God of War III Gets a Titan Boost from the Cell

Kratos’ PR campaign is full steam ahead, as PS3 epic exclusive God of War III is to be released in a few short weeks. Some of the team members over at Santa Monica Studios have been speaking about the technology that went into God of War III. It comes as no surprise the Cell brings a lot of muscle to the table.

On the God of War official forums SantaMonicaKen speaks candidly about the tech that went into making this game look as spectacular as it does.

On the subject of Anti-Aliasing (a technique to minimize jaggedness of pixels) he reveals the team chose MLAA.

AA on the cpu is MLAA Morphological Antialising. We saved 5-6 miliseconds by moving it off the cpu’s. Many props to our coder Cedric for making this happen and it looks way better!

Ken further details some of the tricks the team employed to maximize the results of the lighting.

For GoW3 we are not using screen space ambient occlusion. We are using a couple other versions of AO including baked for environments, AO texture maps and a pixel calculation that creates better shading on normal maps in indirect lit areas.

As many have seen from the E3 Demo (available in the PS Store), the lighting in God of War III is superb. Everything that should create light does and it becomes very apparent when you enter a darkened corridor.

Number of dynamic lights – ALOT! that is one of the big features of our engine. We built it around being able to use up to 20 dynamic lights per game object. The light can be big or small, it doesn’t matter. In the end, i believe we support up to 50 dynamic lights per game object. We are not using a differed lighting scheme. Our lead programmer Vassily came up with this amazing system during pre-production, us artists love it!!! We can place lights in Maya and have them update in realtime in the game on the PS3, its like being able to paint with lights. Lighting is fast and a very enjoyable artistic process.

While Ken is a little short on specifics for actual polygon counts he does reveal the detailed nature of the textures and various mapping techniques.

Off the top of my head i don’t remember exactly poly count numbers for the character. We use as many polys as it takes. My guess for Zues, Kratos and Hades is 25-30,000k triangles. Again, off the top of my head, texture sizes for these character is quite big. I think we are using 2048’s for the lower, upper body and head. Each character gets a normal, diffuse, specular, gloss(power map), AO, and skin shader map. We also use can layer textures to create more tiling, and use environment maps were needed, etc.

God of War III coming to PlayStation 3 in North America March 16th and Europe March 19th.