Riot’s story began with Leonard Menchiari who experienced the rioting first-hand in Italy during the NoTav protests, (the NoTav protests opposed the building of a high-speed railway from Turin in Italy, to Lyon in France). Protestors were opposed to the destruction of the landscape, the potential pollution and the overall cost of this project. Leonard spoke with both protestors and police, discovering what drove people to take a stand and how officers empathized (and in some cases agreed), with protestors but had to maintain order and safety. Leonard decided to use his background in filmmaking and love of video games to tell these stories through an interactive experience and Riot: Civil Unrest was born.
We’re all incredibly proud of all the work that has gone into Riot and we’re particularly proud of the jaw-dropping pixel-art. One of the major challenges we faced was to make the crowd look genuine; many games that feature crowds have a lot of identical characters repeated over and over again. We wanted to create a genuine crowd of unique individuals. To achieve this, the team came up with a clever algorithm which chose from the vast range of trousers, tops and accessory options to create a 100% unique crowd of people. Not only do our crowds look genuine but their movement is excellent too. Using clever AI, our developers made it so that instead of moving as blocks they move in a far more fluid way. Individuals use space as real people would, filling gaps as they appear and resisting movement when it is blocked. They can swarm around an objective or flee from danger.
Sound is another area that had an incredible amount of work put into it. Our sound designer, Michele Postpischi, (who lives near the NoTav valley), went to impressive lengths to capture the realism and chaos Riot wanted to convey. Michele would travel to abandoned and disused buildings and record the sounds of things being broken, such as a pane of glass being struck with a piece of 2×4.
By their very nature, riots are an emotive subject. That is why we try to be extremely careful in our portrayal of these stories. We are aware that people’s opinions will differ, so we decided to take a neutral and non-political stance. Although we set up each of Riot’s scenarios, we always advise the user to research these subjects themselves and encourage them to form their own opinion. Riot has four main campaigns to play through and understand; NoTav (Italy), Indignados (Spain), the Arab Spring (Egypt) and Keratea (Greece). We’ve also included over thirty single scenarios which include the Oakland shooting riots, as well as the Paris and London riots.
I along with my team genuinely hope you enjoy the experience Riot: Civil Unrest has to offer, we’ve worked on this for some time and are absolutely amazed at the level of love shown for this title. If I were to leave you with one tip it would be to consider your strategy wisely. Aggressive tactics may yield results early on but may harm you in the long run; if you’re aggressive, aggression may be expected from you next time, making success more difficult to achieve. Or public opinion could turn on you, giving your opponents a heightened sense of alertness.
Many of gaming’s most compelling stories come from those who’ve helped to create our favorite Xbox One games. In our Inside Xbox One X Enhanced series, these creators will share the behind-the-scenes accounts of the work involved in enhancing these epic games for Xbox One X, how they’ve helped chart the course of the world’s most powerful console, and what that means for the future of gaming. Today, we’ll be chatting with Scott Neumann, Head of Technology for Anthem at BioWare about enhancing this title for Xbox One X.
What specifically is your development team doing to enhance Anthem for Xbox One X?
The Anthem team has been able to leverage the power of the Xbox One X to deliver enhanced graphics to our players. The added GPU power of this console allows Anthem to render at native 4K and with HDR. To complement the increased image quality of 4K, we have also increased the resolution at which we render shadows in the game, and we have enhanced the rendering of in-game terrain. Finally, the added memory of the Xbox One X allows us to increase the number of meshes and textures we stream into the player’s view at any given moment.
How do these enhancements impact the gaming experience?
The world of Anthem is dangerous and exciting. The enhancements we’ve been able to make on the Xbox One X affords our players a more immersive experience. The improvements in image quality really help showcase the beautiful world our team has created. HDR support is particularly impactful when a group of javelins starts engaging in heavy combat.
Why did your development team choose to focus on these enhancement areas?
Delivering the artistic vision of Anthem to players was a focal point for our team. We experimented with several things and ultimately felt that the enhancements enumerated above were a natural fit for the added horsepower of the Xbox One X.
How do you expect fans of Anthem will respond to seeing/playing it on Xbox One X with these enhancements?
Once players see Anthem running on the Xbox One X, it becomes apparent that this is one of the best ways to experience it. No other console can handle the improvements to image fidelity while also rendering at native 4K. Anthem is quite stunning when played on Xbox One X.
How has the process been to get the game up and running on Xbox One X?
The Xbox One X has been a great console to work with. The development tools are very good, and they really help the team solve the challenging problems that invariably arise when you make a game as complex as Anthem. We’ve also had a great relationship with the team at Microsoft, and they’ve been very supportive. The combination of those factors makes working on the Xbox One X a great experience.
What enhancements were you most excited about to explore leveraging for Anthem on Xbox One X?
Having the option to allow Anthem to support native 4K and HDR rendering is simply amazing. In the very early days of getting Anthem running on the Xbox One X, the first test we did was to run a simple game level at native 4K resolution. That level consisted of a javelin flying around an empty box. That may not sound thrilling, but we were really excited by the results! The team immediately decided to push native 4K as our target on the Xbox One X.
What do 4K and HDR mean for your game, games in the future, and development at your studio?
It’s extremely important for BioWare that we use technology to enhance how players interact with our worlds and experience our stories. Having our games support both 4K and HDR is an important component of our ability to succeed in that. The difference between 1080p and 4K is substantial and allows for our players to see all the detail we painstakingly craft into our games. Similarly, HDR allows the games rendered images to burst into life with vibrant colors. We will continue to look for ways to leverage emerging technologies to make the best games possible.
We’d like to thank Scott for taking the time to chat with us about Anthem, which releases on February 22. Can’t wait to climb into a javelin of your very own and rocket across the skies? Join EA Access and start your 10-hour Anthem trial today. Stay tuned to Xbox Wire for more Inside Xbox One X Enhanced series features as well as the latest Xbox news.
We know you’re busy and might miss out on all the exciting things we’re talking about on Xbox Wire every week. If you’ve got a few minutes, we can help remedy that. We’ve pared down the past week’s news into one easy-to-digest article for all things Xbox! Or, if you’d rather watch than read, you can feast your eyes on our weekly video show above. Be sure to come back every Friday to find out what’s happening This Week on Xbox!
It’s Time for Savings on All Things Xbox
For the love of gaming, we are sharing Xbox One deals on consoles, accessories, and more! Starting February 17, you can save $50 on any Xbox One bundle, including Xbox One X, the world’s most powerful console, and Xbox One S, the best value in gaming and entertainment… Read more
8 Things You Need to Know When Starting Far Cry New Dawn Far Cry New Dawn is now available on Xbox One and enhanced for Xbox One X. This time around, the adventure takes place in a superbloom-covered post-apocalypse that’s as vibrant as it is chaotic, but a healthy coating of pink flowers and graffiti isn’t the only thing that’s different… Read more
Play Anthem Today on Xbox One with EA Access Prepare to climb into a javelin of your very own, rocket across the skies, plunge into the watery depths, and join in unforgettable battles. You can enter the beautiful and dangerous world of Anthem days before its worldwide February 22 launch by becoming an EA Access member… Read more
Get Famous with Your Sims on Xbox One It’s time to fulfill your Sims’ dreams of becoming famous! Now you can be crazy famous, like millions of fans, crazy awesome mansion, movie star famous — today’s the day your Sims will get that chance. The Sims 4 Get Famous expansion pack is available now on Xbox One… Read more
Make a Date with the Black Desert Open Beta February 14 – 17
This Valentine’s Day, you’re invited to gear up for Black Desert’s final open beta – click here to sign up on Xbox One. From February 14 12:00 a.m. PST to February 17 11:59 p.m. PST, Black Desert will be available for all North America and European players with Xbox Live Gold… Read more
Xbox Game Pass Brings the Boom to Extra Butter
Gamers and sneaker enthusiasts rejoice! Xbox Game Pass and Extra Butter are working together to celebrate the launch of Crackdown 3 with games, shoes, and an in-store sweepstakes. We’ve set up demo stations at Extra Butter’s Lower East Side location in New York City… Read more
Games to Fall in Love with on Xbox Game Pass
With Xbox Game Pass there’s no shortage of games for you to fall in love with this Valentine’s Day. From sailing to driving to jumping, even combine harvesting, there’s bound to be room in your heart for a few of these titles. We’ve highlighted some of our Xbox Game Pass… Read more
Tips & Tricks for the Fast-Paced Arena Brawler Hyper Jam On behalf of the Bit Dragon team, I am thrilled to announce that Hyper Jam has launched on Xbox One and is available for purchase right now on the Microsoft Store! For those of you who don’t know, Hyper Jam is a fast-paced arena brawler featuring a killer synthwave soundtrack… Read more
Inside Xbox One X Enhanced: Kingdom Hearts III Many of gaming’s most compelling stories come from those who’ve helped to create our favorite Xbox One games. In our Inside Xbox One X Enhanced series, these creators will share the behind-the-scenes accounts of the work involved in enhancing these epic games for Xbox One X… Read more
Xbox Sessions: Terry Crews Steps Up His Boom as Commander Jaxon in Crackdown 3 Terry Crews can do anything – he’s a talented actor, an activist, artist, and a former professional football player. He’s a man of many strengths (and muscles), but how are his gaming skills while playing as his in-game character, Commander Isaiah Jaxon, in the upcoming Crackdown 3? Tune-in to the next episode of Xbox Sessions, airing Thursday, February 14 at 4 p.m. PST on the Mixer Xbox Channel, Twitch Xbox Channel, and the Xbox YouTube Channel to find out! Ahead of Crackdown 3’s February 15… Read more
Jump Force Tips and Tricks The moment you’ve been waiting for is here! Those of you who have pre-ordered the Ultimate Edition of Jump Force get early access to the game starting tomorrow, February 12! We know that you’re excited to jump right into battle alongside your favorite manga heroes… Read more
Next Week on Xbox: New Games for February 19 – 22 Welcome to Next Week on Xbox, where we cover all the new games coming soon to Xbox One! Every week the team at Xbox aims to deliver quality gaming content for you to enjoy on your favorite gaming console. To find out what’s coming soon to Xbox One, read on below and click on each of the game profiles for pre-order details (dates are subject to… Read more