For another indication of how vast the scope of Red Dead Redemption 2 is, here’s a neat little fact.
In a mammoth interview with Vulture, Rockstar’s head writer Dan Houser provided more details about the inner workings on Rockstar’s upcoming Western. It’s fascinating and well worth the full read, but there’s one nugget in particular that people might appreciate more when you get hands on with the game.
As has been the case for previous Rockstar titles – GTA V, the original Red Dead and GTA IV – the script is massive. Around 2000 pages for the main story. That naturally required a metric ton of motion capture work.
How much work? 2200 days worth, with the motion capture work beginning five years ago.
“Bringing the script to life meant 2,200 days of motion-capture work — compared with just five for Grand Theft Auto III — requiring 1,200 actors, all SAG-AFTRA, 700 of them with dialogue. “We’re the biggest employers of actors in terms of numbers of anyone in New York, by miles,” says Dan.
Before a motion-capture shoot that would last two or three weeks, there were meetings “four hours each day for four days. We want it as tight as possible for motion-capture because we’re burning a lot of money very quickly [at those sessions].”
That’s genuinely insane. It makes you wonder how many hundreds of millions of dollars Take-Two spent on RDR2, and it will comfortably be in the hundreds of millions when you consider the cost of marketing too.
The interview touches on a lot of other interesting points. Houser, for one, believes gamers will appreciate the empowerment of women this time around and the representation of the early women’s suffrage movement. He briefly lifted the lid on Rockstar’s track record with crunch, noting that the studio was “working 100 hour weeks” several times this year. And one of Morgan’s love interests was also scrapped from the story because “one of them didn’t work”.
It’s worth noting that the motion capture efforts haven’t stopped, either. The studio is still writing and recording scenes for RDR Online, which is due to launch in November. “We want it to be as robust as Grand Theft Auto Online, once it’s found its feet creatively,” Houser said of RDR2‘s online mode.
It’s a cracking piece on the game, so go read it in full. And in case you’ve forgotten, we’re just under a fortnight away: Red Dead Redemption 2 launches on Xbox and PS4 on October 26. (And you might want to get it at retail.)