Various excerpts from the blog....
Building an open-world game ain’t easy. Without a strong foundation, everything can quickly collapse. In the case of Watch Dogs that foundation is the Disrupt engine, the product of over four years of dedication and tests and trials.
The surface layer of the Disrupt engine is focused on what Guay describes as “dynamism,” or the simulation systems within the game: “In our city we simulate the way people drive cars. The electricity is simulated. The water is simulated. The wind is simulated. Everything reacts to everything. Making all those systems talk to one another is where you get branching reactions.”
Take the rain, for example. When the sky starts to open up, civilians will pull out umbrellas. The lights reflect off wet surfaces. We can see the wind shifting the direction of the rain and blowing debris around. Even leaves and trash on the ground will begin to appear damp and weighted down by moisture. These small but significant details lend an unparalleled level of immersion to Watch Dogs.
Even the clothing comes to life in Watch Dogs. It boggles the mind to think about just how long was spent getting the simple act of Aiden putting his hands in his pockets to look just right. The wind pulling at a passerby’s clothing will cause them to tighten their jackets. “Everyone on the street should have clothing simulation,” Guay says. “We want to see it blow in the wind and move with them.”
“The reputation system isn’t a good or evil meter. It’s actually the perception people have of your actions. It completely affects how the city will react to you. If you run around just taking everybody out and killing tons of people, the citizens are going to think you’re kind of a jerk and they’re going to call the cops every time you do something wrong. You’re going to get spotted by the media more.”
In Watch Dogs, you can go from being connected and online with other players to being fully disconnected – without affecting the world or changing the environment. That’s no small feat, and this seamless connectivity is another key pillar of the Disrupt engine. “There’s no loading or matchmaking or waiting for a game to start,” Guay says. “That means that every single thing in the game needed to be ready to be synchronized with the network. Every aspect of animation and physics and the AI needed to work online with other players.”
But don’t worry about thousands of stalkers, hackers and griefers ruining your day. When you’re in your game, you won’t see other players just running around wreaking havoc. That would diminish the immersion Disrupt works so hard to build. The only time another player will actually enter your world is when they accept a contract with your name on it. From there they can creep through your city streets, stalking you until they decide to strike. They will appear to you as any other Chicagoan, just like you would appear nondescript to them should you invade their game. There will never be two Aidens on the screen.
This game sounds epic. I can't wait!