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Watch Dogs Legion
Watch Dogs Legion

Watch Dogs Legion Uses Census System to Shape Up Tons of Details for NPCs

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Watch Dogs Legion is going to do a mission that if ends in success, will be ground-breaking in many aspects of a video game. For me, Ubisoft has always been one of the creative developers around the globe, though they mostly have had errors in delivering their innovation successfully. The idea of Watch Dogs franchise itself was one of those fantastic creativities that might failed to exploit its capabilities at first, but as we go further with the series, new sequels bring new improvements and progressions for the franchise, which Ubisoft hopes to reach the top with Legion.

The idea of being able to play as any NPC in a game seems to be one of wildest ones that Legion has promised to live out next year. Things also get more complicated when you decide to tell a political-themed story while you have no specific hero, but you have dozens of characters that could be named as a hero each one with different backstory, different sounds and different animations. Creating such a large amount of characters might seem impossible, but Clint Hocking, creative director behind the game, explains how they have built such a huge database in Watch Dogs Legion using a system called Census. He says:

There’s a lot of content, and there are a lot of procedural systems. And those things are working together to give us really well-curated characters and an enormous amount of diversity. At the core of everything is a relational database called Census. You see a bin man on the street – he’s nothing. He’s just like a bin man in any other game, except when you profile him we’re able to look into that database and go, ‘well, he’s wearing the clothes of a bin man, so that’s his job. It’s three o’clock in the afternoon, so he works between noon and 8 pm. And as he’s a bin man he makes a certain amount of money, so he can afford to live in these particular areas.

Regarding what he says, everything in creating the society for this vast open-world title comes from the connections that a single NPC has with everything around him/her. So, if the location for an NPC is known, the other details for it will come one after another.

Watch Dogs Legion has been under development since 2015 and will be bringing its ambitious type of gameplay next year on March 6 to PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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