The revelation of the fact that Assassin’s Creed Unity runs at 900p, 30 frames per second on both PS4 and Xbox One definitely ruffled a lot of feathers, and the folks at GiantBomb received a mail from an alleged developer of the game who opted to remain anonymous. The mail was read during the latest edition of the site’s podcast.
I’m happy to enlighten you guys because way too much bullshit about 1080p making a difference is being thrown around. If the game is as pretty and fun as ours will be, who cares? Getting this game to 900p was a BITCH. The game is so huge in terms of rendering that it took months to get it to 720p at 30fps. The game was 9fps 9 months ago.
We only achieved 900p at 30fps weeks ago. The PS4 couldn’t handle 1080p 30fps for our game, whatever people, or Sony and Microsoft say. Yes, we have a deal with Microsoft, and yes we don’t want people fighting over it, but with all the recent concessions from Microsoft, backing out of CPU reservations not once, but twice, you’re talking about a 1 or 2 fps difference between the two consoles. So yes, locking the framerate is a conscious decision to keep people bullshiting, but that doesn’t seem to have worked in the end. Even if Ubi has deals, the dev team members are proud, and want the best performance out of every console out there. What’s hard is not getting the game to render at this point, it’s making everything else in the game work at the same level of performance we designed from the start for the graphics.
By the amount of content and NPCs in the game, from someone who witnessed optimization for lots of Ubisoft games in the past, this is crazily optimized for such a young generation of consoles. This really is about to define a next gen like no other game before. Mordor has next gen system and gameplay, but not graphics like Unity does. The proof comes in that game being cross gen. Our producer (Vincent) saying we’re bound with AI by the CPU is right, but not entirely.
Consider this, they started this game so early for next gen, MS and Sony wanted to push graphics first, so that’s what we did. I believe 50% of the CPU is dedicated to helping the rendering by processing pre-packaged information, and in our case, much like Unreal 4, baked global illumination lighting. The result is amazing graphically, the depth of field and lighting effects are beyond anything you’ve seen on the market, and even may surpass Infamous and others. Because of this I think the build is a full 50gigs, filling the blu ray to the edge, and nearly half of that is lighting data.
The crew at GiantBomb verified the allegations with a programmer, who deemed them plausible, and indeed they do sound pretty solid.
Of course we can’t consider this an official response, given the way it was delivered, so take it with the customary pinch of salt.