Days Gone Developer, Sony Bend, Hiring for a AAA PS5 Project!

Sony Bend Hiring

We’ve just recently hit the first year anniversary of open-world action game Days Gone, and people have once again started talking about this little exclusive that could. Despite some mixed reactions from critics, the fans are extremely passionate (myself included).

As we look back on this divisive PS4 exclusive, the developer just so happens to be hiring for a position that involves work on a AAA budget PS5 project. Sequel anyone? Let’s see what details we can dig up!

Not One, but Two Positions Open up at Sony Bend

Two job positions opened up on Sony Bend’s website. The first is for a Rigging Technical Artist position, and the second is for a Senior Audio Programmer.

Digging into the job postings, the first position has some interesting responsibilities:

  • Create high quality character rigs with cinematic-quality facial articulation
  • Develop and implement skinning methods to achieve realistic deformation for faces, bodies, clothes..
  • The requirements also mention human, creature, and animal rigs as part of the applicants portfolio.

The first two points here point towards improvements we can expect to see on the PS5. Looks like facial animation will get a boost, along with skin and clothing. The last point is important because humans, creatures, and animals were all a big part of the Days Gone world in terms of what you encountered.

Turning our attention to the other position:

  • The requirements mention that the candidate should have experience implementing interactive 3D audio in dynamic game-world environments.
  • The desirable skills section also mentions experience working on environmental audio, sound propagation, and 3D audio.

The big takeaway here is that 3D audio is confirmed to be a significant part of the feature set on PS5. So much so, that the PS5 specs includes a chip solely for audio. I’m willing to bet this is all going into work on a Days Gone sequel, so let’s talk about what that could look like.

Imagining a Days Gone Sequel

Days Gone was your quintessential open world experience, for better or worse. It had a massive world full of things to do, multiple storylines split into quest types, a sprawling story that lasts far longer than similar titles, and plenty of things to see and do just about anywhere you went.

For some, the pacing was a little off. Others felt the mission types repeated too much. Still others had complaints about performance at launch (it was improved via updates). For me, the pros far outweighed the cons. I thought the character development was superb, the world well-realized, and the gameplay a rich mixture of action and horror.

Specifically, the game’s use of hordes and their inherent behaviors was a big plus for me. Spread across the world were groups of “Freakers” that would travel in packs and hide during the day. At night, they would come out to feed or gather at watering holes like some sort of nightmarish nature documentary.

Taking on these hordes was a big part of the story and the endgame. The developers at Bend Studio really worked some magic on the PS4 hardware to create these dynamic and overwhelmingly large encounters.

So, looking at what we know about the PS5, what can we expect Days Gone 2 to provide us? These are some of my thoughts:

  • A larger, more dynamic world with more activties, settlements, and enemies.
  • Consistent performances and a steady frame rate in the 60-120FPS range.
  • Bigger hordes, with more complex A.I and behaviors (they were already very impressive)
  • No load times or awkward transitions between parts of the map for the sake of loading the next area.

Honestly, I’m just hoping this new project is indeed Days Gone 2, because if any PlayStation Exclusive (beyond The Order 1886) deserves a sequel, it’s this one.

Have you played Days Gone? What would you like to see in the sequel? Let us know in the comments!

Article by – Bradley Ramsey
Insert date – 4/28/2020

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