Official PlayStation Magazine - UK Edition|November 2020
Ian Dean and Leon Hurley pull on their Reebok Pumps, push play on Hall & Oates, and embrace the 1980s thrill of Call Of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War
Ian Dean and Leon Hurley
We don’t yet know how this year’s Call Of Duty will end, but we do know this: it’s entirely up to you. Raven Software, the studio behind the game’s single-player campaign, is building a player-led story where what ultimately happens is entirely down to the decisions you make.

Set in the 1980s (with flashbacks to 1968 Vietnam), Black Ops – Cold War is a direct sequel to the first Black Ops and sees Woods, Hudson, and Mason reunited to find Perseus, a real-life Russian spy. It oozes ’80s espionage cool as the team shoot their way through locations such as Ukraine, Laos, Moscow, Berlin, and Turkey in search of the legendary Soviet agent.

“One of the things early on the guys cracked was this idea of vintage through a modern lens,” says Raven’s Dan Vondrak as he reveals the lengths the team went to nail the perfect ’80s vibe. “We’re really inspired by some of those [films] like Atomic Blonde or Narcos; they took that approach of looking at vintage through a modern lens in a cool way.”


It’s a tone that requires careful balancing. The studio’s whiteboard had Miami Vice and Red Dawn at one end, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy at the other. Discovering Cold War’s feel took time, particularly as the ’80s were relatively recent.

“[Because] we’re not in the future any more, you can actually get these things. And that’s been a huge thing. You can go out and say, ‘What did a guy look like in the ’80s?’ Well, we can go and build that, which means that it’s going to look even better, down to the stitching, down to the gear that’s there,” says Treyarch’s creative specialist Miles Leslie. “So the characters are really going to pop and I think players are going to be pretty satisfied [to go] from Modern Warfare to ours in terms of that level of detail.”

The visual fidelity has been aided by Infinity Ward’s work on last year’s Call Of Duty, particularly the use of photogrammetry to scan people and objects into the game for heightened realism. “We’re really pushing photogrammetry. […] I think going into the ’80s in the Cold War era has really invigorated and excited all the teams, about going to a place where you can feel it and see it. That’s allowed a [new] level of immersion and detail.

The team can see what Reagan looked like, they can go see how many wrinkles he has on his face. “Hey, you know he had one little wrinkle here,” says Leslie, rubbing the corner of his eye. “Let’s get that in.”

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PUBLISHING AMID A PANDEMIC: How Board Games Survived and Thrived in 2020

COVID’s lasting impacts on our health and economy are still far from being understood. It will take many of us years, perhaps even a decade, to unravel what has changed in the last year. But some patterns are emerging, at least in the board gaming hobby, that indicate many publishers were well ahead of the curve even before the threat of a pandemic affected their supply chains worldwide. As the world began locking itself down to quell the threat of COVID-19, people continued to find solace in hobbies. Soon, the business journals and magazines of the world began tracking the increase of sales across a wide swath of interests as people did anything and everything to take their minds away from the weight of a pandemic circling the globe. Turns out, everything from toys, guitars, crafts, and board games were selling well despite a deflated economy. Report Linker’s “Board Games Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2021-2026” estimates that sales in the hobby will grow by 13 percent in the next five years, even with continued lockdowns. But what about the hobby as a whole? This article examines how 2020 affected the board gaming industry through three facets — big box stores, local board gaming cafes and stores, and the digital space — and how the pandemic has shaped them in the interim as well as moving forward. Is this projected forecast of its growth still as rosy?

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Ten months before Mountain’s Top 40 debut with the powerful “Mississippi Queen,” the band performed “For Yasgur’s Farm” and eight more songs at Woodstock. In our 2009 Woodstock 40th anniversary interview article, guitarist and vocalist Leslie West told Goldmine, “We were performing at the Fillmore West and Winterland in California, heard about what was going on back east, and knew we were going to it. We had to rent our own helicopter, because there was no way we were getting upstate in New York with the freeway closed. I almost fell out of the helicopter when I saw all those people. All of a sudden, in the middle of nowhere, you saw a city. It was something else. I was really nervous. When I did my guitar solo, it sounded pretty loud.

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Jayne Foster grew up in a small town just north of London. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in fashion and textiles at Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication before attending the Royal College of Art, from where she gained her Master's degree in Womenswear Design.

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