For the upcoming open-world vigilante/hacker game Watch Dogs, European gaming giant Ubisoft has created its first next-gen game engine called Disrupt. We spoke with the game’s lead producer, Dominic Guay, about the capabilities of the new engine and the challenges of scalability and simulation.

In Chicago of the near future a unified OS connects the city’s many systems such as electricity, traffic, and mass transit, to a single network. As Aiden Pierce, you are a hacker turned vigilante who will use all your technical prowess in this connected city to stop violent criminals and corrupt men of power. You hack a traffic light to turn green, you hack a train to carry you to your destination, you hack a draw bridge so it opens behind you, giving you a clean getaway from the police. This is Watch Dogs, an open-world game from Ubisoft.

When it was unveiled last year, many thought it looked too good for the current generation of video game consoles. Ubisoft soon revealed that the game was destined for the next generation debuting the following year. Well, it is 2013 and Ubisoft has shown us what the game looks like on the PlayStation 4, likely launching in November. But in creating the game, the company had to create a new engine that would not only work with the more powerful machines to come, but the hardware out now. “When we started building the [Disrupt] engine, we started right away with scalability in mind,” says Dominic Guay, the game’s lead producer. “We told engineers that we need to support existing consoles because there are tens of millions of people who want to play the game that have those consoles.”

Read the full article at Co.Labs.