We take loading screens for granted, but with the inclusion of SSDs (or solid state drives) in both the PS5 and the Xbox Scarlett, the next generation of hardware is promising to minimize them to the greatest extent possible, if not do away with them entirely. How well developers are able to do that with what the hardware is capable of is something that remains to be seen, but the very prospect of it has got a lot of studios quite excited, from big to small.
Another such developer is Hemanshu Chhabra of Triple-I Games, creative director of the upcoming choice-driven action adventure title Hindsight 20/20. In an interview with GamingBolt, Chhabra discussed the advantages SSDs are going to bring for developers and players, citing examples of his own game and how that utilizes loading times while doing so.
“SSDs in particular will drastically help improve loading times,” he said. “Some of our larger worlds, such as the towns can take a while to load. We do show some useful hints during this time, but ideally, we would like for players to experience the entire game without any interruptions. How great would that be?”
Chhabra went on to speak about how the concept of loading times has become something that’s deeply ingrained in video game experiences in general, which is ironic, because as the industry moves more and more in a direction where it becomes more accomplished at storytelling, the more it needs to make use of load times. As per Chhabra, thanks to SSDs, that’s something that might not be the case in the near future.
“Nowadays, we just accept loading times as a part of video games, particularly 3D video games,” he said. “The irony is that the more cinematic a game is, the costlier the assets and thus, the longer the loading times. I say this is an irony because one would not like to be interrupted with a loading screen while watching a movie in a theater, or while reading a book, that would just be unacceptable. Yet, for games, it is something that we have lived with for more than two decades now. And, we even have to design our worlds around it.
“I expect that future 3D games will be an uninterrupted experience, just like movies are. And, I also think that we will forget what loading is, it will end up becoming an antiquated concept.”
In the same interview, Chhabra also spoke to us about other aspects of next-gen hardware and how he expects those to improve development processes- more specifically, next gen CPUs and GPUs. Read more on that through here.
Triple-I Games’ Hindsight 20/20 is out some time next year for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch, though a concrete release date hasn’t yet been announced. Our full interview with Chhabra will be live soon, so stay tuned for the whole thing.