Q&A: BAFTA-winner & GRAW designer Christian Allen
The lead multiplayer designer on Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter's stops by for a brief chat after his win in London.
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LONDON--Since it was released in March, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter has been a big success story for developer Red Storm and publisher Ubisoft. Already a commercial and critical hit, the game today was also named Game of the Year at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' Video Games Awards.
Besides getting GOTY, GRAW also walked away with a technical achievement honor. GameSpot caught up with Red Storm lead multiplayer designer Christian Allen immediately after the win was announced.
GameSpot UK: What was it like to win two awards, including game of the year?
Christian Allen: Well, it was amazing! We expected that coming in with eight nominations and being tied for the most number of nominations that we'd bring something home. We got technical achievement, and that was awesome, but we kind of expected that from the work that the team put into it. But Game of the Year really just blew us away. We were up against a lot of really stiff competition this year and getting recognised by the BAFTAs was great, given the effort the team has put into it.
GSUK: The BAFTAs are effectively one of the bigger games awards shows on earth now.
CA: Yeah definitely--there are other award ceremonies that we've attended, like industry events and media events, but this is the first time that we've really seen the mainstream high-level media really acknowledge the impact that games have had on society as an art form.
GSUK: The 360 version of Advanced Warfighter has done really well critically, but how important is it for you guys to win awards like this?
CA: Well, it's very important! It's something that you can bring back to the team, the men and women that worked for months and months and worked overtime, put their heart and soul into the game, and say to them, "People appreciate what you did." It's great to have sales, but something like this where it's not just about selling a lot of copies or getting a big bonus, it's really about rewarding the heart and soul that the team put into this game.
GSUK: The BAFTA nominations were very diverse this year. For example, LocoRoco is very different from Ghost Recon, yet they were both competing in a number of different categories. What did you think about the other games in your categories?
CA: Well, they were awesome! One of the cool things I think about the BAFTAs this year is that diversity in gameplay. You can have a game like Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and also LocoRoco both up for the most amount of nominations, and it speaks about games as an art form. It's not just a commercial endeavour, like whoever has the latest movie game out, and it shows that you can have diverse gameplay and excellence at the same time.
GSUK: So, while you're here, what are you guys working on at the moment?
CA: [Laughs] Well, if we told you, we'd have to kill you!
GSUK: How are you going to split the two awards up?
CA: I actually just stole four of them off the Loco Roco guys! I think we're gonna take one to Paris and one to North Carolina.
GSUK: Thanks Christian, and congratulations.