PS3 news: The People vs: Red Dead Redemption

The Rockstar development team behind Red Dead Revolver answers questions from the PlayStation community.

Considering that an open world Wild West game is not really mainstream, how did you come up with the idea for it? (hgtred, Germany)

The initial idea came during the completion of Red Dead Revolver. While Rockstar San Diego was working to finish that game, we started to see the potential for an open world game set in the West.

Then we decided to focus not on the classic Western period of Revolver but to base the story in the fascinating times around the death of the West, in the early 1900s, when America was going through a difficult time of great change. That gave us the greatest scope to fit in all the different story elements that we wanted in the game, from the classic American frontier to the iconic Mexican landscapes of the spaghetti westerns and a more modern town like Blackwater.

We never choose to make our games based on what’s popular at any given time -we try to do the opposite. We try to make the kinds of games we want to play and hope enough other people feel the same way.

Is there any connection between Red Dead Revolver and Redemption? (CaptainCortez, UK)

Red Dead Redemption isn’t a direct sequel to Red Dead Revolver, more a spiritual successor. That said, we strongly encourage you to explore the world for yourself and discover everything there is to learn about it. It may yield a few secrets and surprises.

From what I saw in the released videos, the horses are very realistic. How much time did you spend capturing their movements? (corpocannibal, Portugal)

Making the horses look and move believably was a long, arduous and messy process that included shooting our own motion capture of horses in action, right down to sticking the little white balls all over the horse in order to get the most accurate capture data and picking them all up and sticking them back on when they would fall off.

We had a famous stunt horse called Blanco and a very accomplished rider to put him through his paces. Capturing the horse’s real, natural movements, as well as the way the horse and rider worked together, was an amazing experience. Once we had the capture data, it was a case of choosing the right breeds, watching films and videos of them in motion and even using some of our facial animation technology to recreate the muscle movements. We’re immensely proud of the horses in Red Dead Redemption – they’re like nothing ever seen in a game before.

How extensive is the story and, more specifically, how many hours of gameplay can we expect? (Fischli, Germany; bubbez, Scandi)

Pretty long, we hope – the game is huge and the story itself is an epic in which John Marston meets many old faces and journeys across three huge regions, but how long it takes depends on how much time the player spends exploring. Given the huge amount of mini-games, including horseshoes, poker and liar’s dice; the stranger missions and other activities including hunting, treasure hunting and bounty hunting; and all the other surprises scattered across the world, the amount of time you spend in the game world is completely up to you.

Will we be able to capture fellow players with our lasso in the multiplayer? (Son_of_Bane, Netherlands)

No, lassos aren’t available in multiplayer – trying to get a curving, fluid-like piece of rope to work in single player was a massive technical challenge in itself, but the potential for 16 lassos attempting to interact with each other to cause knotty technical problems meant we had to confine the lasso to single player.

Will the main character be able to develop physically like CJ in GTA: San Andreas? (II-GRATOR-II, Spain)

Marston won’t become any stronger, or gain or lose weight, but you can affect the way the world responds to him by changing his outfit. By collecting scraps of outfits scattered across the world, you can gain access to full outfits that will have special benefits. For example, collecting a particular gang outfit will allow Marston to sneak into that gang’s territory without attracting attention. Or if you attain the Elegant suit, for example, you will gain the ability to cheat at poker. You can change into a different outfit at any of your in-game save points, either in a town or at your campsite.

Will the soundtrack be in the same style as a real western movie? (MechAArmA, France; Loganer94, Italy)

Music plays a huge part in Red Dead Redemption and it is used in unexpected ways. The soundtrack is actually a dynamic score, where what you hear is determined by what’s going on in the world around you and by the territory that you find yourself in.

The score and soundtrack itself is amazing and was put together by Bill Elm and Woody Jackson, two musicians critically acclaimed for their evocative and cinematic soundscapes. Early in the game you will hear music that’s reminiscent of the classic spaghetti westerns that were such a big influence on the soundtrack of Red Dead Revolver. However, Red Dead Redemption is set in a much later period, during the death of the West itself, so the music evolves to feature newer, more modern instrumentation.

Certain instruments in the soundtrack are linked to specific territories, to give each territory its own unique atmosphere. There are also guest vocal performances by Jose Gonzales, William Ellis Whitmore and Jamie Lidell that add extra atmosphere to certain crucial moments in the game’s story.

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