Call Of Duty: Ghosts Doesn’t Actually Use A New Engine, Just An Enhanced One
I guess next-gen dog isn’t quite so next-gen after all.
Infinity Ward were keen to brag about their next-generation Call of Duty: Ghosts engine at the Xbox One reveal event, and how it brings emotions to dogs. Truth be told, it looked alright, but it didn’t really challenge the other next-gen titles we’ve seen thus far.
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Now, in a recent interview with the Official PlayStation Magazine UK, Zach Volker, the studio’s animation lead has been talking about Ghosts’ new next generation technology, and has explained the difference between a completely new engine built from scratch from the ground up, and one that has been upgraded enough to be called new.
Basically what Call of Duty has been doing for many years.
OPM asked Volker why the studio waited to make a new engine, probing whether or not it was because the current engine could do what they wanted already or if it was because it was too big a job to build a new engine.
Volker responded, “Developing a new engine comes out of a necessity of something. So it comes out of necessity of what we have now is an open bandwidth that can accept more things going on and so maybe the current engine can’t push that. Or it comes out of a certain particular feature that we want to create that we haven’t been able to in the past.
“So looking at our current situation, focusing more on the next generation of hardware, we are now going to have the bandwidth to build many more things and our engine just can’t handle as much as we’d like to throw at it right now. And that necessitated the need to go onto a new engine.
“It’s a fine line when you define a new engine, and augmentations to an engine. What you want to be careful of is making too much of a distinction of a new engine. As we develop and we add features, at what point does it become a new engine? Because it’s impossible to develop a new engine from the ground up in a two year cycle. You would need an army of 200 engineers. So what we do is we say ‘okay what are the things that are significant and that we would say that are encompassing of the engine or its visual quality? Are those being upgraded in a significant way? Alright then, I think that warrants that we’ve got a new engine on our hands.”
OPM then asked the Infinity Ward man to speak about what tech the new engine is built on.
Volker said, “The original engine years ago was built on Quake engine. We’ve done so many new engines and overhauls on top of that I’m not sure any of it still exists.”
Finally, OPM asked whether the engine is still built from the original tech, or if it’s built on something new.
Volker explained, “When we’re talking about a new engine we’re talking about upgrading significant systems within in that engine. We’re not talking about throwing it all away and saying we’re starting from the ground up.
“It comes down to the systems we’re augmenting and upgrading, and trying to decide what is the significance of this upgrade. So there is certainly going to be remnants here and there of our pieces of our last engine, where it was appropriate when, you know what, this doesn’t need any changing. It’s good the way it is. Because at Infinity Ward we make a really clear point to make sure we only upgrade the things that are necessary for driving the things and the gameplay experience we want to push for that project.
“So just because we could do some cool 3D smoke, that if you walk through it, it ‘poofs’ and moves to the side, if that doesn’t aid in the gameplay experience we’re trying to push then we’re not going to pursue that technology even though we would have the capabilities for it. We make sure the engine is built the way we want it to be built so that it handles as efficiently as possible the things we want to show on the screen.”
There you have it folks. It’s not a completely new engine built from the ground up.