Film Theory: Is SAO the MOST EXPENSIVE GAME EVER? (Sword Art Online)

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SWORD ART ONLINE is one of the most (in)famous anime out there today, and its premise is cooler than most whole shows. SAO is a fully immersive VR MMO—so immersive that people in the game can LITERALLY die from playing it. Needless to say, this sort of VR experience doesn’t exist yet, but we’re definitely creating the groundwork that will lead to this tech. But knowing how much our current VR systems cost, is a game like SAO even feasible for developers? How much would it cost to create something as ambitious as this? Well, Loyal Theorists, the answer is SO MUCH MORE than you expect!
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Twitter: @MatPatGT
It's finally happening today i get to . enter a true virtual world for the very . first time headset on links dark . greetings from virtual reality . [music]. [applause]. [music]. [applause]. hello internet welcome to game theory . haha sorry ah but film theory he'll have . to forgive me i got my wires crossed. today because today's theory is about a . video game just not a real video game . today we're gonna be full diving into . the world of sword art online one of the . most popular and most controversial . anime ever made if you're not familiar . with sao already the premise is pretty . simple in the year 2022 technology has . advanced to the point that full sensory . virtual reality is possible. unlike the oculus rift or htc vive sword . art online snare headset essentially . projects its virtual world into user's . dreams allowing for full immersion . without the need for a big play space oh . thank you for warning me about that . outside for taking care of the guy who's . in virtual reality . 10,000 players immediately sign up and . strap into the nerve gear to become a . part of the world's first virtual mmorpg. sword art online unfortunately there's a . tiny downside to this incredible. technology see it uses microwaves to . interact directly with the human mind . and yeah i do mean microwaves exactly . like the ones that you used last night . to reheat that leftover cells berry . steak the companies selling these things . say they aren't powerful enough to . actually do any damage and as we all . know game developers have a habit of . telling little white lies about their . games to sell more copies in this case . the little white lie is that nerve dears . creator kayaba akihiko has programmed . the microwaves to fry the brain of any . player who dies in the game the nerve. deer will simultaneously destroy your . brain. as well as any player whose family tries. to remove their helmet in the real world. so yeah definitely understand why they . wanted to leave that gameplay feature . off the box art anyway throwing some. tentacles and incest and you've got. yourself one of the most famous and . infamous animes of all time now we've . just entered 2018 meaning that the . launch of sao in 2022 is only four years . away in other words if i have any hopes . of becoming an in-game sword master with . a fidgets spinner on my outfit as if i . need to give people more reason to hate . this show development needs to start now. and companies need to know how much . would all of this cost to make creating . fully immersive vr worlds is already. happening so by looking at current . technology and trends in game . development we can reach a fairly close . approximation of what it would take to . throw a game like sao together and let . me tell you building the world's first. ever virtual reality massively . multiplayer online game ain't gonna be . cheap so with that i've got one thing to . say to you . let's win we can actually knock one of . the hardest numbers out of the way . immediately the research and development . cost of the nerve gear in vol 10 chapter . 2 of the light novels the anime is based . on it's shown that kayaba akihiko the . genius creator of sao and the nervegear . was paid a hundred million yen in 2013 . which translates to a little over 1 . million u. s. dollars at the time . canonically the development of both the . game and the headset took 10 years so . it's some simple math we can see that . the base cost of the game is at least 10 . million dollars for this one guy alone . and sure that might seem like an . egregious amount of money to pay one guy . but remember hockey hiko's job aside. from overseeing development was to . create the cutting edge nerve gear . hardware to run the game and the complex . ai programs that drive in some of which . like lovable sacrificial cinnamon-roll . ue are close to being fully sentient so . well his salary is indeed expensive as. all get-out. he definitely earns it based off of his . innovative technology now obviously you . can't make a game this complex with just . one person it takes a whole team of . developers unfortunately neither the . books nor the anime provide any hard. numbers on the size of sao s development . staff so even knowing the average salary . of a game developer who can't really. determine anything concludes . based on that instead we're gonna need . to work backwards by looking at the . world of seo itself and figuring out . what it would cost to build something of . its scale based on the production costs . of other games now as an mmorpg sorry . this is film theory i can take for . granted that you know what that means an . mmorpg is short for massively . multiplayer online role-playing game . basically that amounts to a living . breathing online world with tens of. thousands of players each taking on a . different character and as an online . game it's gonna have a lot of . unavoidable upfront costs before any . content can even be made for it writing . network code running servers programming . the games engine and ai behaviors all . cost money. now most game studios are pretty. tight-lipped about their budget . breakdowns but fortunately for us those . costs don't tend to fluctuate very much . between titles and are thus fairly easy . to predict by comparing the reported . budgets of other mmorpgs like world of . warcraft destiny and star wars the old . republic two single-player sandbox games . of similar scale that released at the. same time we can ballpark those mmo . specific costs - somewhere between 10 . and 30 million dollars now it may seem . like a 20 million dollar margin of error . is huge but trust me when i say it's . just a drop in the bucket next to the . game's biggest boss our assets the 3d . models and textures for every object and . character all need to be designed . animated and given sound effects plus . they need to be placed in the world by . level designers and these are the costs. that increase the most dramatically the . larger and more varied the game worlds . are which means that before we can . calculate out how much that all cost we . need to know exactly how big the world . of sao is luckily we're given some hard . numbers to work with . right now you're gathered on floor 1 the . lowest level of ein crag if you can get . through the dungeon and defeat the boss. you may advance to the next floor defeat . the boss on floor 100 and . you will clear the game the prologue of . the first book reads an impossibly huge . castle of rock and uh hey hey hey what . are you looking at the important . information is over here we're doing the. math now and nothing not even that lolly . on the other page is sexier than math . okay . eyes on the prize guys math an . impossibly huge castle of rock and iron . floating in an endless expanse of sky. that is the entirety of this world a . tireless month-long survey by a team of. fanatical experts found that the base . floor of this fortress was about ten . kilometers in diameter and considering . the 100 floors stacked one on top of the . other the sheer vastness of the. structure beggared the imagination it . was impossible to estimate the total . amount of data at all represented . impossible you say sounds like a . challenge so as it just said the bottom . floor vine kratt is ten kilometers . across and since each floor of the . castle is a perfect circle that means . its area is pi r squared or 78 point . five four square kilometers which is a . few shy of the size of grand theft auto . 5s men but that's only one floor i'm . kratt is a hundred floors tall so does . that mean you can cram 100 gta 5 s into . si oh not quite early on in the anime . were shown a side-on view of the castle . and as you can see the floors gradually . taper off to a point at the top for the . first 40 or so floors that diameter . stays pretty consistent tapering off to . 8. 5 kilometers at this part that's . jutting out it's not a smooth curve so. it's a little hard to measure precisely . but for simplicity's sake let's just say . that these first 40 floors averaged out . to be about 9 kilometers across or 63 . square kilometers each about the same . size as the world of the legend of zelda . breadth the wide meaning that the total . area of these floors combined is a . whopping 2520 square kilometers which is . more than twice the size of los angeles . after this first chunk the castle fins . out substantially so the next 28th floor . is only average about 6. 5 kilometers in . diameter meaning that each floor is only . 33 square kilometres an area a little . smaller than the size of skyrim adding . all those together this blocks total . size. 924 square kilometers the 27 floors . after that get even smaller tapering off . to just three kilometers across the top . with an average diameter of just over 4 . km between um an area of just under 13 . square kilometers or one and a half . times the size of fallout 4 his world . and a total area of 344 square . kilometers finally the last five floors . of the tower are much more elevated to . define so we can get an exact . measurement for all of those areas which . adds up to nine point two square . kilometers in total which means that all . together the total land mass present in . the game of sao is an absolutely . ridiculous 3797 square kilometers that . is bigger than some countries 28 . countries to be exact it would be the . 11th largest city in the world but . surprisingly that wouldn't make it the . largest video game world ever created it . would actually make it the fourth . largest video game world ever created . right behind fuel daggerfall and no . man's sky all three of which are . procedurally generated which for all you . non game theory viewers means that . instead of building the game worlds by . hand. the developers wrote code to create them . automatically based on preset conditions . which is a great time-saving tool but
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