NEWS - Monday, January 13, 2014

Slightly Mad Studios goes next-gen for Project CARS at 1080p, 60fps

Not content with threatening Forza 5’s visual lead on Xbox One, Slightly Mad has confessed to a few "top secret" ideas for how Project CARS might make use of the Xbox Live cloud. Drivatars beware.

Speaking to Gamingbolt, creative director Andy Tudor also discussed the decision to dump Xbox 360 and PS3. "There were a number of factors that influenced the move," he began.

"Firstly the power of the next-gen consoles allows the game to be showcased as it was ’meant it to be seen’, the pipeline and architecture of the new machines makes the development process easier, we see the sharing features on both consoles as being extremely engaging for players, the ability to self-publish is appealing, retail space for last-gen games will slowly dwindle over the next year, and also given our timeline for launch there’ll be a better balance of the number of people out there in the mindset for next-gen gaming compared to those still playing their existing consoles.

"So overall there were a number of contributing arguments that indicated it was the right move to make."

Slightly Mad hopes to achieve the coveted 1080p resolution and 60 frames a second on all platforms, but this isn’t the top priority. "Our aim is always for the best gameplay experience possible and if that means 1080p/60fps is achievable without compromising ’awesome stuff happening whilst racing’ then fantastic," said Tudor. "So it’s the target yes, but it’s something every developer has to balance nearer to launch and it’ll be no different for ourselves."

As for the cloud, this is "pretty interesting and it opens up a new area for developers to explore in terms of design and technology. It might be useful for patching/updating the game but that’s not dissimilar to a digital download patch that players are already used to on Xbox Live.

"We have ideas for where we’d like to see cloud integration and those are top secret right now but I believe we’ll definitely see games utilise the cloud to add some very cool new features and design components to the next generation of games," Tudor concluded.

There was also a snippet of intel on the viability of Xbox One’s eSRAM - a chunk of super-fast RAM that’s designed to offset the console’s slower DDR3 RAM. "Our engine uses a light pre-pass style rendering approach and after experimenting with a number of different variations we found it was more efficient to use eSRAM to hold the deferred render targets," explained Tudor, terrifyingly. "Careful use of eSRAM like this for the various render stages mitigates some of the advantage that PS4 has with its faster unified GDDR5 memory."

Make of that what you will. The game’s out this year for next gen consoles and PC.


Note: You can find out more about Project CARS and Slightly Mad Studios at their official portal HERE.  Check out the official "Waiting for Dark" trailer below, and keep in mind that this is how good the game was looking when it was still targeted for CURRENT-GEN consoles.



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