In the video, titled Capturing Reality, chief creative ninja Tameem Antoniades goes into detail about how the studio is recreating a real-life apartment as the setting for Project Mara. He says: “We’re attempting to do lots of things we’ve never attempted to do before and one of those things is to capture reality obsessively.”
To achieve these aims, the art team is looking to recreate a real-world apartment perfectly, which they seem to be doing a pretty good job of based on the in-engine footage revealed in the dev diary.
Part of this process includes taking material samples from the apartment by photographing and scanning them and using them to create “procedural shaders and detail maps” to recreate these items in-game.
Antoniades also discussed how the team recreated the entire apartment in-game, using a company called Clear Angle Studios, which helped to create a “point cloud” of the apartment using LiDAR scanners. Antoniades describes this as “some of the best references we’ve ever seen”.
The result, outside of the aforementioned impressive engine footage, is that Ninja Theory is in the process of changing the way it creates art in its games. As Antoniades explains: “Artists aren’t there just to create an object, they’re there to create systems that can create an object and infinite variations of that object.”
Project Mara was originally announced last January, with commercial director Dom Matthews describing the experience as: “Based on real lived experience accounts and in-depth research, our aim is to recreate the horrors of the mind as accurately and realistically as possible. Project: Mara will be an experimental title and a showcase of what could become a new storytelling medium.”
Looks like Project Mara’s photorealism will be put to some seriously spooky ends. Here’s hoping we find out more about a potential release date in the coming months.
For more on what to expect from Xbox this year, check out our guide to the upcoming Xbox Series X games.