Hey /r/IAmA! I’m Jens Matthies, Creative Director for Wolfenstein: The New Order. Get psyched because I’m here to answer your questions! AMA!
That's awfully friendly! Hello! I don't drink coffee. I find it to be a vile, bitter drink :)
If you collect everything and explore everywhere I think a single play through could end up close to 20 hours. But there's also lots of incentive to make a second play through, especially to explore the alternate time line.
Thanks for the question! I think this is the beauty of making video games. For example, the opportunities available to us developers these days are vastly different to what id Software had to work with when making Wolf 3D. Our goal has been to make the best Wolf game ever, and you'll see plenty of both old school and fresh new stuff when you play it.
That was the talented people at trailer house G-Net. They've been awesome, and I'm sure they would love some hugs :)
I'm good with all good tasting caffeine delivery systems. Coke, Red Bull, something along those lines. Wish they would weaponize that stuff ;)
Biggest challenge was probably the scope. The game is huge and it was a monster to build. This year it's all tomatoes. But I like any plant that produces food. Except zucchini. Bleh. Yeah, it took days to get that Panzerhund into the office, but now it make the conference room a happy place :)
This game is exclusive single player. But we've built in lots of replay value. Most notably is that the player makes a choice early on the outcome of which opens up an alternate time line which changes the vibe of the story. It's recommended to do a second play through and see what would have happened if you chose differently.
I think so. This game is our love letter to id Software and the shooters we grew up with, so I hope they'll like it. I don't think they will be expecting such a developed story line though ;)
Of course! Gustaf (or Grappo as we call him) has worked with us for about 15 years now, and he's a key sound designer on Wolf. For the music in Wolf we worked with an amazing composer named Mick Gordon as his musical style is more appropriate for this game than Grappo's. We also have some special music contributions by Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah (looove that band).
I regret nothing :)
We will celebrate at MachineGames the day the passionate German gamers convince their government of the obvious fact that games are indeed an art form.
Thanks! As you can tell once I start talking, I don't stop :) I would love to do it again, it's more a matter of finding room for it in the schedule.
Compared to the last console transition this one was a breeze. There are always tricky technical problems when developing games, but we have some amazingly skilled brains on those problems and I'm happy to report that Wolf will run with minimal visual disparity at 60fps/1080p on all platforms.
Yes! There will be a final one on Monday, the 19th.
Yes, whenever we can bloat we will bloat! :) There's an obscene amount of content in the game, and all that good stuff eats storage.
It's not something we go deeply into in this game, but if you explore the game world you will discover some information on the fate of Japan.
Well, above all we wanted to make the best Wolfenstein game possible. The game is of course completely fictionalized and over the top, but we wanted the sense of oppressive Nazi horror feel authentic.
We loved getting to work on Wolf. It was daunting for sure, because it's a game that blew our minds when we grew up, and we've been idolizing id Software since before we started making games. We've worked extremely hard to make sure the id guys wouldn't feel like their trust in us was misplaced. We have lots of ideas for a sequel and we'd love to do one. It hinges on the financial success of this one, of course. There are many game modes you can unlock :)
I'm sorry, I don't care about any of that stuff ;) All I care about is making the best possible video games I can.
Can't really speculate about how the future will play out. I'd love to do a sequel. I think it would be a lot of fun to make an Enemy Territory style multiplayer game. But MachineGames will never make both at the same time. We find that the best possible results come from having the whole team focused on a singular experience for the duration of the project.
Well, could be worse. Our CEO/Executive Producer is named Jerk.
Yeah, Fredrik made some custom music for the game. All of the music in the game is amazing, I'm really psyched about it.
Well, I don't want to give any spoilers, but it changes the vibe of the story to a degree and alters the gameplay somewhat. We think of it as an alternate ending, but instead of it just affecting the final cinematic, it affects the tone of the whole game a little bit.
Excellent question! Keep the excellent questions coming :)
Clarification needed. Do you mean propelled by my own muscles or while holding on to a vehicle?
I'm really proud of the fact that the game we set out to make is the game we ended up with. It's exactly the Wolfenstein game I would want to play.
I certainly hope so!
There will be no spoilers :)
Killing as many Nazis as you can :)
No, but I think B.J. Blazkowicz and Aldo would have a fun night if they had some beers together.
Gunny would destroy me in less than a minute.
On the rarest of occasions you'll be forced to approach a scenario either using stealth or armed combat, but at all other times the player is free to decide for themselves.
We've been deeply inspired by Wolfenstein 3D. Many of the choices we've made have been extrapolations based on the foundational ideas in Wolf 3D.
What archaicruin said :)
For me personally, this was one of the reasons I really wanted to make the game. I think video games are uniquely powerful in that they can put you in places you cannot go, or would never want to go in real life. You're in for a ride with this game, that's for sure.
Sooo many options! A fully upgraded Laserkraftwerk is very, very badass :)
I honestly don't know the details of that. I could come up with a few hypotheses, but I'd prefer not to speculate. Sorry, wish I could answer that for you :(
I'll take that as an "I'll maybe preorder" ;)
We would love to do a sequel and we have lots of ideas. We'll see how this one does :)
Wolfenstein: The New Order is constructed to play as a complete stand alone game, but it will also work as a sequel to previous titles in the series where possible. Mick surrounds himself with amazing talents, so I'm sure you have a highly skilled friend. The music is very varied and there's loads of it. The game is intricately scored from moment to moment with almost no repetition. A lot of the score features odd time signatures yet it's all very groovy. Can't wait for you guys to hear it.
Wolfenstein: The New Order allows complete key binding freedom to PC players.
Wolf 3D is for us the true origin of the series, so we've been very inspired by it. I'm super excited for the release! But I do have some degree of separation anxiety, since this has been my baby for so long and now it's moved out of the house.
Sorry, I have not... But I remember Roy Batty mentioning something about a gate of some sort?
The very talented people at Treehouse who created the Panzerhund Edition are unfortunately not set up to sell games. It's purely a logistical issue that couldn't be overcome in a timely manner. I know it's weird, but please check it out. It's really amazing and the whole MachineGames team are all psyched about their copies :)
You may rest assured.
Thanks for the link!
Oh yeah, it wouldn't be Wolfenstein unless there was tons and tons of hidden stuff to find :) Thank you for the kind words!
The openness of levels is one of the old school things we're bringing back with Wolfenstein: The New Order.
Well, the one thing I remember is the line "Mein Leben!" which (unless my German fails) means "My life!". Which of course makes little sense, and I fondly speculate that this was John Romero's made up German back in the day. And I'm happy to inform that under very special conditions, you can get the enemies in Wolfenstein: The New Order to say "Mein Leben!" when they die.
Hello! I think you learn the most from making mistakes and correcting them, so I'm not sure going back in time would help :) For any aspiring developer, the most important thing is deep specialization and understanding of your craft. The second most important thing is learning how to communicate with your peers. Games are made by an army of insanely passionate specialists with OCD all working together towards a common goal. Make sure you love what you do, and do what you love as much as you possibly can. And never give up no matter how hard it gets, because it will get very, very hard.
Essentially all weapons in the game can be dual wielded, except the mounted guns and the Laserkraftwerk.
We knew that we'd make the best possible game if the entire studio was fully focused on a stellar single player experience. Adding multiplayer would split our focus and reduce quality over all. It was not a sacrifice we were willing to make.
Bizarrely I have not! My experience with id's games started with Wolf 3D :)
Specialize your skill set and practice, practice, practice. Pick one thing and try to become the best in the world at it. Don't forget that games are made by people working together. Your ability to communicate, deliver and receive criticism matters way more than you think :)
In North America, you can already pre-order on PSN and you'll get the beta access. For Xbox One, Bethesda is still talking to Microsoft to see how this will work. They'll work it out eventually :)
Never! It tastes worse than water! :)
It kind of depends on the kinds of games you want to do. If you want to make the next Tetris, you can (and should) do it basically on your own. If you want to make a triple A, high production value game, you will need to join a team. Teams like this are very big and very specialized on individual crafts. In general, coders don't make game design, modellers don't make audio and so forth. This means that teams have open positions for specialists, or even specialists within specializations. Like an AI programmer, or a UI programmer or whatever. In order to measure up to the skills needed to fill one of these positions you need years of focused practice and peer review. If you're a modeler, submit your work to the cg forums and let other modelers critique your work. Learn and get better. Degrees are basically useless in this industry, at least in my experience. I've hired hundreds of people over the last 15 years, and I've never once asked to see a degree or any kind of proof of education. It's all about your portfolio. Same goes when applying for a job in the games industry, make sure you submit a link to a good portfolio. Your portfolio is 99.9% of what your future employer will care about. I love grappling, but my cardio is shit so it makes me feel like I'm dying :) At the fight club at work we do mostly stand up sparring.
Yeah, the specs are the specs. It's a jungle on the CPU front, and the i7 is what the tech guys can get behind.
Years of practice! I've come to realize that one can never truly master the art of grooming a beard.
Yes, and yes! I don't want to give spoilers, but we work a lot with the pacing of the game. We think of it more as an action adventure than a straight up shooter. Although it is very heavy on the action ;)
We've spent lots of time on this and there's tons of stuff to collect in the game. I think you'll be very happy :)
For me it's the variation. As the project moves through the cycle, I get to deal with different kinds of issues, and with each new game new technological opportunities open up so you can realize things that wasn't possible before.
Wolfenstein: The New Order is a lot more old school with much less linear map design than most other modern games.
The focus is on a darker, more serious story with some humor. You can compare the tone to something like Inglorious Basterds or District 9. It's a lot of fun and mayhem, but there's a sinister undercurrent and truthful drama carrying the story.
Hi Bran! I've always been driven by a deep need to create. Don't know why that is, I just know that if I'm not creating something, I'm not happy :) If we're crunching, the only thing that keeps me relaxed is working, counter intuitive as it may sound. I'm profoundly useless at coding. I kinda get the basic concepts, but I couldn't write a line of code. I stay on the artistic side of things.
I got kneed in the eye once by our Animation Director. Thought he had broken my orbital bone, but fortunately that was not the case. It did however fuck up something inside the face bones, so I lost all feeling in three of my front teeth for a few months. We have a fight club in the basement at work and we try to keep it friendly and safe :)
I honestly don't know. Those kinds of decisions would be made by some bean counter at 2K :)
I think it has to do with the creative problem solving of optimizing floor space. I love making spaces useful through clever solutions. I've had the good fortune of getting some of my floor plans built too (like the MachineGames office), and it's surreal to see the things you drew on the computer become physical in the real world. Most over powered weapon is probably Herr Faust. You'll know what I mean once you play the game :)
It's a toss up between Todd Vaughn and Matt Firor.
No. The Nazis took control because they had somehow obtained access to some mysterious 1000x more powerful technology.
Well, there's an emotional trigger explaining why he snaps out of the coma, but aside from being tended to by a kind nurse named Anya during his coma period, there is no explicit explanation for why his muscles haven't atrophied over the years. We tried making the player move in a staggering, sluggish way for a couple of levels, slowly regaining his full strength. But we had to cut it, because it turned out not to be, you know, fun ;)
Over the years I've grown, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, leek, jerusalem artichoked, artichokes, asparagus, chards, lettuce, all kinds of herbs, blue berries, raspberries, strawberries, soy beans, fava beans, string beans, peas, zucchini (bleh), melons, grapes, peppers, chilis... Probably more things that slips my mind at the moment :) Thank you for the kind words! Our effects artists will be happy to hear that. They've worked a lot on that viscosity!
It's a pretty big feature in the game. You can find all kinds of ways to use the laser cutting ability to your advantage.
Hi Bongobongbagoombabong (very cool name!). Wolfenstein: The New Order has a story that stands on it's own. No need to have played any prior game in the series.
Perhaps subliminally ;)
We spent about a year and a half living off borrowed money before the deal was made with Bethesda. Scary times :) Right now I'm working on a vertical floor plan for a 25m2 house over water.
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