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Opinion Game Dev Ubisoft: Taking Full Advantage of Next-Gen Will Require a Re-Architecture of the Way We Make Open Worlds


Dec 1, 2014

Galvin Whitlock, Lead Programmer on Watch Dogs Legion, spoke to Wccftech about the potential and challenges presented by the next-gen consoles designed by Sony and Microsoft that will release next week.

There are a lot of restrictions that we have to work with to make large open world games run on an HDD. Being able to load our models and textures with true random-access and with a more just-in-time approach will allow us to fill the memory with the things you’re seeing on screen now, rather than the ones you may be seeing soon. This will have a big impact on the visual variety and complexity of the world we can create.

For Watch Dogs Legion, we have been working very closely with our first-parties partners to make sure loading times were fully optimized. In the future, a re-architecture of the way we make open-world games will allow us to go even further in how we take advantage of new consoles’ hardware innovations.

I’m impressed with the increased CPU capabilities of the next-gen consoles. We want to make more complex simulations and give more life to the worlds we create. All of this takes CPU power and we are looking forward to making our AI, animation and physics simulations more real and involving. I really want to see the players actions have more and more impact on the game world and the people in it.

We’ve only just started with ray-tracing hardware. We’re going to continue to use it to make the lighting more dynamic and real. It’s a period of innovation and I’m excited to see what novel approaches we can take with this hardware.
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May 26, 2013
No really? I honestly don't think new watchdogs looks horrible but it's obvious the next gen and PC version could have benefitted from some additional time to work on their development tools.


Dec 9, 2008
Gothenburg, Sweden
Yeah, we're mostly just seeing spiced up current gen games for now, things will get most more interesting once we start seeing games actually built for next gen.

Something something about how SSDs won't help open world games.

Haha, yes. The people who still think SSDs won't really do anything beyond making load times shorter are very ignorant.
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Aug 13, 2015
Funnily enough Star Citizen, a game the majority of people here makes fun of, has been working with SSD's in mind from the very first day since development began in 2012.

You can see the difference when you try to play Star Citizen on an HDD. It will be a stutter fest
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Aug 25, 2018
So they can change the architecture of their games, but they won't for a long time?!

I'm shocked
It's a drastic change that can only work one way. Cutting off last gen consoles and majority of PC's is a difficult proposition. THis is why 1st party is so important to show what can really be achieved.