John Slaydon is the lead designer for Rainbow Six Lockdown PS2 at Red Storm Entertainment. He has ten years industry experience with 4 years experience at Red Storm Entertainment. Prior to his position with Red Storm, John worked as a game designer and producer at a variety of game companies including Random Games. Soldiers of War (PC, 1998), Mad Gab (PC, 1999), Sum of All Fears (GBA, 2001). His areas of expertise on Lockdown have included mission design and game accessibility.
1.) Why choose to add a different mode of gameplay to Rainbow Six Lockdown?
The main reason for the new game mode was to give the Rainbow Six player a new gameplay experience in Single Player. We also wanted to expand on the franchise by adding something fresh, something the player isn't used to doing in a Rainbow game. On the console versions of Rainbow Six the player has only experienced playing as Ding Chavez, whereas on the original PC installments of Rainbow Six the player was able to switch between different Rainbow team members. We have brought that aspect of the game back with a new twist.
We wanted the game to be immersive for all types of players. In Lockdown, players will get to snipe from a variety of perspectives - from a helicopter, from a building rooftop, through windows, and have the ability to move to new sniping locations to get a better angle.
By adding Dieter Weber into the sniper missions, Lockdown offers more variety of gameplay to the player and offers the player a new perspective on counter-terrorism.
2.) Why choose to make the new gameplay mode as a Sniper mode with Weber? Were there other ideas you were toying around with besides Sniper Mode?
Throughout the Rainbow franchise, Dieter Weber has been the Rainbow "Sniper". As we knew we wanted to focus the action phase of the single player experience on room clearing and close quarters combat, having a sniper on your assault team or sniper weapons in your inventory started to become out of place.
As with actual counter-terrorism teams around the world, most snipers are stationed to provide extraction and insertion cover for their team and are fairly stationary. By pulling the sniper element out of the action phase and by making it a new game mode, the player now gets to take out the enemy as a traditional sniper, providing cover to his teammates in the mission. With the addition of the digital scope and some of the amazing new shot reactions, you will see when you hit an enemy that the player really gets to feel like an elite sniper.
3.) Will players get to choose whether to play as Ding or Weber for each mission?
As the story develops and the missions change, the player will automatically transition between Weber the sniper and Chavez, the squad leader. For example, one of the missions is set in a ferry crossing at the English Channel. The team is inserted via helicopter. The player will start the mission as Weber, providing cover for his team while they insert onto the ferry. Once Weber has done his job, the player will transition into the role of Ding on the ferry and will lead the team to complete the mission objectives.
4.) If no, how did you select which missions would be in Sniper mode?
Once we decided on the story, mission flow, and locations for the missions, the sniper missions seemed to fall into place. From a helicopter hovering a ferry in the English Channel to a castle keep in Menorca, players will get to experience sniping. The missions allowed us to select locations where the player could cover his team from a unique perspective. As with any new feature, moderation is important. We tried to space the sniper missions out throughout the Campaign so that when they appeared, it increased the tension and realism of the experience.
5.) How many Sniper missions are there?
There are a total of seven missions, spread throughout the 16 mission campaign. Four of them happen at the beginning of a mission where the player will cover Rainbow teammates as they insert; two happen in the middle of a mission; and one happens at the very end of the mission covering extraction. Also, there are two instances where the player is sniping from inside a helicopter.
6.) How does Sniper mode work? How did you come up with this concept?
When playing as Dieter Weber, the player is mainly tasked with protecting the Rainbow team as they move through the mission space toward their objective. The player is looking through a sniper rifle that is equipped with a prototype digital scope. The zooming feature on the rifle is based off the concept of a digital camera. Basically, instead of squinting through a scope to focus on a target, the player is looking at the image projected on the scope, which makes target acquisition much easier. Also, the digital scope concept allowed us to visually widen the scope display area, moving away from the traditional circular scope.
During the course of the sniper mission, the player will be able to see his Rainbow teammates in firefights with their enemies and will be able to protect them, sniping at direct threats. Threats will come from other snipers, enemies with RPG's and enemies on the ground. The player will be given threat targets that they must eliminate quickly. The player will also need to move from Sniper Point to Sniper Point within the building they are in, in order to get better vantage points to protect Rainbow and take out their targets.
7.) Anything else you'd like to add about Dual Perspective Gameplay?
Our goal from the beginning was to give more to the player than the previous titles. By making the sniper missions a separate game play mode, the player gets to be the Rainbow operative that is the protector of the team as they carry out their mission objectives. Finally, we have setup the sniper missions so that after the mission they are associated with has been completed, the player, if they choose too, can replay just the sniper mode over and over again.
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Lockdown ships March 2005 and is being developed for the PlayStation®2 at Red Storm Entertainment, and for the Microsoft Xbox® at Ubisoft's Montreal studio.
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