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In Ninja Theory they have several open fronts, as is the case with the development of Seanua’s Saga Hellblade II , but there is one especially interesting that captured our attention from the first day of its presentation. We are obviously talking about Project Mara , a horror adventure that plans to offer a level of reality never seen before.
Looking for perfection
From the hand of the Creative Head of Ninja Theory, Tameem Antoniades, today we can learn about the creative process at a sick level that is being carried out in the company’s offices to bring Project Mara to life. According to his account, the project is being very special for them, as they are trying to complete many processes that they had never experimented with, especially reaching a particularly unhealthy level of detail .
With the idea of having limits within this ambitious project, the game will take place within a real apartment that designers can access, with the sole objective of recreating and representing each of the corners and corners of the enclosure with all the luxury of details to perfection.
One of the first goals was to imitate each and every one of the materials that make up the different elements of the apartment, such as furniture or wall tiles. To do this, they took many example photos in different light conditions, in addition to using a homemade scanner created by the technical art director.
Thanks to this scanner, they have been able to recreate patterns and textures of materials that are extremely similar to reality, since they have depth and shadows that allow the view to be brought closer to the material. Thus, we can see the roughness of a leather sofa, the grain of a wood or the marks of a wall, basically a three-dimensional geometry that until now had not been paid attention to.
From proportions to dust
To achieve the perfect representation of the dimensions of the floor on which the game will take place, in Ninja Theory they tried various capture techniques, but in the end they decided to ask Clear Angle Studios for help, a company specialized in 3D scanning that has allowed them to capture each corner of the apartment with total accuracy. For this they used LiDAR scanners, and as you can see, the result was spectacular.
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But it is useless to have a floor to scale in 3D if you are not able to represent the finishes in the same way that they look in reality, and for this they decided to also represent the dust. But instead of opting for simple textures, the idea was to procedurally place microscopic materials (using Houdini software), in order to get an extremely realistic look at how dust accumulates in nooks and crannies.
The foundation for future projects
In addition to being an extremely ambitious project, Project Mara is serving to create new tools that will serve in the future to develop more complete and realistic games. In Tameem’s words, the idea is to get an experience that feels real, and not like a game or a movie. Seeing what they are being able to do, we do not doubt that the game will give much to talk about.
When will Project Mara be released?
Taking into account that its name is still temporary and with prototype overtones, the final project still has a long way to go to be officially announced. Hopefully all the time we have to wait is worth it to enjoy this horrifying world that Mara wants to give us.