Developers are excited about the growth game worlds will potentially see with next-gen hardware.
While circumstances out of Sony and Microsoft’s hands have thrown something of a question mark over whether or not the PS5 and the Xbox Series X will be able to hit their intended Holiday 2020 launch dates, there’s no question that whenever they do release, they’ll lead to some impressive advancements in game design and technology. Developers and publishers from the industry have spoken a lot about how excited they are about what both these consoles will enable them to do with their more powerful hardware.
IGN recently posted an article with several developers from across the industry doing some more of that, and some really interesting insight emerged from that. In particular, various developers are looking forward to the new consoles having an impact on actual game design, not just how pretty new games will look. Specifically, some spoke about being able to make much larger and more seamless worlds.
“The increased power and speed of consoles like the Xbox Series X will mean worlds many times bigger than we’ve seen before, and with more stuff in them too,” said Elijah Freeman, the VP of Virtuos’ of Games Division. “You’ll also be able to move around them much quicker, whether that’s driving in a high-speed sports car or flying around on a dragon, perhaps with no loading screens at all.”
Bryant Cannon, lead developer at Night School Studio – the developer of Oxenfree and Afterparty – talked about the consoles’ SSDs in particular, saying, “Having an SSD, the actual gameplay implication that I think of first is world streaming. That’s something that’s really hard to do seamlessly, especially with a studio of our size, and having a solid state drive where we can be pretty sure that the level is going to load in seconds, we can have a streaming world that doesn’t really impact our performance too much and it doesn’t have too many design problems when it comes to hiding the loading from the player.”
It should be interesting to see how long such upgrades take to rear their face, especially because various developers – including Square Enix and even Microsoft – won’t be developing next-gen exclusive titles for a while, which means they’ll have to ensure any games they make work well on the much weaker hardware of current-gen consoles as well.