Anna Donlon Interview: Sr. Producer on Black Ops for the Wii

By Bl2 on October 21, 2011
Level 3

We’re very excited to bring you this Exclusive Interview with Anna Donlon, Senior Producer on Call of Duty: Black Ops for the Wii.  She has some great information to share, including details about Wii Multiplayer and Online Co-Op!

Q: What has your role been in the development of Call of Duty: Black Ops?

I am the Senior Producer for Call of Duty: Black Ops on the Wii.

I’m responsible for managing the Call of Duty Wii projects developed at Treyarch.  After joining the studio in 2005, I moved onto the Call of Duty Wii team at the start of Modern Warfare: Reflex and have been working with the same dedicated developers ever since.

One thing I love about working at Treyarch is the commitment that the studio has had to the Wii platform.  We have a dedicated team that works on Black Ops, and it is our goal to create the best Wii FPS experience possible.

Developing a game as big as Black Ops, while staying as close to the source material as possible is complex and challenging, Our community has come to expect a full and robust Call of Duty experience on the Wii, and to stray from that would be a disservice to them. 

During the project, we spend a lot of time figuring out what the Wii player wants out of their game. And each year, we up the ante.  We push ourselves and we push the engine to its limits.  And then when that’s done... we push a little more.

Q: So, why should the Wii players be excited for Black Ops on the Wii?

Well, let’s start with the basics.  We’re giving the fans the full single-player storyline, with huge maps and an amazing story that I think will really blow them away.  We’re also back with 5v5 multiplayer, all maps and all game modes, including the newly introduced Wager Matches and Contracts.

But, like I said, we pushed things a little harder this year, and can now confirm that the Wii version will have online Co-Op.  We’re doing this through Black Ops’ new Combat Training mode and of course... ZOMBIES.  That’s right, 4-player Co-Op Zombies will have its debut on the Wii this year.

There was one day on the project where we were playing Zombies and I was yelling at my Associate Producer, Aaron Roseman, from down the hallway to come Revive me (which I’m sad to admit he has to do quite often).  It quickly became clear, as we screamed back and forth at each other, that we had to have headset support for all of our online modes.  That’s why the introduction of the Headbanger Headset to this game is so exciting to us.  It really takes the online experience in both Multiplayer and Zombies to the next level on the Wii.

And then there’s the Classic Controller Pro.  Don’t get me wrong, I love playing the game with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, especially after I customize the controls to my heart’s content.  But once we started supporting the Classic Controller Pro, I was hooked.  Now I find myself switching back and forth between the two depending on my mood and what game mode I’m playing.

There’s a bunch of other new features that we developed this year as well.  We’ve created a new "Allies" system that allows you to invite recent players to be your allies for text messaging, game invites and more without a need for code exchanges.  We have more player customization in Create a Class than ever before and we have enhanced party privacy options for players who want to set up their private matches with a little more control over who they allow in.

Q: What’s been your most memorable experience in the months leading to launch?

There was an evening we were at work pretty late and four of us decided to jump into a Zombies match, headsets and all.  We were all pretty tired, and ready to go home, but after a few rounds, we couldn’t put it down.  Out of nowhere, I hear Matt Kimberling (Technical Director on the Wii) yell out, "The Wii players are gonna freakin’ love this!"  And we all knew he was right.  It was the missing piece of the puzzle on the Wii, and an accomplishment we’re all pretty proud of.

Q: Anything in particular you’d like to say to all the Call of Duty Wii fans out there?

The game is awesome on the Wii.  We made it for you guys.  Enjoy it!  And I’ll see you online!