The new Void en­gine has re­leased the team from the con­straints it faced on the last game. “Last time, we felt like we had very strong art di­rec­tion – thanks to Sébastien [Mit­ton, art di­rec­tor] – but the ren­der­ing tech­nol­ogy was a lit­tle long in the tooth,” Smith says. “But this time… wow, have our tech guys made a ren­derer. Holy shit.”

“How cool is it to cre­ate your own en­gine?” Mit­ton says. “You have all the pro­gram­mers on de­mand. We pre­pared some doc­u­ments say­ing what we want to tar­get in terms of light­ing, shaders, the wa­ter, the wind, the VFX, etc. Pro­duc­tion built it and we went back and forth with them to pol­ish every­thing. There was a point where we were in love with the eye shader, for ex­am­ple, but the eyes were bet­ter than the skin. So they added sub­sur­face scat­ter­ing so you have sun­light go­ing through the ears and arms. It’s been great to fi­nally do ex­actly what we want with the art. We’ve al­ways used third­party en­gines where, at some point, you reach a lim­i­ta­tion. Now it’s to­tally dif­fer­ent. It was hard to build it at the same time as mak­ing the game, but we knew that we’d reach a point where it would be beau­ti­ful. And that’s what we have now, and we’re su­per-pleased with it.”

Co-cre­ative di­rec­tor Har­vey Smith (top) and art di­rec­tor Sébastien Mit­ton

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