Ready at Dawn recently held a technical presentation at SIGGRAPH 2015 where they detailed the technology behind The Order 1886. As we have covered earlier, they revealed the anti-aliasing technique, lighting solution and technical limitations for the game. In addition to this, they also revealed the backstory for the development of the game.
The Order 1886 development started in 2011 with just 45 developers. Ready at Dawn were tackling a completely new challenge with a new IP, and targeting a new gameplay genre. All of their previous work had been done on the PlayStation Portable so this was a big leap for them.
In their technical presentation, Ready at Dawn’s Nathan Phail-Liff and Anthony Vitale gave further insight on The Order 1886 development and the year they started working on it.
We started development at the very beginning of 2011. There were about 45 people in the entire company at that point and by the very height of production we peaked at about 140.
Since The Order 1886 was released in February 2015, this means that it took them close to 4 years to create their own custom in-house engine and develop a game on it. This is a really impressive figure as The Order 1886 is one of the most gorgeous looking game on a current generation console. Judging from some of the screenshots of the game in 2012, it was a very different concept earlier in development with a survival horror vibe.
Ready at Dawn also explained the challenges that they had to face at the start of the production, and talked about how they wanted to create a game in which everything is rendered in real-time from start to end.
-We were jumping from the PSP directly to the PS4, still early in development-All of our tools, engine, and even physics were all developed in-house and from scratch-This was our first original ip-And in a genre completely new to us as developers-Also we were exploring a completely new art style, with dramatically higher level of detail and realism-Everything was to be real-time, in-game, from the start menu to the closing credits. This also meant no higher quality cinematic assets. Everything would be running live on the PS4 with in-game content.
Unfortunately The Order 1886 didn’t fare well with the critics, even if it fully delivered on its visuals. But we have to give Ready at Dawn the credit for tackling this challenging project and delivering on it.
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