Ubisoft has released a video aimed at showcasing the quality and efficiency of its Snowdrop engine, which boasts the ability to support real-time development and testing. The video embedded below shows how the Snowdrop engine was used to build Ubisoft's upcoming, highly anticipated game, Tom Clancy's The Division. Since the video was made to be shown at the Game Developers Conference 2014, Ubisoft focuses almost entirely on the features of the engine, rather than the game itself. Recently, there have been rumors flying around that question The Division's 2014 release estimate, which is hardly surprising considering the number of setbacks that Ubisoft has dealt with over the past few months. In an interview with Joystiq, Massive Entertainment Brand Art Director Rodrigo Cortes gave some details on how the engine is being used to build the game.
"So, while we develop - this is actually with every engine, you need to have a game connected to it. Otherwise it's never going to be useful if you don't have all the real user-cases that you would get when other people are working with it," Cortes said. "Right now everything is embedded, game and technology is the same. But it is a new technology, so there are a lot of firsts that we have to do on many things, that you get for free on upcoming games. So, it's a big technology and it takes a lot of time to actually do it and get it right."
Since Snowdrop supposedly allows for the real-time testing and creation of content, developers are spared a huge amount of time, allowing them to quickly and easily tweak the game's assets or effects. Cortes described how work on the game has happened in "sprints and iterations," with the game staying in real-time throughout the process.
"We had the game running, from very early on, like a week on, it was running, and it's been running since in one way or another. And it's very important for us," he said. "Every week we have playtests and we play the game. Whatever version it is or whatever we change, there's always a running version. The game never goes offline."
The Division is planned for a release sometime in 2014 according to Ubisoft and will be available on Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Check out the GDC 2014 video on the Snowdrop engine below.