Striking Distance Studios wants The Callisto Protocol to look so realistic that even the eyes of its characters will root you into the game’s body horror.
Speaking to TechRadar Gaming at Gamescom 2022, Chief Technical Officer Mark James said that the Callisto protocol has been developed with maximum realism in mind. The team made it a priority to create the most convincing characters by trying to present it at a unique level of detail.
“Our characters are the most realistic characters you’ll see in a game,” says James. “So much so, that when we first showed our game, everyone thought it was pre-rendered. We were like, ‘No, our character looks like this. That’s how Josho [Duhamel, the actor behind the game’s main character] Looks’.
“We have a full scan, even for ray-detecting reflections for the eye. So if you look in [character’s] In our game eyes, you can see their reflected optics. It’s a really small detail, but it’s those little details that are really very important to our game.”
go for the eyes
To create such precise optical details, the team carefully modeled the light reflectance at every angle. By rotating the lights around the game’s character models, they can accurately recreate those bounce qualities in the character’s eyes, even accounting for changes in the direction and type of light source.
“Our rendering man, Jorge Jiminez, used to send round pictures of Josh and digital renders [of the game’s main character]And that’ll get people to guess [which was which], People felt that there was a difference so they worked in that area. It’s so important to us that realism is in our game. ,
Painstakingly rendering the character’s eyeballs served a rather larger purpose, supporting each character’s graphical fidelity. James believes that making convincing faces is necessary to sell the realism of The Callisto Protocol to the wider world.
“It brings a connection to the player that you don’t normally get to,” he said. “So much of our brain is associated with seeing faces, more than the rest of the world around us because we have to read faces every day.
“If realism doesn’t exist in faces, you don’t start to believe in realism in the rest of the world. We really wanted to focus on where you spend the most brainpower assessing an image. “
Convincing character faces are also important in reducing the horror that sits at the center of The Callisto Protocol. Each enemy in the game is a bizarre mutated human, and James says that players must recognize – see the remnants of humanity that exist within them – in order to truly fear them.
“You can still see a face in our enemies,” he said. “You can still see that they are disjointed; mutated in a way that is natural.”
“We want to base all our mutations and the horrors of our bodies around this ground reality – what if an arm doubles in size, or a chest pops open.
“Our enemies aren’t undead, they’re not aliens, they’re mutated humans. So we want to show that grounding — they’re still identifiable as humans — and that connection, too, so you just get away with these things.” Those who used to be human are not happening. They are your fellow prisoners and guards.”
Callisto Protocol is set for release on December 2. It will come to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC.