Capcom’s Senior Manager of Technology Management Masaru Ijuin is very proud of the results achieved by the Panta Rhei engine, and especially of the level of visual realism that will be reached in the upcoming PS4 exclusive Deep Down due to the new technology, as he explained as part of an interview published by Capcom itself.
The players of “deep down” will be surprised to see realistic fire rendered by fluids. Traditionally, fire is rendered by arranging a large number of so-called billboards, but this method fails to depict the motion of fire. We can now make fire look more realistic by using fluids and simulating the flow of the flames. Imagine a T junction at the end of a narrow corridor. The fire rendered through the use of billboards ends at the wall of the T junction. On the other hand, the fire rendered with fluids fans out to the left and right when it hits the wall.
He then continued by illustrating how the new effects coming with the engine can actually influence gameplay, and not just visuals:
The effects staff were extremely excited when they discovered this was possible with “Panta Rhei” (laugh). I think this change will also affect different elements of gameplay. For example, in traditional games a player can run away to safety by turning at a T junction, but in the future that fire might actually chase them around the corner.
Ijuin-san also provided an explanation of the Global Illumination effect, that is made possible by Panta Rhei:
We’re also focusing on this concept of “global illumination”. Basically, this is the idea of the colors of objects reflecting off of their surroundings. For example, when intense light hits and reflects off a blue board, the floor turns slightly bluish. Global illumination is not possible with conventional computer graphics, but we’re now able to reproduce realistic details like this in “deep down”.
Of course he didn’t forget to mention that the engine allows developers to aim for results that simply weren’t possible before:
The members of the development team are highly satisfied with these features because they make it possible to do things we couldn’t do before due to the number of man hours involved.
While we still didn’t see that much about Deep Down, what we have seen looks definitely impressive. Hearing Ijuin-san’s explanation of the effects that we’ll enjoy on our screen when the game will be relased definitely makes me wonder how the screenshots Capcom is gradually trickling down to our desktops will look in motion.
For now we can only take in the information and hope that the game itself will live up to its hype, despite the concerns many have due to the free to play model.