â??Sonyâ??s HD development hype was rightâ??

â??Sonyâ??s HD development hype was rightâ??

By Rob Crossley

September 29th 2009 at 4:38PM

British-based GC maestros Digi-Guys break their silence on the WarDevil project

Game and CGI production studio Digi-Guys has challenged the belief that the PS3’s graphical power is hampered by its complexity.

Developers have in the past spoken out against the PS3’s sophisticated hardware. In 2007 Gabe Newell said that Sony’s flagship console was “a total disaster” due to the barriers involved in developing games for it.

Crytek UK’s Karl Hilton, meanwhile, recently revealed to Develop that the PS3’s complexity had troubled the development of FPS Haze.

However, British CG specialists Digi-Guys – a development studio formed within the world-renowned Pinewood film offices – offered a ringing endorsement of Sony’s powerful console.

“Sony’s hype was right,” said Andy Whitehurst, Digi-Guys founder and veteran GC artist, speaking of Sony’s claim that the Cell processor is ideal for the future of HD gaming.

“It’s advantageous for our thought process. There’s better filtering on the Xbox 360 but the whole thing comes together better on PS3,” he added.

Whitehurst has also revealed that Digi-Guys’ longstanding project – a thirdperson shooter called WarDevil – is being developed on the PS3 as lead platform.

Speaking in the latest issue of Edge Magazine, Whitehurst reveals a string of eyebrow-raising details about WarDevil, a game that runs at 1080p, at 60fps.
 
The project uses a unique pre-calculated texture system, which Whitehurst says “gives us the ability to have an enormous amount of textures on-screen, at a fidelity we can use in 35mm or 65mm formats without altering them.”

Describing the textures as ‘Hollywood grade’, he reveals in the magazine that WarDevil utilises the PS3’s texture bandwidth to support 1k of texture for every square meter of gameworld, at 1024x1024, while the characters faces are rendered with 2k face textures at 2048x2048.

“It’s not dissimilar from many normal industry practices,” adds Whitehurst, “but we pushed it in another direction by holding colour, grading, lighting, diffuse, specular and even bump maps in a single PCTS [pre-calculated texture system] data structure. This information lets us separate it into separate channels for complex effects.”