has had an exclusive interview with Rockstar's technical director for Red Dead Redemption, Ted Carson. The interview covers many aspects of the game including the virtual world's life and the technology that went into creating this anticipated Western.
GS: Redemption isn't a typical Western when you look at how late it takes place in the genre's historical window. Why the decision to set the game in the years leading up to World War I rather than the peak of the Wild West?
TC: What appealed to us about that specific place and time was the opportunities it presented to explore things in video games that had never been attempted before. By the early years of the 20th century, the frontier was already conquered, and there was a great deal of social upheaval. The cowboys, gunslingers, and stagecoaches of the mid-1800s were literally disappearing with each passing day.
GS: Open-world games tend to live and die by the amount of content they offer up outside of the primary story missions. It's no small feat that Redemption seems to offer a lot of potential for side pursuits when you consider the mostly rural landscape between towns. Tell us about how you went about populating this world with gameplay options when so much of it could have been barren, empty Western frontier.
TC: Filling the vast wilderness between the townships and outposts was one of the greatest development challenges of Red Dead Redemption, and we're really excited about the results we have achieved. Unlike a city-based game like Grand Theft Auto, there are vast expanses of unpopulated open space which we had to bring to life in a believable way, but was also full of cool things to do from a gameplay point of view. Of course, we started with a complete ecosystem and food chain with over 40 in-game animals, all of which you can hunt and skin.
Check out the full interview and some new screenshots here