Interview #1: Staff member Tom "Spetsnaz" Nezvigin has an exclusive "sit-down" with Mike Arkin, Executive Producer of Crave Entertainment. Mike is well known throughout the Global Operations community, as he actively crawls around the official message boards. More commonly known as Revoemag, Mike Arkin serves the community well!

1. Hi, can you please tell us your name?

Mike "Revoemag" Arkin

2. If you don't mind, may you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I'm 32 and I've been producing games for about 10 years. I live in Marina Del Rey. CA, but I'm originally from NY.

3. You are the Executive Producer for Crave Entertainment . What does your position require you to do?

I oversee different projects that are developed by outside developers like Barking Dog in the case of GO. I have different levels of involvement in each project, but GO is a passion of mine so I have been very involved in this project.

4. What excited you most about Global Operations when Barking Dog Studios began its developement?

What really excited me most was that Barking Dog really had a good idea of some of the balancing issues involved in a project like this. Everything in the game is there for a reason and there are lots of things that are not there, also for a good reason. Some players are asking for game features that we do not want to add and I wish they could understand the depth of the impact that some of those features would have. BD gets it, so the game is very well rounded and balanced.

5. Global Operations is a extraordinary game, but many people are concerned with minimal bugs and details. Are you happy with the final product?

Yes and no. I wish we could have had more time to flush out some of the issues, but there were a number of reasons why we did not. Unfortunately 1000 people playing on public servers will find issues that internal testers will never find. But, the gameplay is just about as good as it can be and when the game works well, it is a first rate experience. 2.0 finally clears up the remaining bugs and makes the game absolutely fantastic.

6. Are there certain things that were not able to be included due to corporate reasons (i.e. Budget cuts, Premature release time)?

Again, yes and no. With every game there are things you want to include, but can not because of time. I would not say that we released the game prematurely, but ANY game could always use another 6 months. But, you have to draw a line somewhere and say, "OK, these are the features that are going in THIS game" We do this with every single game. You always over design and then cut back later in the project. Some things just get cut because they don;t make sense or don't work the way you thought they would.

7. Lets be honest, a gamer who has a 56k connection usually won't get the most out of Global Operations. May you tell us why that is?

Because a 56K modem pushes less data then a 512K DSL connection. Same as any game.

8. How did the developement team do research for Global Operations? Did you guys have any engagements with real life military personnel?

Lots and lots of books, as well as a trip to the range with all of the guns that are in the game. Both programmers, artists and designers fired all of the guns and watched an experienced military experts fire and reload them. This is why all of the reload animations are correct and also, this is why there is so much attention to detail like the extra round in the chamber after a reload.

In addition I am an avid gun nut and have made a few trips to various ranges to fire everything from a M16 to a H+K MP5.

9. The sounds in Global Operations are absolutely amazing. If its not a secret, what methods did the developement team use to aquire these realistic sounds?

Same answer as #8. While at the range, all of the gun sounds were recorded. The best complement the game has received was when real military gameplayers told us how real the guns sound.

10. The map environments in Global Operations are as equally amazing and well-done as the sounds. Are any of them based on places that exist in the real world? If so, why did you choose those places?

They are mostly all based on real world places to some extent. The original idea, in keeping with the realism theme of the game, was to base all of the levels on real world places. Each location was chosen because it was a location where we thought a real world conflict could or is occurring. For example Chechnya is based on the current conflict in Chechnya, North Africa is based on the conflict in Berut and Columbia is based on a conflict that could be happening in Columbia.

11. Contrary to some of the games that are being released today, there is blood released from a soldier's body when he is shot. Did Barking Dog Studios have any trouble including this option in the game?

No, not at all. We had to think hard before committing to the fact that the game would be a M rating, but we all wanted the realistic effects like the pixel accurate bullet holes and bleeding, so we felt that a M rating was the correct way to go.

12. For all of the gamers that are a little bit unfamiliar with Global Operations, can you please tell them what this game has to offer? Why should they choose this game over the rest?

Global operations is the single best team play FPS currently available. If you want a FPS that encourages team play above all else, there is no other game that even comes close. For example:

The specialty system forces you to assume a role on the team. Some specialties are very team oriented like the recon and the medic. If you play a recon, your teammates will expect you to use your LSD (life sign detector) and act as a recon, not run around like Rambo trying to get kills.

The cash system encourages team play. Snipers get money for a kill, but they get even more if they call an enemy that is near ( and threatening) a teammate. along the same lines, the recon gets money for any enemy's that he illuminates with his LSD that then get killed.

Most of the missions have objectives that you can not accomplish if you do not work as a team. In Chechnya there is a VIP that is AI controlled that you need to assassinate. He is hard to kill. Very hard. Hard enough that you MUST use teamwork to kill him. None of the missions have "kill everyone on the other team" as an objective. This strongly encourages teamwork.

13. One of the many original features included in Global Operations is the Intelligence Officer class. What was the purpose of including this class in Global Operations?

Again, teamwork. If you are playing as a tight team and you have an IO, you will be unstoppable. I can't wait to see the clan matches that spring up with the IO being used.

14. Barking Dog Studios has definitely released a game that provides loads of entertaining gameplay. In its own way, Global Operations is a revolution in multiplayer gaming. Tell us, what's next on Barking Studios' list?

That you would have to ask them, but I can assure you that whatever it is, I know I will be playing it.

15. On behalf of the Inside Gamers Network and the many dedicated fans of Global Operations, I thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Are there any final thoughts you would like to add to conclude interview?

Thank you for your support. The Go community has been very positive and supportive and I would like to thank every one of them for their contributions to the game.

That's all of it! Thanks Mike for participating in this interview. As usual, you came through for the community!

Inside Gamers Network