Watch Dogs is “truly a systemic game”, lead designer claims

Monday, 8th July 2013 00:41 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Ubisoft Montreal wants Watch Dogs to be a truly systemic experience in which the player’s actions and decisions interact with a dynamic game world – not a heavily-scripted, cinematic snooze-a-thon, in other words.

“There are many questions about the systemic or scripted nature of the game. Many people have doubts that we’ve scripted everything we shown,” lead game designer Danny Belanger told GamingBolt.

“This is truly a systemic game – a good example is our E3 2012 demo with the car accident done by hacking the traffic lights, it depends on the amount of vehicles present at the intersection when it is triggered.”

Belanger said the gravity of the accident is ‘totally dependent’ on the speed and amount of cars at that particular instant – something which is not scripted.

“Our goal is to give a lot of interesting tools to the player to modify, affect the simulation and let him be creative in using them to achieve his goals,” he added.

Belanger also said that the game is designed to allow players to “express themselves”.

“We are building an AI that supports stealth and shooting with the transitions required between the two states. This means that the player can take advantage of not being seen to engage into gunplay when he decides,” he said.

“With this angle, using technology becomes a core component of our game.”

Examples include using cameras to spot enemies in order to ambush them; using technology to modify cover; or taking down enemies with electricity.

Those who prefer to go in guns blazing can dop so, too, because Belanger believes it’s less fun to impose a gameplay style on the plater.

“We also have a full range of weapons at the player’s disposal – from basic pistols to grenade launchers, these can be used anywhere the player wants and it can create quite the mess when a fight breaks out in downtown Chicago. It becomes even more interesting when you add the range of city hacks and vehicles the player can use in combination with his arsenal.”

Watch Dogs is coming to PC, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360 in November, with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions still to be dated.

Thanks, Kotaku.



  1. Gigabomber

    Yeah, Yeah. We’re all sure your game will be almost half as good as GTA5.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Biscuitpants

    after far cry 3 and assassins creed 3 i dont think i want to be touching this game

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Lengendaryboss

    This game interests me so i will put it on my christmas list.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. JimFear-666

    it sound like typical pr/marketing bullshit that ubisoft always do to overhype shity game

    #4 1 year ago
  5. TheWulf

    If I hear that I can complete this game in a non-lethal way a la Deus Ex rather than the “gung-ho guns, mang!” approach I’ve seen thus far… then this game will land on my radar. I might even be able to tolerate the admittedly dull aesthetic.

    Though considering these dull aesthetics, I sometimes wish American developers would set their games in parts of the world which are less grey. I’m tired of the monochrome palettes, in all honesty. Many triple-A games recently have gone from brown and grey to just… grey. I feel like I’m playing stuff on an old black & white telly. It’s not a good feeling.

    So that aesthetic irritates me, but if the game can be played non-lethally from start to finish, then I might consider this one. I feel that this is just a liiiittle too mainstream, for me, though. I feel this one might be more for people who get boners for bullets and killing. So it might be a blue-collar Deus Ex.

    That’s kind of what I get from this, really. Blue collar Deus Ex.

    I’d like to be wrong.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. TheWulf


    I’m actually convinced it’ll be better, but that’s not exactly hard. And better than Grand Theft Auto isn’t anywhere near as being as good as Deus Ex (even Human Revolution) or the older Thief games.

    What I’m looking forward to is an open-world game with the design ethos and values of Deus Ex.

    Really, I want less games that treat me like I’m an idiot. I can’t speak for other people, but I’m definitely not an idiot. Perhaps a pseudo-intellectual, but not an idiot. And I’m really tired of games treating me like an idiot. No, I’m not talking about accessibility, hand-holding, or “dumbing-down,” because I’m not an elitist. I realise these things can make games easier to play for the disabled.

    I’m talking about the setting, the story, and the gameplay mechanics. Stuff that I might have found interesting in my pre-teen years, and only then if I had been dropped repeatedly on my head as a baby. I’m tired of developers expecting me to be a drooling imbecile. Sick of it. I mentioned the skinner-box in another thread, which is an expectation of idiocy right there, it’s expected that we’ll fall for it because apparently we’re not very bright.

    And to be honest, you’d have to be not very bright to have enjoyed GTA IV. I’m sorry.

    Brutha. Hey. Hey. Brutha. LEEESEN. Brutha. BEEG AMERICAN TEETEES BRUTHA.

    Seriously? Are you a horny teenager? What are you doing in my game?

    I’m gunna [censored] shoot you [censored] bags of [censored], but I’m a nice guy! I’m just [censored] acclimatising to [censored] America, it’s so different to my [censored] vague [censored] old country, where people shot each [censored] other as a way of saying [censored] hello. But I’m a really [censored] nice [censored] guy. Now I’m going to shoot you in the [censored] dick.

    Seriously? How much of a sociopathic psychopath is my character, anyway?

    That’s why I think GTA IV didn’t exactly have very high expectations of intelligence on my part. Saints Row III expected a greater degree of intellect by the very merit of it being knowingly silly. It expects you to be smart enough to understand the difference between a game and reality, without reassuring you that you’re a nice guy every two seconds.

    And Saints Row III even isn’t that smart, but it looks like a Stephen Hawking-level intellect compared to GTA IV.

    So yeah.

    This is why, for all its faults, I went so crazy over Remember Me. Intelligent games that don’t treat me like an idiot are rare — from the mainstream, at least.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Dark

    Watch Dogs is just an AC re-skin that is all.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. BrahManDude

    i liike this game but i hate how overhyped it is im sure it will be good but not the best thing ever it just sucks that you have to press x or square to become OP it’s going to get boring pretty quick

    #8 1 year ago
  9. junguler

    i love this game because of the freedom of choices that you have in it – you can do run ‘n gun, hacking/stealth or you can mix them
    and every problem can be solved in different ways
    this is the first third party game that i’m looking forward to play in ps4

    #9 1 year ago
  10. xxJPRACERxx

    GTA V is GOTY material. I’ll keep an eye on this one though, I like the setting and it’s kind of original.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. daimyo21

    Heres some food for thought.

    Watch Dogs, even if over hyped is still pushing in the right direction.

    Highly interactive open-world, solid story, optional seamless with multiplayer/coop synced with singleplayer, + smartphone/tablet support and releasing on PC, Xbox 360/One, and PS3/4.

    While GTA IV took a whole year+ to release a BUGGY unoptimized port from console to PC while modding (as we are still seeing in GTA:SA) is still keepiing IV’s re-playability acceptable.

    Guess what, GTA V is still “considering” releasing for PC. Its unfortunate but is expected when you think of the direction they have gone since Vice City and San Andreas.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. mehdidante

    hope there is more things to do than just hacking and running which is all we saw till now .

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Kieran

    @6 there are people who enjoy mindless fun like myself :) but i hated how cod ghosts revealing was its a new game we have fish that swim away from you when you get close & hop over a wall without slowing down seriously it was so laughable hi !!! but activision were taking the piss

    #13 1 year ago

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