Capcom: Next-Gen Development "Eight to Ten Times" More Work

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Capcom: Next-Gen Development "Eight to Ten Times" More Work

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The PS4 and Xbox One have some nice hardware, but with great power comes a great learning curve.

When you get down to it, both the PS4 and Xbox One are basically PCs under the hood. Their x86 architecture has earned quite a few points with developers, who have said that the new generation's similarity to PCs make it easier to develop for consoles. Capcom begs to differ, though: while it's gotten easier to do little things, it's far more difficult to make a game that lives up to players' expectations. About ten times more difficult, in fact.

Capcom has crafted a new engine (Panta Rhei) to use as a baseline for their development going forward. The old one was working fine, but evidently it couldn't scale up to max out the new consoles. "Next-gen consoles have drastically redefined the way games are rendered," says Capcom senior manager Masaru Ijuin. "Conventional theories no longer work."

Ijuin believes that the Panta Rhei engine is capable of "unlocking the full potential" of the new consoles. It'll take some getting used to, but he says that the change is necessary. "If we create games the same way as before, we won't be able to give our fans what they want, and that's games unlike any they have ever played ... but it's clear that heightened game quality leads to a rise in the number of man hours. The amount of work involved in making games for next-gen consoles is eight to ten times greater than what is required for the current generation of consoles."

It's easy to see where that work is going - there's new physics to be implemented, new lighting effects to program, and much more detail for art teams to create. It all points back to the big question of the new generation's value: if these games will take eight times longer to create, will they be eight times better than last gen games?

Source: OXM

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More PR bullshit. If devs can make them for PC it should be easy enough to scale it down for the consoles.

To use an analogy, the new console generation is like going from a small car to a slightly larger car. Sure there's some slight adaptation to be made but surely it's not like they're going from a moped to a dump truck in one go.

Sight Unseen:
More PR bullshit. If devs can make them for PC it should be easy enough to scale it down for the consoles.

To use an analogy, the new console generation is like going from a small car to a slightly larger car. Sure there's some slight adaptation to be made but surely it's not like they're going from a moped to a dump truck in one go.

I can see some problem trying to implement each consoles unique features, kinect for microsoft and uh what ever it is the PS4 does, the control motion sensor thingy I think?

Beyond that I'm not certain what the problems would be beyond devs not knowing each systems unique quirks yet. As far as the actual quotes ya it seems mostly PR bull. The software isn't groundbreaking at all. Making it work with in each consoles limitations can be a problem but they act like the software is suddenly so much more revolutionary and zomg they've never worked with such power....

For the love of God... FUCKING NO!. Why do these devs have to come up with that same bullshit!?, NO!, you don't have to exploit the damned thing at it's fullest!, their previous engine was already good enough!, they could've just ramped up the resolution and make things run at 60 fps, you know, like Capcom's own games on a PC.

But no, please do give us mediocre games with pretty graphics and then blame your own customers for being "too old" to buy your games.

Now if only they'd put that eight to ten times effort into making the games playable and enjoyable, instead of just prettied-up retreads of old, bad ideas.

Does anyone else get to thinking that Capcom's obsession with QTEs is a desire to keep players from missing those whiz-bang next-gen-graphics setpieces?

I've worked in the gaming industry and it's brutal on developers when they have to work on a new gen of consoles. It's a sharp learning curve and a great deal of time to get used to it working. PC companies have the luxury of choosing where they want their game to fix into the mix, lowered end graphics and focus on gameplay/story or try and be groundbreaking. If their game is six or a year months behind the current graphics/hardware, if it's good, it will still sell.

Where on the console there is always a need to be pushed especially with games to be released in the first year, here is the thing it's kind of like expansion time for your favourite MMO you may be awesome with maxed out gear and know all the current raids and so on. But the day that expansion comes out all that you know and done counts for nothing. This is what Devs go through every time consoles move up a gen.

For those who say "just up the old engine" is a simple answer and would be short sighted. Sadly Graphics do sell, people by pretty things, it makes them feel it has value. I'm not saying every gamer feels this way I certainly don't but it still sells games and consoles. I'm hoping this is the generation that will have a change away from that but it's hard to say. But until that changes game devs will feel the whip from their masters who will most likely only be able to tell how good a game is by the graphics. So I do feel a a bit for the guys working 12+ hours a day fixing memory leaks and going through line after line of code just trying to make the system come alive. In time they will have lots of code written that can be used and the know how of what is needed to make these consoles purr but for now I feel their pain, and regardless if you hate them or not, lots of people are missing time with family and friends so you get a shiny new game so please show a bit of respect to those people.

"Next gen will be even easier!"

"Next gen will be just as hard."

"Next gen will be marginally more difficult."

"TEN TIMES MORE."

Make up your mind, gaming industry.

The Rogue Wolf:

Does anyone else get to thinking that Capcom's obsession with QTEs is a desire to keep players from missing those whiz-bang next-gen-graphics setpieces?

Obsession with QTEs? They have four IPs (Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, Asura's Wrath, Lost Planet) out of dozens that have any at all, Asura's Wrath was developed by CyberConnect2 and two of those didn't even have QTEs til they were outsourced to western devs.

SupahGamuh:

For the love of God... FUCKING NO!. Why do these devs have to come up with that same bullshit!?, NO!, you don't have to exploit the damned thing at it's fullest!, their previous engine was already good enough!, they could've just ramped up the resolution and make things run at 60 fps, you know, like Capcom's own games on a PC.

So... keep building the games for 360 and PS3, port it and up-res it? That actually sounds like more work and forgets that they might want to phase out the old stuff to advance their options in development. Yeah they've ported to pc before but it doesn't make sense to port up to new consoles when the explicitly stated goal is to start using those new consoles as a baseline. Wouldn't be surprised if this Panta Rhei was based off of MT Frameworks anyway.

Plus all of the complaints kind of ignore that at the end of the day it's still new architecture for them to work with. The article itself seems to be ignoring the entire existence of GPUs.

Don't worry Capcom, you don't need to put in 8 to 10 times more work to match up to my expectations, I already expect very little.

Cognimancer:
"Next-gen consoles have drastically redefined the way games are rendered," says Capcom senior manager Masaru Ijuin.

Oh god I'm going to burst my spleen from overwhelming laughter if he continues.

The resolution is capped at 720. Does changing how a game is rendered make it any different to what the previous generation looked like?

Umm isn't this the case with every new console generation? New consoles mean new technology and with it the learning curve required to fully understand and utilize said technology.

So does this mean they need to make eight to ten times more money or their games will be failures? This is Capcom, so eight to ten times more DLC?

Maybe if they'd put in 8 to 10 times more effort in the last gen they might have made a few good games.

Cognimancer:
"If we create games the same way as before, we won't be able to give our fans what they want, and that's games unlike any they have ever played

The games I played that were unlike anything before were rarely needing cutting edge processing power.

Better graphics = better games?

Dev: look how realistic our titan looks!
player: your titan seems to be stuck in a wall.
Dev: Yes but is doing so fabulously!
Player: what is a titan doing in this game anyway? I thought it was about marines fighting off foreign invaders. How does it fit in the story?
Dev: Look how the light reflects of its armor! Look!!!

By the way he's talking you'd figure these next-gen consoles were freaking Quantum Computers.

Not completely normal computers using an instruction set literally decades old and a CPU/GPU solution that's existed for years. Conventional Theories still work. This thing's still using them. Nothing has been redefined. Games are still rendered exactly the same, shit loads of floating point operations.

I'm not sure if I count as a fan, but here is a summary of what I want from you, Capcom:

1) A refined sequel to Dragon's Dogma

2) Megaman Legends 3

3) A proper Breath of Fire game(not an "Easy touch type online RPG")

That's pretty much it. Please get on that ASAP.

Can't they just use UE4 which is supposed to be much simpler and quicker as far as game building goes?

It's not like they put in any effort to their games anyway.

8 to 10 is absolute BS. If games cost 10-30 million last gen, there is no way that Capcom is spending 100-300 million on them now. Even the craziest developer would sit down and say 'maybe we don't need the maximum graphical power[/i]

Scars Unseen:
I'm not sure if I count as a fan, but here is a summary of what I want from you, Capcom:

1) A refined sequel to Dragon's Dogma

2) Megaman Legends 3

3) A proper Breath of Fire game(not an "Easy touch type online RPG")

That's pretty much it. Please get on that ASAP.

adding to that list, please can we have Resident evil HD remake of RE 1-3. For us aging Capcom fans.

Resident Evil Revelations showed how Resident evil can still be fun. more that direction please.

BrotherRool:
8 to 10 is absolute BS. If games cost 10-30 million last gen, there is no way that Capcom is spending 100-300 million on them now. Even the craziest developer would sit down and say 'maybe we don't need the maximum graphical power[/i]

It's not about the graphics, but rather about working with technology they're unfamiliar with. Still bullshit, so your conclusion is still valid.

OT: Having played some of Capcom's PC ports I can see why they would say that the PC architecture of this generation's consoles is causing them so much difficulties.

Capcom makes early excuses for releasing crap games.

World moves on.

I can't see what else they'd hope to gain by coming out and saying this when many others are more than happy with the way things are now.

If their engine is shit then I bet it will be a lot harder to make games on it. From what I have seen from CryEngine 3 and Unreal Engine 4 they seem to cut down a lot of the crap that used to get in the way and offer a faster and easier way to achieve the same if not more.

KDR_11k:

Cognimancer:
"If we create games the same way as before, we won't be able to give our fans what they want, and that's games unlike any they have ever played

The games I played that were unlike anything before were rarely needing cutting edge processing power.

This is the most elegant counter to Capcoms entire PR thrust.

A separate point: blatantly trying to lower the public's expectations just sounds like whining, more so when it is an entertainment company. They produce fun, not oil, vaccines or jet engines. They should act like it. As should their stock holders, who I'm sure are part of the problem.

This smells more of "our new game engine is shit for the devs" rather than anything to do with the hardware of the game consoles.

Or they didn't bother to ask whom ever does the PC work there about the hardware.

Bullshit.

The transitioning period is hard, yes, as is the case with any new piece of hard- and software you need to work with.

However, as far as I know, there aren't any major time-consuming techniques introduced like in the previous generation. (By the way, I'm talking about normal mapping. Making a model that only needs a diffuse map as opposed to something that needs to be sculpted, decimated, retopologized, unwrapped, caged and baked... Well, let's just say, there's definitely a difference in time and effort there.)

I mean, sure, these days, you've got all kinds of maps. If you create your own engine you can decide yourself what kind of maps you need for what purpose. DOTA 2, for example, uses 4 different maps for every object: 1 diffuse, 1 normal and 2 custom maps of each 4 channels in which each channel controls a different attribute: detail mask, diffuse/fresnel mask, metalness, self-illumination, specular exponent, specular intensity, rimlight intensity and a tint specular based on the color map.

And guess what, of all those maps, most work still goes into the diffuse and the normal.

What does that even mean the old engine couldn't "scale up to max out the new consoles"?
Did they completely hard code the thing or something? Is it not modular in any way?
Are their code monkeys truly this terrible?
Also they really think "fans" want "games unlike any they have ever played"?
How about games they already know?
Like a breath of fire that is not a mobile phone game?
Dragons dogma: the polished game edition?
A resident evil that is not terrible?
Fucking mega man?
No one wants those? No? Ok.

Does that man have any idea of anything he's talking about?
This smells of marketing bullshit.

agent_orange420:

Scars Unseen:
I'm not sure if I count as a fan, but here is a summary of what I want from you, Capcom:

1) A refined sequel to Dragon's Dogma

2) Megaman Legends 3

3) A proper Breath of Fire game(not an "Easy touch type online RPG")

That's pretty much it. Please get on that ASAP.

adding to that list, please can we have Resident evil HD remake of RE 1-3. For us aging Capcom fans.

Resident Evil Revelations showed how Resident evil can still be fun. more that direction please.

At this point they need a new horror franchise in the vein of Resident Evil, or a complete horror themed reboot so as to once again make it actually tense. The originals were good, but much like a LOT of playstation 1 games they were born in a time where control schemes for games were still being perfected for 3d. The result is that Resident Evil 1-3 (and Code Veronica and The Game Cube one with the train) got their sense of tension from the controls and fixed camera as much as from the setting.

That and as a fan of Resident Evil, I know I've seen just about every "sane" scheme Umbrella had once I got through Code Veronica. The insane "take over the worldish" plots that followed went strait into 90s Saturday AM super villain territory.

As far as this article: it sounds ambiguous or exaggerated. Maybe Capcom is going through a mass hiring for new programmers? I'm still keeping my hopes up that we get Mantle support on PS4 just to make sure it doesn't go the way of PhysX.

Sorry what?

X86 and the Universal Shader Pipeline is probably the most known domain for writing games on. There is literally tonnes of literature available for coding efficiently for games and common optimizations for common problems.

If they make 10 times extra work, its because they made the work themselves. Like unreasonable graphics expectations for modelers and animators. I'm guessing since they code the engine in house it's subpar tools though. A lot of suits seem to think that Usability Engineering is a waste of money or that coding everything inhouse is more cost effective when really it's not.

God, I see this so much with the developers in New Zealand/Australia. I don't even want to get started.

Colt47:

As far as this article: it sounds ambiguous or exaggerated. Maybe Capcom is going through a mass hiring for new programmers? I'm still keeping my hopes up that we get Mantle support on PS4 just to make sure it doesn't go the way of PhysX.

PhysX is still pretty much the defacto off the shelf library. PhysX hasn't gone anywhere.

Well then, I suppose they'd better start working harder than they'd ever worked before in their lives. Much harder.

Better get started, chaps.

He is thinking in terms of graphics not game play. Looking back on 360, i loved the graphics for GTA5, Farcry 3 and AC4. Im happy with those graphics and would rather they use the extra power on gameplay instead of graphics. Other wise we still get the same old games with better graphics, its why Cod game are the same where as when the 360 was released i thought we would get bigger scale games, like an epic scale WW2 shooter. But yet, just same corridor shooter with nice looking corridors.

Also there is no need to max out the consoles power. Just look at the quality of games at the start of the 360/PS3 compared to those released 8 years later? Gameplay first, graphics afterwards.

They should have chosen their words more wisely. None of their more recent games have "lived up to players' expectations", and that had little to do with hardware architectures.

*cough*Resident Evil 6*cough*

*OOhh noooo now we can't just 1/2 ass game to make money off the consoles anymore because now they will actually take time and effort, our poor profits QQ.*

Maybe now they will put effort effort into game making to actually make DECENT AAA titles rather then have them be a joke.

But it's clear that heightened game quality leads to a rise in the number of man hours. The amount of work involved in making games for next-gen consoles is eight to ten times greater than what is required for the current generation of consoles

Quality? Like graphical fidelity?
Since when was that a requirement to make a quality game?

I should point out that the word "expecations" was not mentioned in the source and it might be prudent to change the article to reflect that they're not working to meet expecations of players, rather than produce the same results as on previous consoles.

I know that I would've responded very differently, if "meeting player's expecations" was what CAPCOM had said.
Always read the source folks.

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