The forth­com­ing reboot of the Hitman fran­chise, Hitman: Absolution will fea­ture crowds of up to 1200 char­ac­ters, accord­ing to its developer.

Under devel­op­ment at IO Interactive, Hitman: Absolution uses the stu­dios new pro­pri­ety engine, Glacier 2. Built from the ground up by the developer, the Glacier 2 engine was tailored to meet the demands of the devel­op­ment team and enable them to real­ize their vis­ion for the game.

According to IO, a key require­ment for this vis­ion was to have very dense crowds which allow play­ers to both inter­act with and influ­ence the beha­viour of each indi­vidual char­ac­ter.

The developer will be show­cas­ing the tech­no­logy behind this amaz­ing achieve­ment at this year’s San Francisco Game Developers Conference. The present­a­tion, presen­ted by IO Interactive’s lead phys­ics pro­gram­mer, Kasper Fauerby, will dis­cuss the tech­niques and optim­iz­a­tions used to achieve the 1200 char­ac­ter crowds present in Hitman: Absolution, whilst still run­ning at 30fps on current-generation con­soles.

He will also provide an over­view of the crowd imple­ment­a­tion and dis­cuss both the algorithms used as well as how game­play con­sid­er­a­tions affected the design decisions. For those attend­ing the Game Developers Conference this week, the talk can be found in Room 2006, West Hall, on the 2nd Floor.

  • Crowd-Technology in Hitman: Absolution
  • Game Developers Conference, March 7th
  • Room 2006, West Hall, 2nd Floor

Needless to say, it’s not sur­pris­ing as to why this is IO’s “most ambi­tious pro­ject to date” – their words, not mine.

Hitman: Absolution fol­lows Agent 47, a cold blooded assas­sin, as he takes on his most dan­ger­ous con­tract to date. Betrayed by those he trus­ted and hunted by the police, he finds him­self at the cen­ter of a dark con­spir­acy and must embark on a per­sonal jour­ney through a cor­rupt and twis­ted world, in search for the truth.

Hitman: Absolution is set for release in 2012 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC. See a shot of the Glacier 2 crowd tech­no­logy in action below.

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