Red Dead Redemption 2 Devs Considered Procedural Missions, Opted For a Game With Limits

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May 4, 2018
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For years, the chief buzzword used to describe open-world games has been freedom. Go where you want, do what you want, with no boundaries! Interestingly, Rockstar Games seems to be going down a slightly different path with Red Dead Redemption 2 – the goal with this project is realism and believability, which means the game, by necessity, comes with a few restrictions.

In a new interview with IGN, Rockstar North studio head Rob Nelson discussed Red Dead Redemption 2’s approach to player freedom. According to him, Rockstar experimented with a more freewheeling procedurally generated design, but ultimately, decided on a more classical approach.

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“We played around with those ideas of procedural companion missions. We did have that in there and we found that we could not get the level of connectedness and sophistication that we wanted for those sort of experiences. […] I suppose you could do it, but […] the way that we make these worlds is [to] basically handcraft them. And so that would be some sort of procedural thing that would happen, and the content there – it’s just not practical. [For it to] feel consistent with what we’re trying to achieve with the world.”

Nelson went on to outline some of the things you won’t be able to do in Red Dead Redemption. For instance, IGN asked if you’d be able to start large-scale fires in the forest and towns…

“It would be nice, but no. Because it’s not practical. You could burn structures down, but a forest fire would change the map in such a way it would change the feeling of the world and the things that are in there.”

It also sounds like there will be limits to how much you can roleplay with main character Arthur Morgan, as Rockstar wants to tell a specific story with him. For better or worse, RDR2 is very much a crafted world, albeit a very, very big one. That’s part of the reason the game has taken so long to make – according to Nelson every one of Rockstar’s global studios is currently working on RDR2.

Red Dead Redemption 2 gallops onto Xbox One and PS4 on October 26.

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