In an interesting bit of technical development news, via Wccftech, Sony and Guerilla Games’ Horizon Zero Dawn will be using a GPU based procedural tech that dynamically creates the world around the player.
We can read more about in a description of a GDC session that Guerilla’s Senior Tech Programmer, Jaap van Muijden will be hosting next year at the conference:
Jaap van Muijden from Guerrilla Games will describe the GPU based procedural placement system that dynamically creates the world of ‘Horizon: Zero Dawn’ around the player. Not limited to just rocks and trees, the procedural system assembles fully-fledged environments while the player walks through them, complete with sounds, effects, wildlife and game-play elements. He will show the entire pipeline, from the graph editor where artists can define the procedural placement rules to the GPU algorithms that create a dense world around the player on the fly. He will demonstrate the power of this procedural approach by showing how painting in a tree line and redirecting roads can be just as easy as moving mountains and changing a desert into a tropical swamp.
As you can see from the session’s description, this goes beyond the procedural generation of rocks and trees. The system assembles the entire environment! So sounds, effects, wildlife and game-play elements are dynamically created as the player travels through the world, creating quite the living atmosphere as opposed to the scripted or static environmental elements we’re used to in open world games.
Color us intrigued. We already know what to expect visually from the game, so a peak under the hood like this hints at even more promising gameplay possibilities. Horizon Zero Dawn is releasing February 28th for the PS4 and is poised to be Sony’s next blockbuster exclusive.
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