Now here is why we need next-generation hardware everyone. Following yesterday’s news about the lack of a cockpit view in GRID 2, Codemasters’ Clive Moody went ahead and tried to explain some things about it. However, Moody’s statement basically proves how limited this current generation of consoles actually is and how troubled game developers are when developing for them.
According to Codemasters’ Clive Moody, videogame development is always about trade-offs and in this case, taking the hard decision to lose the in-car views for 5% of its players, is something the company felt was more beneficial to everyone. Moody has also reminded us that there will be a bonnet cam, as well as a bumper cam.
And here is our first issue with Moody’s statement. No Moody, videogame development is not about trade-offs. Videogame development should be about offering your fans what they want and an attempt to offer something new. Unless of course you’re developing for a hardware that has major limitations. In other words, PCs have unlimited resources that developers can take advantage of. Current generation consoles, on the other hand, have so many limitations that developers are really find it hard to implement all of their ideas. And GRID 2 is no exception to that.
“They are expensive to run due to the requirement for high-resolution interior textures which are seen close-up and require a considerable amount of in-game memory (to store) and processing (to render).”
Again, this applies only for the console versions of GRID 2. How about – Codies – you use low-resolution textures for the environmental detail of GRID 2 (when the cockpit view is chosen) and some more aggressive LOD settings on consoles? You can leave the high-res textures on the PC version as there won’t be any issues. It’s funny, but this further proves that the PC version of GRID 2 will be an after thought, so why on Earth should PC racing fans abandon their PC exclusive racing games?
Moody then said that by removing the cockpit view, they can author and run higher resolution vehicle models with more detailed geometry.
“We can feature higher resolution external vehicle textures and work further detail into our environment textures. We can dedicate more processing power to our improved physics systems, integral to the GRID 2 experience, and push other systems to the next level, such as particles and real-time lighting. And there are many more benefits.”
It’s funny, but the best looking racing game to date is Project CARS, a racing game that comes with impressive high-resolution textures, mind-blowing lighting effects, improved physics systems and a wonderful cockpit view. After all, it’s being made by the minds behind NFS: Shift.
What also worries us is that GRID 2 might get a DLC. If it does, this means that Codemasters thought that a DLC was more important than a cockpit view. Of course this decision was not made with gamers in mind. They’ll definitely say something along the lines of ‘the DLC has cars for all gamers and not a feature for a specific number of gamers,‘ but we all know why they’d prefer a DLC over a cockpit view. Funny thing is that the DLC is for a specific number of gamers – those who will actually buy it – and not for those who have already purchased the game.
Moody concluded that Codemasters is now incredibly familiar with the current hardware and have reached the point that they’re getting ‘EVERYTHING possible from it.’ And this is precisely why we – kind of – hate all those PR crap. No Moody, you are not getting everything possible from consoles if you’re forced to cut a feature in order to save memory and graphical resources. While we are at it, let’s cut the manual shifting in order to gain some CPU calculations. This is a console limitation and nothing more. Of course, clever programming can overcome those limitations. As said, low-res terrain textures when the cockpit view is chosen is the way to go. Of course the textures can be switched back to the high-res versions whenever a player chooses another view. Now that’s how you optimize your games Codies and save resources, without sacrificing a feature. And that’s precisely why Codemasters is lying to its fans, in one of the worst attempts at damage control.