Lead cinematic animator Maciej Pietras talks about accounting for new features from the beginning.
CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077 has been an interesting enigma since its debut at E3 2018. Though the developer hosted a behind-closed-doors session for its one hour work-in-progress gameplay demo, this was later released for the whole world to see. The response has been positive, but CD Projekt RED has been adamant about this not representing the final state of the game.
Furthermore, concerns about optimization for the demo – especially since it wasn’t running in 60 frames per second and used some fairly strong hardware – have been raised. To address this, CG Magazine sat down with lead cinematic animator Maciej Pietras and spoke about how the studio is dealing with optimization.
The publication first asked if there were concepts that either Pietras or the studio created that weren’t possible due to hardware limitations. He responded, “Oh no, actually from the top we knew we were developing the game for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. And we started the process of optimization right at the start. So that’s probably what you see running the demo is a PC with like an i7 and 1080TI, so it’s not astronomical specs.
“Basically, because we are thinking from scratch about optimization, how streaming works, how to introduce global illumination for instance without overwhelming the PC or the GPU. Now we take those things into account right at the start and optimize for that.”
Thus far, there haven’t been issues when it comes to implementing features. In fact, there’s an entire team of programmers devoted to the optimization part. “You know we’re working on the Red Engine which we are still upgrading. You know we are always finding new ways to use the new technical features that speed up the work and there are very low costs when it comes to the optimization part, and as I said, that we have a team of programmers who are dedicated to work on optimization.
“Simply because of that, I don’t think we ever reached that point and say something is too costly based on hardware requirements. That did not happen yet. What we showed in the demo was running in real runtime so there’s nothing there that we were trying to hide.”
With a possible launch in 2019, we’re still some time off from witnessing the final product in action. If Cyberpunk 2077 is as massive as CD Projekt RED is hyping it up to be, the development team certainly has its work cut out for it.