News, PS4

The Numbers of Killzone: Shadow Fall Revealed: 40,000 Polygons per Character, 683,334 Building Blocks and More

by on March 23, 2014 10:09 AM 52

Guerrilla Games held a session at the Game Developers Conference titled “Taking Killzone Shadow Fall Image Quality into the Next Generation” during which Lead Engineer Michal Valient gave quite a few relevant numbers and provided more insight about the technology behind the PS4 launch game.

We learn that each level of Killzone: Shadow Fall is 10 to 100 times larger than a Killzone 3 level, while the largest map is 8 km (almost five miles) long.

Physically based rendering was used to achieve high quality with better performance. While initially the studio thought to use global illumination, in the end they went with Image Based Lighting, a technique that involves capturing an omni-directional picture of real world lighting and then projecting it on a half-sphere by light probes all over the level to simulate lighting instead of rendering it with traditional techniques.

In addition to that, there are are 200 different static lights per level, plus another 200 light maps.

The GPGPU (General-P0urpose computing on Graphics Processing Units) feature of the PS4 was also used to calculate reflections via ray-marching/ray-tracing.

Each character was made of about 40,000 triangles, with four times as many vertices and four times as large textures as in Killzone 3. Shaders were made of six to twelve textures per material.

There also are twice as many geometry instances (basically different elements of the graphics that can be reused, for instance different trees, wall sections and so forth) as in Killzone 3,  and 10,000 to 25,000 of them were used per level. There’s a total of 683,334 building blocks in the while game.

The presentation also included an in-depth view on the game’s Temporal Reprojection feature used for multiplayer, but that explanation was pretty much the same that was given on Guerrilla Game’s blog a while ago.

One thing is for sure: Killzone: Shadow Fall is a hell of a LEGO build.

[Guest reporting: Matt Zardoni]

Join the Discussion

  • HustyparmenCZ

    Killzone:- 40 000
    Infamous:- 60 000
    Ryse:- 80 000
    Order 1886:- 100 000

    • Diablo_Jambe11

      The difference is Killzone used 40,000 on each character. The other games you mentioned is only for the main character.

      • marc berry

        You can’t change the facts Ryse highest PLY count this gen so far.
        I bet you can’t post a link saying that only for the main character.

        • Dennis Djoenz
          • Gamingsince75

            That comparison says its for the main, but it doesn’t say the poly count is limited only to the main character.

            I am sure you wont see the failure of your post but you didn’t post a link saying what he was asking for.

            Here is a link that backs up his claim.


            Look at the pics. Both character in the pics show the same level of detail compared to each other before and after. If two characters are being shown on the same level, then obviously it isn’t true just for the main.
            Sorry but visual proof trumps opinion and the proof is in the pics.
            I know it wont stop you from continuing to spew nonsense though.

        • Diablo_Jambe11

          when did I change the facts lol? Killzone uses 40,000 for every character. In Ryse only the main character has 85K.

      • marc berry

        Cevat Yerli
        Hero Marius 85k polys? It was choice: 150k polys w LODs vs 85K + better
        shading + no LODs (stable). The latter wo at better quality!

        NO LOD!!!!!!!!

    • mekh_grg


    • Dennis Djoenz

      Could you find out how many polygons UC3’s Drake has? I really wonder. Ryse has an impressive polygon count wow.

      • HustyparmenCZ

        Uncharted 1 – 30 000

        Uncharted 2 – 37 000 ( 80 000 in cutsceens )

        • Dennis Djoenz

          Thx for replying man. So

          Marius Titus has 80-85k polygon count both ingame and cutscenes? wow. If that is true hats off for sure. Won’t lie.

          • datdude

            You’re impressed for the high count on one character in a game? Geez.. you’re easy to impress.

          • Gamingsince75

            Or just not a blind fanboy who plays everything down that comes from another company.
            Considering not a single Sony game character is close to that, I would call that something they deserve credit for, whether you bottom feeding sheep agree or not..
            Just pretend its a Sony game. Then it instantly becomes AAA must own second coming of Christ where any minor innovation, even if stolen, is a game changer.

          • datdude

            Ladies and gentlemen, exhibit A, the moron. This poor unfortunate thinks using all your rendering capabilities on one character is impressive, when the rest of the characters don’t achieve that kind of fidelity. If every character has the stats, that’s impressive. But for one character? Give me a break. That’s something any development company could do, but they don’t. Know why? They’re more concerned with making the game good, and having the rest of the characters and the environment look just as good as the main character. See Infamous Second Son, the best looking game on any console to date, AND it’s open world. The particle effects alone in that game are more impressive than having one high count character. You need a life, and some perspective.

          • Xtreme Derp

            Ryse cutscenes are pre-rendered CG movies, not realtime rendering.

        • XDrone (is the new name)-lol

          What about Uncharted 3?

          • HustyparmenCZ

            sorry no info on U3 polygon count, but I guess it wont be above 40 000

    • Gannicus

      Star Citizen 350,000 – 7million per ship maybe even more now cus there getting bigger than originally planned

      • Arnold Stallone

        Each time they get an extra million they announce a new spaceship…
        It’s more expensive than any real NASA project.

        Star citizen devs will never announce a release date… so they can keep grabbing cash, more and more.
        Come on guys, let’s reach 50 millions.
        3 months later: come n guys, let’s reach 60 millions.

        Any junior designer can create hundreds of huge spaceships in a few months . Once a model is created, it’s just a matter of adding /removing stuff here and there, playing with textures, etc.

        And when they finally reach 50 -70 million$, they will announce the game for 2016-2017. But with another 10 millions, they can finish it in 2016.

        And then,with almost 100 million $, people will spend millions on micro transactions and upgrades for their ships.
        -5$ for an anti-radar upgrade
        -5$ for an anti-anti-radar upgrade
        -5$ for a special shield
        -5$ for an anti-special shield

        Etc etc.

        Come on guys, some more millions, and you will have a custom GUI and a key-remap option


        • Gannicus

          your stupid its stretch goals to add stuff if they get the funding and the more funding the more people they can hire…. think of infamous, do you think that could be made on a $2million budget??? no that was $30+million ever stretch goal after the 39 or 40 million is goals for the future, the procedural generation tech is to set up a team to do that so full planets can be explored say 2-3 years after the games official release. Everything they were going to include in the game has bin met that’s why there is over 212 ppl working on this. Its not a small game so every goal from now and beyond involves the future of SC also to upkeep the servers etc

          • chrisredfield31

            In short, you’re a sucker.

          • Gannicus

            have you even seen the updates, look up Kythera that’s ther AI engine from moon collider there going to use and it will get better and better as what CR wants is insanely complex, he wants it so every npc on a planets “space dock” has there own life and story. Every wingman isn’t scripted it has there onw movememntn style in flight etc, its going be truly next gen

          • Arnold Stallone

            I remind you that we’re in 2014. Tools today allow you to create/generate a 10000 square mile zone, auto populate it with random trees, mountains, houses, people, etc etc, with a single mouse click.

            Have you seen the 200+ devs? They could say they actually are 850 devs, people would believe it.

            Now, if there are 1 million planets, and people can land and explore it, a la mass effect, with missions, monsters, collectibles, etc…
            That would be amazing.

          • Gannicus

            so creating tons of space ships all with physically based rendering and then F7C hornet, small fighter ship has 100 points tht can be shot off destroyed and had effects applied to it, imagine something 3x bigger or even 20-30x bigger possibly more for the super carriers and that’s pathetic is it? Tree houses ppl mountain are easy just copy and past that stuff, space combat, ground FPS combat EVA to patch up you ship to hopefully get it fixed at a planet, wear and tear over time the longer you own a ship like rust etc, that’s nothing to you?

          • Arnold Stallone

            it could be awesome, actually.
            when playing mass effect 1-3 several times (+200-300 hours ), i always hoped i could just choose one of 10000 random planets, buy a special ship and combination (for example, planet #1256 is 250° and is toxic, etc, i would need a special suit that could handle heat, poison type #56, etc), buy a ship, customize it so it could land as well, and then, go and explore that planet, with monsters, different races, enemies, etc).
            that would make a game with 1000000 hours of gameplay, and always millions of things to learn, do, etc.

            if star citizen let you land on a planet and actually DO things on that planet, by foot, and you can buy stuff on that planet, upgrades, etc, then, i would jump on that game as well.

          • Gannicus

            you cant explore whole planets at launch but with the $41mill stretch goal they’ll start researching procedural tech to do just that so realistically your talking maybe a Cpl years after the game. But no mans sky is kinda like a game that you want, infinite amount of planets to explore

          • Arnold Stallone

            thank you for the tip
            need to check it out

          • Gannicus

            no mans sky wont be out till next year though and its being developed by 4 people so its quite impressive. Star Citizen will have tons and tons to do but obviously not everything they want to do will be in it at “release” but seeing as they hope it lasts for 10+years theres plenty of time to add stuff

          • Gamingsince75

            Your first paragraph shows you know nothing of game design at all.
            Yes every developer has these tools that can make most of a game with the click of a button…lol
            Not to say that there are not programs out that can do that, but developers aren’t using the RPGmaker16 to make The Order.

    • cozomel

      KZSF uses 40k per character, whereas Ryse’s 85k is only for its main character, the enemy characters use less

      • Gannicus

        yeah I heard they use 80k per

    • Xtreme Derp

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Marius gameplay model is less than 80k.

  • Reed Richards

    I can’t wait for The Division ,The Order 1886 and The Witcher 3. The Order has the best graphics I have ever seen. E3 I’m going to watch video of The Order 1886 and masturbate it’s that pretty and beautiful.

    • PS4Fever .

      beyond two souls is the best looking game to date

      • Bankai

        I’ve played Beyond and The Order looks far better.

        • XDrone (is the new name)-lol

          Yeah I beat beyond and to say that it the best looking game to date is just silly. Killzone looks better then it, and Infamous Second Son looks way way way better then anything out right now. It truly is a next gen game.

          • PhantomVash808

            I agree Beyond is not the best looking game but it looks good enough to pass as a launch PS4 game. Imagine what Quantic Dream’s PS4 game will look like though.

          • Reed Richards

            Quantum dream was interesting . I think quantum dream would make a better game Than Beyond two souls.

    • MasterofMidnight

      So people here are arguing over how many numbers of whatever is on the characters and on the environments, rather than what makes real beauty in a video games; an art direction that makes it stand out from the crowd. You can get lost with your boring looking Killzones and Ryse games. I`m off to play Myst IV: Revelations and Grim Fandango. Games over a decade old and still look 10x more involving than anything by the current gen` offerings.

      • Gamingsince75

        Welcome to the land of Sony fanboys where the only things that matter are what you have that others do not.
        They brought this on themselves by claiming that it was superior to Ryse and that those extra polys made it a better game.

        • chrisredfield31

          and Xbox fanboys didn’t do the same thing last gen?

    • Gannicus

      best platyed om PC except the order cus it sux so hard its not worthy of a port

      • datdude

        Butthurt alert!!! Butthurt alert!! Apply the ointment to your rectum and tuck yourself in, you’re a jealous little turd of troll!!!!

        • Gannicus

          your so butthurt you trying to put butthuirt in my head but really your so butthurt it hurts 3 generations of your butthurt family down the line!

          • datdude

            The parrot chirps. I rest my case ladies and gentlemen. He’s just like dat bone, underperforming and lacking where it counts the most. Case closed.

          • Gannicus

            lol wrong worn g wornf

      • chrisredfield31

        trolls are mentally ill. Read the kotaku article.

        • Gannicus

          kotaku is mentallill,. delusional and wrong

    • Alrightylol

      Iam sure relise graphics of Division gonna look’s worst then what they did show, same as it was with watchdogs.

  • nougard

    Hmm, how many beanie is that?

  • Daniele Musto

    Its not only about triangles, its about knowing how to draw the most crisp and detailed textures too…i bet you can have 40.000 polygons on a character and still make it look awesome as long as you know how to work the art….

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    So why would they use static lights if dynamic lights would offer better performance?

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