First official day of Gamescom 2011 got into full swing today with members of the press circumnavigating the huge convention halls. The Sledgehammer Games crew arrived at the event and quickly became focused in on the objective at hand... Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
Before heading to the business/press area, Co-founders Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey both decided we should stop by the Activision booth and say hello to the fans who were standing in line to play MW3.
Excitement was in the air and you could just feel it. It was great to hear the applause after the Hunter Killer level ended too. People are showing how genuinely impressed they are with this year’s Call of Duty title and features surrounding the game. We're very excited!
From there we headed off to perform a full day’s work of press interviews and playthroughs.
Press Demo Rooms
On our demo list was Spec Ops Survival mode on a never before seen map, Paris, as well as an all new mission mode. We had the opportunity to demo these with a variety of industry press ranging from hardcore Call of Duty community sites to some of the bigger names in the industry including 1up, Machinima, and Geoff Keighley from Gametrailers.
Overall, today was a great start to Gamescom 2011. Having the opportunity to be a part of all this, playing MW3 with members of the press while providing constructive insight into the specifics of the game has given us an absolutely fantastic feeling all around. We’re all very thrilled about this game and with the big announcement of Dedicated Servers for PC, we know you'll enjoy this year's Modern Warfare experience!
Community Manager Guy Beahm with Call of Duty Military Advisor Hank Keirsey
August Hammer of the Month Contest - Picture #3 of 5
Written by Guy Beahm
Today we woke up and had a nice breakfast at the hotel. After listening to Glen’s stories involving some extremely unknown horror movies, we ventured off to Gamescom to get some hands-on Spec Ops training with the Activision production crew. Tomorrow is the official first day of the event.
Glen and Michael navigating Gamescom 2011 before it officially opens 8-17-2011
When we arrived to the convention, we actually became lost quite quickly. The vast size of Gamescom and its layout was almost overwhelming… in a good way. But we finally found our destination which was the Call of Duty booth and we were blown away. From a theater that accommodates 90+ fans, a Black Ops Million Dollar Tournament qualifier, and ultimately the showcasing of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Campaign and Spec Ops Survival Mode, the booth had it all!
Additionally, the Activision booth in general has a very strong presence this year. World of Warcraft is definitely ready!
After the convention we did some touring around Cologne. In the midst of Glen and Michael’s constant bickering of one another, we decided that it was time for lunch. The restaurant we decided on had fantastic food as well as an amazing view of downtown Cologne.
But lunch only proved to be fuel for a nap. So that’s what we did. After a few hours rest, Glen, Michael and I met with Activision EU Marketing and had a wonderful Italian dinner to cap off the night.
Between seeing the Call of Duty booth and today’s experiences, it was another wonderful day of sightseeing and prepping for the big show that starts tomorrow.
Gamescom 2011, here we come!
Written by Guy Beahm
Sledgehammer Games had a wonderful first day in Cologne, Germany. Being that Gamescom doesn't actually start until Wednesday, the crew decided to do some sightseeing today. So Glen, Michael, and I hopped on the train in Cologne and traveled alongside the infamous Rhine River to a little German town call Koblenz.
Train station in Cologne, Germany
During our trip to Koblenz, we were able to see quite a few attractions including historic castles and extravagant churches along the banks of the Rhine river.
Once we reached our destination in Koblenz, we navigated through the city and made our way to the Electoral Palace where beautiful gardens and landscaping were on display.
Glen in front of the Electoral Palace
But we didn't just stop there. We had heard about the sheer size of the fortress, Ehrenbreitstein alongside the east bank of the Rhine river so we had to see it for ourselves. Wow, what a fascinating place. Even the tram ride up to the fortress was an experience in itself.
Michael on the banks of the Rhine river
Guy in front of the Ehrenbreitstein fortress
The fortress was absolutely amazing. From the architecture and layout of the land, it's hard to fathom how much energy was spent creating such a structure... it was truely breathtaking. We talked about the idea of how cool it would be if a MP map was built based upon the layout of the fortress. Hmm, ideas ideas.
Oh, and the view, well....
Having the opportunity to hang out with Glen and Michael while experiencing today's events, I'd say it was an awesome day!
August Hammer of the Month Contest - Picture #1 of 5
Written by Guy Beahm
Written by Guy Beahm
Categories Modern Warfare 3
Modern Warfare 3, Research and Development, Naval Amphibious Base Coronado
Several years ago, long before Sledgehammer Games started working on Modern Warfare 3, I was given the book The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228, by Dick Couch. It was the first book, of many since, that I've read about the lore of the US Navy Seals. The Warrior Elite was a wonderfully told, thought-provoking story about the qualification process and training of a Navy Seal. Dick's telling of the trials of BUD/S training was superb, and I was moved by the sheer grit and force of will it takes to survive Hell Week and become one of the Navy's most elite fighters. Recently, I finished reading Lone Survivor, by Marcus Luttrell. Lone Survivor told a similar moving story of the trials of BUD/S and Hell Week before dropping me into a heroic survival tale of a Seal combat mission in Afghanistan gone terribly wrong. Those two books and many others, as well as the countless news reports of Navy Seal Team Six's capture of Bin Laden, are testimonies to the Navy Seals as one of the greatest assets in the US Armed Forces.
Sledgehammer Games, with Infinity Ward, puts a ton of energy into delivering the most authentic modern combat possible in an interactive entertainment experience. Our active and retired Special Operations consultants are critical resources in helping us achieve that goal. Needless to say, I was thrilled when we had the opportunity to bring a Navy Seal consultant onto the team for Modern Warfare 3. (To protect his identity, let’s call him by his code name “Westbrook”).
Over the course of the project, Westbrook has given us valuable insights into current Navy Seal combat tactics, as well as key feedback on mission designs, character development and dialog scripts. Westbrook also arranged a number of hands-on combat experiences, including a behind-the-scenes all access tour to Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, the west coast home of the Navy Seals and the appropriately name Hell Week location detailed in Couch’s book.
We toured the armory, SCUBA training pool, hand-to-hand combat training facility, and of course the infamous O-course. Running the brutal obstacle course in person, walking across the iconic concrete grinder, seeing the helmets solemnly lined up under the ring-out bell… it brought the stories straight into vivid reality. We watched Log PT, one of the most miserable looking PT exercises imaginable; claim at least 5 ring-outs in less than 30 minutes.
Sledgehammer Games is fortunate to have Westbrook helping us deliver something special for Call of Duty fans in November. I can’t begin to describe the respect I gained for those who successfully passed BUD/S Hell Week after seeing firsthand the incredible mental and physical challenge the Seal Instructors inflict on the candidates. We are all lucky to have the dedicated men of the US Navy Seals protecting us and our freedoms. They truly are warrior elites.
Written by Michael Condrey