Interview with the Producer Chaddi “Leviat” Lebbos May 2002
1. You´re working in the Ubi Soft development team in Montreal, Canada: On what projects did you already work in the past and what exactly is your job as a producer for Raven Shield?My first big responsibility at Ubi Soft was in 1997, where I was asked to start and manage a localization studio. This gave me experience in project management, dealing with 3rd party developers, marketing, human resources … you name it. 4 years later, I was asked to be an associate producer on RAINBOW SIX - RAVEN SHIELD, I jumped at the opportunity and became involved when the game was nothing more than a sheet of paper. I can’t believe the amount of work that has been done to it since then. A couple months later, I was promoted to producer. You can imagine what my reaction was!
Being a producer on Raven Shield, I always need to keep in mind that we’re not dealing with any old game here….it’s Rainbow Six. I need to make sure the standards of quality in terms of gameplay remains consistent, and combined with graphics and sound, everything needs to be balanced perfectly and of the highest quality in order to bring the best possible experience to our fans.
As the manager of the project and the development team, I need to make sure everyone has everything they need to work efficiently. Working closely with Red Storm, I provide all of the proper guidelines that will help us achieve our goals.
Finally, marketing and PR rely on me to provide them news on the progression of the games development!
2. Continuing the Rainbow Six-Series is a great challenge - Red Storm sets standards with their products – does this just mean motivation for you or also a kind of mortage loaded with a lot responsibility?
Developing the 3rd episode of Rainbow Six is such a privilege. This franchise is probably the most popular on the FPS market with Half Life, and of course, the pressure on the team is high to make Raven Shield a whole new experience! We need to make good decisions to preserve the authenticity of the franchise and add innovations that will surprise Rainbow Six and FPS fans. So yes, it is a big pressure for us to continue what RSE has built so far.
However, it also means high motivations because we know that fans and customers have been waiting very long for it. The development team itself is build of Rainbow Six fans, so I think we’re on the right track!
3. What is the story/enviroment Raven Shield is set in?
We’ve picked mission locations that will allow several interesting environments. We want each map to be “unique” in terms of graphics, game play and sounds. There will be variety like: snow, desert, mountain, day, night, rain, outdoor… mostly in Europe and South America. Of course, locations have been selected according to the story line and the big threat plot.
4. Using the new unreal Warfare engine gives you new possibilities. Do you think Raven Shield will remain true to the Rainbow Six-Series, just pushing the game onto a next level? What are the advantages of the new engine? And do you think you could set your own standards and characteristics?
Unreal technology needs to be adapted to our own needs - we are not developing unreal… but Rainbow Six 3. However, this engine is a great start for us because, while we are adapting the engine, we can already work on the layout thanks to the editors. As the game content of Raven Shield is already a big challenge to develop, I thought we’d rather put our efforts on the game play and features than on the basis of the engine… Unreal engine is powerful for both 3D rendering and script AI. It will surely contribute to the quality of the game!
Rainbow Six general AI is huge compared to any other FPS on the market; which takes a lot of the memory budget… Even if graphics will be outstanding, I think (wish) that Raven Shield will create new standards with its controls and its AI.
5. Are you supported by Red Storm? If so, in what manner? Do you receive any consulting and support by members of US Elite Police Teams?
As we did with Black Thorn title, we are constantly working with RSE. The story is mostly managed by RSE and the game design is supported by RSE. Many decisions are also debated with RSE first. They know the franchise more than anybody and it’s important to have feedback from them on any parts of our work.
We want this game to be the most realistic Elite Police tactical simulator. To achieve this goal, the development team leaders have been trained by the GTI SQ team (elite hostage-rescue team in Montreal, Canada). Moreover, we are working closely with a member of LAPD Tactics. He’s a strong adviser that helps us on the design of gadgets, tactics and tells us how an operative should react on specific situations.
6. Producing such a big title means a lot of creative work and fun for everyone in the team, but also stress and hard decisions. What were the greatest problems and biggest challenges for your work?
Besides all technical challenges, one of the hardest is to select the features (out of hundreds!!) that will make Raven Shield not only the Rogue Spear’s sequel, but also an awesome title with many innovations that needs to please both Rainbow Six fans and FPS gamers.
7. What is your favorite feature of the game and why?
I really like the new peek & crouch controls which are quite innovative. It doesn’t disturb the way I’m used to play Rogue Spear, but if I need more precision, the full control is useful and will help me to discover hidden places to shoot the enemy.