News, Platforms, Xbox One

Phil Spencer Explains Why Ryse is 900p and How the Quick Time Events E3 Debacle Was Born

by on October 30, 2013 10:13 PM 84

Microsoft Game Studios President Phil Spencer is one of the men that knows the ins and outs of the development of Ryse: Son of Rome the best, he actually considers the game almost like a first party production, as he explained in a long interview on the latest episode of Podcast Unlocked on IGN. What’s more interesting, though, is his explanation on what led to the choice of a 900p native resolution for the game:

We actually had Ryse running at 720, and at 900, and at 1080, and we looked at all the graphics techniques that we wanted to put in place: the antialiasing we wanted to employ, the lightning technique we wanted to employ, and we made the decision that 900p was the best resolution for everything that we wanted to do bringing that game to market. I think it’s the best looking game I’ve seen on consoles.

You wanna make the right decisions. Other games… Forza is 60 frames per second 1080p. Game developers are gonna make their own decisions based on the artistic view they have and on how they want the game to look. That’s what gamers should focus on: does the art director’s…the animation director’s…does their vision come true on the screen?

Spencer also mentioned that he understand that players didn’t have much to judge the game before, so he doesn’t blame those that considered resolution important, but since now people are starting to get their hands of the game, he thinks the resolution discussion will “tone down a bit.”

Perhaps even more interesting is that we finally get to know what led to the rather unfortunate decision of including button displays on the demo showcased at E3, making people think that they were quick time events and sparking a rather negative initial reaction to the game.

The story around the video presentation we did at E3 on screen… We were sitting down and reviewing the gameplay video and we were getting some feedback from some people in the room….we kinda do these big forums where we all look at the video and comment… And there was one question about whether it was real gameplay, and that people wouldn’t believe it was real gameplay, and maybe we should put the buttons above the enemies, so that people knew what the player was doing when they’re playing the game.

I’ll go on record I wasn’t a big fan of that approach. But I think what that led to were certain people looking at what they saw on screen…and gamers, having seen games like this before where you simply put buttons up…  I think it put a certain stigma around what people thought about the combat in the game.

He continued by mentioning that of course the buttons were removed afterwards, which wasn’t very difficult as the were never actually in the game, and the development team focused a lot on giving the combat as much depth as possible.

I can definitely imagine that whoever had the great idea to add those QTE-like buttons to begin with has probably been publicly flogged in front of Microsoft’s headquarters. Of course I’m kidding, but I can think of few worse decisions leading to this year’s E3. It’s good to hear that it had nothing to do with the actual gameplay of Ryse: Son of Rome.

Join the Discussion

  • colonel179

    They removed the buttons, but it’s still QTE. The game still prompts you when to push a button. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s going to be like God of War where you can fight freely and you only use QTE for finishers, or if it’s going to be more QTE centric like they showed at E3.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      It’s exactly as you said. You fight freely with QTE-like finishers.

      • plcn

        but on every. single. enemy.

        • truth

          No, not on every enemy. Dont talk down the game if you know nothing about it

  • KuchikiSentou

    I still don’t get why everyone is up in arms about QTE.
    How else are contextual actions to take place? Or targeting specific limbs etc?

    I see no problem with it. Bloody Shenmue had QTEs.

    • Zarathos No Daimaōh

      My issue would be the way MS so vehemently deny it , as if it was a wrong feature to have . They should have ignored the “dudebros” complaining about QTE , and stood by their vision . At the end of the day , it worked fine for other titles .

    • Michael Norris

      The gameplay looks blah to me.It looks good but is it fun to play? that’s the question

      • KuchikiSentou

        Only one way to find out.

      • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

        I played it at the Atlanta Area One event MS had last week, and while I was impressed and throughly enjoyed it, my friend had a MUCH better time than I did.

        The best way I can describe it is a beefed-up version of the combat in the Arkham games (or at least Arkham City, as that’s the one I’ve played) with a gladiatorial spit-shined finish. ++ IMO

        It’s a fun and satisfactory combat system, but can seem to get a little bit repetitive if you find yourself facing a behemoth of an enemy with an equally sizable HP “bar.” (there’s no visible bar)

    • Mike Jones

      shenmue was on the dreamcast,so a console releasing in 2013 doing the same things the dreamcast was doing is pretty meh….and MGS rising did specific limb cutting very well with no qte’s….with all the tech in these consoles to have a game centered around qte’s is pathetic especially since it seems they did just to make the game look as pretty as possible,which they failed at as well not even achieving 1080p….so what was the point exactly?

      • KuchikiSentou

        MGR had QtEs as well. It’s not new. It’s industry-standard. If the buttons are already mapped to slahing, shield pommels etc. the only way to do something cinematic is QtEs.
        You have design a mechanic that allows contextual actions which ISN’T QTEs.
        Until that day…

        • Mike Jones

          i didn’t say it didn’t have them,was merely pointing out you can do limb specific strikes without them…hell that was being done in bushido blade back on the ps1 so you do not need a qte for that…so ‘that day’ has come,and it was in 1996 lol,,,,have a nice day :)

  • Stereotypical_White_Fella

    This is one of those games that wins because of it’s story and characters.

    • You are flat out wrong

      I can’t wait to watch the three hour campaign on Youtube.

      • You are flat out immature

        Have you played this already? How do you know its 3 hrs long? Or are you just being childish like usual?

        • You are flat out wrong

          I have. “Gameplay” is janky and juttering. After they failed trying to get it working on Kinect they should have scrapped the whole project. Never believe Cevat Yerli’s lies.

        • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

          ;) Your username couldn’t be more perfect. It’s a come-back in and of itself. <3

  • You are flat out wrong

    It’s too late for damage control now, Philip.

    Trillion dollar blockbuster Ryse, the blunder of the decade.

    • Bozo Sapien

      No, that honor belongs to Knack.

      • Bankai

        Knack is far from a blunder, it’s actually gotten a ton of positive feedback.

        • You are flat out wrong

          When Knack sells more than QTEfest Ryse I am going to laugh and laugh and laugh. With any luck, Bozo Sapien will keep his head down for a long time.

          • Bozo Sapien

            RYSE currently has twice the preorder numbers of Knack.

        • HalfBlackCanadian

          Not really. I have heard nothing past lukewarm. Honestly, who is saying this game is great?
          Rise is providing the best comedy though, a bunch of PlayStation diehards finding this and every other launch exclusive “garbage” because they can’t have them. Stop being childish. You don’t see “xbots” crying about Killzone or Knack.

        • Bozo Sapien

          Feedback is one thing. Sales are another. RYSE currently has twice the preorder numbers of Knack.

      • You are flat out wrong

        Unfortunately for you, I’ve played both. At least Knack is actually a game! Ryse is pure cancer. If the industry is to survive, this and Titanfall need to flop hard.

        • HalfBlackCanadian

          Why does Titanfall need to fail?
          Also, only Ruse demo has been coliseum mode, not exactly campaign gameplay.
          I’ve played both as well, Ryse mp was nothing special but Knack was far from being fun.

        • JahFou

          Damn the ps4 buttplug crammed up your cramhole is HUGE

          • You are flat out wrong

            Yeah, it’s been there since May 21st.

        • Bozo Sapien

          Someone had better tell the sales numbers then because Knack hasn’t even sold half the preorder numbers of what RYSE has.

          • IDontCareEnoughToLie

            Why this comparison? Knack & Ryse aren’t even a little bit similar. Perfect “apples and oranges” action going on here…

          • You are flat out wrong

            In the US, the Xbone’s strongest market:
            Knack: 63,703
            Wryte-Off: 87,397

            Obviously arithmetic is not the Xdrone’s best talent.

          • Bozo Sapien

            Yes, even in the U.S. RYSE is outselling Knack. You might want to also check to see what the best selling next-gen title is in the U.S. I’ll give you a hint. It is not the PS4 version of the game.

          • You are flat out wrong

            Meanwhile, Killzone remains the most pre-ordered launch exclusive and every other multiplat has the most pre-orders on PS4.

            Will be interesting to see how Call of Dogs does worldwide. If it’s behind the PS4 even with those vaunted dedicated servers, Xbone is DOA. And that’s fine by me.

          • Bozo Sapien

            I like how you had to specify “most pre-ordered launch exclusive.” Every other multiplat does not have more preorders on the PS4, since THE most preordered next-gen game is Call of Duty: Ghosts on the Xbox One. COD players apparently think the Xbox One will provide the best experience regardless of resolution.

          • You are flat out wrong

            Obviously you can’t count, considering that every other game has more pre-orders on PS4 and there are more pre-ordered PS4 games then Xbone games in total. Honestly, you should have just stuck to the “it doesn’t include all-digital!!!!” excuse. You’re doing a bad job as an Xbone reputation manager.

            Considering Call of Dogs has a 61% attach rate on the Xbone, blasting ahead of every other game on every other platform, I think CODbox Done is an appropriate nickname now.

          • Bozo Sapien

            There are more games to choose from on Xbox One so it’s not surprising that the handful of retail games available on PS4 are selling well. There’s not much to play on PS4 other than indies.

          • You are flat out wrong

            Despite that, you totally failed to account for the PS4 having more pre-ordered games total than the Xbone. Again, you really should have stuck with the unproveable “going all-digital!!!!!” canard.

        • plcn

          what strange logic

      • plcn

        i think Cerny and the folks at Japan Studio will be flattered that you consider their project a trillion dollar blockbuster title.

        • Bozo Sapien

          There’s no such thing as a “trillion dollar blockbuster title” to begin with. Mark Cerny must not be too smart since he made what, by his own admission, is supposed to be a “family” game then made it too hard for kids to play and too cute for hardcore gamers to care about. Like the rest of Sony, he’s too focused on nostalgia.

          • neko working

            lol you forgot easy mode, boy. at that, why too cute is a bad thing ? i don’t understand xbot logic. Must a real man only play shooter and gore games ? hahaha..

          • Bozo Sapien

            No, but SOMEONE has to actually buy the game. Currently Knack is at around 50,000 units preordered. Compare that to RYSE at around 90,000. And if you really want a shocker do you know what the most pre-ordered game of next-gen is? Call of Duty: Ghosts … on Xbox One.

  • Imperial Captain Zimmerman

    Ryse looks awesome graphically but really lacks in the gameplay portion. They should take some notes from the God of War makers on how to make a balance game

    • Bozo Sapien

      Have you played it?

      • Imperial Captain Zimmerman

        Yes

        • Bozo Sapien

          You’re the first person I’ve heard from who actually played it and came away with something negative. Thankfully, you’re in the minority.

          • You are flat out wrong

            Xdrones need to delude themselves that Wryte-Off is worth the cost of admission.

          • Bozo Sapien

            No need to delude anything. The sales numbers show RYSE clearly far ahead of Knack and the Xbox One version of Call of Duty being the most pre-ordered game of all the next-gen titles.

          • You are flat out wrong

            “Double” is “far ahead” now. Dat goalpost changing.

            Meanwhile, Killzone remains the most pre-ordered launch exclusive and every other multiplat has the most pre-orders on PS4. I wonder how the Xbox 720p blunder will affect the pre-order balance for Call of Dogs…

          • Bozo Sapien

            It won’t. Call of Duty: Ghosts on the Xbox One will continue to be THE most preordered next-gen game just like it currently is. The majority of gamers don’t care about resolution. They want a good overall experience, especially online, which is something Sony has never been able to get right.

          • You are flat out wrong

            You mean like how it was the most pre-ordered on the PS4 until it shifted a few weeks ago?

            The sudden turnaround in numbers after the 720p debacle will be humorous.

          • Bozo Sapien

            It won’t have any impact on the numbers. At this point anyone preordering consoles probably won’t even see them until next year.

          • You are flat out wrong

            “It won’t have any impact on the numbers!”

            “Sony will have DRM too! Just you wait and see!”

            “DRM has benefits anyway!”

            “Free FIFA is a game changer!”

            “Servers is a game changer!”

            “No MP3s on PS4! Game changer!”

            Must be bad being a chronically wrong Xtard.

          • Bozo Sapien

            I don’t recall saying any of that other than that it will not have a significant impact on the sales numbers.

          • You are flat out wrong

            General Xdronery.

          • You are flat out wrong

            At least you got that last bit right.

  • Zarathos No Daimaōh

    I dont even mind QTE gaming , i even love some actually , be they exclusive or not . I just believe Spencer is lying through is teeth here , instead of taking ownership and acknowledging the “mostly qte” and “kinect on rail” likely origin of the title . Note of that felt like some UI make up that was just recently put there . And that little tale conveniently comes up after months of fixing to change the game’s focus

    If anything i’d be more interested by the title if it revealed in its uniqueness , over rushing toward some apparently dumb yet pretty brawler with QTE finish .

  • KuchikiSentou

    Launch title or no, that demo at E3 was awesome. The formations especially. QTE is no more than context. It’s like mashing B in Gears during a chainsaw lock.

    It’s just contextual actions. I don’t know why a staple mechanic in gaming would cause so much uproar. The game looks great plays well and looks like something to vent out frustrations.

    Easily the best Xbox One launch title.

    • jspillen

      The gameplay looks very clunky, repetitive, and downright boring.

      • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

        That depends on the individual player. If you’re bored with the combat of anything from God of War/Dante’s Inferno to the Arkham games, you’ll probably be bored with this too.

        IMO it’s fun, but not the best mechanics I’ve ever played with, so I have to go with Stereotypical_White_Fella’s comment: This is one of those games that wins because of it’s story and characters.

        • jspillen

          I think that’s odd considering I don’t feel like it’s a story driven game. None of the trailers have showcased that side, even the ‘story trailer’ only had about 10 seconds of story info. I don’t think that gladiator arena challenges are really going to showcase a lot of story-telling.

          • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

            I beg to differ. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnce_mKlmpw

            And of course the multiplayer isn’t the key story-telling aspect. Just like the multieplayer of The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Mass Effect, Arkham Origins, (etc.) don’t add to the story. This isn’t Titanfall we’re talking about here.

  • Travis Touchdown

    Damage control. Public perception is everything where Xbox and Playstation are concerned. They simply can’t afford to not be considered the best at what they do… even if when are, in truth, some of the worst titles ever released.

  • Michael Norris

    Sorry but Killzone SF runs 1080p and 60fps MP and SP to a lesser extent.If Killzone SF was on Xbone it would be 720p with frame rate all in the sub twenties.Only because the why Killzone SF was coded,you couldn’t get it to run good on the Xbone hardware.While any game made on Xbone could be ported over with ease.

    • Usman Khan

      im guessing u already have develope a game on these console right? Ryse might have ended 720 on ps4. u can’t just predict unless u have urself workd on the system ur talking abt

    • Maurice Wilburn

      Killzone: Shadowfall runs at 30fps on single player. You can’t say how one game would perform on another console. For one the hardware differences; I think the esram usage will be a significant factor in how games on Xbox One compare to PS4. Secondly, it’s largely up to the design team; their knowledge and philosophy plays probably the most important role.

      • plcn

        they’ve updated the singleplayer framerate to a range of 30-60 btw. and I think the opposite of your statement on ESRAM is probably more likely. the difficulty of ESRAM usage and utilization will be a significant factor in how Xbox One games will NOT compare well to PS4 versions. I don’t want the X1 to be a joke; was really hoping to be able to justify a purchase for the family. But these ideas around this magic ESRAM secret sauce, etc. are getting a bit silly.

        • Maurice Wilburn

          He said above 30 I’m sure if he was hitting pass 40 he would of said it. That’s not really different from what I said like saying “Life is about the choices you make,” “no, life is about the choices you don’t make,” it’s essentially saying the same thing. I’m not speaking definitively, the esram could be a bottleneck for some developers(multiplatform devs in particular) until they get their head wrapped around it, but the exclusive offerings is where the full power of the Xbox One will show.

          • plcn

            for halo’s sake, i hope they figure it out. this might very well be why next gen halo isn’t slated to show up for a long time… to give 343 time to milk that ESRAM to the fullest

          • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

            • u • Give us Halo 2 Anniversary 343… You can take your time on the next installment in the saga, but PLEASE let us experience the perfection of Halo 2 in GLORIOUS HD!

  • Maurice Wilburn

    I don’t care what anyone says Ryse is the best looking next gen game I’ve seen and truly convinces me the Xbox One is packing serious power. I think the esram is what really made the difference hopefully more developers tap into it down the line.

    • plcn

      how in the world is 32MB of ESRAM (~100GB/s read + ~100GB/s write) supposed to magically be more useful or powerful than 8192MB of 176GB/s GDDR5? I sure hope developers figure out how to tap into that cache, but it is merely a cache, and a fragmented one at that (the pool is actually 4 x 8MB). sure, that can help buffer a render of maybe a couple objects or something. but seriously, that ESRAM almost exists for PR more than anything (“wow, 200GB/s memory bandwidth! next gen power!”)

      • Maurice Wilburn

        Never said it was more useful, but given how well Ryse graphically holds up against PS4 exclusives I think it’s pretty fair to argue that esram played a major role in that. It’s probably going to depend on the type of game and how it is developed, but based on Ryse I’m convinced the Xbox One at the very least can hold up against the PS4 in terms power.

        • guest

          nope, multiplat are far superior in ps4, for instance, a very stupid example cod ghosts xbox one: 720p 921600 pixels rendered, ps4: 2073600 that’s 2.25 times the pixels on the xbox one, which states the processing power of the ps4, also killzone shadowfall has 1080p 30-60 fps the particles in KZ are way better than any other xbox one game, the lighting, AA, ambient occlusion, and so on, i’m not denying the xbox one has some decent to good looking games, but saying that it holds up to the ps4 is nonsense, in raw power, ps4 beats xbox one all the way and up to this point in performance too and i really doubt that will change since the esram is bottlenecking the xbox one

          • Maurice Wilburn

            Dude it’s a launch title. Devs haven’t had very much time with these systems to learn how to get the most out of the hardware. Having PC based architecture makes things easier, but it doesn’t magically make porting a game as simple as copying and pasting code. BF4 for example is quite clearly visually superior to COD and much more action packed yet it runs at the the same resolution on Xbox One, how do you explain that? It’s a matter of optimization.

            Yeah I’m not noticing most of the stuff you mentioned being better in KZ than Ryse other than the higher resolution. There is a clear distinction between Killzone’s MP and SP. Single player runs and I quote the words of the game director “above 30fps,” if it was running even 40fps or close to that I’m sure he would’ve said so. MP runs at 60fps and looks less impressive. The games use the power of the consoles differently so it’s probably not a fair way of judging the technical power of the consoles, but as far as what can be seen with the human eye Ryse if not superior easily holds up against anything on the PS4 graphically. The PS4 could very well stay ahead of the Xbox One in terms of raw power, but if the games one Xbox One are better optimized it can mean nothing as it equates to what can be seen.

  • You are flat out wrong

    This game is a disaster and no amount of damage control by the “Xbox Mafia” can save it. Just wryte it off (hah!) and move on to Dead Rising 3.

  • Pingback: Phil Spencer explica los 900p de Ryse y el porque del gameplay del E3

  • Krakn3dfx

    “of course the buttons were removed afterwards, which wasn’t very difficult as the were never actually in the game”

    What? Ok Phil.

    • Bozo Sapien

      Oh, look, it’s NeoGAF’s resident troll.

      • Krakn3dfx

        Awww, now I’m going to cry.

        Looking at all your posts in this article, you seem super bitter.

        Enjoy burning inside over how badly MS screwed up the XBox this time around.

        • Bozo Sapien

          I’m not bitter, just not stupid enough to believe that the PS4 is 50% more powerful or that Sony is going to crush Microsoft next-gen.

  • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

    :) I love reading stuff like this. And I’m throughly surprised with the majority of the ‘levelheadedness’ of the article and the comments. Good on you Dualshockers!

    Red [mostly] Approves + .87

    Edit: Since originally posting this comment one or more Fanboy sites have reported on this, and the hate has crawled out of the woodwork. Stay classy sony fanboys!

    Red Disapproves – 12

  • You are flat out wrong

    Hopefully the magical upscaler will make septillion dollar blockbuster Ryse have decent gameplay, eh lads? ^_^

  • Maurice Wilburn

    What’s with the random 200+ downvotes some users just got in an instant, I think there may be a hacker on this site.

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