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It’s June 6, 2011. Thousands of games industry professionals and press have flocked to Los Angeles, CA to show off and discover all the hottest new games at E3. The air is rich with excitement, and for folks in our line of work, anxiety. See, this is the day where thousands of game developers are out to make their very first impressions, including us. Games that have been locked away in development for years are about to see the light of day for the very first time.
On this day, one of those games being revealed is Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare 3. For Game Designer Josh Katz, it had been months of preparing the game for this very moment. He and the team are watching the show intently from afar, when live on stage, just as the game starts, the game controller disconnects.
“I straight up left. I left the building and sat outside for 20 minutes,” says Katz.
It wasn’t just Josh Katz who’s nerves were reeling. Successful game design requires the collaboration of many. Call of Duty® campaign levels are a major team effort. This small hiccup could have spelled disaster, but luckily for us everything turned out okay. The level shown in the that demo, “Hunter Killer”, went on to be a notable experience for fans of Modern Warfare 3 and a part of the game many from the team are still proud of.
Prepping Hunter Killer for the E3 Demo was a significant moment in Josh Katz's first year as a Game Designer here at the studio, where he would later go on to work on Call of Duty®: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty®: WWII.
We recently sat down with Josh to reflect on the levels, modes, and killstreaks he worked on in past Call of Duty® titles such as Exo from Advanced Warfare and gameplay mechanics from WWII. You can find the full episode on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.