Howdy, stranger. As we eagerly await Red Dead Redemption 2's release date, the thirst for new knowledge and details — anything concerning Rockstar's open world western — has gotten unbearable.
Fortunately, those fine hombres at DidYouKnowGaming? have taken a fine tooth comb to the original game, uncovering a whole load of awesome facts you might know. Take a look below for some of the highlights, including Red Dead Redemption's classic arcade routes, Rockstar's Red Dead research reading list, the horse from hell, how John Marston found his voice, and more.
Red Dead Redemption's Roots Go Way Back
#RedDeadRedemption's origins can be traced back to almost a decade before its release. Here's a brief history:
- Capcom's Red Dead Revolver, first in the Red Dead series, was produced as a spiritual successor to arcade classic Gunsmoke.
- Angel Studios, under Capcom's supervision, made a very stylized and arcade-like first version of Revolver.
- Rockstar bought Angel Studios (who became Rockstar San Diego) and were impressed enough by their work on Revolver to take on the game too.
- The arcade-style was dialed back (no flying characters or Mexican bandits with 4ft mustached) and grittier elements and dark humor mixed in to make Rockstar's Red Dead Revolver.
- It was their work on Red Dead Revolver that inspired Rockstar to revisit the Wild West setting in a new open-world game.
Red Dead Redemption Took Some Serious Research
Key members of the team would take trips to the Library of Congress in Washington DC to read up on life in the American frontier. Further reading included old Sears catalogues from circa 1900, and of course western novels, tv shows, and movies.
The Wild Bunch was also hugely influential with regard to the game's tone, as it was important to Rockstar that Red Dead Redemption not come across as too serious or pompous.
Researchers also went on long road trips through the desert, photographing the environment to model for the game.
Although inspired by the classics, Rockstar didn't want to romanticize the wild west, and chose to highlight the transition to the modern world by setting Red Dead Redemption in 1911, during the period's twilight years.
Hardcore Horsing Around
The development team were dedicated to authenticity and realism, which led to some trouble getting the animals to behave to bring you Grand Theft Horsey.
While performing motion capture with a stunt horse, the team discovered, after much difficulty, that their gesture to signal to each other was also coincidentally the command for the horse to rear up. This resulted in dozens of mocap markers falling off the horse on most takes, and a few cases of the rider nearly being thrown off his mount.
The whole process of capturing the horse's movement for the game took several years, so appreciate that that next time you see them glitching out.
Rockstar Had To Tone Down The More...Colorful Language Of The Era
More realism isn't always a good thing. Rockstar's research exposed themselves to some very unsavory attitudes of the era towards certain races, and they felt that they could not replicate that in-game.
CEO Dan Hauser described the racially-charged language of the era as 'insanely offensive to modern ears', and while it is hinted at in game, it doesn't quite go as far as the period sources.
The Score Was Really Complex
The games soundtrack took Woody Jackson and Bill Elm over 15 months of collaboration to make.
So that the soundtrack would react to a player's actions, they created 'stems' instead of songs, pieces of music that would assemble themselves and fit together depending on what the player was doing.
John Marston Had A Voice Before He Had A Story
Rob Wiethoff, voice of John Marston, got the part before the script had even been finished. Instead of reading the finished script, Wiethoff got an audition for an unknown video game.
When Wiethoff entered the studio, he was greeted by 30 men dressed as soldiers, given his lines and told to read them while holding his laundry, keeping it natural. The tense scene was filmed only once, and even though Wiethoff had no idea what it was about, he aced the part and was hired a few days later.
Thirsty For More Facts?
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