Polish government approves $7 million grant to CD Projekt for “seamless multiplayer” research

Witcher 3

Update December 19, 2016: The Polish government approved various proposals by Witcher developers CD Projekt RED for grants to help research new ways of developing games. These include for multiplayer and large city building.

As reported in our original story below, CD Projekt RED were seeking to take a chunk of the Polish government’s $27 million fund from the National Center for Research of Development. They succeeded, being awarded $7 million for research in a number of areas, presumably towards technology to be used in their new games, be they Cyberpunk 2077 or unannounced titles. Various other developers also received money.

Look into the future with our list of upcoming PC games.

Here’s what CD Projekt RED got cash for researching:

  • City Creation – technology that can be used to create cities that feel real and hold up in an open-world setting.
  • Seamless Multiplayer – every aspect of integrating multiplayer into a game from searching for players to actually getting on with it.
  • Cinematic Feel – “film quality” RPG open worlds and dedicated tools to create them
  • Animation Excellence – further to the above, making characters more realistic with better animation

Outside of multiplayer elements, most of this is things you’d already expect CDPR to be near the top of their field in and things you’d be happy to see them continue to improve. Given the setting of Cyberpunk, it’s unlikely to have many areas that aren’t city, hence needing to enhance that area of their development. Beyond that, it’ll be interesting to see exactly how much better their games can get. Full translations of the accepted proposals can be seen over on WCCFTech.

Here’s what other companies received:

  • Flying Wild Hog (Shadow Warrior reboots, Hard Reset series) – work on a new version of their RoadHog engine that powered Shadow Warrior 2.
  • Techland (Dead Island, Dying Light) – developing a new first-person action RPG in an “original fantasy world” using DX12, plus a second grant to research efficiency methods.
  • CI Games (Sniper: Ghost Warrior, Lords of the Fallen) – development of a new game called LADAI (working title) and work on new algorithms to better simulate crowds and herds.
  • The Farm 51 (Deadfall Adventures, Get Even) – photo-realistic 3D environments for VR and creation of hyper-realistic battle simulators in VR.
  • Bloober Team (Layers of Fear) – development of an AI to better scare the players via reactions.

When we’ll see any of this in actual play is up for debate – grants for research is the very first step on the road to a finished product, so we could be talking half a decade or more, depending.

Thanks, PCGamer.

Original story September 28, 2016:The Witcher 3 developers CD Projekt are looking for funding to create some new technology, presumably to drive an upcoming game. There’s been some speculation that the tech is for upcoming sci-fi RPG Cyberpunk 2077, but I’d argue that development is already well underway there, so it’s surely too late to be building the foundations.

The foundations of future game, though? Well surely that’s a given. Whatever it is, it sounds as ambitious as you’d expect.

The studio applied for grantsvia the Polish GameINN programme for four technologies: ‘City Creation’, ‘Animation Excellence’, ‘Cinematic Feel’, and ‘Seamless Multiplayer.’

As GamePressure report, City Creation is a “complex technology for creating a huge living city, playable in real time, which (the technology) is based on rules, AI, and automation, as well as supports innovative processes and tools for making top-notch open-world games.”

So it sounds like the groundwork for a systems-led open-world of some sort, with the ‘rules’ part possibly suggesting CD Projekt are moving towards more emergent systems in their future games.

Elsewhere, Seamless Multiplayer is a “complex technology for making unique multiplayer gameplay mechanics, including the ability to search out for opponents, manage game session, replicate objects, as well as support for different game modes along with a unique set of dedicated tools.”

So expect some kind of lobby-free multiplayer system. Animation Excellence will, well, hopefully provide excellent animations, and Cinematic Feel will probably make it feel cinematic, if you hadn’t guessed.

CD Projekt admitted to making the application to PCGamer, though they wouldn’t be drawn on why.”We did apply, I can confirm that, yes,” CD Projekt’s Robert Malinowski said. “However, we wouldn’t like to elaborate beyond what’s already there.”

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