Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - High Moon Studios

Role: Associate Technical Designer
Project: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Year: 2018 - 2019

I worked on two missions for the single player campaign on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare:

  • Old Comrades - chase down ‘The Butcher’ through the streets of St Petersburg.
  • Hunting Party - assist the Marines in taking down ‘The Wolf’.

Throughout the project, I prototyped several new mechanics for the game as well as provided design support for both the levels. However, most of my time was devoted to the interrogation sequence in St Petersburg (Old Comrades).

Here’s a video (credits: BabyZone) showcasing several different approaches to the interrogation:

Butcher Interrogation

Due to the cinematic nature of this campaign, there was an emphasis on heavily scripted sequences and I implemented this entire section from start to finish. The trickiest aspect was accounting for all the edge cases since the player could interrupt any of the scenes. Some of the key features were:

1. Escort mechanic - The Butcher’s wife and kid are escorted from the van to the interrogation room. I created a pseudo-FSM in script that could blend seamlessly between different movement animations, the one-shot reactions, and also the escalated state in the hallway.

2. Branching animations - Similar to the escort, the interrogation also involves a custom anim state machine that support several branches and corresponding VO based on where the player is aiming the gun, as well as who they fire on.

3. Contextual nag lines - I also had to add customized handlers for all the nag lines so that there are no dead moments throughout the scene regardless of how long the player might take to make a decision. There are also subtle things like Nikolai speaking or shouting his line depending on your distance from him, and comments from both him and Price if you stray from the objective.

There are several other details I will add to this page once I get some time to collect my thoughts.