By this point, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind about the scale of Rockstar’s upcoming cowboy adventure Red Dead Redemption 2, but an interview conducted by Vulture with Rockstar founder Dan Houser outlines just how much work has been put into the game. Numbers never lie.
According to the interview, Red Dead Redemption 2 has over 300,000 different animations and 500,000 lines of dialogue spoken by over 700 voice actors. Houser estimates there are around 80 pages of scripted dialogue for each and every non-playable character. While motion capture work involves a further 500 actors who’ve worked away for a cumulative 2200 days. The idea is clearly to create a sense of scale between characters so that the world doesn’t feel recycled over the course of the game. With the numbers listed off by Houser, we’d be hard pressed to disagree.
As for the main story it stacks up at around 2000 pages. All missions, quests, characters, and what not considered, the scripts would pile up to 8 feet high if stacked one on top of the other. That’s a whole lot of paper. Houser reveals certain staff were driven to bust out 100-hour work weeks on rare occasions to keep afloat of what needed doing and we can see why given the breadth of the studio’s ambition.
Houser also reveals the game was initially around 65 hours long, though last minute cuts removed about 5 hours of gameplay ranging from a none to convincing love interest for Arthur Morgan as well as a host of unnecessary missions including ‘a mission on a train where you had to deal with bounty hunters, because it was fun at first, but then it wasn’t’.
Shedding light on how the development process is as much about removing as creating, Houser says ‘part of the process is always about compromise and horse trading. Everyone always loses bits of the game they love’. Houser explains it’s the hardest game Rockstar has ever had to make.
If you were questioning the depth of Red Dead Redemption 2 the above stats should qualm any concerns; the game is set to be among the most immersive, impressive, and rich we’ve ever played. Bring on October 26th.