Eagerly-anticipated horror-fest The Callisto Protocol's release date is on the horizon, with the Spacelike (TM) set to scare the hell out of us all on 2nd December. The game looks gorgeous (in a wet, gore-spattered kind of way) and Striking Distance's chief technical officer, Mark James, recently sat down with TechRadar to discuss the importance of detail in creating believable game worlds:
Our characters are the most realistic characters you’ll see in a game. So much so, that when we first showed our game, everybody thought it was pre-rendered. We were like, ‘No, this is how our character looks. This is how Josh [Duhamel, the actor behind the game’s main character] looks’.
We’ve got a full scan, even down to ray-traced reflections for the eyeballs. So if you look into the [character’s] eyes in our game, you can see their reflected optics. It’s a really tiny detail, but it’s those tiny details that actually are so important to our game.
Apparently, this insane level of detail was achieved by modelling light reflections for every angle, and rotating lights around each character's model, in order to capture the bounce properties as realistically as possible. James continues:
“Our rendering guy, Jorge Jiminez, used to send round photos of Josh and the digital render [of the game's main character], and he would get people to guess [which was which]. If people thought there was any difference, he then worked on that area. It's so important to us that that realism is in our game.”
“It brings a connection to the player that you don't normally get,” he said. “So much of our brain is associated with seeing faces, more than the rest of the world around us because we have to read faces every day. We want to base all of our mutations and our body horror around this grounded reality – what would happen if an arm grew twice the size, or a chest opened up."
“Our enemies aren't the undead, they aren't aliens, they're mutated humans. So we want to show that grounding – they're still recognizable as humans – and also that connection, so you're not just dispensing with these things that used to be human. They’re your fellow prisoners and guards.”
The Callisto Protocol has been in the headlines a fair bit of late, with director Glen Schofield getting into hot water regarding some comments he made which appeared to glorify crunch culture. In addition, there appears to be some confusion about the game's post-launch support, despite the fact that a season pass is currently available for purchase.
Are you excited about the Callisto Protocol? Will you be picking it up at launch? Let us know in the comments section below.