal and Sales. For Goldeneye 007: Reloaded, we also work very closely with EON Productions to make sure that they game is as authentic as possible.

What were the most difficult aspects and technical challenges developing "GoldenEye: Reloaded" for the latest platforms, compared to the Wii?
The key challenge here was about developing a new engine that was capable of delivering HD graphics whilst still running at 60fps, plus we also wanted to move from 8 to 16 players for online multiplayer. The engine the team at Eurocom produced allowed us to do all of the above.

How did you decide which technologies to integrate for the game?
Gameplay and overall product quality are always the key drivers behind decisions to update our technology.

What new experiences will this offer a Bond fan and gamers alike? What is the one feature that stands out and sets the game apart from past versions?
This is a tough question as Goldeneye 007: Reloaded has a lot to offer players, but I really love the addition of the MI6 Ops challenges and the way they drive competition between friends through the online leaderboards.

 


Did you use established scripts and pre-visualization aspects already produced for the Wii? How much creative license were you given to mould the game into its own unique version?
In terms of the game’s single player story, this is still the same as the Wii version, but as we have a new AI system the gameplay within levels will feel slightly different. As for the other parts of the game, we have really gone through an upgraded many different areas. The MI6 Ops mode introduces entirely new gameplay that was not seen on the Wii version. We have added new Classic Characters such as Goldfinger and Max Zorin, plus given them all unique abilities. Last but not least, online multiplayer has new maps, modes, weapons and playable characters.

How long has the title been in development? What sets the game engine apart from other games? Did you spend much time trying to match the established Wii version?
The technology team at Eurocom started working on the engine for Goldeneye 007: Reloaded back in 2010, whilst Eurocom’s game team were working on the Wii version. In terms of the engine, we wanted to create something that allowed us to deliver Goldeneye for the first time in HD, running at 60fps with an entirely upgraded multiplayer system.

When defining the different multi player and single player modes what was the key development mantra?
I think the key thing here was to allow players the chance to play in different ways, so if you want to pick up a AK-47 and blast your way through a level, then the game delivers. On the flip side, if you like to play like a spy using silenced weapons and takedowns, the game will react accordingly.

We will get a raft of classic Bond villains will we see some classic Bond locations? Will new environments be released for players to download?
DLC is not something we are talking about at this moment in time. However, the game already offers the chance to take control of a whole array of Bond characters including Dr No, Goldfinger, Rosa Klebb, Max Zorin and Tee Hee.

How does the development differ from a single player mode and a multiplayer mode? How does this affect the environments?
I think the key thing here is balance - all multiplayer maps need to have some level of this to succeed. For every sniping position on the map, there needs to be counter position so that play does not get bogged down. Whereas for the most part a single player environment is built around the gameplay we want to introduce to the player at that point in time and also the story we are telling.

What sets the Goldeneye Reloaded multi player apart from games already on the market?
Classic characters is one of the key aspects here, no other game allows you to enter battles involving Jaws, Oddjob, Goldfinger, Scaramanga, Tee Hee and Max Zorin to name but a few. You can also access these Classic characters in 4 player local split screen which is an amazing amount of fun.

What homages are there to the original game? How did you go about trying stay true to the original yet bring it up to date with the latest technology?
We certainly pay tribute to the original game, by visiting some of the same locations, but we also wanted to update the story, so some of the locations such as Zukovsky’s Nightclub are completely unique. The goal was always to re-imagine the Goldeneye story for today’s world. The same goal was then applied to the games feature set, to bring it in line with modern FPS games, but always adding that Bond twist.

When revisiting the characters how did you select which Bond villains to bring back and which original GoldenEye characters to update? What has been your favourite Bond weapon and character over the course of development?
We work as a team to decide which characters to create, the decisions come from wanting to have a good spread of characters and abilities that suit all play styles. We are really lucky to have such a cool cast of characters to choose from. In terms of my favorite character, it has to be Jaws as he is so iconic. For weapon it would be the Golden Gun. Watching people chase after this weapon in multiplayer demonstrates its powers.

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