Ninja Theory has revealed that its upcoming game Project Mara is set in an apartment that was digitally recreated in excruciating detail using photogrammetry technology and procedural generation.
Project Mara was first revealed roughly one year ago. Since then, the developer hasn't revealed very much about this upcoming experimental game. Now, a brand-new video has been released that reveals a little bit more about this mysterious world.
Take a look at some of the cool tech involved in Episode 3 of The Dreadnought Diaries!
Ninja Theory 'Aiming for an Experience That Feels Real'
We already knew that Project Mara was going to be some kind of psychological horror game. Ninja Theory has revealed today that the entirety of the game takes place in a single apartment; this is definitely a quality over quantity proposition.
"There's no way you can do this by hand — it has to be procedurally-generated." – Tameem Antoniades, Chief Creative Ninja at Ninja Theory
One might think that you can break out a measuring tape and get things pretty close to accurate for digitally recreating a single real-world location. You could do that, but that wasn't enough for Ninja Theory. Ultimately, the company hired Clear Angle Studios to use LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) tech to scan the entire space with lasers and generate a point cloud map. This is all about photogrammetry — the science of measuring things accurately. Millions of points of reference were used to create a shockingly accurate re-creation of the apartment, but that was just the beginning.
Ninja Theory also created its own custom-built scanner to capture high levels of detail for individual materials. Some of this work was done by hand, but other elements (such as the dust and detritus that's on the floor of any building) would be too difficult for artists to create from scratch. Instead, the company has utilized procedural generation to get the little touches up to an acceptable level of real-world detail. It looks like they've done a pretty impressive job from what we see in today's video.
When is the Project Mara Release Date?
There is still not yet an official Project Mara release date. While Ninja Theory has gone into a lot of detail in the processes behind its recreation of a real-world apartment, the developer is keeping its plans for a launch date under wraps.
"[Project Mara] is set in one location — an apartment, a real-world location — and the art team's goal is to recreate this apartment perfectly." – Tameem Antoniades, Chief Creative Ninja at Ninja Theory
This isn't the first game to focus on a single apartment in the horror genre — after all, a big part of Silent Hill 4 was about the protagonist being trapped in Room 302, a location that is being affected in strange ways.
Ninja Theory is certainly cooking up something interesting for Project Mara, but we'll probably be waiting for quite a while longer before we learn any firm details. You can keep an eye on the game at its official website project-mara.com. You can also follow Ninja Theory on Twitter and YouTube. In the meantime, why not keep yourself occupied by playing Silent Hill 4?
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What do you think Project Mara will be about? Do you think it was necessary for Ninja Theory to achieve this level of detail? Let us know in the comments below!