By Alice O'Connor on March 28th, 2014 at 10:00 am.
Should society be toppled by some terrible plague, I’d probably neck a few pints of gin then dance to pop music across the rooftops until I inevitably tumbled down. But you, you may have other plans. You know where you’d go in your neighbourhood, where you’d raid for supplies, and where you’d hide. The astonishingly ambitious online action-RPG ReRoll hopes to tap into that knowledge by scanning the real world with drones to make its own. And has now actually started.
The first city to submit to cyberfication is Canada’s fair Montreal, which is only fitting as that’s where Pixyul co-founders Julien Cuny and Louis-Pierre Pharand worked on Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry games at Ubisoft. Come, see Ville-Marie beset with a mutant plague in a new-ish trailer.
25 square kilometres of downtown Montreal will make up ReRoll’s first ‘Brick,’ a chunk of the world to test the tech then deliver to backers in mid-2015. Yes, of course it’s crowdfunding, selling bundles of characters and items. Pixyul’s happy to start there as, as well as being home, it includes places of survival interest from hospitals and police stations to apartment blocks and parks. Sometimes a nice afternoon in the park is the perfect escape from a mutant nightmare.
Pixyul hopes to deploy fancy drones to the furthest corners of the earth, using photogrammetry (hey, it’s that word again) to bring everything from mountains to Mile End into the game world. In this cruel facsimile of home, players will eek out an existence through the usual crafting, farming, hunting, and murdering survival-type activities. It’ll only be a top-down affair so it’s less ambitious a task than it could be but gosh, there’s still so much to scan. The world is really quite big.
But look, here’s how Montreal turned from francophone fairytale to hellhole: