As per CDPR’s John Mamais, The Witcher 3’s world is almost 2D in comparison.
Cyberpunk 2077 developers CD Projekt RED have bee quite vocal about the world that their game is set in, about how big the environment is. The notable thing about Cyberpunk 2077’s open world, though, is that it’s not only big, it’s also – at least based on everything we’ve seen so far – densely packed, and has quite a lot of verticality to it.
According to CD Projekt RED’s John Mamais, who’s the head of their Krakow office, that density and verticality and the fact that players move through the world a lot faster than they did in something like The Witcher 3 means that the studio has had to make use of completely new tech to stream and load in their open world environments. In fact, while speaking in an interview with AusGamers, Mamais confirmed that CD Projekt RED are making use of completely overhauled streaming tech for their upcoming RPG.
“The streaming system had to be overhauled because, well, you’re moving a lot faster when you’re in a vehicle,” said Mamais. “So, we had to rework and rewrite how all that works. Also, there’s vertical streaming now. The Witcher is almost like a 2D game in comparison, its world was flat. [With Cyberpunk 2077] you’re going up and into huge buildings, so it is a case of vertical and horizontal streaming and hardware speeds impact that. We had to rewrite the tech to support all of that.”
Mamais also explained that there’s also some level of procedural generation going on behind the scenes, before talking about just how that works.
“Given the size and scope, we have to do some procedural generation of the things you see,” he said. “Like, you don’t want artists to go in and place individual pipes or place pieces of trash, so we had to incorporate a lot of things like that into our process. Create things like a ‘trash layer’.” When it comes to designing levels or creating them, the team’s toolset for designers is called the ‘hierarchical prefabs pipeline’. “It’s basically a way how we build the levels out – using prefabs where you can go in and build out the world like it’s like a Lego set.”
Cyberpunk 2077 is out on April 16, 2020 for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia. Recently, Mamais also spoke about Cyberpunk 2077’s new immersion-focused cutscenes system- read more on that through here.