Black Ops 6 devs say Omnimovement “snowballed” into new challenges

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Gameplay for Black Ops 6 was first revealed at this year’s Xbox Showcase. After the post-Gulf and Cold War setting had been laid out, emphasis was on the dynamic gameplay. Much of this was thanks to Omnimovement, which Treyarch and Raven Software have been working on together.

In speaking with VideoGamesChronicles, and answering questions posed by several media outlets, Matt Scronce, Associate Director of Production, and Yale Miller, Senior Director of Production, set down their thoughts on Omnimovement changing the landscape of FPS games.

What really struck a chord with me was how the two developers both admit that Omnimovement “snowballed” into broken features, glitchy animations, and new challenges for not just the player, but the developers too. “Omnimovement really started with Matt prototyping it at his desk,” Yale begins. He goes on to mention that the big thing about movement is that “everything is connected.” The typical movement system in FPS games has you going prone, effectively lying down on your chest, as an example. Standing up is then simple, and can use the same animation each time. How do you then configure it so that you can stand up from lying on your side, or on your back?

“So there were a lot of things where I guess you could say it snowballed, like ‘well that doesn’t work anymore’ or ‘that looks broken’ because all of our transition animations were assuming you were only going to be able to get down to the ground forwards, but now you could get down to ground diving backwards or sideways.”

Yale continues: “So I think the big one is the ability for us to start a new chain of movement and then see where it goes, and actually address all of the different points. And then you need to be able to figure out how you then get back up – from, like, if you were on the ground on your back, to get back up to be sprinting sideways versus the others.”

The biggest takeaway from this isn’t just the Omnimovement makes the player more dynamic and flexible, but it also instills a new challenge that hasn’t really been seen before in the Call of Duty franchise. For me, this is one of the most important changes. Call of Duty is one many franchises that repeatedly send out the same game over and over again, with a new skin each time. It’s not often you see the entire DNA of the game see a shake-up, and Omnimovement might just be that for Black Ops 6.

I’ll also admit another thing. Call of Duty is too easy. I want Omnimovement to challenge me as a player; I want to be punished for mistakes I make with sub-par positioning, reactionary movement, and I want the mechanics to encourage me to ‘git gud.’

Scronce continues that these new movement mechanics then meant that they had to “rethink level design [too],” and that they “read white papers from the Air Force Academy on what is the actual speed that a human being can physically sprint backwards.” At least Treyarch are doing the work on ensuring that its next Call of Duty is a little more realistic, too.

About the Author

Amaar Chowdhury

Amaar loves retro hardware and boring games with more words than action. So, he writes about them daily.