The Witcher 3 targeting 30FPS with PhysX destruction
After the short new trailer shown at the VGX Awards 2013, the hype for The Witcher 3 managed the impossible feat of raising even more than previously. For all of the fans among you, here’s some new information, courtesy of Italian website PC Gaming which interviewed Balázs Török, head programmer at CD Projekt RED.
First of all, Torok confirmed that the developer is currently targeting 30 FPS on next generation consoles:
As always, we aim for the highest graphics quality, and this naturally imposes limitations. We haven’t reached the point in time when we’ll be able to divulge details regarding resolutions, but in terms of framerate we’re targeting 30 FPS.
There’s not only graphics pushing the hardware in The Witcher 3, however, as PhysX based destruction will play an important role in the game.
We’re working to make destructibility an important part of the game. We don’t want to add something just for the sake of technology, therefore we’re analyzing the many situations in which players will be able to interact with objects in the game world. Currently, we’re using a system for destructibility and cloth simulation which is based on NVIDIA PhysX, more specifically using APEX. We’re doing everything we can to optimize in our own, although we are always in touch with NVIDIA to eventually reach the best possible performance.
There are many factors that determine which effects are executed on PC without performance hassles, and the GPU is of course the primary one.
Torok also commented on Mantle, suggesting skepticism on AMD’s new API. If I was to bet, I’d do it against The Witcher 3 using it.
If Mantle will be used by other GPU makers as well, it could become an effective alternative to DirectX in games. Until then, we cannot be sure that Mantle is good enough to adapt to different architectures, and if it isn’t, then it will be difficult to maintain different source codes for the many GPUs. Currently, it’s hard to say something conclusive. There are a few OpenGL extensions which can get similar results, and many games are cross developed between desktop and mobile, which makes the obvious choice to use OpenGL ES on mobile devices and OpenGL on desktop.
The Witcher 3 will be gracing PC, PS4 and Xbox One sometime in 2014, hopefully not too far ahead.