2011
09.10

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

Source: Forbidden Planet website

2011
09.10

3 News
By Daniel Rutledge

Battlefield 3 is one of the most highly anticipated games of 2011 and with the multiplayer beta recently opened to the public there is now less than a month until the full game is finally released.

Publisher Electronic Arts has been pumping out an incredible amount of promotional material for the title in a clear indication that they have something special on their hands.

Recently I sat down in Las Vegas with Patrick Liu, a producer for developer DICE, for a chat all about the stunning first-person shooter.

Go here to read the full interview with Patrick Liu on the 3News website

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.

2011
20.09

Herald Sun – Into the real zone of war
by James Wigney
Published 10 September 2011

SAS soldier Andy McNab’s frontline experiences add credibility to a war game, says James Wigney

Highly-decorated British soldier Andy McNab first shot to fame as the author of Bravo Two Zero, his account of a failed SAS mission in Iraq during the first Gulf War.
He has since written several books – fiction and non-fiction – drawing from his experiences in the front line, from Northern Ireland to the Middle East and Central and South America. He has also worked as a consultant for several movies, and a film based on his most famous fictional creation, Nick Stone, is in production. Gaming giant Electronic Arts recently brought him on board for their coming first-person shooter Battlefield 3, and he has also written a novel based on one of the game’s characters.

In hindsight you seem like such an obvious choice for a video game. Why had you never done anything like this before?

About six or seven years ago I went to a motion capture studio when it was in its infancy and I have been asked over the years by different companies to be involved in different things but most of them didn’t have anything. And then Battlefield 3 came up and immediately I could see it really was good and there was substance there already.

Did you come into this with gaming experience?

I am a very bad gamer. I have a 14-year-old nephew and a couple of god-sons who are 11 and 12 and at everything from Wii Skittles and upwards I just get annihilated.

What did your expertise bring to the game?

Our brains are really clever at telling us when things are not right. So I worked a lot with the graphic designers on the visual and getting the look right. Right down to the soles of the boots and making sure that they were worn and cracked and full of crap. From there it was looking at tactics on the game. There is a good tank section where they are going through a desert encampment. The designers had done this camp but it just didn’t look right because they don’t have a reference. Funnily enough, about four years ago I was flying over the Iran/Iraq border and you could see all these big camps built in the desert for the Iran/Iraq war. So I got my phone out and took a couple of pictures so I was able to drag them out and show them to the designer. Now that section of the game is a perfect replica of that picture.

Is your role deeper than just the look? Do you give advice on how and why the characters do what they do?

Totally. Certainly looking at the dialogue in the script for the game, because in military speak, nothing is a possible. You never use words like “maybe”, “possibly” or “we will attempt to”. Everything is positive and progressive “you will”, “I will”, “we will”. So we changed the dialogue to reflect that.

How do you go about turning soft actors into hardcore soldiers in the motion-capture studio?

If they are good actors it’s easy. It’s really just trying to make them look like they have been handling weapons all their lives. Even for a 14-year-old army cadet, as soon as you see someone holding a weapon incorrectly, it’s just not right. And in fact they are not weapons, they are strips of steel with motion-capture devices all over them but they have to look like it’s an extension of their body.

What is it about these shooter games like Battlefield or Call of Duty that is so popular?

It’s not supposed to be simulating people going into combat – it’s entertainment. But what they do is engage players in the same emotions you would get. People do experience fear because they don’t want to mess up and do get that drive and determination because they want to get to the next level and get involved. Those same emotions are released, but obviously for different reasons and at different levels. You are not in the battle space … we are playing a game.

A lot of soldiers love these games. Are they any use as a training tool or it is it pure release and escapism?

They are useful. I am on a couple of committees for the British Ministry of Defence and for one of them I go to military training units. It’s very clear that the training teams use games as points of reference. If you are the guys just getting into soldiering – maybe 18 or 19 – they are very aware of the games and the environments … because they play them. Therefore, they are used as a tool to try to explain things to them.

Is there even a certain amount of emotional detachment you can learn from these games that can be an asset in combat?

I think people get a bit caught up in that sometimes. People’s perceptions of infantry soldiers have been brought up on really bad war movies where everyone is ground down and then rebuilt.  It doesn’t actually work like that because increasingly, generations of new recruits coming into the military have always been encouraged to ask why. You can’t grind people down and build them up again. What you have to do is use what you have with the product coming in and try to enhance it. So when you get to the point of teaching infantry soldiers how to kill people it’s not so much about trying to get people detached from the emotion as it is about trying to get them involved in what they are doing.

There is a common argument against games like Battlefield 3 they are too violent and desensitise children to violence. Is that a valid argument?

I don’t think it is. It is an argument that has been going on in film for decades. My experience now tells me that gamers are very responsible in what they do. People sit down for hours and talk about whether things are going over the top or should be enhanced.

This is a multiplayer game. How useful is it for teamwork and tactics?

Very much so.  You are not just sitting isolated in your front room – you become part of a team and so therefore all those emotions come up because you don’t want to let your team down. The initial reaction is that you could be the biggest d—head when playing, but when you are part of a team you don’t want to be a d—head. That’s why it’s so enjoyable.

What can you tell me about the book you are writing to go with the game?

There is a Special Forces guy called Dima in the story, a Russian, and he is in certain sections of the game but as a character he started to bubble up. So it seemed like a natural extension to tell the story from his perspective. He’s far from a good guy – he is not going to win any humanitarian awards. And the standard of UK literacy among teenage boys is atrocious, so there is a naive hope some might think “I will give that a go”.

Source: Herald Sun

Battlefield 3 is released on October 27 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

2011
03.09

Asylum
Aug 31st 2011 – By Oliver Jones

For a second, just pretend you’re an Ex-SAS hero, you were the commander of the one of the most famous military operations of recent times and at the time of leaving the military you were its most highly decorated soldier — what would you do next?

Well that’s exactly the situation Andy McNab found himself in 18 years ago, when he became one of the most entertaining and prolific action authors of recent times.

His most popular novels are the Nick Stone series: tales of an Ex-SAS, deniable operator who traverses the world generally being an incredibly competent badass.

We spoke to Andy McNab about his new novel, Nick Stone, and how good he was at Battlefield 3.

Go here to read the interview

Snippet:

Asylum: You’ve been credited before with predicting flashpoints, and how certain military operation will unfold. Are you trying to predict what’ll happen next or do you take inspiration from contemporary events?

Andy McNab: “It’s a mixture, but again being a commentator for the MOD, there’s a thing called the future character of conflict, it’s an ongoing think tank that thinks up scenarios, not major state conflicts, but all sorts of conflicts. How would they effect commerce and how commerce effects conflict. That’s very useful because I get to see what’s out there, and in the general sort of environment. Combine that with mainstream news and deeper sort of feature-style news, and then it’s about bringing it all together.”

2011
08.08

Amazon: ‘As bullets whiz by, walls crumble, and explosions throw you to the ground, the battlefield feels more alive and interactive than ever before. In Battlefield 3, players step into the role of the elite U.S. Marines where they will experience heart-pounding missions across diverse locations including Paris, Tehran and New York… Since 2002, EA’s series of Battlefield games have set the standard for realism and ambition. And in Autumn 2011, with the global release of the hotly anticipated Battlefield 3, they’re raising the bar even higher. Battlefield 3 will be the most authentic, vivid, all-action first person shooter ever. To be published alongside the game, Battlefield 3: The Russian is also best in class – the first time that 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 …’

2011
06.08

03.08.11 | Graeme Neill

Orion has bought world rights to an Andy McNab novel tying into the forthcoming Battlefield 3 videogame.

Deputy publisher Jon Wood and non-fiction publishing director Rowland White bought world rights to Battlefield 3: The Russian from Mark Lucas. It will be published on 28th October, the same day the game goes on sale. Grand Central will be the US publisher. McNab is working as a consultant on the forthcoming game, which is one of the most eagerly awaited of the autumn. The novel provides the backstory to a Russian Special Forces operator who is a character in the single-player videogame. It will be co-written by Peter Grimsdale.

White said: “I’ve been a fan of Andy McNab’s since Bravo Two Zero first kept me awake into the small hours. Admiring the spectacular success of the career as a novelist that followed Andy’s original non-fiction blockbuster I never, for a moment, thought I’d get the chance to work with him. But Transworld have generously offered Andy a busman’s holiday. And, with Battlefield 3: The Russian, he has excelled himself, delivering trademark military authenticity and insight alongside a ticking time bomb of a plot. I can promise sleepless nights all round.”

McNab said: “It is impossible for any single medium to fully capture the emotion and intensity of war. The Battlefield 3: The Russian novel is one window into the experience, and the game is another. They complement each other perfectly. Working with [Battlefield 3 developers] DICE has been a fantastic ride. Battlefield 3 is going to surprise people this autumn. The story, the characters, the world and the intense action come together to create a resonant, memorable experience.”

Source: The Bookseller