Keeping It Authentic – Medal of Honor Warfighter Interview With Luke Thai
The first-person genre is a crowded marketplace; the people who make these games know it all too well and each of them try to do something that sets them apart from the rest. Medal of Honor Warfighter is no exception, but what Danger Close are hoping will set them above the crowd is authenticity. This permeates every facet of Warfighter right from the scopes these operatives have equipped to their weapons, to the stories of those operations. It’s a brave move and one that few games (FPS or not) take. We caught up with Danger Close’s Luke Thai to talk about how they are “keeping it real”.
Authenticity is something you’re claiming makes Medal of Honor really stand out from the crowd. What sort of lengths are you going to, to ensure that Medal of Honor remains authentic and grounded in reality?
We’re working with over two dozen Tier 1 Operators on Medal of Honor Warfighter, two of which wrote our story. It doesn’t get more authentic than that. We’ve also hired one of them as an Associate Producer on the game, so he’s there every day to make sure we’re portraying things right. In addition to this special access that we have, we’re the only military shooter that will have real life weapon and military gear manufacturers in the game like McMillan, US Optics, London Bridge Trading Company and more. Those things are being accurately represented in the game and that’s just another layer of immersion that the player gets to benefit from. It goes hand in hand with the realistic, plausible fiction that we’ve created and crafted from the experiences and accounts we’ve gathered from our military consultants.
Working with those Tier One operatives and their families, be it laying out the story, a level or just something that takes place in the game, does it ever get a bit too close to home knowing that these are real people and a lot of the things your are doing are based events that happened in the real world?
It is definitely tricky. We want to keep the game a compelling, fun experience for gamers, but with a certain level of authenticity. Things really hit home in our story moments; in the cutscenes that play between missions. These are an opportunity for the single player and story team to tie together all of the missions, allowing the players an insight into the sacrifices that the soldiers make – both on the battlefield and at home. I think treating it that way is the right approach in that it respects the troops and their stories, providing gamers with what they want; a fun compelling and intense experience.
How many operatives and ex-operatives do you have working on the game?
We have over two dozen consultants that we regularly work with and in particular there are two that kept mission logs and day to day diaries that document their experiences on the battlefield. Those two have served as really heavy inspiration for the events, the missions, the objectives and all of the detail that goes into making Warfighter authentic. They wrote our story.
Yeah, the moments in the game and the over-arching story are all plucked from these accounts and experiences that the soldiers have shared with us. They called it their vent book because they would write things down on how they would have done a mission of different way or have done it at all because the mission could have gotten cancelled.
With first person shooters and action movies there are a lot of things that we as the public and you as game developers have almost been trained to think of as true to life. During the development process what kind of things have you shown to the consultants thinking ‘that’s how it happens’ only for them to tell you otherwise?
There have been plenty of scenarios during development where we have built something into the game and presented it to the Tier 1 guys for them to give us invaluable advice to change it in X, Y and Z ways. It could something as small as how the guys hold their weapons, or changing the dialogue between them. It’s been a real pleasure working with the Special Operations Community.
With the story that you have created taking place all over the world, each of those missions are based on real world events that in the real world aren’t necessarily linked, so how do you tie all of them together?
There is an over-arching story or threat called PETN that ties everything together. And just like the missions this threat is real in the world today. It was most recently found in print toner cartridges about a U.S. bound cargo plane from Yemen.
Find more information about the beta and gain early access to Medal of Honor: Warfighter here.