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Killzone: Shadow Fall PS4 Demo Only Used 3GB RAM for Video Memory of 8GB

May 14, 2013 Written by Jason Dunning

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A gigantic 103 page PDF by Michal Valient, Lead Tech at Guerrilla Games, was published recently (via GAF), giving us some further insight into the Killzone: Shadow Fall demo that debuted during the PS4 unveiling, as well as reconfirming that Guerrilla is working on an “unannounced new IP” in addition to Shadow Fall.

Once again saying that the FPS is planned for PS4 launch, the demo’s Post Mortem also revealed that it used just over 3GB of the system’s 8GB RAM for video memory. Not only that, Shadow Fall uses “around 40k polygons for the highest LOD (Level of Detail)” on characters, compared to the 10k seen in Killzone 3.

Since there’s so much information found in the file (mostly technical and various images), here’s a rundown of some of the more interesting pieces of information:

  • Profiling tools are still in development this early on, so Guerrilla developer their own CPU and GPU profiler
  • Guerrilla’s “biggest performance challenge was thread contention”
  • They “had a few fights with the PS4 thread scheduler,” but they say to “just play nice, system mutexes are very fast”
  • Depth of field was one of their “most expensive effects” before they utilized a variety of optimization tips
  • There’s “a lot of Guerrilla secret sauce” in the reflections
  • For volumetrics, they were “implemented as straightforward raymarching,” and although Guerrilla wanted “something fancier and faster,” they were “pleasantly surprised with the PS4 performance”
  • Guerrilla has learned that the “PS4 is really easy to program for,” “GPU is really fast,” and “GDDR5 bandwidth is awesome!”
  • It then ends with “We’ve only scratched the surface.”

Here’s a technical video, but check out the cool Matrix look at 2:22:

How much of the details made sense to you? Let us know in the comments below.