Treyarch Combat Designer Anthony Flame and Lead Artist Murad Ainuddin talk about Call of Duty’s first DLC weapon in history, the Peacekeeper SMG, in preparation for Black Ops 2′s first downloadable add-on, Black Ops 2: Revolution.
Flame and Ainuddin spoke about the design and balance philosophy behind the Peacekeeper SMG, saying, “It has the lightweight design of an SMG, but with better range and accuracy at the cost of close quarters firepower.”
The Full Quencher:
There’s a lot of excitement around the Peacekeeper SMG, as it’s the first time Call of Duty has ever offered a bonus weapon with DLC. Why did you go with an SMG?
Anthony: First we began thinking, what will get the most people excited – what is something that people haven’t seen before? The conversation quickly gravitated to the fact that our two most popular weapon classes are SMGs and assault rifles, so we thought it would be cool to create a hybrid of those. Having a weapon in DLC is new, having this type of weapon is new and it speaks to the choices that players make – we loved the idea.
The Peacekeeper is an original design by Treyarch. What inspiration did the art team take for the weapon’s look?
Murad: Based on Anthony’s direction of creating a hybrid assault rife and SMG, we designed the Peacekeeper to have a compact rifle look. We also wanted to give a base white finish to provide a stark contrast from all the other weapons in Black Ops II, but also in Call of Duty history. We chose a lot of synthetic polymers and lightweight materials to make up the surface look to represent that near-future “hotness.” We want players to feel like this is a familiar weapon, but one they’ve never seen before.
We typically start out with some side profiles, not worrying about detail – getting the big ideas down first. After the profile is approved, that’s when we internally start breaking up components inside the silhouette.
How does balance factor into the Peacekeeper to ensure that it falls in line in terms of stats with other weapons?
Anthony: The Peacekeeper is a Submachine Gun-Assault Rifle Hybrid. It has the lightweight design of an SMG, but with better range and accuracy at the cost of close quarters firepower. It’s a great weapon for objective modes like Hardpoint, where you need to quickly get into position and cover objectives from a safe distance.
Is there any kind of backstory to the Peacekeeper? How does it fit into the lore you’ve created for Black Ops II?
Murad: The idea is, this is the weapon that is issued to special ops forces of the future to deal with counter-terrorist threats and for VIP protection. It reaches out far, yet compact enough for concealment, and easy to carry and operate in vehicles.
For our Diamond Camo fanatics, how will the Peacekeeper affect SMG Challenge progress?
Anthony: The Peacekeeper does not affect diamond progression for the 6 core submachine guns – they will function exactly as before. If you earn Diamond Camo on the core 6 SMG’s, when you earn gold for the Peacekeeper you will then get Diamond for it as well.
Any last words from the team in regard to its use?
Anthony: We’re very excited for the opportunity to give players a DLC weapon for the first time in a Call of Duty game. This has allowed us to evaluate how the fans are playing the game, and offer new content that improves the online experience. For the Peacekeeper, we wanted to give players a high mobility weapon that wasn’t just meant for close quarters, which will open up more medium and long range firefights. Internally, the team has been having a blast with the Peacekeeper on the new maps. We look forward to the community getting their hands on the Peacekeeper, and seeing how this affects the meta game of Pick 10 selection.
That concludes the interview. We’d like to thank Anthony Flame, Murad Ainuddin, Will Huang, Mark Manto and the rest of the design and development team at Treyarch for their work on the Peacekeeper and taking the time to walk us through its creation.