Army of Two: The 40th Day Finished

Army of Two: The 40th Day producer Reid Schneider has been answering your questions live on Eurogamer this afternoon.

He's talked about all sorts, from arse-slapping to love interests and from movie ideas to Panther AI.

Thank you not only to Reid Schneider and EA for taking part, but also to all of you that asked questions. And apologies to those whose questions we didn't have time for.

Read - or indeed Reid - on for our full interview with Schneider, producer of Army of Two: The 40th Day.

Demo's out today on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, incidentally, and the full game's due out on 15th January.

Latest comments (30)

Updating...

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  • Murton 4 years ago

    Penhalion: nonsense or not it is the truth, anyone who works in the industry can tell you that. And by the way an EA account was required on the first game and all other in house EA games I believe. As for Gears you don't need an Epic account because that is hosted on MS' LIVE servers and Infinity Ward don't use accounts with the exception of the IW:net for the PC version so they were both pretty bad examples, hell even Halo a Microsoft made game requires you to make a Bungie account for online play, did you refuse to do that too?



    As for you other ramblings, you're not "forced" to sign up with anything so you can play with friends, there's a no account required split screen option and the "spam" you seem concerned about can be avoided by ticking the little box when you create your EA account. I personally find it staggering that you feel so strongly about having to spend to minutes to create an EA account to play every EA game online and have access to their community features but have no issue at all with paying forty quid a a yearin order to access to third party game servers.
  • byakuya83 4 years ago

    I played the first (came with my 360) and thought it was crap, too many co-op moves and button presses to remember. The controls weren't intuitive enough and trying to fight your way through the enemies whilst trying to figure out which button or move to use was a nightmare for me.



    The fact that the humour in some of these questions was missed leads me to believe the 'humour' in the game will grate. Surely nobody in Europe really wants to play a game with the two lead characters whooping, hollering and high-fiving each other - I would assume the arse slap question was in jest...
  • penhalion 4 years ago

    @Murton



    What frakin' nonsense. If that was the case I wouldn't be able to play MW2, Gears etc. etc. without an epic account or an infinity ward account. I should not be forced to sign up to yet another bloody service just to play a game online with my mates. Why the heck does EA need me to sign up in the first place. The answer is so that they can send me junk mail promoting their other games. Well they can frak right off. If this is present in the final army of two game, then I'm not touching it pure and simple. I'm also pretty sure that Microsoft are watching peoples reactions to this with interest as they don't seem to keen on this practice either.
  • Murton 4 years ago

    Penhalion: I've already complained to Microsoft about it, asking why I need to pay them for online services if companies like EA seem to think they can restrict how I play games on the service.



    The "service" you pay for is an independent login and leaderboard system, not the online play itself. EA games are hosted on EA servers or are played peer to peer. You'll actually find that very few third party games use Microsoft's LIVE multiplayer servers because MS charges publishers a fortune for hosting on top of the certification, submission and royalties costs that all games carry anyway. That's why you need an EA account tied to your Gamertag and also why you have to agree to EA's terms and conditions in order to play their games online.
  • penhalion 4 years ago

    I didn't even bother with the demo. I downloaded it and it asked me to regisater an EA account. WTF! I have an XBox live gold account for online play so why the frak would I need an EA account. I deleted it immediately and just struck it off my list of possible buys. I'm really fed up with this kind of shite. I've already complained to Microsoft about it, asking why I need to pay them for online services if companies like EA seem to think they can restrict how I play games on the service.
  • headrush 4 years ago

    AoT was awesome. I still give it a spin from time to time.
  • BillyBrush 4 years ago

    Gave it a try a few hours back..



    It's a total bag of shite...i don't remember the original having combat like Kane & Lynch...must have been on the sauce because i thought it was Ok at the time.
  • davymackie 4 years ago

    didnt like the demo.
  • Petulant_Radish 4 years ago

    I tried the demo, it's still pony.
  • kangarootoo 4 years ago

    Good interview.



    I thought his comments about missing the mark tonally in the first one, and the multiplayer being pretty last minute, were refreshingly candid. Always nice to see devs taking player feedback squarely on the chin.
  • Machetazo 4 years ago

    My second question did get answered - sort of, in a way-ish! :D I'll try to compose future queries better, next time.

    Thanks for dropping by EG, Reid.
  • HermitArcader 4 years ago

    I got dissed by the SMT :o and funny how they move it away from the obvious homoerotic line of your question CaLeDee, actually it would be a good way to set it apart, platonic male love or outright homosexuality in a game, either earnest or Cho Anki style (someone make it happen!) or they could be bi, wives and girlfriends at home, but proper Spartans on the battlefield.



    Probably not what EA have in mind for this and its audience I gather...anyways demo download is finally ready, not sure i'll have enough time to offer feedback.
  • CaLeDee 4 years ago

    I meant romantically involved with each other, not a female character. Oh well.
  • Murton 4 years ago

    Well that kinda answered my question on what the single player is going to like. No major improvements over last time other than some AI tweaks and the ability to interact with more objects. This is definitely going to be a partner required game by the looks of things.
  • Super_Zee 4 years ago

    "Reid Schneider is hear"?
  • HermitArcader 4 years ago

    Thank you for the answer Reid, I've already asked another question (though I'm wonder if the way I asked some of them makes them unlikely to be answered, or too political perhaps, though I hope it is put to Reid as I think its an important issue concerning modern action games).



    If anyone else here is thinking about asking questions, why not ask about the location, did they visit Shanghai, research that went into the game, about level layout, multiplayer features and so forth, or general things about game design, would be really good to learn about these, and what the team is doing in the final stages of development.
  • HermitArcader 4 years ago

    Nice one Earl.



    "Pumma?! Only one M."
  • charming_fox 4 years ago

    Questions You've Asked

    15:50:46 PM Why am I so tired?
  • HermitArcader 4 years ago

    Well if we're going down that route, and seeing as my download won't be ready in time to play (73%) I might as well chip in. I do hope that the Army of Two: The 40th Day team have been taking cues from the witty banter between Jean Claude Van Damme and Rob Schneider in Knock Off, oh and the cruise missle to the gut has to be in there!



    "Move that big beautiful ass."



    *Rob whips Jean's butt with an electric eel*



    Great Friday night film I might add for those who have never seen it., directed by Tsui Hark so you know you're in for a good time.
  • HermitArcader 4 years ago

    Apologies if my question was sent several times, computer troubles just as I press sent, also whent I was mentioned the views of Reid about the previous game, was referring to an interview on gamesindusty.biz



    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/art
    icles/ea...


    The interview with Matt Turner where he mentions MW2 among other things was from CVG:



    http://www.computerandvideogames
    .com/art...


    Actually both are well worth a read for onlookers eager to know more about the game, might help you think of a question to ask.

Our live coverage has now ended. Here's what you missed: Updating...

16:03 By Craig Munro

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Super Moderating Hero: Hello everybody! Reid Schneider is hear, tied to his chair. Let's begin!


16:03 By Craig Munro

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Super Moderating Hero: Please can you tell us a bit about yourself and why you are so famous?



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Reid Schneider: Sure, first off - I'm definitely not famous. I feel pretty lucky to be part of this group, and I've had the chance to build the AO2 franchise from the start. I've been producing games since '98. I started at Ubisoft when we were still a children's entertainment company. I worked on Splinter Cell, Batman, Battlefield, and now AO2.


16:11 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: Before we plunge in, can you give us a brief overview of what sets Army of Two apart? And where the sequel has improved - what the top-notch features are. And is there much we don't know about the sequel yet?



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Reid Schneider: No problem. I think what sets AO2 apart is that its completely focused on co-op from the ground up. In our game co-op does not just mean more firepower it means really thinking tactically abouthow you play. In terms of how it has improved, we really took the feedback to heart from the first game. We listened to what fans, journalists, critics really did not like and that shaped what we buit for the sequel.



I think the biggest improvement is the organic approach to co-op meaning giving the players tactics that can be used anywhere and then let them decide what they want to do, and what kind of a player they want to be in the warzone.



In terms of top notch features we think Mock Surrender is very cool as the GPS/Tagging system. In terms of what people don't know, we have a huge user-generated content intiative. Meaning that people can go on armyoftwo.com and design their own mask or armor for Versus and push them in the game. Finally the biggest surprise for people may be the stat-tracking on the website. We had a dedicated team on that, and the amount of information tracked for players in both co-op and Versus is huge. We took inspiration from best in class sites like Killzone 2 and Battlefield to determine what information players wanted to see reflected in stat tracking.



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Super Moderating Hero: Tell us a bit about those features - stat-tracking and customisation. How much freedom is there and what stats are tracked? Also, will we get nifty community features as part of them?



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Reid Schneider: Well stat tracking is global for all players, but what is cool in terms of community building on the site is that you can then rank your performance against those that are top in leaderboards and those that are your "friends" based on EA sign-in. Seeing yourself in the middle, or in my case bottom of a leaderboard is not so much fun, but way cooler when you know how you are doing against your friends. Also, that site tracks your preferred weaponry, types of kills, etc. So there is alot in there to encourae community building. We view that as a huge priority for us going forward.


16:23 By Robert Purchese

Q%Vertical Stand%2319%
Recently you spoke about the response to the previous Army of Two game in Europe about how the irreverant tone was seen as tasteless, and indicated a cultural gap between Americans and Europeans. I was hoping you could talk a bit about examples of how the gamer is able to change the nature of the game through their actions in the sequel.



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Reid Schneider: Absolutely. I believe our first game made a mistake tonally, as we we created a project where people felt alienated by the actions/speech of the main characters. The biggest problem with this is that they were so turned off it prevented them from enjoying the rest of the game, which was unfortunate.



In the new game we wanted to appeal to a much wider audience so we dramatically changed the tone. We didn't want it to be "frat-guy" but more "Die Hard" in that whenever you watch a Die Hard movie (especially the original) the Jon Mclane lines are universally funny, dry, sarcastic. We still felt that a certain amount of irreverant humor is core to the franchise but it needs to appeal to more than just people on this side of the atlantic (America).



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Super Moderating Hero: So who has got the best sense of humour - Europeans or Americans? I can't see why that would be a difficult question to answer on the internet.



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Reid Schneider: Actually it's interesting as the humor is really different. That's one of the challenges with injecting sarcasm into a game. But we're fortunate to have a number of Brits on the team so we can field-test things we write.



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Super Moderating Hero: Ooh give us an example!



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Reid Schneider: Well our lead gameplay/AI programmer is from England, and he's pretty good friends with the creative director, writer and myself. Very often at lunch they would start talking about lines they are writing in the game and then gauge the general reaction. If it got universal laughs we're good. Sometimes it was too "inside" and would need to be re-written. Writing for games is very much an iterative process. We also like to work in "local" humor related to Montreal. There are a few lines in the game that reflect that.


16:24 By Robert Purchese

Q%EarlBassett%299221%
Dear Mr Schnieder, have you ever blown up a shark, then realised you have that additional 'N' in your surname, thus forcing you to buy the ocean a new shark to compensate?



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Reid Schneider: No, never done that...


16:28 By Robert Purchese

Q%GeeMacca%25723%
I want to know one important thing, are the 'congratulatory' moves (hi-fives, etc.) still there? If so, can you please add an arse-slap into the game? If so, I'm in.



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Reid Schneider: So this is actually kind of interesting. On the first game there was this whole controversy about whether there should be an arse-slap in the game, like American Football players do. We had it in, then took it out [so to speak -SMH]. In this game, it did make it in. So there you go. Have fun!



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Super Moderating Hero: A confirmed arse-slap! What other congratulatory moves are there?



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Reid Schneider: The basic idea is that they scale as they go. There's a bear hug as well and some other amusing ones.


16:29 By Robert Purchese

Q%Vertical_Stand%2319%
Has the Army of Two: The 40th Day team have been taking cues from the witty banter between Jean Claude Van Damme and Rob Schneider in Knock Off? [Are you nuts? -SMH]



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Reid Schneider: No, fortunately no inspriation from Rob Schneider or JCVD.


16:53 By Robert Purchese

Q%koqazion%295771%
Would yo be able to elaborate on how the game will play online? Will there be any new features compared to the last game as far as online is concerned?



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Reid Schneider: No problem! We've completely revamped the mulitplayer versus mode. In the first game it was really done at the last minute, and it showed. In this game we began development of versus at the same time as we started the main co-op game. Versus now supports 10 player client/server architecture, with host-migration, join in progress, and four-player co-op modes spread across six maps.



It's really a complete reinvention of the versus experience, but designed with a co-op focus in mind. If you look at Battlefield, people that play in teams always have an advantage versus people who play alone. we really want to reward co-op play in the versus experience.



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Super Moderating Hero: Talking of co-op and the advantages of playing together... Let's pretend I have no friends but want to play Army of Two 2. Am I going to have an inferiour single-player experience? Will it be dramatically different?



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Reid Schneider: It will be a good experience, we worked alot on Partner AI (PAI) to give him the same abilities that the players have. For example, the PAI now can interact with anything the player can interact with, so maybe you see a door that you want him to open and you can line up a shot on the enemies on the other side. Well, by putting the crosshair on the door and pressing the right button he will do the action! Thus he's now a more active part of the experience.



I firmly believe that it will still always be more fun to play AO2 with a live partner, but the PAI has come a long way. Think about Left 4 Dead - when you play by yourself it's nowhere near as much fun as it is with friends.



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Super Moderating Hero: Would you ever consider Panther AI? It sounds similar.



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Reid Schneider: No, don't think we're going to do Panther AI.


16:46 By Robert Purchese

Q%CaLeDee%144534%
Did you ever consider making the two main characters romantically involved and have a love story sub plot? [I think this reader probably means did you ever consider having a female character like in Resident Evil 5 or Prince or Persia or so on and so forth. He might not, though. -SMH]



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Reid Schneider: Yeah, actually we have a bunch of ideas about where we could take that in terms of female love interests. It's also something we have been thinking about with AO2 in other media, comics/movies.



The core problem with putting that in the game is that it's a shooter at its core, and too much love interest side-plot could distract. On a related note, the scene in Gears 2 with Dom and his wife was cool.



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Super Moderating Hero: Who, in an ideal world, would play the heroes in an Army of Two movie? Me?



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Reid Schneider: Absolutely! We'll make sure there is a spot written for UK journalists [I don't think he's taking me seriously, sigh -SMH].



All joking aside [! -SMH] I think alot of it will come down to who ultimately gets chosen as a director. They need to work with actors they are comfortable with. The last thing we want to do is hamper their creative process, we just want an awesome movie to get made. With the movie project we have approvals over key milestones like writer, script, director choice, etc. We really want Universal to be successful with the project and for us to help but not hinder. Scott Burns, who has been writing the script, is really kicking ass and gets the franchise, along with our partners at Universal and Stuber Productions.



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Super Moderating Hero: Have you got a director in mind at the moment?



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Reid Schneider: I have some people who I think are just badass, but until we lock down the script that's far off. Things in the film world just take a lot of time.


16:51 By Robert Purchese

Q%Murton%382116%
The first game has a very linear weapons upgrade system where bigger was always better, what is the weapon upgrade/modification like in the sequel? Will we be thinking about potential downsides of applying a particular weapon mod before we buy it?



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Reid Schneider: Yeah, definitely! That's another thing we learned from the first game. Linear weapon upgrades mean the guns don't feel powerful enough from the start. In the new game we have this concept that any part of one gun in a particular class is change-able with any part of any other gun in the same class. The net result is that you have plus/minus to building the gun that suits you as a player.



Also, you can now pick-up enemy guns you find on the battefield and try them out. When you empty the clip you toss them away.


16:54 By Robert Purchese

Q%Machetazo%14758%
Army of Two's structure would work perfectly with the zeitgeisty extra mission DLC we see so often these days. How early have you had to think about DLC and how siginifcant a part will it play?



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Reid Schneider: We definitely plan to support the game with DLC, I don't think we have announced the exact content yet. Le's just say we want to continue to bring the co-op experience home. Also, the cool thing about DLC is that you can try out some potentially new gameplays that you could not do in the main game, or were too time-consuming or risky.


16:55 By Robert Purchese

Q%BillyBrush%57731%
With the original game, you couldn't play with people outside of Europe, has this been changed?



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Reid Schneider: YES!



We made sure there is no region-lock of any kind on this game. Have fun tearing up the people in North America!


17:01 By Robert Purchese

Q%headrush%395202%
Are You afraid that the recent release of Modern Warfare 2 will overshadow the AOT2 multiplayer? And does a busier Q1 2009 period mean you've hedged your bets a bit for the games success?



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Reid Schneider: MW2 is awesome! We play it all the time. That being said, the focus is really different. Our goal has been to enhance co-op and give people a campaign they experience 100 per cent together. Also, versus mode is again focused around co-op so it feels really different then other shooters. We hope poeple like it!



In terms of release date, we had always been coming in early 2010. It's unforunate that so many games moved into this window but we're pretty excited to release the game. We hope you guys like it. I can't stress enough how fan/journalist/player feedback has affected the game for the better.


17:01 By Robert Purchese

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Super Moderating Hero: Oh and before you go. Would you rather be able to turn invisible or have lasers for eyes? And why.



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Reid Schneider: In terms of lasers vs. invisible, I'm going with invisible.