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Black Ops 2 Developer: Gun Design Is ‘F—ing Hard’

Call of Duty Black Ops 2

Wonder how much attention Treyarch is putting into online feedback from Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 fans? A lot. But just because people are very passionate about a subject doesn’t mean it’s going to influence their decision about design, especially if the numbers are saying otherwise. Just ask Treyarch’s David Vondehaar.

Call of Duty Black Ops 2

The Auger is one of the guns featured in Treyarch’s upcoming FPS, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. And while everyone seems excited about the game, not a lot of people are happy about that gun:

“In Black Ops 2 right now, people are saying that the millimetre wave scanner isn’t strong enough. Again, we’re in alpha, we’re still tuning, that’s important – but if you walk around the emotional reactor, some people think the scanner needs to pulse faster. ‘I need to see guys through walls better’.”

Vondehaar, however, thinks the gun works fine and that people may be confusing their ’emotional and visceral’ reactions when handling it:

“That thing is badass and guys that use it are badass with it. There’s always a balance between your emotional and visceral reaction for how something feels, and the truth about how much it helps you or not.

“I have the fortunate or unfortunate position of being judge, juror and executioner on all those decisions, and it puts me in an awkward spot. Because I have to look at people who think very passionately that it should pulse faster, show targets for longer, or maybe it shows them even when they’re moving.”

Vondehaar goes on to reveal that creating great guns for Black Ops 2 and making sure fans are happy is a difficult balancing act. And while he is thankful for all the feedback they’re getting, at the end of the day, he’ll still go with what the numbers show:

“All these are things we can tweak and tune, and they’re telling me this, and I’m looking at them, saying: ‘I appreciate your feedback young man, but the data shows the truth about this.’ And that’s game design and part of being a game designer, and it’s fucking hard.”

Have you tried out The Auger? How would you react and deal with feedback from the fans of you were part of the Black Ops 2’s dev team? Discuss in the comments below!




  1. Brandon

    06/10/2012 at 02:20

    The more skilled required, the better. People need a,deep learning curve. I would go with the numbers too, hearing dissension wouldn’t be enough to deviate my initial intuition.

  2. Dominic Hey

    09/10/2012 at 06:44

    Treyarch’s top priority should be ensuring the game launches with hardcore capture-the-flag available on multiplayer. Even better would be to revive Single Flag Capture from Call of Duty 3, adding hardcore mode (of course). For me, the multiplayer game modes are the main lure of the title (hardcore ctf / s&d). Everything else (maps, weapons, perks) you adapt to – hence the popularity/advantage of becoming beta testers.

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