In Gamasutra's latest feature
, Capcom Game Studio Vancouver technical director Tom Niwinski reveals the secrets of how the studio created tools that made open world development efficient.
Dead Rising 2
is an open world game with "thousands of items, hundreds of NPCs, a few hundred quests," writes Niwinski. "We needed a good toolset to allow our designers to effectively add new items to our world, find where they placed their items, and iterate on their work to provide a high quality experience for our fans."
Besides that, the development team's main tool philosophy was "to enable our content creators to do their work without programmer intervention," he writes.
To do so, the team created two tools that are described in the feature article in-depth: Midden and Chuck's Stash.
"At the end of Dead Rising 2
, Midden controlled about 1000 data files that were edited by many people. There were around 18,000 items placed in the world picked from a palette of almost 2000 different objects," he writes.
Meanwhile, Chuck's Stash could pinpoint the location of items in the game world, making testing of the game much more possible, Niwinski writes. It also allowed the team to run tests with an automated character and mine them for important data -- and visualize it to identify hotspots like frame rate drops and more.
"Data could now be visualized from play logs, our database, generated through other tools, or even live from the game," he writes.
To find out more about how the team dreamed up the tools and then implemented them -- as well as the results of their work -- read Gamasutra's latest feature
: The Tale Of The Tools That Made Dead Rising 2, which is live now.