How the Team Behind ‘Far Cry 6’ Ended a Lockdown Game
In March 2020, The game makers at Ubisoft’s Toronto studio have just finished wrapping up the “prime moments” of Far Cry 6scenes of badvillain Giancarlo Esposito and CocoYoung Anthony Gonzalez’s dream when Covid-19 came true, very quickly. The borders between the U.S. and Canada are about to close, and the team is excited to take the photo shoot before they can safely take the American artists safely and quickly on a plane home.
The first-person shooter game relies on performances by A-list artists, Esposito and Gonzalez, designed by Anton and Diego Castillo, a presidential dictator and his son from Yara, “a tropical paradise in the tropics freezing in time. ” Esposito and Gonzalez were out of Canada before the first lockdown, but Ubisoft is still facing difficulties. The release of the game is set for less than a year away, and the entire opening scene-as the most important in the sequence throughout the game-has yet to be shot. The game has been in the making for five years and a lot is at stake to find out.
Only a handful of Ubisoft staff were allowed to return to the office the following Monday to collect footage they had taken, and were shocked to find the studio, including the 12,000-square-footstst soundstage, empty. “It will look like the scene of a crime or zombie apocalypse,” says Navid Khavari, Far Cry 6director of narrative. Everyone left their coffees on their tables hurrying to get out. Khavari and his team know they need to move the animators ’edits as quickly as possible, but the big question is how do they finish the rest of the game during a pandemic.
No Free Pass
Capturing video game action requires precision and a lot of time and patience. After all, the length of filming and dialogue that goes into a game can be the equivalent of five or six seasons in a TV movie. It also called for the collaboration of several teams working closely together. So how do you interpret that during a pandemic?
Initially, the team came up with an idea that relied on action capture techniques in 15 to 20 years, in which elements such as facial expressions were simply revived. But they quickly scrapped that plan. “We just knew that wasn’t going to work,” said Grant Harvey, the game’s cinematics director, when recognized as director on set. “It’s a triple-A game coming out in 2021, and we have to look at that. People won’t give us a pass. So we started digging into how to shoot.”
In June, lockdowns were raised to the point that the production team allowed 10 people to be scheduled, even though there were multiple health and safety protocols. But if you’re dealing with pre-pandemic numbers of 30 to 50 people scheduled for an hour including camera crews, directors, animators and actors, something there to give. The production team decided the best option was to start shooting with four actors at a time. But of course most of the scenes-from a crowded ship of smugglers to a bloody street protest-called for more than four artists. In addition, some of the artists are now stranded in the States or various Canadian cities and unable to travel. So how do you get it all?
Making Remote Work as a Reality
Anything that can be done from home is a must. Those who don’t need the set watch away from 10 different video streams. Director-capture director Tony Lomonaco pointed out that a change is working in favor of team members, to the point that he hopes that even after the pandemic ends, people will continue to work from home, including quality assurance (QA) engineers, who can suddenly take part very far in the process. “It’s great because there really are people who don’t usually come to the shoot now that are involved,” he said.
Many of the audio recordings can also be made from home, as long as the artists are equipped, trained, and supported throughout the process, according to audio director Eduardo Vaisman. In modern video games, there are the same lines suggested in the narrative as well as an AI -driven dialogue that comes out of the gameplay. In the case of Far Cry, say you have a soldier or NPC (not a player character), say “reload!” or “run for cover!” -these features are easier to record because they are not synced to a specific photo or face animation, and all artists must contribute to it. Once the company created a smart solution to record people remotely via an encrypted internet connection, it proved to be a smart solution.
Even in remote audio sessions, the change of direction did not change. While recording, the artists-working from Canada or the US-will join in a simultaneous video meeting with the directors, who will get feedback such as, “Now you’re on fire. Aaaaah! Now you’re even more burned! AAAAAAH! “