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Former Ubisoft devs want to map the Earth to create  ReROLL
Former Ubisoft devs want to map the Earth to create ReROLL
February 3, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

February 3, 2014 | By Alex Wawro
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    12 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Louis-Pierre Pharand and Julien Cuny, who left Ubisoft Montreal in November 2013 to start a new studio, Pixyul, have announced they're working on an open-world survival action RPG called ReROLL.

The project is noteworthy because Pixyul claims that the world of ReROLL will be nearly identical to our own. The studio plans to use civilian drones like the eBee to map the entire planet -- or at least everywhere civilian drones are legally allowed to fly, which currently does not include the U.S. -- and reconstruct as a 3D virtual environment.

It's an audacious goal, and Pixyul doesn't stop there -- the studio also intends ReROLL to have a full day-night cycle and weather system that syncs up with the real world wherever you happen to be playing.

The game will be released in a series of "bricks" that will expand the game with new regions and features, and Pixyul intends to release the first playable prototype "brick" in 2015.

To fund the project, the studio is raising money by selling pre-designed "packages" of ReROLL character abilities and equipment on its website.


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Comments


SD Marlow
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"...open-world survival action RPG" might as well read "super awesome cool game." The open-world style only works for game play that involves running around, doing your own thing, with ZERO RPG elements. Your on an island; here's your volley ball; we borrowed an un-dead monkey. Enjoy.

Jennis Kartens
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Very weird announcement..

Why not using existing data on surface scans?
Isn't the mission to "map the entire planet" kind of insane and unrealistic for an game environment?

And of course what SD Marlow stated...


Additionally, "day and night system" and "weather system" as well as "open world" are buzzwords that been overused years ago, where they sometimes actually were new (for a very short time period, then they were overused and people started to notice, that open world is not the messiah in game design). Now they are not anymore. Also it doesnt mean anything to have them, it means everything how they're done.

Videogames still faile often enough to have proper weather effects, as well as true nights. Or they have one, but not the other... etc.

This is seriously an announcement that creates a hundred sceptical questions o_O

Mark Morrison
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...perfect timing for this discussion as the Outerra article showed up a few days ago here on Gamasutra: http://gamasutra.com/view/news/209538/Outerra_A_seamless_planet_r
endering_engine.php

also, some 3rd party Unity plugs now allow for Google data to be imported professionally. and, check out SideFX products for procedural asset generation. their Unity plug is looking very promising!

hopefully, ReROLL will join forces with things like the above. the world is a very large space to scan ;)

SD Marlow
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LOL... found this bit of info from IGN post: "Before being able to hunt, capture or grow your own food, you’ll have to scavenge or steal what’s around," Pixyul states. Oh, and mutants instead of zombies, so, it's like totally different than other games you may have played recently. *rolls eyes*

James Yee
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Honestly I'm with a lot of the negative comments. Especially since I work with satellites I have no clue why anyone would want to use drones versus just buying the data from commercial sats like Digital Globe. That's assuming you wanted higher detail then the standard Google Earth free data. :(

jeff grant
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It could be that they use the drone to scan things in a game-friendly/usable way right from the start, rather than use raw image pixel data from satellites that has to be interpreted or converted.

I'm not overly familiar with existing satellite data, but do things like airborne LIDAR provide enough resolution for what they would need? Or would the cost to get the resolution they'd need be prohibitive and make running your own drone fleet more cost effective?

James Yee
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Depends on how high a resolution you want to pay for really. I only interviewed for a job a Digital globe so I don't know the exact resolutions and costs they have. I just know they do it.

Eric Hauchecorne
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Note that their first goal for mid 2015 that they call Brick 1 is just to a small area of few km and closed like an island.
http://rerollgame.com/the-game/funding/
This makes it more realistic as they would need just few hours of drone flight to cover it. It surprised me too that they would not just use commercial data but I guess they want a better quality, imagine playing at man scale in google earth it would seem rather empty.
I guess their goal is then depending on the game success to cover more earth areas, but there is little chance that it would be the whole earth unless maybe they can share data with other projects.

Dave Hoskins
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Perhaps they're thinking of Lidar data:
http://youtu.be/BehxAWT8Gs8
Maybe they want to stream the data to the user while they play.
But it's been known for years that large, open play areas, are boring. So I'm guessing they'll pick and choose areas of most interest, a bit like finding locations for a film.

Dave Hoskins
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(Double post)

SD Marlow
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OK, it still bugs me that these guys are basically partners with the company making the little drones, and will be visiting "exotic locations" around the world just to get a few square kilometers of data (in the least efficient way). With the move towards procedural world building, and plenty of sources for the kind of data they want, I don't see why anyone would fund this.

edit: The cynical side of me thinks this "game" is just a cover, and the real goal is to build a real or near-real time mapping system using drone data for military applications. Would NOT be shocked by news sometime next year that "the tech developed for a game" is licensed to a military contractor.

Dave Hoskins
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But as my link shows there are already plenty of Lidar point cloud and polygon renderers, including the infamous Euclideon.
And yeah, there's a BS smell about the language used here, I'm surprised I didn't see the words 'paradigm shift' :)


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