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On average we see a team of around 100 – 1,500 people working on AAA game titles. According to Ubisoft Reflections managing director Pauline Jacquey, their team assigned around 400 to 600 people creating an Assassin’s Creed game. But according to Matt Charlesworth who is currently working on the Half-Life: Alyx project, they are manning the ship with just around 60 with 20 assigned to the art department.But this is not to say that the game isn’t receiving the attention or budget it requires to make a great game. Talent and value goes a long ways and Valve has a great track record in producing games the right way. Just look at Counter-Strike or the previous Half-Life games. They turned out to be terrific and still have millions of people playing their IP.
The interesting thing about HL:Alyx is that it will be on a new platform being VR. Virtual reality is a relatively new platform that is starting to make its way into the mass consumer market. There have been a few AAA VR titles released thus far on the platform but this will be Valve’s first with their own IP.
The Virtuality Group Arcade Machine Experiences. The 1990s saw huge developments in virtual reality. With the rise of the arcades and arcade games, it was only a matter of time, before developers started coming up with new and exciting concepts and ideas. A company known as The Virtuality Group was at the cutting edge of virtual reality, launching a wide range of arcade games and machines that let either one or a couple of players immerse themselves into amazing 3D visual experiences. This happened in 1991, a year before the movie The Lawnmower Man further introduced the Virtual Reality concept to a wider audience of people.
So there is no “blueprint” to how a company can develop a AAA game in virtual reality. Rather, it’s a new frontier where developers and artists can try out new things for users like us to experience, good or bad.
There is nothing to judge the game off of besides the trailer and from what we can see so far, it looks quite fantastic. There will be more news about HL:Alyx in December so stay tuned for that.
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