How was this game even created?

I’m continually amazed by the scenery and landscapes in this game. So many nature details. I don’t think someone sat down and planted every tree and rock all over the map. Thinking that process would take years considering how big the world is.

How was the map even created? How do you conceptualize areas, put down forests, streams, etc? Who takes care of seemingly random bits and bobs, like a tent and supplies next to a stone wall in a remote forest?

I know this may be a big question, and I do have rudimentary understanding of how things get developed, but it’s fascinating to me considering the level of detail and quality of the visuals on ultra settings.

Are the landscapes auto-generated somehow and then chiseled away?

Truly a beautiful-looking game. It’s just a few degrees away from photo-realistic on the highest settings.

Amazing jobs, devs!


I don’t have a deeper understanding of it either, but I presume the landscape was procedurally generated, then auto-populated with plants and rocks (following rules derived from real-world observations). I guess there’s some kind of middleware for that, like Speedtree for plants.

The layout of the house interiors seems to be partially auto-generated as well (with varying quality), but the houses themselves, the roads, cars etc. were placed on the map by hand. Stuff like camp grounds, caves and landmarks were integrated by altering the auto-generated terrain. I guess some of the ‘layer issues’ with roads stem from this too.

The devs seem to have worked on improving details starting with the archipelago region, where interiors and details are way more thought out than up in the north. Compare Salthamn with Klinte - lived-in houses and gardens vs dozens of Kundsam, Pizzeria and Konditori shops in one village.

Take this with a barrel of salt - it may be entirely wrong…