Train2Game News: United Front on the vast research behind Sleeping Dogs

Game designers researching Sleeping Dogs at United Front Games have done so by taking newspaper cuttings, looking at films and taking 40,000 reference photos of Hong Kong.

“We took 35,000 to 40,000 reference photos and hour upon hour of video footage, but it’s not a street for street depiction. It was important for us to capture the essence of city. Lots of the landmarks are there, many of the names are similar yet, first and foremost, we wanted to make that space fun to navigate around.”  Executive producer Stephen van der Mescht told PlayStation Blog.

The United Front Games man went on to discuss how important it is for them to show the life of an undercover cop to Sleeping Dogs players.

“Well, the plot was built from scratch but we were heavily influenced by a lot of references. Look at movies like The Departed and Donnie Brasco – they both had an element of truth in them, which came from the stories they discovered by talking to people who were actually in those situations.” he continued.

“The important thing for us to get across was that dual world of a cop pretending to be a gangster, and the stresses that come with that, of having to live this lie.” van der Mescht continued, adding that while the plot of Sleeping Dogs, it’s influenced by a lot of their research.

“In terms of specifics, we referenced a lot of Triad crimes using newspaper cuttings. The game follows this guy becoming more intertwined with this world and we see his morality line get blurred. So yes, there are direct references to stories we discovered from the research we did.” said the executive producer.

Read the full interview, Sleeping Dogs And Telling Stories Through Games over at the PlayStation Blog. It’s likely to be interesting reading for anyone on a Train2Game course, especially game designers.

There’s more about Sleeping Dogs here on The Train2Game Blog, while you can also keep reading for the latest news from its publisher, Square Enix, here.

What are your thoughts on the research United Front are putting into Sleeping Dogs?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

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