Activision is hiring, specifically to bolster Infinity Ward, creator of the Modern Warfare franchise. But the job adverts give away so much information, we may as well put Modern Warfare 4 in our system right now. Look at our summaries of the job descriptions of this little lot (direct quotes from job descriptions are in italics):
Senior Network Engineer:
Work with the game industry's brightest to design and implement high level network code for an exciting, unannounced title for next-generation console systems.
Requirements: Interest in games, preferably first-person shooters
Knowledge of networking protocols (UDP) and patterns used for online games
thrive on creating minute-to-minute firefights, action sequences and
holy-s**t moments that keep gamers coming back for more...
Requirements: Must be able to to list techniques used to make fun FPS combat.
Serious long-term passion for first-person shooters, console or PC
Above: "The Eiffel Tower's coming down!" You couldn't script it... OR COULD YOU?
Senior Gameplay Engineer
This role is for experienced programmers that enjoy experimenting with game design and working with enemy, AI, weapons and character controls
Interest in games, preferably first-person shooters
Senior Technical Animator
Working with 3rd party software for viewing and effecting Maya animations in the game engine (i.e. Unreal)
Require 3+ years experience on console game development
Additional background in film or TV VFX is a plus
Looks like the team is concentrating on realism and film-like action sequences then. Also, it's worth pointing out that CoD doesn't currently use Unreal, instead using a heavily modified version of Quake III's engine. Are we about to see an engine change at last for the behemoth franchise?
Environment artists should have knowledge of Photoshop, Maya and experience creating next-gen textures using normal maps with diffuse, specular, and next-gen shaders.
Console experience a plus
Senior Technical VFX artist
This is the one that tells us that Infinity Ward is trying to stamp out any conceivable superior feature in Battlefield 3's bullet points. CoD, while super-solid and explosive, has never really had destructible environments - at least not on an unscripted level. Looks like that's about to change:
Focusing on large complex destruction sequence simulations and making worlds that are more alive, animated and interactive.
Ability to create realistic explosions, demolition, destruction.
Animated environment elements like blowing cloth, foliage
Maya Simulation of archtectural and vehicle destruction
Sounds to us like the series is ramping up the meaningful, interactive, Battlefield 3-style destruction and placing more of the explosive capability into the player's hands. But not all the time - scripting is still going to play a big part. Remember, Activision wants people who 'thrive on creating holy-s**t moments' to work on their next game. We're pleased - we do have to make lists of these kinds of things on the internet, after all.
Conclusion? Expect a new Modern Warfare game at launch on next-gen consoles, probably around Christmas next year. Full of Holy-S**t moments and realistic destruction.