GRAW 2 : Interview with Olivier Dauba
- Content Producer at the Ubisoft development team -

January 2007

Olivier Dauba

English version
Pour la version française, cliquez ici.

With other press members of XCN (Xbox Community Network), we have been able to ask some questions to Olivier Dauba, content Producer at the Ubisoft development team, about Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 on Xbox 360.

XCN : Will the graphics in the multiplayer part of the game be as good as the single player in GRAW 2?
Olivier Dauba : This was not the case in the previous title. We've devoted a huge amount of engineering resources to stepping up the graphics in GRAW 2 multiplayer. The biggest upgrade by far is a switch to more advanced lighting effects, including a dynamic lighting and shadowing system. We've also revamped the special effects so you'll see the shimmer of heat from explosions and burning buildings, wind and helicopters effecting smoke and foliage, advanced bullet impact effects, distance blur …the ‘works’.

XCN : Will it be possible to superimpose my face onto characters, like in Rainbow Six Vegas?
Olivier Dauba : We won't be supporting face mapping, but we've piled on the character customization options, including female characters and more FFW gear. Fans of other Clancy games might even recognize a few new headgear choices

XCN : How does the multiplayer experience differ from GRAW?
Olivier Dauba : First off, we’ve listened to a lot of fan feedback and worked it into GRAW 2 to really streamline the multiplayer experience. We’re doing things like adding an in-action scoreboard, more detailed weapon statistics, and an entirely new spawn system. One of the coolest individual features we’ve added is the ability for players to medic fallen teammates if they take an incapacitating non-lethal wound. This makes teamwork and tactical, coordinated movement even more important in GRAW 2. Breaking off into 2-3 man squads in a team or co-op match can make sure that if you go down, one of your buddies is around to eliminate the threat and get you back in the action. That’s not to say we’ve gone soft though, don’t expect to get back in the fight after taking a .50 cal round to the chest We’ll also be shipping with significantly more content than the original GRAW, in terms of number of maps and the addition of new game types, a slew of new weapons, and more customization options.

XCN : What kind of rank system are you building in GRAW2?
Olivier Dauba : We’re building on what we offered in GRAW 1 and improving the stability of ranked games and working to address specific ways some users found to exploit the system. This time around players will not only be able to see their current rank, but keep track of their progress towards their next rank increase.

XCN : How did you integrate realism in GRAW2 ? Do you have military interlocutors for the tactics, the weapons ?
Olivier Dauba : Realism & Accuracy have always been key into the Ghost Recon franchise. We're working this into different levels. The first thing is the collaboration with weapons & gear manufacturers. We work closely with them to make sure we include the latest stuff available. the Ghosts look like the US soldiers will in the next year. The second thing is the work with the Natick, an US organisation that defines what is going to be the Gear & Strategy of the Soldier of the Future.

GRAW 2 Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

XCN : What is the single biggest difference in game play compared to GRAW and how did community feedback factor into this?
Olivier Dauba : The community was asking for more supports (heavy support, allies…), more precision in their control & more strategies available. The Cross-Com 2,0 is the direct answer to that request : allows to control everything, from planes to allies, allows to pilot directly some of the supports (UAV drone, MULE...) & gives you a more detailed understanding of the battle situation. This is what is going to make GRAW game play refined and improved for more variety and choices.

XCN : Will this be the best game on 360 ever graphically? If so how?
Olivier Dauba : GRAW2 will be one of the best in the competition (and this is a tough one!). The main thing is that we are building on the very strong basis of GRAW original engine. So that most of the time is spent into optimizing, adding new effects (Ambient Occlusion, Dynamic Weather...) or creating impressive SFX (see the explosions!). The other point is that we're not using tech for tech's sake. For instance, a huge work has been done on post-processing filters that drive emotion, help in game play and increase immersion a lot.

XCN : With the success of the online Co-Op when the game first came out, have you considered to make the single player maps and objectives, into online based Co-Op games?
Olivier Dauba : With GRAW 2 we’ve decided to keep the co-op campaign unique because it allows us to do a number of things that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. We can give players an experience that was designed for co-op game play from the ground up, which is something you can’t do if it has to work for one player just as well as it works for sixteen. Because the co-op missions are designed for a large group of players to fight through together, we’ve added in a lot of opportunities for players to use cooperative tactics to take down separate objectives simultaneously, setup diversions, and ambush enemy troops.

XCN : Where have you taken the single player? Are you going back to the roots of the game and building on what made the game so popular?
Olivier Dauba : GRAW2 is happening on the US/Mexican border, kilometres away from Mexico city. We feel that location is great for the variety of environments (rural zones, deserts, towns…) and the constant feeling you have to be very close & feel very differently than on the other side of the border.

XCN : What type of co-op are you adding to this game?
Olivier Dauba : Beyond graphics improvements I mentioned above, we're lengthening the co-op campaign and doing some really cool things with the mission objectives themselves. We've added what we’re calling ‘conditional objectives’ which are tied to secondary objectives throughout the co-op campaign. In GRAW 1, the co-op missions had secondary objectives that were optional and gave the players a bit more choice in completing a mission. In GRAW 2, we’re expanding on this idea so that secondary objectives become key tactical choices in how a co-op mission will play out.

XCN : What new innovative weapons and gadgetry can we expect to be using or see in action in GRAW 2?
Olivier Dauba : Apart from the Cross-Com 2,0, we have plenty of new stuff. The Ghost now have access to the RX4 Storm series : modelled & designed (even the smallest details like the gas valve) from an existing weapon. Seeing the MULE in action will be great too!

XCN : Thanks a lot for your time and your answers !

Related links :

- Ghost Recon AW 2 videos

- Ghost Recon official site

- Other Xbox 360 interviews

Max73, Xbox Gazette, February 8th 2007

Thanks to : Olivier Dauba, XCN, Ubisoft - Achetez Jeux, DVD & CD online sans frais - Achats de Jeux-vidéo pour Consoles et PC - Japonais, Coréens, et autres régions!