The Vanishing of Ethan Carter PS4 Patch, Dynamic Frame-Rate Explained by The Astronauts

July 17, 2015 Written by Jason Dunning

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Released earlier this week on PlayStation 4, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter from developer The Astronauts received a rather large 4.8GB update at launch.

Taking to their website, The Astronauts explained that they discovered a single rare bug which affected a couple of people. You can read the spoiler-filled details over here, which involves being unable to interact with objects. While they’ve managed to fix the issue with the patch, if it happened to you already, “Unfortunately you need to Start New Game.”

They then talked about why the patch is such a big download:

The way patch systems usually work is that you take the original file, compare it to the new file and only put the differences in the patch file. For some reason, in our case such an operation – despite only a few changes to the game – still produced a large patch file. Maybe the reason is that our game uses just one gamedata file for quick access, and CRC changed all over the place.

We figured it’s still better to produce a large patch as quickly as possible – even if the changes are small – than to delay the patch and see if we can make it smaller. Remember that all patches need to go through the certification process to make sure the fixes did not cause any new issues (game developers know what we’re talking about here…) and we did not want any extra delays.

The Astronauts have one more patch, “hopefully the final one,” planned for The Vanishing of Ethan Carter on PS4. While they’re waiting to see if any other issues are discovered before working on it, they will be addressing two rare visual glitches affecting 1 out of 10,000 people, which actually disappear if you restart the game.

After discussing the various improvements to the PS4 version over the PC version (eliminating data-streaming stutter, lessening backtracking, tweaking scary/exhausting sections, minor visual tweaks), the developers tried to clear up any confusion regarding the dynamic frame-rate in Ethan Carter on PS4:

We find this a bit puzzling, as to us it’s better to have full 1080p graphics in 30-60 fps than in a 30 fps lock. The game never (or maybe “very rarely” is safer to say) goes below 30fps, but when it can, it goes up to 60 fps and anything in between. Every frame is progressive so there is never any screen tearing.

But some players prefer the lock, and if we just released the game locked at 30fps we wouldn’t hear any complaints. So we will add the option to lock the frame-rate at 30fps and might even make it the default setting. You will still be able to unlock the dynamic frame-rate, of course.

If you don’t want to buy The Vanishing of Ethan Carter through the PlayStation Store, there will “most likely” be a physical version, “just not very soon.”

Next up for The Astronauts in terms of new projects, they won’t be working on Ethan Carter 2 or anything similar, but they are “still very interested in merging gameplay and story-telling into one cohesive whole, though. Making the two indistinguishable from each other.” Since they’re dedicated to great visuals, they’ll keep using the photogrammetry, while also adding dynamic weather and “other cool things.”

Did you buy The Vanishing of Ethan Carter this week?

[Source: The Astronauts]