Getting (arguably) the most attention from Sony during their PlayStation 4 unveiling back in February was Guerrilla Games’ Killzone: Shadow Fall. This PS4 launch title had a lot riding on its shoulders during that meeting, with Michiel Van Der Leeuw, Technical Director at Guerrilla Games, revealing to Edge that when it came to the on stage demo, they “said ‘no back-up videos.'”
Because of the fact that it was live, they were a little worried, with Michiel adding that they “fixed three bugs in the last day that were very, very rare and only happened like once in a hundred playthroughs, but we knew that three of those bugs were in there.” He continued: “So theoretically, there was like a three in a hundred chance of a crash. I was very nervous seeing Stephen playing on stage and a lot of coders here in the Amsterdam office watching live-stream were also really, really nervous. But we made it through.”
Guerrilla confirmed that the demo was running at 30fps, their target, and Van Der Leeuw went on to detail how they’re taking advantage of the PlayStation 4:
I think we were running on all the different cores for all the different systems, including AI and gameplay which we’ve never done before. We’ve never utilised the CPU power we’ve had like this. We had about sixty guys running around in the demo which is far over what we’ve been able to do before – that’s about three or four times more.
Animation networking quality was much higher, I think it’s just basically been proven that the amount of time it takes AI programmers to get their code up and running in parallel is so much easier that it just enables us to do much more. Of course we were optimising towards 30fps, making sure we didn’t drop a frame – or that we dropped a few frames but not very many – basically just making sure it ran smooth. And this is a launch title, we’ve just got new hardware and we weren’t using some of the hardware acceleration for stuff like audio at the time we did the demo, which we have now done. So I think there’s a lot more left in the system.
Finally, Herman Hulst, Managing Director and Co-Founder at Guerrilla, addressed why the latest game in the Killzone franchise is called Shadow Fall and not ‘4‘:
I think for context I like 1, 2 and 3, personally, but with Shadow Fall it’s a new platform, it is, in a way, a new start for the franchise with the new look and the new style of player character. I think the name now, as a Shadow Marshall operating in these shadows that are cast by this wall that’s separating the two factions… it just felt right to call it that.
Do you think you’ll be picking up Shadow Fall at PS4 launch? Would you have preferred they just call it Killzone 4? Let us know in the comments below.