Sony's upcoming PS3 exclusive The Last of Us is a very elusive title, we know pretty much nothing about it, that is, until today. New theories have begun coming in, leading us to believe the title will definetly be a technical marvel.
According to PlayStation Lifestyle, back in 2006 Sony published a presentation called "Big Fast Crowds on PS3". The presentation itself effectively detailed the goals of Sony's R&D team regarding sandbox (open world) games, which included having a multitude of characters present on screen at a single time. This presentation was released on the same day the YouTube page for The Last of Us was registered.
The R&D team was essentially interested in creating a game that was a graphical masterpiece, and would use the PS3's fabled Cell architecture to its fullest extent. To explain just what they were talking about,the team referenced real life animals such as flocks of birds or a school of fish.
Not only that, but they also made sure to emphasize how in a school of fish, each creature thinks independently from one another, alluding to the hopes that they would be able to display many characters at once, each independent from one another. But just how many characters? According to the team's goals, over 15, 000. That's also in a supposed open world game.
- Simulate large groups of autonomous characters
- Real time: 60 frames per second
- High performance: thousands of individuals
- Take advantage of PS3’s Cell architecture
Coincidentally, the man behind the project, Craig Reynolds, has also done much work in the field of stigmergy, or the way in which swarms operate, with one such example being ants. Ants themselves are also a big part of the build up towards the reveal of The Last of Us, as we've seen from the game's official website, which shows footage of a Bullet Ant infected by the parasite cordyceps.
Like the technology described above, in a swarm of Bullet Ants each organism operates independently than the rest, and the game (which may or may not be developed by Naughty Dog) would have to create thousands of ants just to see simulate the presence of a swarm.
As well, if you go back The Last of Us website and rewatch the ant video, it has been extended, this time with a black image and nothing but weird scratching sounds and a scream. Bullet Ants communicate through clicks and also through high pitched screams, the latter of which is used to attract other ants.
If this analysis is to be believed it seems we won't just be fighting/running from/engaging in common law relationships with a killer fungus, but killer ants as well. Oh, and apparently Bullet Ants have the most painful bite in the world. Good to know.
The Last of Us is currently in development for the PS3. A full trailer is expected to be released later tonight during the Spike Video Game Awards.
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Source: PlayStation Lifestyle