October 24, 2020

Marc-Alexandre Milot – A Call of Duty Interview

As mentioned, I got the opportunity to visit Stockholm in Sweden for a Call of Duty event ahead of Modern Warfare’s release date. One of the opportunities I got was an interview with Beenox’s Game Director Marc-Alexandre Milot.

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Marc-Alexandre Milot

Who is he? Well, here is a short biography he wrote for our press release/kit.

I joined Beenox/Activision in 2009. Started as an Engine Programmer, switched to gameplay/AI Programmer and then Lead Programmer. I worked mostly on game ports (Skylanders: Swap Force Wii, Skylanders: Trap Team (PS4, XB1), Call of Duty: Black Ops 3). During Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 PC, I had the role of Lead UI/Gameplay Engineer, leading a team of ~13 engineers. During high school and college, I played a lot of competitive shooters (Tribes 2, Call of Duty 2, Counter-Strike: Source) and participated in multiple LAN tournaments making my first paychecks playing video games :D. I played only on PC games, never owned a console. I stopped playing video games during University due to lack of time. Last year, Being in charge of the PC version of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 brought me back these old competitive memories. I did not have a lot of time to discuss game design being also in charge of the engineering part of the project. Later in the project, when we looked at Blackout mode to make it fun for Keyboard and Mouse, this is where I decided to participate more in game design. With the help of the team at Beenox, I’ve sent my first design documents for Blackout to David Vonderharr (Treyarch’s Studio Design Director), proposing design adaptations for Keyboard and Mouse. It was a great experience learning from him.

Once the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was live, I made the switch to the design team as a GameDirector for this year’s title, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Having a technical background helps me list, understand and priorities this year’s feature from UI, Gameplay andTechnology related to PC and Keyboard and Mouse on console. We have a great relation with the main developer Infinity Wards. We have very open discussions about potential improvements to both PC and consoles. We are working together in the same direction tomake it an awesome game. Being a competitive player, I like to push the game to its limits. We want to make sure the game remains accessible and also fun for competitive players.

Even though Marc specifically works on the PC features on Modern Warfare, we tried to ask some other questions as well, such as why they decided to go crossplay?, how did they manage the balance of receiving experience (XP) in the various multiplayer modes?, Why should we play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on PC? Marc replied that he’s glad he ain’t on the balancing team of the game, just the PC stuff, and the reason why they chose to go crossplay was decided before Marc entered the development team. And why play on PC? well it’s just a fun video game.

“Well it’s just a fun video game”

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When it comes to the question if players can customize their HUD, such as resizing killstreak icons, removing mini-map etc, they don’t offer this option yet, except when you play in the realism mode (hardcore mode). 

There is a lot of expectations of this reboot, during the presentation Marc held, he presented how they are handling it. “You know they’re fresh but a familiar feeling like we want players who are hardcore Call of Duty fans to enjoy the game and feel like it’s the Call of Duty game that they love.”

“Fresh but familiar”

Our interview with Marc lasted over 30 minutes, with journalists from Finland as well as us. So instead of me transcribing what Marc said you can just listen to our interview with him right here:

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