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Ubisoft on bringing Watch Dogs' city to life: 'You will never see the same thing twice'

Watch Dogs Screenshot - 1162988 Gallery_small_watch_dogs_1

"When you play Watch Dogs, be sure to pay attention to Aiden Pearce’s thumbs," Ubisoft community manager Gary Steinman tells us. "This was something that was actually refined during the game’s delay."

Although Ubisoft last month posted a lengthy explanation of why Watch Dogs was delayed, the company, in a new post about "animating a next-gen city," further discussed some of the benefits of the six month delay.

“We animated Aiden’s thumb movements so he’s better at hacking,” animation director Colin Graham revealed. “For example, when he hacks a tower, you’ll see he clicks on the screen properly with his thumb. We didn’t have that quite right before.”

"It’s those little details that matter – the small things that pay off for a gamer, that keeps us fully immersed in a believable world," adds Steinman. For Watch Dogs though, it's going to take more than realistic thumb movements to immerse us in the great city of Chicago. And thankfully, next-gen systems have provided that capability.

“The animation is always a bottleneck on memory, so we can have a lot more diversity and variety now,” explained Graham. "You’re hacking people. You’re responding to crimes. You can rescue people if they’re trapped in their cars in gunfights. You can cause people to panic and they will see your face on TV and recognize you and call the cops. You can take their phone and smash it. All this is fully integrated into the system so they’re not just cardboard cutouts or mannequins. They interact with you.”

Other examples of a living, breathing society include sign spinners, "living statues" (people who stand perfectly still for a long time), and Chicago's famous bucket drummers.

“You will never see the same thing twice, guaranteed,” Graham promised. “Your experience is unique. You go around this corner and the ten people that are there will be ten completely different people. Ten different profiles, ten different backgrounds, different actions, different combinations of actions.”

Watch Dogs is set to launch on May 27 for Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. A Wii U version is also in development, but has been delayed indefinitely.

Matt-liebl-profile
Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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