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Ubisoft "aim for the density first" in Watch Dog's Chicago
Posted: 27.09.2013 14:04 by Simon Priest Comments: 0
Creative director Jonathan Morin for Watch Dogs has commented on the scale differences between their near future map of Chicago and Rockstar's Los Santos and Blaine County in Grand Theft Auto V.

The Watch Dogs team promote density "a lot more than scale," adding that that's something a lot of titles "aren't exploring" fully. In their Chicago you could "stand still and profile people for ten minutes".

Ubisoft wants a lot going on around our character Aidan, instead of just offering a massive sandbox as that can lead to repetition if you're not careful.

"One thing I wanted to promote with Watch Dogs was density, a lot more than scale," Morin told Eurogamer. "We have a big city but one thing a lot of games aren't exploring is the shared density of it."

"...you can stand still and profile people for ten minutes - you're playing without moving, almost. I think that's even more important to me than just adding size to it. I don't want size just becoming a space between A and B. We have a huge world but it's more about the density."

Ubisoft have teased how the world is full of interesting moments to discover, or even trigger as Aiden. Morin feels the larger scale of GTAV's world made sense when Rockstar included aircraft.

"GTA5 has a huge world but it has flying, it has jets so it serves that purpose. You don't have a jet unless you have the space to fly into. Us, we have huge density, so if we double or triple the scale then you're going to start hitting repetition because we wanted to aim for the density first," he explained.

"We wanted the game to be the right size for that density, so it's a matter of balancing what you want to achieve."

The Assassin's Creed team has helped Morin and his Watch Dog crew to make sure gameplay is closely tied to the environment. There's a huge wealth of knowledge from the assassinating series to do with open worlds.

"It's great to have the guys who did Assassin's in the same studio," he said. "We can always questions about what gamers liked, why they made those decisions. What really helps is those conversations. Watch Dogs is obviously a very different beast, especially from a gameplay standpoint, but one of things that helped is binding the gameplay to the world."

Watch Dogs also utilises a more unique multiplayer component where 'everyday NPCs' could in fact be another human player looking to exploit our single player Aiden. This is actually a play on Assassin's Creed multiplayer where player assassin's 'blend' into NPC crowds to avoid detection and then strike.

Much to our delight, Morin feels the PC version of Watch Dogs will be Top Dogs.

"I think it's even going to be a bit better. If you pump the PC to its maximum there are things in the filtering and rendering that I think are possible on high-end PCs that are pretty amazing. Wii U is pretty much in-between - it's neither of them, not current-gen, maybe closer to current-gen than next-gen."

Watch Dogs releases on PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U November 19th in the US, 22nd in EU. Xbox One and PS4 at launch. Senior producer Dominic Guay said it was coming to PC because of the "big, big, big install base".

Source: Eurogamer
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