Buzzfeed (of all places) has an extensive interview with Aaron Garbut, the long time Art Director of the Grand Theft Auto series and it does a great job of delving into the improvements Rockstar has made to engine underpinning the GTA V.
It’s a familiar story: with each new game Rockstar tends to try and push the high standards it set for itself in the previous game. Rockstar’s last open world game was Red Dead Redemption, probably my favourite of this generation. The idea that the team at Rockstar North is attempting to push its latest game beyond that is a salivating prospect.
“In terms of raw man-hours, this has been way in excess of any project we’ve done at Rockstar before,” explained Garbut. “From the outset, we wanted to ensure that not only was the world big but that it was absolutely packed with character and life. It’s levels of magnitude above Grand Theft Auto IV in terms of what we’ve done on the environment side.
“I want to stress that not only is this world huge but it’s absolutely handcrafted. Every little bit of this world has had a large number of extremely talented artists pore over it. There’s always something to discover, something weird or interesting to see or interact with. It’s absolutely not a massive, empty world. We’ve considered the placement of every tree. We’ve simply not copied buildings around the map or procedurally generated the terrain to pad it out. It’s all handcrafted, all unique, and we’ve gone over it all again and again and again to make sure there’s enough layering of detail that I don’t think many people will ever see everything we’ve put into the world.”
It’s a great interview that covers almost all aspects of Grand Theft Auto V from a visual standpoint: the art, the technology, the world building. I know that most of you probably head to Buzzfeed for its expansive ’25 Pics Of A Cat Doing Something A Bit Weird’ photo features, but this really is a top notch piece. Good stuff.