100-Hour Weeks & Development Since 2010: Red Dead Redemption 2’s Dan Houser Speaks

People suffer for their art, be it indie gaming fares or triple-A powerhouse games that take 3-4 years to make. Such is the case of Red Dead Redemption 2, a game that is already going to take precious HDD space from PlayStation 4s everywhere (and other consoles too). With such big shoes to fill, there’s gotta be a lot of sacrifices, right?

On an interview with Vulture, Rockstar’s leading man Dan Houser mentioned a lot of tidbits concerning the making of Red Dead Redemption 2. You may want to sit down for the last few key points though.

  • The game is around 65 hours long if you were to play it straight and finish everything. This probably includes the story mode, the honor missions, and the strangers you meet while in the Wild West.
  • The interview contains a lot of volume and numbers like: 2,200 days worth of motion capture, 2,000 pages of script for the main story, said script and additional dialogue would be 8-feet high if printed and stacked together, 500,000 lines of dialogue, and 300,000 animations.
  • What didn’t make the cut? About 5 hours worth of content.
  • The game was in development back in 2010, with the broad outline of the game done in 2011.Motion capture work beginning in 2013 using over 1,200 actors . 700 of that number had lines.
  • Rockstar started music production in 2015.
  • The polishing, rewrites, and re-edits Rockstar did for the game were immense, according to Dan Houser. “We were working 100-hour weeks several times in 2018. The finished game includes 300,000 animations, 500,000 lines of dialogue, and many more lines of code. Even for each¬†RDR2¬†trailer and TV commercial, we probably made 70 versions, but the editors may make several hundred. Sam and I will both make both make lots of suggestions, as will other members of the team.”

That last bit about the 100-hour weeks stirred some controversy among the gaming populace. Let’s cherry-pick the most recent comments from the games industry.

 

 

 

 

One must wonder if all of this toil and trouble in the tail end of the game’s long-as-heck development period is all worth it. Though to be fair, the detail in RDR2 is lookin’ pretty sweet, right down to the horses.

Author: Mr Toffee

Jonathan "Mr Toffee" Leo is a writer, editor, & all-around video game words guy for 9 years, give or take. He also did some story for games like Chain Chronicle and some podcasting on the side. Likes: bacon, Metallica, jogging. Hates: raccoons, oblivion.

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