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Sucker Punch GDC Presentation Talks About Development of inFamous: Second Son and Developing for the PS4

April 16, 2014 Written by Kayvon Ghoreshi

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At GDC this year, Adrian Bentley, lead engine programmer for inFamous: Second Son, gave a talk about the development of inFamous: Second Son as well as about development on the PS4 in general. The presentation, which you can view in full here, was very technical, but here are some of the highlight slides.

As you may know, the PS4 sports 8GB of RAM with roughly 4.5GB available to developers. Bentley broke down how they used this available memory and even mentioned that there were still “hundreds of MB” that could be used.

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Sucker Punch also showed a comparison between the rendering systems of inFamous 2, which was developed for PS3, and inFamous: Second Son.

In Second Son we added more jobs. We front load a lot more work in visibility checking once we’ve decided to draw something. Overall the jobs are much more complex than they were before.

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The presentation also touched on the PS4′s CPU, and while it worked well, it also served as one of Sucker Punch’s “main bottlenecks” indicating their is room for improvement.

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The presentation also talked about the pros and cons of compute. For example, it is great for caching data and allows for easier code generation, but it can’t hide latency and can be difficult to optimize around CPU syncs. Sucker Punch also shared some advice with fellow PS4 developers about compute and also added that:

Through a combination of code changes and compiler improvements, we were able to speed up our tiled deferred pass by 75%. This is the power of registers. It will also matter a huge amount if you’re running in a compute queue. Too many resources and won’t be able to overlap with other execution.

Compute queues are definitely the way of the future though.

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As part of the online presentation, which was posted today, Sucker Punch also included some bonus slides, which can be seen below, that detailed the development of the environment and the character models.

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What are your thoughts on Sucker Punch’s approach to PS4 development? Did you even understand anything you just read? Let us know in the comments.