In an interview with The Guardian, Andy McNab talks about advising EA on how to make Battlefield 3 the most realistic shooter on the market today:
You haven’t been heavily involved with a video game before. What drew you to Battlefield 3?
Andy McNab: The story. It’s as simple as that. Normally, when you’re approached by a games company, they just want you to jump on at the end as a marketing tool, or do a bit of motion capture. But when the call came from EA Dice, I went out to Stockholm and the guys there just seemed to get it – they wanted to progress the story-side. You’ve got to have a lot more than just shooting in games now, you’ve got to have that sense of engagement.
The first things EA Dice showed me were the scripts – and they had a sense of character, of emotion, of connection. That was what did it for me. And my first job was helping with the writing, coming up with plausible bridges between missions, doing some of the dialogue. Military speak is very progressive and positive. No one says, “Well, we’ll try to get to X by 9am”, it’s all about you will do this, I will do that, this will happen. The point of that is, if you start with a moment of doubt, when things get worse, doubt becomes failure. It’s got to be positive from the start. And it’s all about brevity – military language is not as formal as we think it is.
And I spent time with the designers and artists, looking at the aesthetics – the right use of weapons, different ranges of fire, operations in urban and desert environments. I worked with the stuntmen and actors in the motion capture studios, showing them how to hold their guns. The team just wanted everything to look right.
Andy McNab and Peter Grimsdale’s Battlefield 3: The Russian is the most ambitious and substantial thriller ever to be published alongside a game. It is the best in its class.
Never before has there been such close, two-way collaboration between an author and the creators of thegame itself. Nor has the resulting book been written by a thriller writer with such a strong track record of bestsellers behind him. SAS hero, McNab has used Battlefield 3 as his starting point to write a story that breaks new ground and can’t be found within the game. Displaying all of his trademark grit,authenticity and insight, Battlefield 3: The Russian is a scorching top-of-the-line military and a heart-stopping race against time…
With the recent kidnapping of a wheelchair-bound British tourist and the murder of her husband Somali pirates and terror groups are again making the headlines.
These tragic examples highlight the danger of al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab, who currently control much of southern Somalia. The thriller Dead Center follows the protagonist to Somalia as he attempts to rescue the kidnapped son of a Russian oligarch.
Andy MCNab, a former SAS operative and the author of Dead Center joins Sir David to discuss terror groups, his book and the issues behind it.
ANDY McNAB will be signing BATTLEFIELD 3: THE RUSSIAN
Forbidden Planet Megastore
179 Shaftesbury Avenue
London WC2H 8JR
Thursday 3rd November 6 – 7pm.
To be published alongside the game, Battlefield 3: The Russian is the best in class – the first time a games publisher has worked so closely with an internationally bestselling author. Never before has a tie-in book benefitted from this level of collaboration from the creative team behind the game itself. Nor has it been written by a thriller writer with such a strong track record and reputation. Displaying all of McNab’s trademark grit, authenticity and insight, Battlefield 3: The Russian is a scorching top-of-the-line military thriller and a heart-stopping race against time. Prepare to be blown away …
NO PHOTOGRAPHY WILL BE PERMITTED DURING THIS EVENT
3 News: Former SAS member and author Andy McNab has contributed to the development of Battlefield 3. Tell me about his involvement.
Patrick L.:He visited us several times at the studio and helped out with a lot of aspects of the game. For example, during the mo-cap sessions he helped us with the soldier movement. He taught us how the guys would actually run around, running and gunning, and sneaking. He also helped a lot with the script and gave us a lot of ideas. One of the things he brought to the game is that military speak is very positive. They say things like “we will do this” or “we will be there”, y’know, it’s never “we’ll maybe be there” or anything like that. Another thing he did was at one point we were wondering what would be sitting in the middle of the desert some place. Andy was like “I know exactly what would be there”, because three years prior he was on a tour with the Ministry of Defence. They were flying across the border of Iraq and Iran and they came across this encampment in the middle of the desert. There were all these old tanks and huts and stuff put together. Andy remembered he had a photo of it, so he went home and found it on a hard drive, sent it to us, came back three weeks later and saw it in the game.