Developing Future Vehicles for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare [Part 1]

by Sledgehammer Games

When we set out three years ago to create the future world of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, we made a commitment to deliver a game set in the year 2054 that players can relate to. We studied the history of the automobile, planes, military equipment and even the creation of roads, bridges and railroads. This was all part of an effort we made to better understand the progression of land and air vehicles over time, and found that it helped us predict where they’re headed to in the future. We even created timelines that showed the progression of instrument panels, and computers. Glen Schofield, Co-Founder and Studio Head of Sledgehammer Games, pushed our artists to constantly question their designs. “Designing future vehicles is harder than you would imagine. Big decisions have to be made first. Do they fly? Do they drive themselves? What are they made of? What type of fuel are they using," said Schofield. “Do we look out a windshield or is everything operated by camera and sensors? You have to look at the past few decades to see what has changed over time.”


Early on in the development process, our team created a design book composed of all the rules, shapes, proportions, and compounds, ensuring every artist in the building was pushing in the right direction. We created hundreds of drawings of trucks, buses, military vehicles, and construction vehicles - breaking them down further into interiors, exteriors, and instrument panels.


An early drawing of the Razorback VTOL from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.


“The Razorback VTOL was extremely important to the game. It was also one of the first flying vehicles. We started with ‘How would it take off?’ and ‘How would it land?’” said Schofield. “We decided that it should be able to turn on a dime, added jet engines for speed, and made it versatile so it could carry soldiers inside and heavy equipment on the outside. The team thought about doors for quick exfils, and mounting harnesses for quick access to the weapons."



Look for a quick shot of the Razorback VTOL in action at the 2:00 mark.


The Razorback is just one of many flying vehicles we researched for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Be sure to visit our shgdevblog each week as we unveil our process of developing the various weapons, vehicles, and technology found in our game. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram for more updates from our studio.

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