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BioShock Infinite to 'stand out' via PC version


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Initial post: Jan 15, 2013 7:21:17 AM PST
JJ4prez says:
http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/01/15/bioshock-infinite-the-pc-version-difference

Are you looking forward to playing BioShock Infinite on PC? We had the opportunity to ask Ken Levine and technical director at Irrational Chris Kline a few questions about how the PC version will differ from the console versions as well as about possible support for Oculus Rift and Steam Box.

Skip to the bottom of the story for the minimum and recommended hardware configurations of BioShock Infinite. If you don't know what BioShock Infinite is check out IGN's impressions of the first few hours of the game.

IGN: How does your approach to the PC version of Infinite differ from how the PC version of the original BioShock was handled?

Chris Kline: The original BioShock was Irrational's first major title to appear not just on PC but on console as well. It took the extraordinary efforts of everyone on the team just to get the game running while meeting our unreasonably high quality bar. This meant that we had to make tough decisions regarding where we spent our time and how we allocated our resources. In hindsight, we underestimated both the amount of time required to build a PC-friendly UI and also the challenge of getting the game running well on DX10 which was brand-new at the time.

This time around things were done differently. From very early on the PC was given equal standing with the other platforms, with its own "strike team" of programmers, game designers, UI specialists, and artists who were on-call to address PC-specific needs. The extra time and resources allowed us to really do it right this time around.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 7:22:45 AM PST
StriderNeo15 says:
The Xbox version is gonna be awesome.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 7:23:16 AM PST
So PC version of a game will run/look better...this is news?

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 7:23:45 AM PST
uncledonnie3 says:
I really hope there's native controller support unlike the first 2 games on the PC.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 7:25:01 AM PST
BTW here are the specs for the people who can't go to the link

Minimum

*OS: Windows Vista Service Pack 2 32-bit
*Processor: Intel Core 2 DUO 2.4 GHz / AMD Athlon X2 2.7 GHZ
*RAM: 2 GB
*Hard Drive: 20 GB free
*Video Card: DirectX10 Compatible ATI Radeon 3870 / NVIDIA 8800 GT / Intel HD 3000 Integrated Graphics
*Video Card Memory: 512 MB
*Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
Recommended

*OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit
*Processor: Quad Core Processor
*RAM: 4 GB
*Hard Drive: 30 GB free
*Video Card: DirectX11 Compatible, ATI Radeon 6950 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560
*Video Card Memory: 1024 MB
*Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 7:26:09 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 7:26:34 AM PST
Full text
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Are you looking forward to playing BioShock Infinite on PC? We had the opportunity to ask Ken Levine and technical director at Irrational Chris Kline a few questions about how the PC version will differ from the console versions as well as about possible support for Oculus Rift and Steam Box.

Skip to the bottom of the story for the minimum and recommended hardware configurations of BioShock Infinite. If you don't know what BioShock Infinite is check out IGN's impressions of the first few hours of the game.

IGN: How does your approach to the PC version of Infinite differ from how the PC version of the original BioShock was handled?

Chris Kline: The original BioShock was Irrational's first major title to appear not just on PC but on console as well. It took the extraordinary efforts of everyone on the team just to get the game running while meeting our unreasonably high quality bar. This meant that we had to make tough decisions regarding where we spent our time and how we allocated our resources. In hindsight, we underestimated both the amount of time required to build a PC-friendly UI and also the challenge of getting the game running well on DX10 which was brand-new at the time.

This time around things were done differently. From very early on the PC was given equal standing with the other platforms, with its own "strike team" of programmers, game designers, UI specialists, and artists who were on-call to address PC-specific needs. The extra time and resources allowed us to really do it right this time around.

IGN: How much of a difference would you say anyone with a high-end PC will be able to notice if they crank up all the settings compared to someone playing on consoles or even someone playing on PC with medium settings?

Chris Kline: Playing the PC version on Medium settings is fairly close to the console version, though higher quality in a few areas. As you go up from there to the High, Very High, and Ultra settings the difference is enormous.

The PC version ships on three discs, as opposed to one for consoles, to accommodate the higher-resolution content we provide for the PC. This really stands out when you play on the higher detail settings and higher resolutions that the PC allows. Irrational Games is known for all the detail we put into our worlds and the higher detail settings available on PC give us even more to work with.

Higher-end PC settings also activate on higher-quality versions of many of our core rendering features. For example, we show more objects and particles at longer distances and greater detail. We use a higher-precision color buffer for improved scene quality. Textures stream in more quickly, and we use higher quality texture filtering. More objects cast shadows, shadows are higher-resolution and blend more smoothly into the scene.

Though you only need DX10 hardware to play, if you have DX11 hardware you'll be able to turn on high-end PC-only features like Contact Hardening Shadows, High Definition Ambient Occlusion, and Diffusion Depth of Field. In particular, the HDAO and DDoF will take full advantage of the DX11 Compute Shader capability in high-end hardware, and our FXAA implementation is optimized for Shader Model 5.

IGN: Irrational has a long history of developing games for PC. What would you say are the chief components of success in the realm of PC development, and what kind of shifts have you seen over the past few years that have affected development?

Chris Kline: To be successful in PC development, you need three things: time, passion and respect.

Time, because you need to plan and implement PC-specific support early in the development process. If you try to port or patch it in at the last minute you simply will not have enough time to do it right while simultaneously fixing ship-stopping issues. In the end you'll end up limiting the PC experience just to get it out the door.

Passion, because if no one in your organization cares enough about the PC to advocate for it -- if no none is staying there until 3AM "just polishing up" that PC-only feature -- then gamers are going to notice. And if it's not a priority for the company then those advocates won't get the support they need to get the job done.

Respect, because to be truly successful at PC development you need to recognize that the PC is a platform with unique strengths that offers an amazing gaming experience and is continuing to grow in both consumer appeal and market share. But it's also a fast moving target with broad hardware variation among other challenges. Meeting these challenges head-on requires just as much (if not more) hard work and commitment to detail as the console platforms.

IGN: How do you make Infinite feel like it's custom-designed for the PC platform instead of a console-like game that just happens to play on a PC?

Chris Kline: Developers always say that to make a good console game you need to constantly be evaluating your work on the console. This is absolutely true for PC as well.

Having a PC Strike Team full of passionate PC gamers was by far the biggest factor in making the PC version so good. These folks were playing the game on PC every day, advocating for what they thought was necessary to make a high-quality PC title. The "Windowed Fullscreen" display mode is there because Doug Marien prefers to play that way and advocated for it. Our Steam Cloud support is great because Shane Mathews wouldn't settle for anything less and argued that PC gamers would expect it. Steve Anichini and his rendering team pushed hard to change the entire renderer to DX11 and to add in scalability options so we could take full advantage of the latest PC hardware. The UI team fought to make sure that their UI was mouse-friendly, displayed properly in higher resolutions, and had input bindings that changed instantly when you switched from controller to keyboard. My contribution was the in-game FOV adjustment control.

IGN: What do you think developing a version of BioShock or Infinite for something like the Oculus Rift?

Chris Kline: True story: there's a box in my basement right now where I still have a Nintendo Power Glove that I wired up to a custom RS-232 interface back in high school so I could write code for it on my Mac Classic. So personally I am super-excited to see VR hardware like the Oculus Rift come to fruition, and I think that the world of Columbia, with its expansive vistas and floating worlds to explore, would be an amazing location to explore through a head-mounted display. Now... can someone please send me one?

IGN: What do you think the PC scene will look like two or three years from now?

Ken Levine: Everything old is new again. Things like digital distribution have given PCs the unique ability to have the broadest range of games out there with the most dynamic methods of monetization and customization in terms of how you play. So once again, you're seeing the kind of games that Irrational made when we were just starting out becoming more feasible to produce, where just a few years ago, the thought of doing anything but big budget titles exclusively seemed farfetched. That's not to say we've made any decisions about the future, or we're even close to making any, but it's always nice to have options to make a broader range of successful games.

IGN: What do you think about what Valve has said so far about their Linux-based Steam Box?

Ken Levine: The Steam Box is definitely something we, and I would say many developers, will be looking at moving forward. Anything that gives the gamers more choice is a win.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 7:26:50 AM PST
JJ4prez says:
Freaking 30GB install...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 7:28:46 AM PST
Go big or go home.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 7:29:30 AM PST
Likely a 15gb install with 30gb required to process said install using HD texture packs.

The recommended might install the lower res set and only require 20gb free to process the install.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 7:49:15 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
And be cheaper. Seriously, why do people game on consoles?

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 7:51:50 AM PST
Lyrick_ says:
Higher Res textures, resolution and DX11 effects including:
Contact Hardening Shadows
High Definition Ambient Occlusion
Diffusion Depth of Field
a Shader Model 5 optimized FXAA implementation

Essentially another preview of Next Gen consoles.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 7:54:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 8:00:23 AM PST
Kirksplosion says:
Lower barrier to entry?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 7:55:12 AM PST
StriderNeo15 says:
Better graphics.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 7:55:32 AM PST
klopas says:
I recently finished Bioshock 2 on the PC and can't wait for this on the PC as well!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 7:56:13 AM PST
I imagine the gap this time is going to be rather massive. The ps3/360 are both quite out dated compared to what a mid range gaming computer can do. Which explains why we are getting new consoles this year. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 7:56:56 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 7:57:08 AM PST
For me, Nintendo games. Outside that, I see no reason not to PC game over ps4/720. :)

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 7:59:32 AM PST
got mayo?™ says:
That's 30Gb of goodness.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 8:00:13 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 8:00:31 AM PST
StriderNeo15 says:
I don't know, with all these modern games being dumbed down for the console boneheads, I'd probably rather just play on console than play on PC and rage at the world for insulting my intelligence.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 8:00:47 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
If that analyst is right there will only be ~$100 difference between a pretty capable PC and next gen consoles.

This sounds like the perfect time for Steambox. I hope that Valve puts digital games "packed-in" with the Steambox. I think that if Steambox can hit the market around the time of the PS4/720, they can really clean up as being a great alternative to traditional consoles while not being as confusing/complicated (for the mainstream audience) as building your own PC

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 8:01:20 AM PST
Considering the year in gaming we just had I really don't think much is really dumbed down.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 8:02:26 AM PST
StriderNeo15 says:
Us consolers just don't know any better.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 8:05:09 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
Sorry, I was just talking about real video game consoles, not Nintendo consoles.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 8:05:34 AM PST
Kirksplosion says:
I was talking about current gen. I have no idea what the barrier to entry will be like on the upcoming consoles.

I hope the Steambox is successful. Can't imagine I have a need for it since I have a PC, but I don't want it to fail (and don't expect it to).

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 8:06:05 AM PST
"My contribution was the in-game FOV adjustment control."

:) As I recall this was a bone of contention from the original Bioshock game. Having a nice, fat FoV was part of what made Far Cry 3 so cool.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 8:06:12 AM PST
I've just never understood the argument.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  18
Total posts:  62
Initial post:  Jan 15, 2013
Latest post:  Jan 15, 2013

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