Hello! I'm Jens Matthies, Creative Director at MachineGames, makers of soon to be released video game Wolfenstein: The New Order.

Living and working in Uppsala, Sweden, I grew up a computer geek and was active on the Atari demo scene in the early 90’s.

My career in games development started when I got in on the ground floor of a studio called Starbreeze in 1998, where we shipped games such as The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and The Darkness. After 11 years at Starbreeze, myself and a few other colleagues broke out on our own and formed MachineGames which is now a part of the Bethesda family. Developing Wolfenstein: The New Order is a dream come true for me. The game is a dark tale, set in an alternate history 1960’s, featuring classic protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz embarking on an epic adventure to overthrow the Nazi regime that has won WWII and conquered the world. It’s our love letter to id Software and the old school shooters that made us want to become game developers.

When not making games, I ride jet skis, dabble in MMA, grow vegetables and indulge my weird obsession for making floor plans. (Any questions on these topics will also be most appreciated.)

Here's my proof: http://imgur.com/NOnkpkE

And for more on Wolfenstein: The New Order here's the official link: http://www.wolfenstein.com/

EDIT: Dear Reddit. I enjoyed the hell out of this AMA. I wish I could stay all night and answer everything, but now I gotta go see about a girl in Finland. See you on the flipside.

Comments: 1045 • Responses: 58  • Date: 

masterchiefs212 karma

Hi Jens, who came up with the idea of the referee shooting a soccer player in the "Nowhere To Run" trailer and Nazis destroying Mount Rushmore in "Boom Boom" trailer ? I want to hug them.

Jens_MachineGames187 karma

That was the talented people at trailer house G-Net. They've been awesome, and I'm sure they would love some hugs :)

Blake_Majer162 karma

So... about Fallout 4...

Do you know anything about it? If so please tell?

Jens_MachineGames382 karma

Excellent question! Keep the excellent questions coming :)

bmart2117159 karma

How long is the campaign going to be? Especially if a player takes their time and collect's everything, how long on average would it take to complete the game?

Jens_MachineGames242 karma

If you collect everything and explore everywhere I think a single play through could end up close to 20 hours. But there's also lots of incentive to make a second play through, especially to explore the alternate time line.

Cyberdemon1542148 karma

Is BJ Blazko still the grandfather of commander keen and the ancestor of the doomguy?

Jens_MachineGames97 karma

I certainly hope so!

Dragor106 karma

What do you think about the alternate Version of your game for germany? Since its not the thrid reich attacking the world, does it take away anything from the story? And how do you think about games being one of the few forms of media, where its not allowed to show any swastikas and other third reich related stuff?

Jens_MachineGames231 karma

We will celebrate at MachineGames the day the passionate German gamers convince their government of the obvious fact that games are indeed an art form.

DigitalHitmann96 karma

Both RTCW, ET and Wolfenstein (2009) all had traditional Allies vs. Axis style multiplayer with Wolfenstein twists (amulet powers, venom gattling gun, ect). If Wolfenstein: The New Order is a success, which I hope it is, and Bethesda greenlights a sequel, which I hope they do, is a multiplayer component or stand-alone like Enemy Territory possible? What would you do differently to make it Machine Games own unique experience?

Jens_MachineGames134 karma

Can't really speculate about how the future will play out. I'd love to do a sequel. I think it would be a lot of fun to make an Enemy Territory style multiplayer game. But MachineGames will never make both at the same time. We find that the best possible results come from having the whole team focused on a singular experience for the duration of the project.

sachos34590 karma

If Carmack or Romero played this game, do you think they would be proud? I mean, i bet you guys replayed Wolfenstein 3D to capture the original feel of the game.

Jens_MachineGames125 karma

I think so. This game is our love letter to id Software and the shooters we grew up with, so I hope they'll like it. I don't think they will be expecting such a developed story line though ;)

lurk_in_progress84 karma

[deleted]

Jens_MachineGames117 karma

There will be no spoilers :)

lurk_in_progress72 karma

[deleted]

Jens_MachineGames208 karma

I'll take that as an "I'll maybe preorder" ;)

jahass66 karma

What was the biggest challenge when making Wolfenstein: The New Order? What kind of veggies do you like growing? how long have you liked doing that? Also I have to say that the panzerhund in that proof pic is amazing! Looking forward to the release of the game~

Jens_MachineGames76 karma

Biggest challenge was probably the scope. The game is huge and it was a monster to build. This year it's all tomatoes. But I like any plant that produces food. Except zucchini. Bleh. Yeah, it took days to get that Panzerhund into the office, but now it make the conference room a happy place :)

antigravity2131 karma

You take back what you said about zucchini!

Jens_MachineGames60 karma

Never! It tastes worse than water! :)

bmart211766 karma

Will we see what happened to the Japanese after the war in Wolfenstein: The New Order?

Jens_MachineGames105 karma

It's not something we go deeply into in this game, but if you explore the game world you will discover some information on the fate of Japan.

tobephair51 karma

How much concern is there over how you approach the Nazi enemies? In terms of brutality you administer towards them, or just being historically sensitive. Does it make making an FPS easier?

Jens_MachineGames86 karma

Well, above all we wanted to make the best Wolfenstein game possible. The game is of course completely fictionalized and over the top, but we wanted the sense of oppressive Nazi horror feel authentic.

the115doctor45 karma

What is the highest speed you have every reached while riding a bicycle? Do you have documentation of this?

Jens_MachineGames62 karma

Clarification needed. Do you mean propelled by my own muscles or while holding on to a vehicle?

fajnes40 karma

Riddick EfBB - director's cut audio commentaries (often podcast length) and videos were one of the best (if not THE best) special edition bonuses ever to happen in video games. You should consider doing someting like that with this or future titles by MachineGames. :)

Jens_MachineGames36 karma

Thanks! As you can tell once I start talking, I don't stop :) I would love to do it again, it's more a matter of finding room for it in the schedule.

Spinnster36 karma

Just wanted to say hello!

How are you doing today? Did you drink some coffee this morning? What is your favorite kind of coffee?

Thanks!

Jens_MachineGames71 karma

That's awfully friendly! Hello! I don't drink coffee. I find it to be a vile, bitter drink :)

MoDawg32131 karma

What do you prefer then? I cant go a day without coffee!

Jens_MachineGames64 karma

I'm good with all good tasting caffeine delivery systems. Coke, Red Bull, something along those lines. Wish they would weaponize that stuff ;)

RangeroftheNight30 karma

What can you say about the development of the game on the consoles? Did the eSRAM cause any issues for you guys on Xbox One? Basically will the graphical difference be minimal across both platforms?

Jens_MachineGames100 karma

Compared to the last console transition this one was a breeze. There are always tricky technical problems when developing games, but we have some amazingly skilled brains on those problems and I'm happy to report that Wolf will run with minimal visual disparity at 60fps/1080p on all platforms.

bmart211729 karma

What was it like designing parts like the prison camps in the game? Considering it revolves around the holocaust and the final solution.

Jens_MachineGames56 karma

For me personally, this was one of the reasons I really wanted to make the game. I think video games are uniquely powerful in that they can put you in places you cannot go, or would never want to go in real life. You're in for a ride with this game, that's for sure.

bmart211728 karma

You had previously worked on Riddick and The Darkness which were two favorite good games of mine which had an awesome soundtrack by the way. I think a good game always have to have a good soundtrack. Riddick and darkness had Gustaf Grefsberg which he really made a fitting sound to the game, would ever consider him composing your games soundtrack in future titles?

Jens_MachineGames38 karma

Of course! Gustaf (or Grappo as we call him) has worked with us for about 15 years now, and he's a key sound designer on Wolf. For the music in Wolf we worked with an amazing composer named Mick Gordon as his musical style is more appropriate for this game than Grappo's. We also have some special music contributions by Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah (looove that band).

speculumfight17 karma

Whoa!!!! Meshuggah contributes music, that's awesome. I hope a soundtrack comes out. Is it a new song made for the game?

Jens_MachineGames23 karma

Yeah, Fredrik made some custom music for the game. All of the music in the game is amazing, I'm really psyched about it.

bmart211726 karma

From the gameplay we saw, you can choose to kill either Wyatt or Fergus at the very beginning, how does it affect the game in the long run? Different locations? Dialogue between characters? What would it be?

Jens_MachineGames49 karma

Well, I don't want to give any spoilers, but it changes the vibe of the story to a degree and alters the gameplay somewhat. We think of it as an alternate ending, but instead of it just affecting the final cinematic, it affects the tone of the whole game a little bit.

kevincredible2221 karma

Can you make the main character Lt. Aldo Raine?

Jens_MachineGames35 karma

No, but I think B.J. Blazkowicz and Aldo would have a fun night if they had some beers together.

Loucifern19 karma

Hello! How do you keep a series that's been around since the early 80's relevant and fresh in 2014?

Thanks for the AMA!

Jens_MachineGames26 karma

Thanks for the question! I think this is the beauty of making video games. For example, the opportunities available to us developers these days are vastly different to what id Software had to work with when making Wolf 3D. Our goal has been to make the best Wolf game ever, and you'll see plenty of both old school and fresh new stuff when you play it.

AetherMcLoud18 karma

Why do you censor the game in Austria when the swastika is only forbidden in Germany?

Jens_MachineGames26 karma

I honestly don't know the details of that. I could come up with a few hypotheses, but I'd prefer not to speculate. Sorry, wish I could answer that for you :(

My_Empty_Wallet17 karma

Will the new game be story driven (many hours of gameplay) with long term replay value, or will we have to rely on multiplayer to get any value out of it?

Jens_MachineGames52 karma

This game is exclusive single player. But we've built in lots of replay value. Most notably is that the player makes a choice early on the outcome of which opens up an alternate time line which changes the vibe of the story. It's recommended to do a second play through and see what would have happened if you chose differently.

DemonHunter00116 karma

Is Stealth going to be forced or will it be optional in Wolfenstein?

Jens_MachineGames29 karma

On the rarest of occasions you'll be forced to approach a scenario either using stealth or armed combat, but at all other times the player is free to decide for themselves.

MarkG115 karma

Why is the hard drive requirements so high? Is it just texture bloat or did you figure that you can now afford to have audio bloat as well with blurays?

Jens_MachineGames36 karma

Yes, whenever we can bloat we will bloat! :) There's an obscene amount of content in the game, and all that good stuff eats storage.

setmehigh13 karma

How does it feel to have a plural name?

Jens_MachineGames41 karma

Well, could be worse. Our CEO/Executive Producer is named Jerk.

Sygmaelle12 karma

Hello ! I just wanted to know how did that feel to jump from Riddick to The Darkness, which were 2 very good games mind you but still in a sort of "niche" position, into that franchise that is Wolfenstein. Wasn't it scary at first ? will you be willing to do another game if that one turn out to be successfull (which I truelly hope :D)

Also there's quite a lot of words here and there about a gamemode you can unlock by findin all the collectibles in the game so there you go, since its not possible to find a clear info about it : what will it be ? :D Wolfenstein 3D with the engine of new order ?

Sygmaelle6 karma

I mean as in, a second wolfenstein !

Jens_MachineGames15 karma

We loved getting to work on Wolf. It was daunting for sure, because it's a game that blew our minds when we grew up, and we've been idolizing id Software since before we started making games. We've worked extremely hard to make sure the id guys wouldn't feel like their trust in us was misplaced. We have lots of ideas for a sequel and we'd love to do one. It hinges on the financial success of this one, of course. There are many game modes you can unlock :)

WombRaid3r10 karma

I really cant wait to play The New Order! The team did an excellent job. My question is: what are you most proud of in Wolfenstein The New Order?

Jens_MachineGames29 karma

I'm really proud of the fact that the game we set out to make is the game we ended up with. It's exactly the Wolfenstein game I would want to play.

lotrozan10 karma

Hi Jens.Will there be an another Twitch stream before the game comes out? If yes, when? Thank you.

Jens_MachineGames14 karma

Yes! There will be a final one on Monday, the 19th.

MoistSausage9 karma

What do you think is the MOST badass thing in the game?

Jens_MachineGames18 karma

Sooo many options! A fully upgraded Laserkraftwerk is very, very badass :)

LordWt9 karma

Hello, Jens! What are the influences of the previous Wolfenstein games? Could we see some places from Wolf3D, RtCW or even Wolfenstein in the new game?

Jens_MachineGames13 karma

We've been deeply inspired by Wolfenstein 3D. Many of the choices we've made have been extrapolations based on the foundational ideas in Wolf 3D.

AC3R6658 karma

So, how open is the game? When I think of old school shooters, I think of the complex maze like level design. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q6UQ2QlRH0

Also, thanks for reviving Wolfenstein :)

Jens_MachineGames14 karma

The openness of levels is one of the old school things we're bringing back with Wolfenstein: The New Order.

Mikkyloppy7 karma

If you could have worked for id software closer to the beginning of your career? Or are you satisfied with how your path set you with starbreeze?

Jens_MachineGames15 karma

I regret nothing :)

Ramowolf6 karma

What is the key to success of the story ?

Jens_MachineGames24 karma

Killing as many Nazis as you can :)

bumbletiger5 karma

Hi, can't wait to play the game, it sounds awesome. I'm hoping to get into the industry myself, I'm just about to graduate my first degree. I was wondering if you've got any tips for people who want to get into the industry?

Jens_MachineGames14 karma

Specialize your skill set and practice, practice, practice. Pick one thing and try to become the best in the world at it. Don't forget that games are made by people working together. Your ability to communicate, deliver and receive criticism matters way more than you think :)

archaicruin4 karma

Hi Jens! How much influence from the original Wolfenstein 3D went into the making of The New Order? Are you excited that your game will be coming out soon? I sure am!

Jens_MachineGames6 karma

Wolf 3D is for us the true origin of the series, so we've been very inspired by it. I'm super excited for the release! But I do have some degree of separation anxiety, since this has been my baby for so long and now it's moved out of the house.

EternalNewGuy4 karma

It looks absolutely bloody fantastic so far, but I have reservations -- mainly, I've found that many/most modern multi-platform games seem to have a control scheme designed for a controller, with PC/keyboard controls slapped together as an afterthought (ie, Mass Effect 3, where one button did five different things, or Bioshock where certain keyboard keys were "reserved" for no reason).

Is this something that people who get the PC version instead of the console version will need to be concerned with/aware of?

Jens_MachineGames21 karma

Wolfenstein: The New Order allows complete key binding freedom to PC players.

MisterWoodhouse4 karma

Jens, how often do you get questions about Fallout and The Elder Scrolls from fans who confuse Bethesda Softworks with Bethesda Game Studios?

Jens_MachineGames8 karma

Often! ;)

PatentAtty4 karma

I'm an IP attorney at a software company, but I struggle with my own company's investment in "loss prevention" and "rights management" tools. As a software developer, what's your plan to address (or work with) software piracy that so many other software vendors and studios worry about?

Do you think that investing man hours in development of and implementation of DRM systems is a healthy use of limited software development time and resources?

Jens_MachineGames37 karma

I'm sorry, I don't care about any of that stuff ;) All I care about is making the best possible video games I can.

Klager3 karma

Hey Jens. I'm playing through RtCW in anticipation of The New Order. Will there be as many hidden switches and gold bars behind paintings of Hitler in The New Order?

Edit: And awesome work by the team on the whole meta extended universe with the soundtrack and Nazi world influence etc.

Jens_MachineGames9 karma

Oh yeah, it wouldn't be Wolfenstein unless there was tons and tons of hidden stuff to find :) Thank you for the kind words!

Kiemoe3 karma

Hi Jens! I remember reading about W:TNO when you were first revealing it, and being very excited about an opening scene involving a Nazi officer interviewing you with a deck of cards. It sounds like a very tense non-combat encounter not unlike the opening of Inglorious Basterds, one of my all time favorite scenes in any film. My question is this: is this encounter still in the game, and will there be more of these tense, non-combat encounters in the game?

Jens_MachineGames8 karma

Yes, and yes! I don't want to give spoilers, but we work a lot with the pacing of the game. We think of it more as an action adventure than a straight up shooter. Although it is very heavy on the action ;)

shadowwarrior4043 karma

Is there potential for Machine Games to work on a sequel for The New Order, will it have an ending that allows for sequels?

Jens_MachineGames6 karma

We would love to do a sequel and we have lots of ideas. We'll see how this one does :)

sunbrick3 karma

What type of vegetables do you grow?

Also, the viscosity of the blood splatter in the trailer for The New Order was very satisfying.

Jens_MachineGames5 karma

Over the years I've grown, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, leek, jerusalem artichoked, artichokes, asparagus, chards, lettuce, all kinds of herbs, blue berries, raspberries, strawberries, soy beans, fava beans, string beans, peas, zucchini (bleh), melons, grapes, peppers, chilis... Probably more things that slips my mind at the moment :) Thank you for the kind words! Our effects artists will be happy to hear that. They've worked a lot on that viscosity!

Annoyer133 karma

Have you played Wolf ET?

Jens_MachineGames5 karma

Yes.

shadowwarrior4043 karma

Does The New Order follow the events from Return To Castle Wolfenstein(my favourite!), Wolfenstein 3D or is it a complete reboot? Also a friend of mine worked with Mick Gordon on the soundtrack and has refused to tell me anything for the last 8 months! (other than that you're quite the metal fan) What kind of music can we expect in the final soundtrack?!

Jens_MachineGames12 karma

Wolfenstein: The New Order is constructed to play as a complete stand alone game, but it will also work as a sequel to previous titles in the series where possible. Mick surrounds himself with amazing talents, so I'm sure you have a highly skilled friend. The music is very varied and there's loads of it. The game is intricately scored from moment to moment with almost no repetition. A lot of the score features odd time signatures yet it's all very groovy. Can't wait for you guys to hear it.

brb853 karma

Do you by any chance know what yhe soldiers are yelling out when they see you in the original Wolfenstein 3d?

Jens_MachineGames6 karma

Well, the one thing I remember is the line "Mein Leben!" which (unless my German fails) means "My life!". Which of course makes little sense, and I fondly speculate that this was John Romero's made up German back in the day. And I'm happy to inform that under very special conditions, you can get the enemies in Wolfenstein: The New Order to say "Mein Leben!" when they die.

KingMoloney2 karma

Hi Jens, can you elaborate on why there is no multiplayer? Cheers :)

Jens_MachineGames2 karma

We knew that we'd make the best possible game if the entire studio was fully focused on a stellar single player experience. Adding multiplayer would split our focus and reduce quality over all. It was not a sacrifice we were willing to make.

havok138881 karma

Hey Jens,

Are the Elite guard in the game?

Jens_MachineGames2 karma

Yes!

SerpentineLogic1 karma

As a dabbler in MMA, how do you think you compare to CCP Games vs Gunnar Nelson?

Jens_MachineGames1 karma

Gunny would destroy me in less than a minute.

aAscii1 karma

It sure doesn't look this way, but please assure me this won't be another Duke Nukem: Forever...

Jens_MachineGames3 karma

You may rest assured.