Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Team Explains Why They Veered Off of the Three-Lane Path - Prima Games

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Team Explains Why They Veered Off of the Three-Lane Path

by Liana Ruppert

The three-lane approach is common in shooters but the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare team felt that it was a little dated for the experience they want to offer. We recently sat down with some key members of the development team behind the upcoming soft reboot from Infinity Ward to talk about all of the different ways they are making the CoD experience different this time around. We’ve learned about canceled ideas, we’ve dissected some of the more obvious differences, and now we’re talking about that classic three-lane formula. 

Speaking exclusively with Prima Games, Multiplayer Map Designer Jefferey Smith and Animation Director ‘Rigsby’ opened up on why the classic three-lane formula was good but not the right fit for what they were going for in Modern Warfare. When talking about their new direction for Modern Warfare map design and how it relates to past games, Smith mentioned, “They did different things when I wasn’t here, but this is still kind of how I usually make stuff.  Again, it’s a lot of like you know you hear a lot about the three lane –map design and all that different stuff.”

That’s not saying it’s bad, just not the perfect fit for this particular vision. Smith added, “Three lanes is not really a bad thing.  It’s really how you present it, and like I was saying if it’s a symmetrical layout, something in the brain kind of rejects that when you’re trying to sell a realistic environment.  Maybe a housing project is — is symmetrical, but it’s really kind of trying to hide and mask those lanes.  If you add more than three lanes, it’s just a really hard number for the brain to kind of quantize.  You know, it just kind of gets all over the place and people end up missing each other. So, three lanes isn’t bad, but for us we kind of dig into those negative spaces.  If you think of the three lanes it’s kind of like a window pane, so a square with a cross in the middle.”

He added that the team wanted to “really dig into those negative spaces by allowing players to go into buildings. Really, the design change was more about the buildings than anything, that and giving players a really out-of-the-box line of sight experience.” 

We recently had a chance to play hours of all of the different multiplayer modes this game has to offer, which included seeing these map changes in action. Everything about this game feels different and definitely made for the better. 

You can learn even more about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare with our previous breakdown here before it arrives on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on October 25th.


Liana Ruppert

With an arguably unhealthy obsession with Dragon Age and Mass Effect, Liana is wildly passionate about all things in the gaming community. From shooters, to RPGs, if it's out - she's playing it. A medically retired US Sailor and now full-time hoarder of gaming collectibles, Liana's passion for everything in the gaming industry is palpable. Also, if you lose her in a crowd, just casually mention any BioWare game and the crazy pterodactyl screech will without a doubt follow. You can follow her on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy or email her for editorial inquiries at [email protected]!