Ghostbusters: PC version beats console variant in graphics
Ghostbusters: The Video Game is scheduled for release on June 16, 2009. PC Games Hardware already got some exclusive details on the technology the game is based on.
Terminal Reality is currently developing the highly anticipated Ghostbusters: The Video Game. PC Games Hardware had the chance to interview Mark Randel, President and Chief Technologist at Terminal Reality, and Joe Kreiner, VP Sales and Marketing for Terminal Reality's Infernal Engine. They answered our questions about the technology behind Ghostbusters: The Video Game and revealed some interesting facts.
PCGH: Did you develop your own engine for Ghostbusters: The Video Game or did you license a technology? What were the reasons for developing your own technology/using middleware? What are the advantages when utilizing your own technology/a commercial product?
Joe Kreiner: Terminal Reality has always been about tools and technology. Founded by our lead technologist and President, Mark Randel in 1994, we've always used in house engine technology. So much so, that after 5 years of internal development, we are licensing the Infernal Engine (technology behind Ghostbusters: The Video Game) to other game developers.
PCGH: You announced that your game will be developed for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. Will the engine then be a pure cross-platform product or will there be an optimized version for the PC? If there is a special built for the PC what technical feature can't be realized with the console version or in other words are there any features the PC is the ideal platform to develop for?
Mark Randel: The PC will most definitely be an optimized version. For example, if you have a fast SLI/Crossfire rig, you can turn on per pixel screen space ambient occlusion. The game will perform up to 64 raytraces per pixel on the screen to increase the detail level. That is something you cannot do on the current consoles. Plus you can increase shadow map resolution and use super high resolution textures if you have the memory!
PCGH: Having a closer look at the release PC Screenshots it becomes clear that a very detailed visual presentation seems to have played an important role while developing Ghostbusters: The Video Game. Do you leverage very modern rendering techniques like Parallax Occlusion Mapping, Soft Shadows, HDR, a lighting model with Deferred Shading, Screen Space Ambient Occlusion, Shader Model 4.0 or post effects like Tone Mapping, Depth of Field or Motion Blur? If yes can you please give examples how this modern rendering techniques are utilized in Ghostbusters: The Video Game?
Mark Randel: All versions use modern techniques and more - you'll see lots of parallax mapping, even on the PS3. Dynamic soft shadows, HDR, tone mapping, radiosity lighting, and other techniques will be used. Ghostbusters uses over 4900 unique rendering materials that could not be achieved or handled with the current "buzz" of deferred shading. Only the low overhead rendering techniques inside of the Infernal Engine can support this diverse set of material fidelity. For example, the advanced skin and hair shading of the Ghostbusters characters could not be done with deferred rendering due to the use of translucency.
PCGH: When Developing do you try to leverage very modern PC-Technologies like Dual-GPU-Rendering/SLI- or Crossfire-Systems)? In other words: As far as overall performance is concerned, can players increase it remarkably by buying a second graphics card or a card with two GPUs? Do you have to add the support for multi GPU setting when developing the PC Version?
Mark Randel: Most definitely if you have an SLI rig, Ghostbusters will take full advantage of it. Right now, with all the rendering features on, you'll need one to render at the highest visual quality.
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