Infinity Ward's decision not to allow players to view their character's torso or legs in Call of Duty titles allowed the studio time to create better games, according to veteran animator Chance Glasco in a recent Reddit AMA thread.
While the developers could feasibly have put full-body animation on show, Glasco states it is more important for a studio to focus its time on creating game features that players will see and use often.
"It's one of those things we technically could have done," writes Glasco, "but have always found features more important to add. Often the difference between a good game or a bad game is someone putting the hammer down on cute and fun little features that take as much time as important features that might be seen or used often. That was also a huge run-on sentence."
Glasco, who worked on magazine ejection animation of weapons like FAL in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, adds that "75 percent of more" of his time is dedicated to creating reload animations.
"I personally thought my FAL animation was one of my weaker animations in the game," he said, "but it was literally saved by the concept behind the animation. People like it because you knock out the empty magazine with your new magazine, not because it was my best animation. There are some things I wish I could have changed/cleaned up in it. It really goes to show you how a good reload idea can really propel a gun into popularity"
He states that while he often meets with weapons experts to get feedback on the realistic portrayal of weapon animation in the game, he will forego realism for the sake of a more interesting — albeit less realistic — animation.
"Before I start," he explains, "I usually research how the weapon is operated if necessary. I do try to keep it realistic to a point. I don't go full realism because it's often boring and flat. If you want to be tactical, for example, you should always keep your rifle pointing forward when reloading, but frankly, that doesn't make for a very interesting animation."
Glasco previously worked on on the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series, as well as Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.