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Interviews

Rainbow Six: Vegas

CVG exclusively speaks to the man behind R6's incredible face mapping technology. Pics of our ugly mug in the game inside

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Cambiotti: Well I don't like to say that we watered it down because it is a tactical first-person shooter. We tend to attract a more hardcore audience who know how an organised counter-terrorist team operates and what they should and shouldn't have, but at the same time we realise that we're making a videogame so we kind of have to reach a balance between having something that's super realistic and something that's fun.

For example you can bring a super-powerful .50 cal sniper rifle that's going to shoot through walls like it really does in real life, but when you put that into the game it's just not fun because it's so powerful.

From the beginning we sat down and said we're not making Raven Shield 2.0, we're making Rainbow Six Vegas. It's got to be different, we're going to try this crazy new thing going from first-person the third-person in different situations.

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We feel that we have a game that's going to appeal to the hardcore gamers but its also going to go and get new players that weren't familiar with the other Rainbow Six series.

CVG: Ubisoft's other Clancy game Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter has performed really well on 360 - have you taken any inspiration from that in your plans for Vegas?

Cambiotti: We try not too from a game design perspective. I mean, we look at what worked and what didn't but at the same time we don't want to make a carbon copy. I know it sounds a bit strange that we both have a location in Mexico - Ghost Recon has a location in Mexico but aside from that if you play the game and if you play the Rainbow Six Vegas demo you'll see that they're actually two very different games each with their own bunch of cool things and attractions. So I definitely think there's an interesting market for both of them.

CVG: There's a lot of real life casinos featured in the outside environments of RSV, but you never go inside of them. Is this a design decision or more of a legal issue?

Cambiotti: It's purely a legal thing - the design of casinos and going inside them. A lot of the casino designs are copyrighted so we couldn't just re-use them. Everything we created had to be verified, re-verified and then verified again to make sure that we were going to be OK. So yeah, you never go inside a real life casino - all of the casinos that you go inside are fictional.

CVG: There are also environments outside of Vegas like Mexico as you mentioned. Is that more of a tutorial level or is it a fully-fledge mission?

Cambiotti: Mexico is the first location but it's not purely a tutorial. The way the locations are made is that they're broken down into missions or checkpoints and scenes. Part of the first scene is a tutorial that teaches you the game mechanics and the new cover system.

But Mexico is not just a tutorial - there's a lot going on in Mexico, that's where you're actually going to track down Irena Morales who is the head of a terrorist organisation.

CVG: Everyone's singing the praises of the Unreal Engine 3 at the moment. As a developer who's working with the engine, do you think it lives up to the praise?

Cambiotti: I think any engine it has its positives and its negatives. Unreal 3 has been really helpful as a package that gives you a stepping stone where 'OK, I have my multiplayer component, I have my animation package' - stuff is ready to use right out of the box, and that does save a lot of time. It saves programmers' time, it saves artists' time, it saves animators' time; it really is good.

It can use quite a lot of memory so you don't have as much memory to play around with the environment and you do have to live with certain constraints that the Unreal Engine has. For example if you have this cool new idea that just isn't supported by that engine you can only go as far as the engine will take you.

We knew what we were getting ourselves into, we had a pretty big engine analysis - should we take our internal engine that we had for Ghost Recon, do we use Unreal 3? We decided to choose Unreal 3 in the end so that means that the positives outweighed the negatives.

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