Raven Software’s Creative Director Amos Hodge was part of an interview recently with GameSpot, where he discussed how the studio came up with the idea to have a Gulag respawn system for Call of Duty: Warzone.
Hodge says that as they were developing Warzone, Infinity Ward was also working on the 2v2 Gunfight for Modern Warfare. Ideas emerged from the Gunfight mode about giving fans a chance to control their own ways to come back into action where relying exclusively on teammates.
He says that they knew from the start of their development on Warzone that they wanted to ensure there was a way for players to have a chance to come back to life in the game.
We knew from the beginning that we wanted a way for players who had been eliminated to get an extra shot at coming back. Single life game modes do a fantastic job of adding tension to the gameplay.
First, we didn’t want a mechanic that was dependent on your teammates. Not all players have a full squad working together as a well-oiled machine. And there is a certain poetry to a player earning their own way back into the game. Second, we wanted to focus on what CoD does best, and that is gun play.
At the time, 2v2 Gunfight in Modern Warfare was being developed and was showing strong signs of promise. With our high-level goals in mind it was a small jump to prototype a mechanic where players had to fight their way back into the game.
Raven tested numerous versions of the Gulag, including how players were brought back into action. They had versions where players returned with their full loadout or with the loadout they had in the Gulag, but ended up with a pistol for everyone.
We also iterated quite a bit on what players have equipped when they came back from Gulag. We tried giving them their full loadout, we tried letting them keep the Gulag loadout, we tried giving them nothing, and eventually we settled on a pistol. The pistol was enough so the player wasn’t defenseless, but wasn’t so strong that the Gulag player could drop onto active players for easy kills.
Hodge also notes in the interview with GameSpot that they knew the wait time in the Gulag would be too long if they only had one Gulag in each match, so they decided to add six Gulag locations in a map to allow matches to occur at a faster pace. And, to avoid repetitiveness they added three different layouts to keep players on their toes.
We decided to create six different Gulag locations, so we could spread players out and shorten the wait time. As time went on Gulag started to feel a little repetitive. It was a small simple map and you saw it every game. We created three different Gulag layouts to keep things feeling fresher longer. In total, we have six Gulag locations with three different layouts.
Lastly, Hodge confirms that the studio plans to refresh the loadouts in the Gulag with new content so that players can get different action.
We are looking at changing up the Gulag starting weapons for future updates to keep things fresh. The goal is to maintain a small set of weapons so players can get familiar with them.
As always, stay tuned for the latest news on Call of Duty: Warzone.