Resogun Developer Interview: GPU Compute, VITA Port, Lighting, Install Size and More

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HouseMarque is an indie developer best known for its work on Super Stardust series. The series has received plenty of critical acclaim on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation VITA. The developer has also created the exceptional Dead Nation for PlayStation 3 and the fantastic Outland for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. HouseMarque is currently wrapping up work on another side scrolling, shoot-em-up for PlayStation 4 called Resogun. While the game might seem limited in scope at first, you have to realize that the underlying technology that is being used for the game is nothing short of exceptional. It’s truly a showcase of the next generation capabilities of the PS4 hardware. Resogun looks crisp and runs smooth at 1080p and 60 fps despite all the taxing visual effects happening on-screen at all times.

Thousands of dynamic physical cubes are used to create an environment that is fit for large-scale destruction, as envisioned by the developers. HouseMarque’s game makes profound use of GPU compute, which Mark Cerny has stressed upon as being important to games development in the long run. Having the entire level disintegrate into individual GPU-driven cubes, with each conforming to the laws of physics, is no small feat. It really is incredible for an indie studio on a limited budget to be able to create a technological showcase that’s equally as fun to play as it is to see.

We recently had a chance to interview Resogun’s Engine Architect, Seppo Halonen.

GearNuke: What form of anti-aliasing and lighting system are you using for Resogun?

Seppo Halonen: When it comes to antialiasing we are using FXAA. The lighting system is 100% deferred with HDR, SSAO, dynamic shadows and all the jazz with some screenspace reflections and dynamic color grading thrown in as well. We believe this is the first 60fps console game with all that.

GearNuke: Given the strong emphasis on GPU compute in Resogun, was there ever a point in development where you had to hold back on certain render-heavy visual effects due to real-time destruction on a massive scale?

Seppo Halonen: Yes and no. We experimented on a number of render-heavy things and decided they did not sync with the look we wanted for the game. So some effects were toned down here and there but this was mostly to avoid visual clutter. There’s a point where the human eye can’t keep track on the number of moving objects, and we probably still well over that.

GearNuke: Many other developers seem to agree that GPU compute is a key element of next-gen games development. Resogun makes a great case in favor of the technology. What kind of avenues do you see it opening up for games in the future?

Seppo Halonen: I think many big studios are going to stay on the safe ground and go for more realism – improved lighting and materials and fluid and cloth physics and so on. Crazy indies like us are usually tasked to open up new avenues, as we need something unique to pop out from the white noise. For big titles it is a big risk, but for relatively small-budget games it becomes an opportunity.

GearNuke: How do you find this new change in hardware? The PS3 had a strong CPU and a weak GPU but now PS4 has a strong GPU and weak CPU. What do you have to say about this?

Seppo Halonen: The balance of power is different, sure, but unlocking the full power of PS3 CPU was something only few people managed to pull off. And I will take compute shaders over SPUs any day of the week, thank you.

GearNuke: While Stereoscopic 3D hasn’t really been accepted by the masses, Super Stardust HD made a fantastic case in favor of the technology. Are there any plans to offer the same support for Resogun, post-release?

Seppo Halonen: We have long term plans to support the game with DLCs and updates, but at this point we cannot reveal anything specific. We are looking into a lot of options at the moment.

resogun-1

GearNuke: The recent install size for PS4 games like Knack and Killzone: Shadow Fall has caused quite a ruckus. Given that Resogun is a digital only title, can you give us any estimated install size for the final build of the game?

Seppo Halonen: There is nothing to worry about there. The game is well under a gigabyte, so size-wise we are rather modest.

GearNuke: Is it even possible to see a stripped down version of Resogun on VITA?

Seppo Halonen: The right question is, would it still be Resogun?

Thanks to Seppo Halonen of HouseMarque for sparing his precious time to answer our questions for this interview.

What do you think of this interview? Let us know in the comments section below.

Stay tuned to GearNuke for latest news and info on Resogun.

Khurram Imtiaz

A Geek and Gamer, who loves JRPGs and VITA. Follow him on Twitter and Google+

  • Matthew Dickinson

    Nice to read an intelligent interview that asks tech questions.

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    If the size is under 1GB, does that mean the game will be short? And Seppo,”The right question is, would it still be Resogun?” is not just the right question, but an excellent question. Glad to see someone thinking outside the box :)

    • benbenkr

      Yes and no. Was Super Stardust HD short? Yeah, it was but it was fun to replay it again, and again, and again, and again. That’s the point with these sort of games, which is good.

      • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

        Good. I like replayability, when it’s done right, which I’m sure this title won’t fail to do.

    • Jack Slater

      You can give a pack with 500 mb of different textures to a studio, and the devs will make a platform game, shooter, etc, and they can make 800 different levels, each one with different sets of colors and textures, that will take 300 hours to complete.

      Resogun is about destroying small spaceships and some big bosses. It’s not a The last of Us ‘hotel-restaurant- level, with thousands of 3d objects, paintings on the walls, textures, etc.

      Resogun will be about crazy lighting effects on screen, and hundreds of spaceships, that will only require small textures. Imagine there are 100 different spaceships and 20 big bosses. 1 GB , is already huge, for the kind and size of objects that will be displayed.

      Let’s not forget it’s under 1 GB, but once all the textures are decompressed, it can rise to 1.5-2 GB of space.

      Thunder force 1-4 on sega mega drive/genesis , 20 years ago, maybe held into 10-20mb cartridge. And there were tons of ships, bosses, textures, travellings, music’s, bullets, etc.

      1gb for a shooter, on a ps4, where maybe 90% of the game will be generated on the fly, like all the lighting effects, explosions, colors, etc, by the GPU, it’s quite huge, actually.

      So please don’t think the game will be 2 hours long, because its ‘only’ 1Gb.

      • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

        I know what the game is about and have already seen footage so spare me the formulaic lecture; I was just concerned since every passing day games seem to require more space to fit all of a developer’s vision, that’s all. of course I’ll get this game no matter the data file size, that’s just stupid if anybody accounted for that. All I care about is how much time I will spend and it being worth my time in the amount I spend; that was my only query on the game, beyond that I’m getting the game no matter what. Hell I’m even getting Flower for PS4 even though I read it’s only 1 hour long, so no time has never decided for me whether a game is good or not; I just care about the content.

        • Jack Slater

          ‘so spare me the formulaic lecture’
          Hey, your aggressive piece of shit, I was kindly commenting and took time to write it to you, wasn’t judging or bashing or criticizing or whatever.

          Do you always talk like that to anyone who simply asks you what time is it, or say hello, or anything else?
          Dear Lord, how can we react like you did? Shame, really.
          Too much ocarina or mushrooms, I guess.
          I’m sure if they could, your parents would use a time-machine, and use a condom, that night.
          What a waste, really.
          Why you spend your time on forums, if nobody can’t talk to you without you feeling threatened or attacked or insulted?

          Go save your princess for the 645th time, you don’t need to talk or listen to humans, while playing.
          Pitiful.

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            no you were being a smartass, fucking child. seriously, u think ur the only one who keeps up with gaming. go play with your cousin, Slay. I’m sure he misses u. Sad Man.

          • http://thescienceethusiast1130.tumblr.com/ TheScienceEnthusiast1130

            @Jack Slater

            *sigh*

            A fail troll…

  • Elvick

    But… I want to see a Resogun Delta on PS Vita some day. D:

    I don’t want a port, I want a new game like they did with Super Stardust Delta.

    Would be super fun. Either way, looking forward to Resogun.

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