The working life of MW3


This article is more a blog post/interview with some of the key developers on the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, one of the most anticipated games of the season. I thought this was interesting because the Guardian writer, Keith Stuart, speaks directly to some of these members of the MW3 development team to find out more about what goes into creating the game from the business/development stand point. I thought it was pretty cool to see an article about a game focus more on the media workers and how they contribute to the game, and not just on reviews or sales projections and the like.

As Stuart states, there are almost 200 developers across two studios (Sledgehammer and Infinity Ward) involved in making MW3. One of the key themes I noticed in these interviews is the sheer volume of time it takes to create the aesthetics of the game: character animator Zach Volker describes two months collaborating to create a single sequence of a train crashing, and animation director Christopher Stone spent weeks working with his team on moments-long building explosion. It’s no wonder that so many video game designers and developers “burn out” (Deuze, 225) when you consider how much time and effort must be put into a final project the caliber of a game such as Mw3. (See screenshot, above, for an example of the high quality of realism put into these graphics!)  Some of the “tweaking” that Stone discusses in reference to development of the building explosion speak to the “context of permanent change” in which the creative work of game developers now occurs (Deuze 218.) The “instantaneous pipeline between Maya model and game engine” that Stone discusses in one example of how constant changes and advances to the technology change how workers within the industry operate; in this case, this technological innovation allowed the animation team to iterate media quickly, which gives them more opportunity to review and change their material as needed, allowing them every opportunity to make their work the best that it can be.

On a more personal note, I just thought that it was cool that this handful of employees got a chance to talk more in-depth about their role in creating such a culturally significant game, especially considering the crucial role that crediting has come to play in the game industry (Deuze, 221.) With a staff of almost 200 creating this game, MW3 exemplifies that growth in development teams.


– Shannon


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