Complex graphics â??bring the iPad to its kneesâ??

Complex graphics â??bring the iPad to its kneesâ??

By Stuart Richardson

May 13th 2010 at 9:21AM

Platformâ??s 3D chip unable to deal with fill rate of â??a lot of gamesâ??

Brian Greenstone, CEO for Pangea Software – the iPhone games studio working on content for the iPad – has told Develop that the iPad 3D chip is “a mobile chip, and not really designed for such a high resolution screen.”

“That means it’s a little bit fill rate limited – if you’ve got a lot of overlapping 3D models and fog or a complex environment like a lot of games, it brings the iPad to its knees,” he said.

“The processor is super-fast, but the graphics chip can get bottlenecked, and that has been the challenge.”

Greenstone went on to say that, for some of his games, a small drop of a graphics resolution slider countered by an upscailing on the hardware’s behalf means a near unpercievable change that helps the iPad back on its feet.

Elsewhere in the Develop feature Greenstone spoke in – which looked at the issues around developing for the iPad platform – several other developers spoke about the difficulties of the still relatively unknown job.

Michel Kripalani, Autodesk games boss, also spoke about the difficulties of creating content for a new platform that is somewhat hard to define.

“It’s great to have lots of extra screen real-estate, but all of those extra pixels have to be used properly,” he said.

“You can’t just take the existing iPhone experience, up-res the graphics and expect it to look good. The best iPad apps are the one built for purpose.”

This seeming conflict, requiring bigger titles with stripped-down graphics, may prove to be an interesting hurdle for iPad devs. Many of them remain upbeat, however.

Arkadium game production director Jeremy Mayes spoke of his belief that the iPad will get people to start playing games together again.

“I’m talking about people playing games together in the same room. The kind of ‘social games’ that we played long before Facebook existed. [The iPad] makes social gaming fun again,” he said.

The full feature can be read here.