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Rockstar admit the crunch was real with Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar Games
Horses and cowboys and the 7th cavalry in the snow
Red Dead Redemption 2

Speaking in a recent interview, Rockstar's co-founder and an industry heavyweight Dan Houser discussed Red Dead Redemption 2 and and the fact that crunch time they tasted on other games resembles child's play now that they've had RDR2's.

In case you're not familiar with the term, crunch is a game developer's equivalent of ring fighters' weigh in, except they don't sit in boiling hot water. They work themselves into the ground trying to make their product as good as it gets before launch time and Rockstar is no exception.

Houser said that Rockstar were pulling 100 hour weeks on several occasions in 2018 but thankfully, the Red Dead Redemption 2 team have the numbers to show for it. He claims the game has 300 thousand animation, 500 thousand lines of dialogue and tons of code.

To paint a picture even better, Houser commented how Rockstar made at least 70 versions of TV ads and that's apparently not an overstatement. "The editors may make several hundred", Houser said, adding that everyone then chips in with suggestions.

In the end, Houser is quite proud of Red Dead Redemption 2 as the end result is "a vast four-dimensional mosaic in which the fourth dimension is time, in which the world unfolds around you, dependent on what you do.”

Making a game as ambitious as Red Dead Redemption 2 sometimes requires as much cutting as adding and Houser says that Rockstar ended up cutting 5 hours of gameplay from the now completed 65 hour long campaign. "We removed a mission on a train where you had to deal with bounty hunters, because it was fun at first, but then it wasn’t", he said and added how "everyone always loses bits of the game they love.”

Rockstar GamesHorses and cowboys and the 7th cavalry in the snowRed Dead Redemption 2

Interestingly enough, Houser noted how the studio steers clear of going for Hollywood big shots, since big egos can be just as big a detriment these days. Besides, Rockstar believes they "get a better sense of immersion using talented actors whose voices you don’t recognize", he said.

You can find the full interview here.