Firewatch Dev Explains Why They Can’t Run Locked 30 FPS On PS4, Considering New Version Of Unity

firewatch-ps4

Firewatch has just received a new patch on PS4 that is intended to improve its performance. The game launched with several performance issues and as a result, the developers have released 2 patches so far that aim to improve the performance along with the graphical quality of the game.

One of the Camp Santo dev shared an update for the game on the official Firewatch reddit in which he explained how the game has done well for them and how they might be looking into updating the Unity game engine for it.

We want to do another big update in the future that ships a bunch of subtitle languages (TBD) and actually moves the game to an entire new version of Unity to continue to help performance. I don’t expect anyone here to understand what that takes but, let’s just say we ran the game on new engine code last night and half the world was rendering upside down. SO it’ll be a little bit of an investment but the game has done so well on both PS4 and Steam that we think it’s really worth it. I can’t confirm we’re going to be successful in any of this, but in the spirit of everyone being really great in this sub, wanted to share with you some unfiltered goings-on.

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He also shared the reason why they can’t lock the game to 30 FPS on PS4, since Firewatch currently runs at an uncapped 30 FPS.

The reason we don’t lock at 30FPS is because of one of the low-level engine issues we’re looking at addressing in a Unity upgrade (when Unity 5.4 is actually live). If we locked at 30 and then dropped even one or two frames below, the game just performs much much worse than if we weren’t targeting 60.

Basically if the developers had locked the game to 30 FPS on PS4, its performance could have been far worse than the unlocked 30 FPS even if there were no major frame rate drops. This issue can be possibly fixed in a newer update to Unity game engine.

Firewatch is out now on the PC and PS4. It was developed by indie studio Campo Santo and published by Panic!.

  • Kris Crawford

    I like their honesty, its refreshing. For me as long as a game is playable which it is, it doesnt bother me. If they can make it run smoother great, because it is very good. I had been playing quite alot of open world games and shooters, this game is a nice change of pace, and better than some games Ive paid alot more for.

  • Orion Pax

    ridiculous, no excuses for this indie walking simulator to not be 1080p/60fps with the best AA on ps4

    • The Little One

      There are many factors that go into making a game. Do not assume that you have any real knowledge regarding what it takes simply because of the apparent nature of said game on the surface. They may have been lured to Unity due to issues of cost and Unity simply is not as advanced an engine as say Unreal or Frostbite. There are typically performance issues with Unity based games. BUT, Unity allows you to make a relatively good looking game for comparatively little money in contrast to the other big engines out there. The version of Unity that they used must not support dynamic v-sync like other engines do. The game would probably drop down to 15fps if they tried to lock it at 30 and encountered any performance issues. Basically, no matter the genre of game, if you want 1080p60 with top tier AA then stop whining and build a PC. Your demand for 1080p60 with AA on PS4 shows that you either have no understanding of the hardware included in the PS4 or you’re simply naive in believing the PS4 is some sort of beast of a machine.

      • Kris Crawford

        I agree to a point, but its the engine here they are using, not lack of power on ps4. Ps4 is not a beast as you put it, but it is fairly powerful and does a solid job on mist games around 1080p and 30fps. It takes a really good engine and a bit of wizardry to hit metal gear 5 levels, which when you pay for an indie game you dont expect that.

      • AndyArmani

        This game could very well run in 60fps on the PS4 with the right engine. Now, we will see when Campo santo upgrade the game to Unity 5.4 (which supports multithreading on the PS4). Should be a huge lift.