Ubisoft has shown a sneak peek of how their upgraded Snowdrop engine works in Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.
Ubisoft closed its last E3 presentation with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, the game they have been working on for a long time, after a long time of rumors, secrecy, and dates that never materialized. The title will be used to promote James Cameron’s next film, which will return us to the adventures of Pandora.
While not many details have been revealed about Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, we do know that it will be released in 2022 for Xbox Series, PS5, PC, Stadia, and Amazon Luna. It is most likely coming out alongside the next film.
Ubisoft has released a video demonstrating the new technology of its improved Snowdrop engine, which will be used in the next game based on James Cameron’s film. A game engine that we had already seen its evolution over the years comparing it with games like Tom Clancy’s: The Division and Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2. Improving both the visuals and the creation of landscape features, particles, and a plethora of other components where you could clearly see the level change from the initial to the final versions.
The use of the updated game engine as a foundation for this new Avatar game is fantastic, as it takes advantage of all of the improved elements that we saw in the previous version of Snowdrop. Most notably – and as mentioned in the French showcase video – is a system that will apparently create NPCs that more realistically understand and react to changes in the world around them.
Pandora comes to life
“The different activities that NPCs can perform in the world, and the different animations they have, can make the world feel really alive,” said Alice Rendell, lead narrative realization designer for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.
Later in the video, she added, “For Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, we wanted to take this one step further and created a system where our NPCs understand the state of the world – for example, weather, player progression, or time of day.”
Nonetheless, we could not witness the actual usage of this system, which uses the Snowdrop engine, but just from the programming and data sections. Despite the fact that only Na’vi, humans, and Pandoran animals are stated, plant life can respond to your presence, activities, conflicts, and more. Kunal Luthra goes into further depth on the action and reaction of all the aspects of the Avatar world with the character, which we saw in the announcement video published a few weeks ago.
“The advantage of Snowdrop is that it can handle quite complex shaders. To add life to the vegetation of Pandora, we’ve created many interactive shaders that can be affected by the player, from real-time wind simulations and interactions, to intelligent plants reacting to your presence,” Rendell says.
These improved features for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora are something that RPG fans have long requested, since they enable more immersive gameplay. Without a doubt, you can tell how proud Ubisoft is of the game’s creation and Snowdrop’s performance. We will undoubtedly see more videos about technology improvements as well as the tale itself of the game that will be accessible on our consoles next year.