Tuesday, July 17

Project Gotham Racing and Frame Rate

You may remember a post from a while back about Forza Motorsport 2 and its physics and frame rate. Basically, Forza runs at a constant 60 frames per second. This is because the physics in the game need to update as fast as the player is driving. If the frame rate were at 30 per second, then the physics of a players' car would be lagging behind whats happening on screen. Meaning the physics are basically null because the car is moving too fast for the physics to update.

The reason I mention this is because today I read a short but interesting article over at Gamasutra. This article talks about Forza's main competition, Project Gotham Racing 4. A large difference between the two games is that PGR4 is running at 30 frames per second. But even though that sounds like cow dung compared to Forza's frame rate, developer Bizarre Creations has their own reasons for doing so. Because the whole article is pretty much all quotes from PGR4 producer Adam Kovach, I'll just give you the gist of it. Kovach explains the decision to give PGR4 an fps of 30 as opposed to 60:
We looked at that, we debated for a long time... we looked at what we would be giving up if we tried to go to 60 versus 30 frames a second. We don't want to lose the visual fidelity... we made a conscious decision that 30 frames plus all the effects in the game was far more important than having a pure 60.
The environmental weather effects in PGR4 are very important to Bizarre.

Project Gotham Racing is more of an arcade racer than Forza Motorsport. For Bizarre, and for PGR, 30 frames per second is sufficient enough considering the amount of visual effects the game is throwing at the player. Especially when the weather effects are so important to driving in this iteration. You know, when I'd read about Forza a couple months ago, I thought that there was no better way to design the game. 60 frames per second was really the only way to go. But after reading Bizarre Creations' reasoning, I think that 30 fps is equally as valid a design, as long as it is conducive to the game, its gameplay, and play experience. Check out the whole article over at Gamasutra, its short and well worth reading.

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