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.

Christian Allen (l.) shows off his BAFTA award.
Christian Allen (l.) shows off his BAFTA award.

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.

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Avatar image for _Sam_
_Sam_

it looks great

Avatar image for JoshChambers
JoshChambers

The single player game was great but I can never get locked into the multiplayer. I think its a solid game but no GOTY.

Avatar image for piecake
piecake

yay 360

Avatar image for goose_uk
goose_uk

GRAW is for too flawed to even be CONSIDERED for this award! I guess they hand out baftas purely on graphics then

Avatar image for cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

I haven't played this game yet so I can pronounce about this one. But seeing that it has own 2 BAFTA awards I'm thinking of trying it soon.

Avatar image for anamnawshad
anamnawshad

Wow that's great!

Avatar image for fedgem
fedgem

I've played ALL the major release titles for the 360...some which I would call great. But I always come back to GRAW.

Avatar image for jakeboudville
jakeboudville

interesting...

Avatar image for obotex
obotex

IMO this game doesnt deserve that award.

Avatar image for Shtinky
Shtinky

GSUK: Why does the squad AI in GRAW completely suck? CA: [Laughs] Well, if we told you, we'd have to kill you! GSUK: Are you planning to sort out the online multiplayer, like, you know, actually make it remotely ******* playable? CA: [Tee Hee] Well, if we told you, we'd have to kill you!

Avatar image for skyisgreat
skyisgreat

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.

Avatar image for ripfire
ripfire

I think it's safe to say the awards had nothing to do with the PC version. ;)

Avatar image for comthitnuong
comthitnuong

it would be cool if he didnt ahve to kill us if he told us what he was working on

Avatar image for Craton
Craton

cool

Avatar image for blackIceJoe
blackIceJoe

GRAW is a good game but I would have loved to see some one else win. But its good to see some thing other then some thing really weird. Well Congratulations.