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United Front Snapped Over 35,000 Photos Of Hong Kong For Sleeping Dogs


Speaking with the PlayStation Blog for Asia, Sleeping Dogs executive producer, Stephen van der Mescht, discusses how United Front went about gathering reference material for re-creating Hong Kong in their game.


“We took 35,000 to 40,000 reference photos and hour upon hour of video footage, but it’s not a street for street depiction,” van der Mescht says. “It was important for us to capture the essence of city. Lots of the landmarks are there, many of the names are similar yet, first and foremost, we wanted to make that space fun to navigate around.”


In an interview with Siliconera earlier this year, the game’s senior producer, Jeff O’Connell, told us that United Front also spoke with members of the Hong Kong police force, as well as Triad members, who were a valuable source of information for the game’s story and setting. “There is a lot of stuff we learned from talking to those guys that made its way into the game in some interesting ways,”O’Connell shared.


He elaborated: “It was not like we showed up to Hong Kong and said, is there Triad here? Is there anyone we can talk to? And a bunch of guys raised their hands. It was a long process to talk to a couple of these guys and they would only speak directly with our writer. That was all done through a contact we had in the entertainment industry there who had friends who were in the Triad or had previously been in the Triad. It took many weeks and months for them just to meet our writer.”

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.