Published Mar 20, 2014
Grad Mohammad Alavi Founding Member of ‘Titanfall’ Team
This team was founded in 2010 by a group of former Call of Duty developers, which includes Game Development graduate Mohammad Alavi as level designer.
Titanfall launched on March 11, marking one of the first major game releases of 2014. This multiplayer-only first person shooter is available exclusively for the Xbox One, PC, and Xbox 360, and marks the debut from Respawn Entertainment. This team was founded in 2010 by a group of former Call of Duty developers, which includes Game Development graduate Mohammad Alavi as level designer.
Following Titanfall’s release and near-universal acclaim Mohammad checked in with us to offer his thoughts on its reception from fans and the media. Early praise has been heaped on the physics and sense of freedom when moving your character throughout the world and engaging in firefights. The feeling of kinetic motion as you jump in and out of the mech vehicles (Titans), scale walls, and traverse the landscapes cuts the tethers seen in many standard first person shooters, which often funnel you down specific paths
“My specialty for the last 10 years has been cinematic campaign modes, and there’s a lot of people on the team who share my skill set,” he says. “So when we decided to make a multiplayer game we asked how we could make a multiplayer that’s fun for people like us. It was a lot of iteration, and then all of the sudden the parkour and the Titans and the dynamics between them just flowed. It was like ‘Oh, we really have something.’ We’re gamers at heart, and it was all about making something fun and new that you can’t play anywhere else right now.”
The game’s unique play style and next-gen exclusivity has even been cited for spiking sales of the new Xbox One console, with rumors already beginning to spread this about an eventual Titanfall sequel. Mohammad wasn’t able to comment on any future details, but for now the team at Respawn enjoy being able to take a breath to track the success of their first game, while keeping a close eye on player feedback.
“To start a brand new company and a new IP that nobody’s heard of, and then people are really liking it – if I had to sum that up in one word it would be ‘vindicating,’” he says. “Obviously the fan response has been incredible, it’s humbling – but as much as the reviews are positive, we also look at the criticism and ask how we can improve things for the next game. I just hope we keep making players happy.”