We recently got a chance to speak to Thomas Puha, director of developer relations at Umbra, which is used to create large and expansive worlds, and currently in use for next generation titles like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Quantum Break and Destiny.
On asking Puha what was possible for Umbra on next generation consoles like the Xbox One and PS4, he stated, “The CPU’s of the new consoles are not that insanely powerful, but there’s a huge amount of memory to play around with and of course, a powerful GPU allowing for Compute stuff which we’ll see years down the line. Just in general the horsepower of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is significant.
“Large static objects are the best occluders: buildings, mountains and such, but dynamic elements such as characters and cars are not. However, next-generation game worlds will be far more dynamic than before. Lots more characters and the ability for players to do things like build content on their own, so you need a system that is not so static, but more dynamic.
“We do have a system in place that allows you use, say a massive spaceship or a large boss character as an occluder, which is pretty cool.”
We’ve certainly seen larger worlds and greater amounts of characters for games like The Witcher 3 and with the large amount of open world games, like The Crew, Destiny and Tom Clancy’s The Division, on their way.
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