Irrational: Don't Worry About Bioshock Infinite On PS3
While Bioshock 2 was better in terms of stability, the PlayStation 3 version of the first Bioshock did suffer from some drawbacks.
But now that the revered franchise is back in the hands of original designer, Irrational Games, we've been assuming they'd correctly optimize the ultra-promising Bioshock Infinite for Sony's machine. Thankfully, it seems we were right about that assumption: check out the reply made by Irrational Technical Director Chris Kline at the developer's official forums. The whole thing is extraordinarily encouraging for PS3 owners and Kline's first clarification is the most important of all; Infinite won't be a port, as the team is developing all three versions simultaneously in-house. Here's more elaboration:
"We all know that the PS3 is a powerful but unique console with its own strengths and challenges. But compared to the PC, the Xbox 360 is challenging too. So instead of declaring a "lead platform" and porting the game to the others, we've instead changed the game engine so that all platforms look (to a programmer) more like a PS3. This means implementing a task-oriented task processor that assumes a NUMA (non-uniform memory access) design that mimics the PPU/SPU split of the PS3. Writing code this way is more difficult for us, but has a key advantage: it's both optimal for the PS3 *and* gives speed improvements on other platforms due to increased cache coherence and more efficient use of multiple processing units."
He goes on talk a bit about what we've heard before, including the switch to a "deferred lighting scheme." He also says they're "constantly testing our code on the PS3" and all their programmers have both PS3 and 360 dev kits at their desks. And check this out-
"To make sure we find and fix problems as quickly as possible, we have a "continuous integration automated build system" that rebuilds the PS3 version and runs basic tests on it every time a programmer or artist makes a change to the game. It even emails them right away if they break something. In addition, we've also built tools that allow artists and designers to instantly check whether or not their levels will fit in memory on all three platforms, without ever leaving the editor."
These days, there are few visible differences between most multiplatform efforts but even so, why can't all developers do what Irrational is doing? We love these guys. "A" for effort, at the very least, but we're definitely expecting Bioshock Infinite to be one of next year's best.
Related Game(s): Bioshock Infinite
11/21/2010 8:45:11 PM John Shepard