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DF: The Medium Tech Review: A closer look at Xbox's First Next-Gen Game

I'm really struggling to understand the "it's running two games at once" explanation for the bad performance: yes, it is very strictly speaking, but it's rendering only half of each instance at any given time. If it were rendering the game twice at full screen somehow, it would make sense to lower the resolution for both. But it isn't, it's making two half renders, the final number of rendered pixels is the same as a normal full-screen game.

From a GPU point of view, it should not be any different from running a split-screen game, at most accounting for the higher average number of assets it needs to keep in RAM for any given environment (but that shouldn't be weighting on the fps all that much). If there is more than that, it just looks like an unnecessary way to fuck up the pipeline.
It's not only rendering the game twice but it's rendering a different version of the game. Lighting, textures, sound are all different. Then take into account AI, physics etc two games being calculated simultaneously.
 

Radical_3d

Member
Back to 720p days...

Tell me you have the Salma Hayek one!
 
I'm really struggling to understand the "it's running two games at once" explanation for the bad performance: yes, it is very strictly speaking, but it's rendering only half of each instance at any given time. If it were rendering the game twice at full screen somehow, it would make sense to lower the resolution for both. But it isn't, it's making two half renders, the final number of rendered pixels is the same as a normal full-screen game.

From a GPU point of view, it should not be any different from running a split-screen game, at most accounting for the higher average number of assets it needs to keep in RAM for any given environment (but that shouldn't be weighting on the fps all that much). If there is more than that, it just looks like an unnecessary way to fuck up the pipeline.

It's not only rendering the game twice but it's rendering a different version of the game. Lighting, textures, sound are all different. Then take into account AI, physics etc two games being calculated simultaneously.

There is no 2 different versions of the game. It's the same game, same scene but with different assets, lighting, and other underlying graphical effects. Not even close to rendering two different versions of the game simultaneously. 2 different versions of the game at the same time would be a heavy task even for 3090.
 
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TGO

Hype Train conductor. Works harder than it steams.
If the graphics was like that video thumbnail I'd understand, but they're not even close.
I'm sure it's a great game, but it's definitely still a budget game like their other releases
Which is not a bad thing, I've enjoyed those games.
But it's not "Next-Gen AAA" by a long shot
 

longdi

Banned
Most multi-platform games have preformed better on PS5 compared to the Series X versions.
I expect the eventual ps5 port to be worst
It’s a small studio, they can’t really be expected to have the best optimization. It’s pretty much Eurojank: the game.
This is the answer. If you have played cheap eurojank on pc, you will have encountered low hanging fruits like medium.
I was referring to the PC struggling with a 3080.
Pc need rtx-io asap, seems the game is hitting ssd pretty hard! Anyone tested running with hdd?
 

CamHostage

Member
There is no 2 different versions of the game. It's the same game, same scene but with different assets, lighting, and other underlying graphical effects. Not even close to rendering two different versions of the game simultaneously. 2 different versions of the game at the same time would be a heavy task even for 3090.

I'm with you that this "it's running two games at once" story is overblown given how split-screens and portal/instant-travel are usually rendered. It's not like it's two totally different games playing at the same time. It's the same basic systems running, and you do geometry swapping or re-texturing/re-lighting or maybe even geometry deformation to make it look like a different thing even though both are there at the same time, or you have controlled pockets of memory so that you have confined chunks of the world resident in RAM at a time that you can cut to or overlay or put a camera in. (The Medium seems to do a mix of both, it looks like to me, perhaps even only a very asset-rich version of the first approach?)



That said, split-screen in general has been a stumbling block for all games for several generations now. I remember RE5 going to half-framerate once a second player joined for Co-Op, and in general the feature has had it rough if not been totally abandoned since the PS360 generation, with lots of performance issues or compromises in games that do offer it. When you start getting into multi-pass rendering and streaming worlds, you're up against it in putting two viewpoints on the screen at a time of even the same game world twice. It would have been nice for The Medium and Series X to have powered through this without problems, but I guess it's not a surprised that it can't. (That said, it's not like split-screen is impossible these days, and this being a major feature of The Medium and the game being generally linear and controlled as far as when/if the screen splits or shifts. It would have been nice if the performance had been strong enough here that we didn't need to have this argument.)
 
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If this game (and all Xbox exclusives) is designed to run on normal hdd for pc. How and if any Xbox exclusives ever be designed around its ssd in the future?
 
Yeah, I don't think the game is instantly streaming in the other world ; it might be present in memory. DF are at the end of the day fans, not engineers and times like these it shows.
 
Great now every rabid ps fan will highlight this game that is literally has to push 2 games at once as the "X" running games at 900p instead of stopping to read.
It's this kind of mentality that makes these forum boards such a toxic environment.
What a rubbish post.

So any criticism or opinion that is not praising it to high heavens means people are rabid PS fanboys. GTFO !!


On Topic: Game is taxing the hardware having to render 2 worlds at the same time. For a next gen attempt its alright looking. Have to wonder what the game would have looked like had they dropped the mirrored world idea. Also animations look a bit stiff.
 
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pixelation

Member
lolololololololol! XB just can't get a W, that resolution... those animations. I wonder which game (and in what year) will finally show us the true power of the Series X?
 
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quest

Not Banned from OT
I wonder what did MS think when it locked this game to be a timed exclusive?

When PlayStation has got timed-exclusives like FF7 Remake, Final Fantasy XVI, Deathloop, Kena, Little Devil Inside, etc.
Instead of wasting huge money on big exclusives Microsoft just bought zenimax and other studios. I know which is the better investment long term.
 

Vae_Victis

Banned
It's not only rendering the game twice but it's rendering a different version of the game. Lighting, textures, sound are all different. Then take into account AI, physics etc two games being calculated simultaneously.
OK, but is there even all that much of each to justify this?

Lighting is part of the rendering of the scene, if you have two cameras it is "different" by definition. So, not any different than a normal split screen.

Same for textures. They already are in RAM, so you might need more RAM in total for each section of the game, but that's it. Rendering two half screens with different textures in each shouldn't be any harder than rendering one full screen with twice the textures in view.

Sound has probably nothing to do at all with the GPU, and if it does and it's tanking an RTX 3080, then something went VERY wrong in the optimization phase.

As for AI and physics, is there even that much? Just like with textures, having a bunch of active entities per screen shouldn't be any harder than having twice as many in a single screen. Also, hardly impactful on the GPU.

Look at it this way. Imagine in the infinite 3D space, you have two 3D enclosed environments, and you place a camera and a character in each. The fact that the environments are designed to look similar in plant, and that your controller inputs are bound to both characters and cameras at the same time, don't mean you are running "two games", it's just two cameras placed in two different points of the world, each rendering half the screen. So, as far as the renderer is concerned, it's just like playing a split screen game in a large map where the two players always stay very far from one another.

At least, this is is how I assume they did it. If they came up with a different system entirely that assigns multiple meshes and visual properties to the same objects and uses ore or the other depending on the camera, it's clearly needlessly bleeding performance over the simpler solution.
 
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Shmunter

Gold Member
Dual view port is nothing new, and doesn’t mean a game is being ran twice. Underlining game logic, physics, compute, and pretty much anything other than the gfx rendering does not need duplication. See VR, where every piece of software is dual port.

It is a small dev, a budget indie title. It’s a matter of development, time and budget. Comparing it to Demons Souls etc. stupid.
 

sinnergy

Banned
Neogaf non-devs trying to understand software architecting .. please stop. Unless you are at least as capable as Blooper.
 

sinnergy

Banned


Ahh DIcktator, still trying to get that free signed XsX from Phil....

Dual view port is nothing new, and doesn’t mean a game is being ran twice. Underlining game logic, physics, compute, and pretty much anything other than the gfx rendering does not need duplication. See VR, where every piece of software is dual port.

It is a small dev, a budget indie title. It’s a matter of development, time and budget. Comparing it to Demons Souls etc. stupid.

How mature, calling him like that .. come on man.
 

sinnergy

Banned
I would have expected a “sinnergy” would be a fan of a play on words.

Frankly I find my choice to be very a precise expression of my opinion on the character, no regrets, will do again.
If it wasn’t a insulting play of words I would appreciate it ...
 

phil_t98

Gold Member


Ahh DIcktator, still trying to get that free signed XsX from Phil....

Dual view port is nothing new, and doesn’t mean a game is being ran twice. Underlining game logic, physics, compute, and pretty much anything other than the gfx rendering does not need duplication. See VR, where every piece of software is dual port.

It is a small dev, a budget indie title. It’s a matter of development, time and budget. Comparing it to Demons Souls etc. stupid.
VR does not render the game twice? It just off puts the view slightly. Completely different to rendering the game twice
 

FranXico

Member
I'm a playstation 5 owner only. But I think the medium looks fine too me. I wish you a good time with this game. Perhaps in a year or later i can play this on my Playstation 5
People just need to appreciate this game for what it is. I might try it through GOG when it goes on sale.
 

phil_t98

Gold Member
If the perspective is different, rasterization happens twice, yes.
Yes but it’s the same map at the same time, this is 2 completely different scenes at the same time. Different textures different environment shapes.

as DF point out that split screen on other games is rendering the same map just at different points
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Yes but it’s the same map at the same time, this is 2 completely different scenes at the same time. Different textures different environment shapes.

as DF point out that split screen on other games is rendering the same map just at different points
This does stress the streaming system and increased memory pressure (impacts ray tracing too, as you need to do it once per scene, but we see that RT use is actually limited in this game and cube maps and screen space reflections abound)... camera movement being limited also can help keep the rendering budget in check.

I do not think they would not do some tricks to avoid brute forcing dual rendering through (doubling their draw calls), but we lack details for that. We do see that despite SFS, XVA, etc... that there are still a few evident texture streaming issues, but we knew those tools require quite a bit of effort and were not magical.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius


Ahh DIcktator, still trying to get that free signed XsX from Phil....

Dual view port is nothing new, and doesn’t mean a game is being ran twice. Underlining game logic, physics, compute, and pretty much anything other than the gfx rendering does not need duplication. See VR, where every piece of software is dual port.

It is a small dev, a budget indie title. It’s a matter of development, time and budget. Comparing it to Demons Souls etc. stupid.
It depends on what is happening in each viewport. Custom puzzles and extra geometry in one scene and not the other would warrant different logic and physics in either of the two.
 

Shmunter

Gold Member
It depends on what is happening in each viewport. Custom puzzles and extra geometry in one scene and not the other would warrant different logic and physics in either of the two.
This is true, there are unique things happening in both, but it’s still nowhere near 2 entirely seperate games with entirely segregated game logic.

Anyway higher rendering load is assured, just don’t like the way DICKTATOR asserts the position in his condescending way. Maybe it’s just this....

 
This is true, there are unique things happening in both, but it’s still nowhere near 2 entirely seperate games with entirely segregated game logic.

Anyway higher rendering load is assured, just don’t like the way DICKTATOR asserts the position in his condescending way. Maybe it’s just this....

But that is how the developer has handled it, maybe there is a better way to do it but they obviously didn't think so given performance issues. Either way Dictator is correct in what he's saying, any game would struggle.
 

Rikkori

Member
The issue is very simple - a small team like this will never deliver smooth and optimised games unless they've done them before for years or they're very simple. Hell even AAA multi-studio teams struggle to do that. Just the reality of limited talent available & even less time for such niceties. Once it's good enough it ships, it's that simple, and to the 99% of players this is good enough.

It will still get patches and improve but don't expect a miraculous jump.
 
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phil_t98

Gold Member
This does stress the streaming system and increased memory pressure (impacts ray tracing too, as you need to do it once per scene, but we see that RT use is actually limited in this game and cube maps and screen space reflections abound)... camera movement being limited also can help keep the rendering budget in check.

I do not think they would not do some tricks to avoid brute forcing dual rendering through (doubling their draw calls), but we lack details for that. We do see that despite SFS, XVA, etc... that there are still a few evident texture streaming issues, but we knew those tools require quite a bit of effort and were not magical.
there is no game that does VR on PS that uses ray tracing lol ever game on my PD VR has been massively cut down graphically to use VR gran truism sport as one
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
there is no game that does VR on PS that uses ray tracing lol ever game on my PD VR has been massively cut down graphically to use VR gran truism sport as one
Very good Phil, that was short but pointless :p (quote from GB).

Seriously, is there a reason you brought PSVR up in your reply to me beside giving some space to throw shade at VR cuts on a 1.84 TFLOPS last generation console?
 
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