Randy Pitchford interviewed about Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
At the Ubidays we had the chance to talk with Gearbox's Randy Pitchford about Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway.
Randy Pitchford: Yes, we support DX10 and we have no problems with that. With DX10 we can do some things and that creates some new options for us. There is a lot of different ways you can write a pixel shader. We have an eyeball shader that has like 300 instructions in it. Because sometimes you get in really close and you want to see the glint, a modeled iris and you want to see the water wells up when you want that emotion. Another cases is, you hold back a little bit because you don't want to hold up the performance on instructions that don't matter. You are looking at PC version right there (Randy points at the PC Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway is presented), I actually do not know what hardware that is. I think that it's an Nvidia chip in that box. An Nvidia 8800 chip.
PCGH: Do you know if it is a Dual or Quad Core in there?
Randy Pitchford: I don't know actually. We do support multi-threading, so if you have more cores it'll be easier for you to get the performance you are looking for in higher resolutions. You know nothing beats a big fat PC with a lot of graphics processing, a lot of cores and a lot of memory in DX10. That is going to be your best image. But I love the 360 version, I'm proud of the PS3 version. But yea, if you got Vista, you got DX10 and you've got a powerful machine you probably get the best looking Brothers in Arms version.
Randy Pitchford: Well you know there are a lot of people that don't have Vista. And so we also support DX9; if you have a XP machine you will be able to play the game. There is a little bit of difference there, but most people won't notice the difference. But there are some advantages in some cases and there are some trade-offs you have to make in order to have higher fidelity graphics. And most PC gamers are comfortable with those trade-offs. They understand: when I turn more features on, I'm gonna expect a performance cost there. But obviously the future is better than the past, and so DX10 does some things that we can't do in DX9. The trick is: How you balance your investment towards that, relative to the amount of how many people play the game. Most people that play Brothers in Arms on the PC, we expect, will be playing it on XP. So we are gonna support DX9 and make that version look great. But we got a lot of technophiles at Gearbox, we got a lot of guys that like to use technology and they have the best hardware under the sun and they have the best hardware on the planet and so when they find some advantages and they want to take advantage of them they do. One of the things that is interesting for us though, about Gearbox and the games we make, we never have really been about trying to, you know,... really ... I mean the game looks beautiful, the game looks great but we don't front load that. Because it is the graphics that are a vehicle for the fantasy and the experience, they are not the end. A pretty game that sucks, I'm not interested in. You know what I mean? So we spend more of our time thinking over the experience. The graphics help us believe it, helps us get immersed. Look at the scene. See how the water, the rain is illuminated by the streetlamp? I mean that's just awesome stuff.
PCGH: It's still DX9 stuff isn't it?
Randy Pitchford: This is the DX9 version. I think what will happen when the game comes out, you know, people look at the difference and try to depict it and only like one percent of one percent will be able to get in there and feel the difference and notice and will be able to point out: "Oops see that? That's where you get some value out of DX10” But some people care about that.
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