Far Cry 2 programmer talks fire, obsession

Whilst the dodgy A.I. of Far Cry 2 prevented the game from receiving stellar reviews, universal love was shown for the fire effects. Spreading realistically through the dry savanna of the game, the fire is visually stunning and utterly deadly. It’s an important part of the experience. You can use it as a weapon against your enemies, but it can turn on its creator in the blink of an eye. Put simply, it is the best simulation of fire we’ve ever seen in a game.

But such masterful design work doesn’t come easy. In an interview with Gamasutra, the programmer in charge of the fire effects has revealed how the process evolved from a small element to a central facet of the game. His name is Jean-Francois Lévesque, and trust me, the man put a whole ton of effort into it. Here is proof in his own words: “At one point I became literally obsessed — I would meticulously analyze every flame I saw, virtual or real, and my fire behavior issues in the game would keep me awake at night trying to solve them.”

It’s an in-depth interview, an exhaustive account of Lévesque’s work on the game. And as a peek into the development of one of this year’s biggest releases, pretty fascinating.