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The Callisto Protocol

The Callisto Protocol - Snakker teknologi, innsats og kreativitet på Striking Distance Spania

I dette intervjuet satte vi oss ned med administrerende direktør og kreativ direktør Glen Schofield og med direktør for kreativ engineering &SDS Spania daglig leder Jorge Jiménez på deres nye kontorer i Zaragoza for å lære mer om spillet som er ment å sette en ny bar for overlevelsesskrekk.

Audio transcriptions

"We've traveled at not so striking distance to pay the guys over at SDS a visit at their new offices in Spain and it's really nice being here. I've played the game and I'm really looking forward to talking about the game itself but first of all I would love to ask you about this operation, about how this collaboration came to be and what's your sort of role in the striking distance operation? So this came back to the time where we were working together in the past and we worked on Call of Duty and we created a really good relation back in the day. So over the years I had the chance to work on many games with Glen and to push the technology forward and after this studio happened to be created it was a very natural move for me to follow being a horror fan myself and really loving this kind of games. And when you started making this game you wanted to set a new bar for survival horror and you wanted to sort of make this the scariest one so far. The game is almost done now, do you feel that you have achieved that purpose, that goal?
I think it's pretty scary. I gotta tell you it's hard, it's hard being able to go oh hey I got scared again because you've just been looking at it for three years but I'm very satisfied with the game. I think we accomplished you know our goals in it and the main thing too is to set it apart from other games that's being compared to and that's a big deal. So I believe that we've done that as well. Are you afraid of people feeling the pressure of oh my god I'm not gonna be that creative myself I can't come up with a new way of approaching this? No because we we kind of dumped you into the game and in the third level so we gave you everything at and you didn't even use stealth yet but we we gave you everything right but you will have been introduced this stuff so you have plenty of time plenty of time to learn each one."

"Then as the game goes on you go you can start to upgrade your weapons and get new ones whether you want them and so we give you that opportunity to learn and to adjust and to practice so no it's not that it after a while you're gonna you're gonna know this stuff so much you'll be like unnatural. One thing that strikes me is that how do you guys complete a triple A game in three years going through a pandemic with all the remote work all the problems we've seen with other studios it's a new studio it's new technology that you guys added this one is for the both of you that have been working on it on the parade. So I think for me the key part is collaboration right and have very tight communication between the teams and especially when you are working from home I think it's really important to to stay close and and keep the information flow going so I think for me that was probably the most the most important part that made this you know be possible."

"Yeah you know it's it's hard to figure out because we just kept doing our thing and we didn't know what other what other studios what what what's going on but when then they started becoming late later and later you know then I look back at the team and how everybody did collaborate and work together pretty quickly that when you go oh man this is kind of unique but yeah we went from like like one two IT people to like a team right who've got to travel all over and set up equipment we we set up servers down in Las Vegas we have people in 17 states three countries it's been what we did was try to make the people who are working on the game comfortable get their equipment quickly so that they could just you know work on the game and as as much as you can allow them to just do their thing you know they that's what they did and they were very passionate about the game. Getting a bit techy I really liked your presentation and the result because I've been playing and I love the all the ray traced lighting and the textures and the whole thing that that you explained before so please tell our viewers a little bit more on how you guys try to sort of evolve to what's next after Unreal Engine 4 but not basing your technology on Unreal Engine 5 but on 4 but with with your own sort of evolution and your own development."

"It's like different types of games require different types of technology right and in in our case our game is really intimate is we have a lot of corridors closed doors you know areas and that makes the different choices so in our case we wanted to pay attention rather than dynamics of lighting it was to be paying a lot of attention to the whole realistic there is gonna it's gonna be perceived right and and the choices that you've made technically they change radically so we opted for a very different direction that allowed us to create a more unique horror experience through shadows and reflections that would be pretty accurate like for me if somebody would be asking me like what what what next gen means for me next gen is the ability of have all these very large amount of lights that we have for all of them to be casting shadows and for all of them to be accurate and for that the only way was to to use ray tracing. And the faces specifically look crazy good look really good and speaking about faces one surprise from the latest trailer was Karen Fukuhara. So please tell us a bit about this story about how how you guys wanted to to have her in the cast and what it means for you and for the story and for the fans. Right well at the time you know Boys was just kind of coming out but it was I think a whole season was out by then and a lot of fans of that I think her character was just coming on yes yes just kind of made its appearance in a few of them but we'd also seen her in Suicide Squad so we were like okay we need we want an up-and-coming you know actress who looks and acts kind of can be kind of tough but yet you know be a challenge to Josh and she was every bit that that character and I'm so glad we picked her because their chemistry and their non-chemistry on screen really helps the story. Going back to tech what can you tell us about hardware and performance I've been playing on PS5 it looks good I don't know about the FPSs that you are aiming for and what can you tell us about working with three different hardware types with all that you guys developed on top of UE4? So it's very challenging because they were you may usually have to worry about two platforms right now we have to worry about next-gen previews and all the console flavors that many of them and you have to make sure that the game is going to be running great on all of them and I think for us we also wanted to give you know a good experience to to the user and make him choose the way he wanted to play so in that context we have two options we are going to have the fidelity mode which is where you are going to be able to play with all the bells and whistles that we explained today retrace shadows retrace translucency the refraction all these effects are going to be available there at the highest quality and then we're going to have another mode which is going to be the performance mode where people is going to be able to play at 60 frames per second using more traditional techniques but having a smoother experience so we're trying to basically make all the gamers to be able to choose the way they want to play our game depending on their profile I want one a bit more personal to you you're an artist so we've been talking about technology enough about technology you're an artist yourself I've been taking a look at your at your drawings your paintings your caricatures and and all the things that you do can we find some sort of nod to your art in the game you know only in the fact that uh I used to be a science fiction artist I haven't done that in a long time um but uh somehow I uh I keep my my paintings and and and 2d stuff uh separate from um uh the games I make I really do it's just two different art forms for me two different ways of thinking so um no I'll do my art to come up with ideas for my games so it they do work uh together but uh they don't belong together you've seen it so yeah um uh but thank you for bringing that up so um yeah um speaking about you know things that are split and not not related at all you guys announced that this is no longer part of the pub g universe earlier this year but that we could perhaps find some surprises can you please tease about what players can expect in this regard yeah you know it won't be uh it won't be overt yet um it it might take uh a little time for people to to uh pick up a couple things um but um we kept we kept some lore in there you know we a nod to uh pub g man you know yeah also so with kalisto almost out of the door and um the new studio here and the teams that you talked about what can we expect from you guys next uh several games uh same genre you want to try something new what can you tell us about what's what's next well um we're gonna sit down and do uh some planning um we haven't had a heck of a lot of time but uh personally um you know I would hope that we could we can make a sequel um we'll have to talk with krafton about that and and it's gonna take time to figure all that out um i want the studio to grow right if in the future um we're making two games i would love to do that and uh definitely part of my plans is to grow uh spain uh actually this year i want it to double at least um we really want uh uh zaragoza to be a uh breeding ground for uh great engineers and and artists we want people to know it's a it's a magnet for the best in europe perfect all right all right uh and final one this is a final stretch of course uh the game is going to release in in december you're working a lot there's been some controversy about how much there is to work in the final stretch so i just wanted to ask you how are you feeling how is the team feeling both here in spain and and in the other studios and teams that you have around the states and how is everything looking in this final stretch to both of you yeah you know um uh look i was thanking a strike team a small team of people who have been working hard and uh um i uh i always been thanking my team somebody works hard for you you want to thank them you need to thank them right um it it brought up more more controversy than i i i thought and um but in retrospect right um if i can get better we're gonna get better and uh if this can be a catalyst for change um then it'll be a catalyst for change we uh look my career has been in in in crunch i hate it i don't want to do it um i don't want my team to do it um we have been so good we really have that that we won one of the best places to work for in the video game industry this year so um i want to win that every year right and um and so no it's not something we believe in um we allow people the choice to work at home and we have over 150 people work at home now and uh all over the country all over the world and uh you know if they can have spend time with their family that that's what we want anything to add now that you guys have this brand new amazing office well i think like you may have seen right like they say a lot of positive energy here everybody uh i think it's really happy and they are really thrilled to see this game out of the door and and i think that speaks for itself about you know you know what what we have been uh doing on the last three years and we're really really looking forward to playing the full game in december so thank you so much for your time lovely new offices enjoy working and enjoy the game when it releases thank you thank you and thank you to the fans yeah we really do appreciate the fans and uh you know hope you enjoy the game too cheers"