Ready at Dawn: PS4 more powerful than most computers
Ready at Dawn developer is mostly known for its previous work on the PlayStation Portable, where they released games like God of War: Chains of Olympus and God of War: Ghost of Sparta, although their last released game is God of War: Origins Collection for PlayStation 3. After a successful relationship with Sony, they have been trusted with a new blockbuster IP revealed at E3 2013: The Order 1886.
In a long article at GameInformer, the art director and tech director spoke at length about what enabled them to create such a richly detailed world as that seen in the screenshots; in particular, tech guru Garrett Foster said that this was due to the fact that PS4 is more powerful than most computers, and is the most powerful console “on the planet”.
The power speaks [for] itself. It’s more powerful than most computers on the planet, and it is the most powerful console on the planet. With that, they allow us bare-to-the-metal access [hardware free of pre-loaded software]. We can do whatever we want to. Even the head of ATI a couple months ago came out and said graphics are getting held back by a software layer that PC developers just can’t take advantage of. What we’re able to do is take it to a new level where we can literally take advantage of every cycle and try to make it as best it can be.
Artist Nathan Phail-Liff then added more specifics:
From an art standpoint, with every generational shift you can do more of everything. You can nickel and dime – ‘Oh we have this many more polygons and significant more textures.’ There’s this standard order of magnitude growth on the whole detail of level. But some of the standout things for us, going from the PS3 generation to the PS4, are the shading and internal models. That’s a huge thing. On PS3 there’s a lot more approximations of how objects look and respond to light. With the PS4 we can implement a much more reality-based, advanced shading model. So metals aren’t just shiny, they actually look like the physical samples in the real world. So that’s something that, for getting polygon and texture budgets just makes everything from lighting to physical objects really shine.
It will be very interesting to see Ready at Dawn’s transition to a truly huge IP developed for a home console. The Order 1886, which is said to have fairly similar mechanics to Gears of War, will release somewhere in 2014, exclusively for PlayStation 4.