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Ubisoft devs discuss WATCH_DOGS

by on August 21, 2013
 

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WATCH_DOGS is the highly anticipated game from Ubisoft, set to appear on both current gen and next gen consoles. The game puts you in control of Aidan Pierce. Aidan is a former thug who just happens to have the ability to hack into any electronics, and turn the city of Chicago into a weapon at his disposal.

Below are some highlights on an interview conducted with Ubisoft Montreal’s Senior Producer Dominic Guay, Creative Director Jonathan Morin, and Lead Story Designer Kevin Shortt. In the interview they team discussed everything from WATCH_DOGS, to what it is like to develop for the next generations of consoles.

On developing for next gen Hardware, Senior Producer Dominic Guay seemed to welcome the challenge, stating that it was a privilege to be able to build a new IP and that you should always strive to push the envelop as far as what can be done. A new platform offers more options to innovate, and added “Being there at the beginning of a new generation, with a new IP, is a very exciting thing.”

When asked how the new hardware can change/revolutionize gaming, Creative Director Jonathan Morin was quick to state how he felt people are already changing the way we play games, citing that we are interconnected like we have never been before. “We want them to consider the fact that other people are playing “WATCH_DOGS” elsewhere, in different modes, some in single player and some in multiplayer.

Thanks to this new generation of hardware, for the very first time, I think players will feel that playing “WATCH_DOGS” is a lot like living in our day to day lives, with our phones, with our multiple friends everywhere in the world. ” The goal is for WATCH_DOGS to allow players to blur the lines between game modes, turning it into a singular experience where connectivity is omnipresent.

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Lead Story Designer Kevin Shortt spoke on wanting to create a credible open world Chicago, and how they have given players the ability to hack into any phone, camera, or laptop. But it was very important to have a rewarding story at the other end of things. “We worked very hard to ensure players will feel they are navigating a busy city of almost three million people who have a lot of stories to tell and all living their own lives; lives that can be explored at any point through the entire game.

Many of these stories will expose players to new opportunities that they can pursue on their own time. Real life has layers and depth, odd stories that intersect our lives. Stories that don’t always make sense… but can make us smile or cringe. “

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Morin, when asked about how many players can “hack” into your world at any time, explained the seemless multiplayer functions of the game. When you are connected online, you are automatically in a “session”. There could be millions of sessions ocurring at one time. “What we are able to do is to dynamically merge and unmerge those sessions seamlessly. Players can free roam normally, going about their game and at some point they can either accept a contract or provoke a monitoring scan so that the next thing they know, their objective seamlessly involves another player. 

Once the situation is resolved, we are then able to unmerge both players, and they’re able to go about their game to pursue their objectives as they were. The beauty behind this is that we can control the pacing at which this occurs and we can give you tools to also control its flow. It is such a natural online extension of what “WATCH_DOGS” is all about in the end. If we say that everything is connected, we have to consider that everyone is connected too…”

WATCH_DOGS is set to release later this year. Are you excited?

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