Job listings are always a fun way of divining new information about unannounced games - developers need to be detailed enough to find the right candidates, but vague enough not to spoil anything, which leads to a game of deduction.
Rockstar Games' latest job listing just might be hinting at a feature of Grand Theft Auto 6 - and its release window.
Unlike leaks, job listings are official information and can be regarded without any quantity of salt on hand - however, they also convey vastly less info, so it's a double edged sword. In this latest listing, Rockstar Games is looking for an experienced Visual Effects Artist to join their New England studio.
While Rockstar North is the studio that generally helms the biggest releases and is in charge of principle development on GTA, projects this large get input from across the entire Rockstar network of studios spread out worldwide. Since the listing doesn't specify the game this position is for, we can only speculate that it's GTA 6 - but then, what else could it be?
In the listing, Rockstar makes it clear that creating a highly detailed, realistic and immersive world is a key goal for this upcoming game that the new hire would be working on, and goes into some specifics that helps us gleam some possible features of what we assume is GTA 6. In short: buildings will collapse.
We help to bring extra life to the environment, characters, weapons, vehicles, and more. The visual effects help to immerse the player in a believable world, from using ambient effects for things like insects around the player and rain dripping off buildings up to large scale destruction events like skyscrapers crashing to the ground.
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Now, this description does not specify whether these events are scripted or interactive in any way, or if it means straight up destructible scenery in the game - however, all of that would also involve other departments with other professionals on hand, so it is to be expected. Even a scripted collapse would involve physics engines, animation and more.
We'd definitely love it if GTA 6 involved destructible scenery - the amount of chaos and mayhem players are required to routinely cause in these games would benefit from it greatly. With increasingly insane weapons at our disposal, it does come across a little weird when buildings - and that bloody immortal unstoppable train - just happily remain unscathed.
Of course, such destructible scenery would need to be implemented in a multiplayer environment with care and limitations. If players could topple skyscrapers in the game and have such damage be persistent, the multiplayer map would be a crater on launch day. Since GTA Online is going standalone, some fans have theorized that GTA 6 will skip multiplayer entirely, solving this problem, but it is far too early to tell.
If you feel like you've got the skills to land this job, which many in the industry would consider a major opportunity, then you could end up shaping the future of GTA (or some other Rockstar IP, we guess?). While the company has had issues with crunch culture in the past, reports indicate that there has been positive change, for what it's worth.
We definitely look forward to dropping skyscrapers on our opponents in GTA 6, if things pan out. Considering the kind of position being hired for, it's possible to gauge just how early or late in development a given project is, and rough estimates indicate that if this position is for GTA 6, it's got to be pretty early on in development - lining up with reports. Most realistic educated guesses still place the game's launch no sooner than 2025.