Programming For PS4 Pro Took About 8% Of The Total Workload, According To Killing Floor 2 Developer

More effort for more reward.

Posted By | On 24th, Mar. 2017 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

Killing Floor 2

The PS4 Pro is a pretty moderate upgrade over the existing PS4, with most development for one automatically translating to the other- but it still is an additional hardware SKU that developers now have to account for when they are developing games. In today’s world of multiplatform, high budget AAA game development, an additional SKU can often be exactly what developers don’t want.

Mark Cerny, the architect of the PS4, and often the PS4 Pro, has tried to allay fears and concerns on that front by noting that development for the Pro really shouldn’t take much time or resources- just 0.2 to 0.3 per cent of the overall effort, he has famously been quoted as saying. In a recent interview with GamingBolt, the fine folks over at Tripwire Interactive – whom you might know as the people behind Killing Floor 2 – discussed the PS4 Pro, however, noting that programming for it was more effort than Cerny claimed.

“Yes it was more work [to program for PS4 Pro],” said Dave Elder, senior graphics programmer for the game. “It was about one month out of twelve strictly for PS4 Pro (so 8% ish). Mark Cerny’s number might be more accurate for an engine written exclusively for PS4 (we use Unreal Engine 3, which targets multiple platforms),” he conceded.

Elder also emphasized some of the enhancements for the game specific to the PS4 Pro, pointing out that this version of the game is basically equivalent to the Ultra settings on the PC version.

“We use asynchronous compute to keep the GPU fully busy during parts of the frame that wouldn’t otherwise fully utilize the GPU (for instance, running SSAO alongside shadow map generation).  That isn’t a player-visible feature, however, and the PS4 Pro version of the game is essentially equivalent to PC Ultra quality settings,” he said. Sakab Saikia, the principal graphics programmer, added,”Multithreading on the CPU allowed us to push more draw calls and increase shadow distances.”

So it sounds like the PS4 Pro can be more effort than developers bargained for- on the other hand, it also sounds like if those same developers work with it, they can get some stunning results out of it. It’s more work for more reward, but I don’t think anyone will complain in the end.

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  • C. Hoffer

    All comes back to the game engine quality/flexibility and developer abilities/resources.

  • Gamez Rule

    Still good. Wonder who much more it would be for Scorpio?

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    • Psionicinversion

      they could spend more time because scorpio has more hardware features than the pro like the programmable geometry pipeline which is only in vega gpus and the tiled rasterizer. other than that it would be an equal amount of work

    • Gamez Rule

      Until we know 100% we can only guess.

      Depends on many factors too, but as long as it gets done that’s what matters.

    • Psionicinversion

      Well not really the hardware isn’t going be that much different in terms of features. After that it’ll come down to dev tools, dx12 and what shader model 6 brings to the table for it

    • Gamez Rule

      Like I said until we know 100% we can only guess. There may be differences that we are not aware of.

    • Psionicinversion

      Ok well me and you will never know 100% because we aren’t game devs and unless you sit down with it and program for it you’ll only ever get vague answers because it’s to complex for us

    • Gamez Rule

      Maybe devs will compare, maybe they don’t, but as long as games keep coming that’s what counts.

    • Psionicinversion

      It depends on what devs do with it. What did the KF devs actually do in that 1 month of time, what does another Dev do, what don’t they do, what things do they prioritise, do they just implement checkerboard or do more.

      That’s the main difference between devs

    • Gamez Rule

      Hence why I stated “Depends on many factors too, but as long as it gets done that’s what matters”

    • According to a dev it took 1 day to render and optimize their title from pc to x1 using UWP that’s crazy if that’s the case compared to PS4Pro taking a considerable amount of time (Weeks/Months)

    • Gamez Rule

      Yes that would be crazy if that was the case. What dev and game was it?

  • Hvd

    lies cerny says it takes .2%-.3% effort and the ps4 pro has 8.4 tflops…..thats what sony and cerny say.

    • PS4Pro is capable of 8.4TF but in 2x 16bit floats mode which isn’t possible to make Uncharted looking games PS4Pro’s total overall GPU power is no higher then 4.2TF but halving the load with 2x16bit floats would make it more efficient but don’t expect higher than a 1080 gpu performance in that mode! And according to sources Xbox Scorpio has 1080 performance seeing as it has 320GB memory bandwidth which is actually equivalence to a 1080 gpu but slightly lower in overall flops by 2.9tf but more like 2.5tf because the Scorpio’s gpu won’t be exactly 6tf more like 6.2-6.4tf and coupled with the upgraded cpu it will push some great graphics!

      But more on that method if a dev was to use 2x16bit floats then that would make the Scorpio be capable of 12-13tf

    • Hvd

      lay off the kool-aid

    • justerthought

      You are a typical fanboy shouting your mouth off without knowing the full facts.

      The quoted 0.3% was the percentage that checkerboard rendering coding takes in a large AAA games that takes several years to make with a large team. The checkerboard workload stays the same, so it will be a larger percentage on small indy that only takes a year to make with a small team.

      The PS4 Pro is 4.2 tflops when calculating 16bit full floats, but in some cases, the full float is not needed and only half the memory slot is used because the number needed to be stored is only small. This is a waste, so the PS4 Pro allows the full float to be split in two, which means you get 8.4 tflops of processing in those situations. But it only works on small numbers. Ammo in your gun is a good example or your health as a percentage of 100%. Things like physics need finer increments for precision, so the numvbers are usually larger and need a full 16bit float. Those will run at 4.2 tflops.

      Educate yourself on some basic computer science and stop recycling fanboy crap you read on the forums.

  • XbotMK1

    The PS4 Pro is the same architecture as the PS4. The dev also chose to improve textures and other aspects which adds to the time. It doesn’t take one month to boost resolution and framerates.

    It all depends on developer skill, how the developer chooses to use the PS4 Pro and depends if the developer already has familiarity with optimizing for the PS4 Pro.

    Nice try, Gamingbutt.

    • justerthought

      The size of the game makes a big difference towards the actual percentage, because the coding to get the checkerboard rendering pipeline up and running is the same for a small indy sideways scroller or a AAA title like Horizon Zero Dawn.

      It’s not hard to see that checkerboard coding work on a small game would be a larger percentage of the overall job than something like Horizon Zero Dawn which took 4 years to make with a huge team. The coding may be 8% of a small indy game, but 0.3% of something like Horizon Zero Dawn.

      This is why a lot of indy devs are complaining about having to put in the work, but to be honest I only buy AAA games so those games are easily catered for within the overall budget, such as Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Wildlands which is a superb PS4 Pro port. It’s so good it’s the only place to play the game properly on console.

  • Gamez Rule

    I would rather wait a month to have a few extras with improved resolutions and frame-rates than a dev that’s just not willing to spend time on making their game better for the gamer.


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