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Tesseract
05-23-2007, 03:52 PM
Hey, FRD_folks.... I'd like to get some first-hand opinions on the challenges, strengths and weaknesses of developing the same game to play similarly on three very disparate platforms.

For example... Will you simply be porting HAZE between the consoles, or will you be optimising the engine for X360, PC and PS3 to take advantages of their strengths or play around their weaknesses?

The PS3 has 7 cores, the 360 3 cores, and high-end PCs have 2 or 4 cores.... Does the difference in the number of available processing cores change how you have to have the game handle its multithreading?

Are we close to having a PC Requirement confirmed?

Since all three platforms have an optional keyboard, will keyboard/mouse support be universal?

Will the SixaxiS motion functionality be used? If so, how will it be duplicated on the other platforms that lack motion sensitive controls?

*draws breath* I'll let you folks talk, now.

deded999
05-23-2007, 04:59 PM
I think they're all still in France at the moment!

They have said in previous interviews that all the versions will run pretty much the same - that seems to have been their intention throughout development, but, hey! Things change right? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

Tesseract
05-23-2007, 08:47 PM
Bah... France isn't that far away from England, it just SEEMS like it.

It'll be interesting, though, to get insight into how they intend to accomplish all platforms running 'the same'. Even assuming the approximate power of the three platforms are similar, they all handle data processing differently. PS3 has higher data bandwidth and more data storage, but the 360 has more overall memory available. They have very different graphics processors, memory structures, etc.

Unless they've figured out a way for the game engine to automatically take advantage of every benefit or limitation a platform has to offer, then they have to specifically plan for these different contingencies. It's just interesting to get insights like this from people that actually have to WORK with the hardware.

TerranUp16
05-23-2007, 10:18 PM
The 360 controller could also be available to both the PC and 360- I'm not overly keen on it, but there actually are people who prefer game pads to the good ole mouse and keyboard for FPS games.

Anyway, my biggest question is if the PC version will get any graphical upgrades (not really complaining if it doesn't though b/c the game looks great already and all of those shots are from the PS3)?

cylonhunter
05-24-2007, 01:29 AM
well the ps3 dosent really have 7 cores in the same sense that the 360 has three. The ps3 has ONE mulitpurpose core. and 7 specialized cores that more or less do only floating point math.


and where did oyu people read that the ps3 has better data bandwidth? it's well established that the 360 has far faster busses. unless you're talking about the fact that ps3 has gigabit ethernet.....

deded999
05-24-2007, 04:19 AM
Oh God let's not start these old arguments again...

TerranUp16
05-24-2007, 10:01 AM
I can end the argument right now by stating the simple fact that the PC is better than both (and that performance is attainable for the price you'd need to pay for a decent PC which you'll use for plenty of other stuff anyway plus only the price of roughly a 360 core or premium).

logos01
05-24-2007, 08:44 PM
I don't think the devs would say if there are any differences between the versions. I read a post where they said the engine was multiplatform, so I'd expect it to be pretty similar if not equal in all 3 platforms. Judging from most multiplatform games, the xbox360 allows slightly better graphics than ps3.

deded999
05-25-2007, 04:06 AM
Neko stated a while ago that all versions would be 'on a par' with each other, and Rob Yescombe said the same in an interview last year - no planned differences between versions, although after this week it's now unclear if that remains the case.

Rasomaso
05-25-2007, 04:36 AM
I think the discussion about which system is better is senseless, cause if someone bought a PS3, he did that cause he was sure that the PS3 is the best for him and will not change his opinion just because someone says it's not. Same applies to X360 and PC.

Everyone should remind that all systems have their pros and cons and discussing which one is the best is just arguing who has the biggest muscles. It doesn't make sense especially when FRD announced no differences between the game versions.

Tesseract
05-26-2007, 04:17 AM
I want to sort this out... I am looking to do no console bashing or fanboy-ing. I'm very technically curious. Hell, the first thing I wanted to see from the PS3 when the first videos were released was its startup boot sequence.

I don't like hype, I don't like people saying one console is better than the other for silly reasons. I want to know what sets them apart from the people that actually have to WORK with it.

Naturally, one console may do things better than the other, but that's life, eh? If that's the case, at least it's something PROVEN and TESTED, not just conjecture. It's straight from the neko's mouth, rather than filtered through a potentially biased news site.

There WILL be differences between how things work with the game behind the scenes, and that's what I'm interested in. You can't write the game the same way down to each letter of code and expect it to run in all three platforms. Ever tried playing an XBox game on your PC?

So..... yeah. Objectivity, not opinion. Purely technical. Fanboys and trolls will receive a verbal thrashing.

deded999
05-26-2007, 04:33 AM
An admirable attitude - though scarce at the moment unfortunately...

Personally I doubt you'll get much joy from most multi-platform devs on this, most of whom would probably rather not 'rock the boat' by extending opinions on one system being better or worse than another, (although often one is better at one thing but worse at another). And single format devs talking about a systems traits can often be accused of bias when discussing such things, so I wish you luck in your quest! However, I would point out that if devs want each format to create a similar level of quality on each system then they can achieve that through the way they program each one, regardless of the actual abilites of each format.

Case in point, Assassin's Creed: recent (or not so recent) comments were taken to mean that the 360 would have better crowd AI, but comparing the two IGN interviews for each format shows that the quote mentioned stated that crowd AI was easier on the 360, but the end results on both systems would be the same. So you have a better (or quicker) system on one machine but no difference in the end result.

TerranUp16
05-26-2007, 09:54 AM
Interesting about AC, given that theoretically the PS3 should without a doubt be able to have the better AI. However, as you noted, in reality they both have equal AI but it was simply harder to do on the PS3, which sounds right.

TerranUp16
05-29-2007, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by sylonious:
I would also like to see them take advantage of the strengths of both systems.

The Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 has EDRAM which allows the system to do free 4XAA. This gives them more available bandwidth for HDR. So I definitely expect to see better lighting effects on the 360. I also expect to see better textures on the 360 version because of it's unified ram.

All of this stuff is standard on the 360 and if Haze didn't have this stuff the game would look under powered in comparison to the massive amount of great shooters on the 360.

The PS3

The PS3's Cell processor supposedly gives it physics and animation capabilities that aren't available on the 360.

I've yet to see any physics on the PS3 that couldn't be done on the 360 but Drake's Fortune and Rachet and Clank Future are two really well animated games.

I hope Haze will up the ante when it comes to Physics on the PS3.

PC

Naturally the best graphics and possibly the best physics courtesy of the GeForce 8 Series.

sylonious
05-29-2007, 10:17 AM
Naturally the best graphics and possibly the best physics courtesy of the GeForce 8 Series.

Yeah, the PC version too. I'd love to see some DX10 features like the lighting and shadow effects and new explosion physics.

BuddyFlashheart
05-29-2007, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by sylonious:
The Xbox 360 has EDRAM which allows the system to do free 4XAA. This gives them more available bandwidth for HDR. So I definitely expect to see better lighting effects on the 360. I also expect to see better textures on the 360 version because of it's unified ram.

All of this stuff is standard on the 360 and if Haze didn't have this stuff the game would look under powered in comparison to the massive amount of great shooters on the 360.

I'm not going to bother with a point by point response to your post because it's quite clear what you're up to here and I honestly can't be buggered to lead that type of conversation on a message board dedicated to a game, but using the "free AA" argument at this point seems so ludicrous that it's worth pointing out. As for your other sources, it should be pretty clear from complete package games such as Uncharted that a talented developer should have no problem bypassing any weaknesses of the system. But as said, I'm not going to go into this. I just thought we had progressed past the "free AA" stuff by now, evidence in plain view and all. Seems like you're basically regurgitating stuff burped forth by Major Tosspot Nelson or one of the other MS PR tools.

Rasomaso
05-29-2007, 12:32 PM
It seems that the discussion about a game turned out to be a discussion X360 vs PS3 vs PC - again.


Why can't we just discuss the game?
I have a PS3 (and I believe it's the best), but honestly I don't give a f*** if the X360 is in someway better. I'm just satisfied with what I have and I'm not gonna argue that my system is better cause I think it is. This is no-ending debate. On top of that I'm too much in love with dualshock design to buy Xbox, even it was stronger faster or whatever.

BuddyFlashheart
05-29-2007, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by Rasomaso:
It seems that the discussion about a game turned out to be a discussion X360 vs PS3 vs PC - again.

Why can't we just discuss the game?
I have a PS3 (and I believe it's the best), but honestly I don't give a f*** if the X360 is in someway better. I'm just satisfied with what I have and I'm not gonna argue that my system is better cause I think it is. This is no-ending debate. On top of that I'm too much in love with dualshock design to buy Xbox, even it was stronger faster or whatever.

Well, the thread title is "Platform Differences", so a certain level of platform pimping/dogging should be expected.

Rasomaso
05-29-2007, 12:40 PM
Yeah for sure but not like the guy up there

deded999
05-29-2007, 12:46 PM
Well, the thread title is "Platform Differences", so a certain level of platform pimping/dogging should be expected.

...and a good enough reason to lock it, IMO. FRD have stated in the past there'll be no noticeable differences between versions. Yes, this may change, with the lead platform getting a 'better' version, or the follow-up versions getting 'better' versions, but we won't find that out until all three have been released, so I really don't see any point in discussing what will only end up a big, fat fanboy argument. There's hundreds of forums dedicated to just such topics - let's keep this one to discuss Haze eh?

...er, and the Wii obviously. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/mockface.gif

BuddyFlashheart
05-29-2007, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by deded999:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Well, the thread title is "Platform Differences", so a certain level of platform pimping/dogging should be expected.

...and a good enough reason to lock it, IMO. FRD have stated in the past there'll be no noticeable differences between versions. Yes, this may change, with the lead platform getting a 'better' version, or the follow-up versions getting 'better' versions, but we won't find that out until all three have been released, so I really don't see any point in discussing what will only end up a big, fat fanboy argument. There's hundreds of forums dedicated to just such topics - let's keep this one to discuss Haze eh?

...er, and the Wii obviously. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/mockface.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't know, it's good to have a dedicated thread for this type of stuff. So when someone goes on a system wars bender in another thread, he/she/it could always be referred to the existing thread (this one). One large pile of dung is preferable to having to negotiate spots of poop in every thread.

deded999
05-29-2007, 01:20 PM
Heh. Maybe, but they make my head hurt. You end up spending most of your time fighting FUD/BS/factless argument and the entrenched won't listen to reason anyway, so why bother?

One large pile of dung... maybe I should start a thread, 'Dead Fanboy Storage'...

LiquidEagle
05-29-2007, 04:15 PM
I can go to any other forum for the whole PS3 vs. 360 vs. Phatom or whatever (the third one is a wild-card), I'm all about keeping this board clear of such a discussion. Let's talk about HAZE!!!

sylonious
05-29-2007, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by BuddyFlashheart:
I'm not going to bother with a point by point response to your post because it's quite clear what you're up to here and I honestly can't be buggered to lead that type of conversation on a message board dedicated to a game, but using the "free AA" argument at this point seems so ludicrous that it's worth pointing out. As for your other sources, it should be pretty clear from complete package games such as Uncharted that a talented developer should have no problem bypassing any weaknesses of the system. But as said, I'm not going to go into this. I just thought we had progressed past the "free AA" stuff by now, evidence in plain view and all. Seems like you're basically regurgitating stuff burped forth by Major Tosspot Nelson or one of the other MS PR tools.

Ok, post deleted but It's not like your flame bait helped anything. I got that info from anandtech.com (http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2453&p=7) way back in July of 2005 not Major Nelson.

Haze looks great so far.

Rasomaso
05-29-2007, 05:14 PM
Ok sorry post deleted http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

sylonious
05-29-2007, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by Rasomaso:
Ok sorry post deleted http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Yeah, I didn't mean to make anybody feel bad or dampen anyone's experience on the forum with tech talk.

I really didn't say anything negative about either console so I didn't expect to get some of the inflammatory responses I received from both PS3 and Xbox 360 owners. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif

Tesseract
05-30-2007, 01:36 PM
This thread, again, was meant for a technical assessment of what's different about developing for the three platforms. Even if all three versions were to look EXACTLY similar, there'd be differences in what the programmers would do to GET those results.

I'm not interested in comparing and saying 'XBox wins because of this feature' or 'PC dominates over all'. For the purposes of this thread, I'm more interested in the nuts and bolts than the finished product.

I was hoping to have intelligent and insightful discourse here between those who are merely looking forward to PLAYING the game and those who have their fingers in the guts of these platforms on a daily basis. But if you kids can't play nice, then we can lock the thread, go home, and not have to worry about posting anything else that might be enlightening or insightful.

NumoneX
05-30-2007, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by TerranUp16:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by sylonious:
I would also like to see them take advantage of the strengths of both systems.

The Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 has EDRAM which allows the system to do free 4XAA. This gives them more available bandwidth for HDR. So I definitely expect to see better lighting effects on the 360. I also expect to see better textures on the 360 version because of it's unified ram.

All of this stuff is standard on the 360 and if Haze didn't have this stuff the game would look under powered in comparison to the massive amount of great shooters on the 360.

The PS3

The PS3's Cell processor supposedly gives it physics and animation capabilities that aren't available on the 360.

I've yet to see any physics on the PS3 that couldn't be done on the 360 but Drake's Fortune and Rachet and Clank Future are two really well animated games.

I hope Haze will up the ante when it comes to Physics on the PS3.

PC

Naturally the best graphics and possibly the best physics courtesy of the GeForce 8 Series. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Ok. I wish people would think a little or look up the facts before posting stuff like this. The PS3 has 1 PPE and 7 SPE. An SPE is not a real core, it just handles VMX or floating point math same as the VMX units inside the Xenon CPU. Xenon has 6 hardware threads, each core is dual threaded. The CELLs SPE is not dual threaded. Not only that but the PPE and SPE doesnt even talk the same launguage which means that they cannot nhelp eachother. The way CELL works is that the PPE or main core does all the loading into the processor and then hands off the tasks to be done to each SPE, kind of like a traffic cop. All of the branch prediction and load/store is done on PPE with 2 threads. Xenon has 6 seperate threads each able to load/store and make use of branch prediction. Add to this that the VMX in Xenon has been extended with special instructions specifically for gaming. Xenon does AI and physics better because of 2 things. A thread can be dedicated to it from beginning to end without relying on any other threads to feed it data, second that thread has use of a branch predicter which is crucial for processing AI and physics code. SPE has no branch prediction which makes it abysmal for AI and physics.

Tesseract
05-30-2007, 02:16 PM
That's actually quite interesting... Given the fact that Sony's made a big deal of the PS3's ability to.... for lack of a better term 'extrapolate' more information (AI, partical physics and the like), it'll be interesting to see how it's meant to be programmed to take advantage of the achitecture and DO all that fun stuff.

BuddyFlashheart
05-30-2007, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by Tesseract:
This thread, again, was meant for a technical assessment of what's different about developing for the three platforms. Even if all three versions were to look EXACTLY similar, there'd be differences in what the programmers would do to GET those results.

I'm not interested in comparing and saying 'XBox wins because of this feature' or 'PC dominates over all'. For the purposes of this thread, I'm more interested in the nuts and bolts than the finished product.

Right. But to facilitate this, you would need the input of someone who is in fact developing the game. Not B3D-read armchair developers, but someone who is familiar with not only multiplatform development but also the specific development environment and procedures that apply to Haze. I suppose Neko could attempt to hook that up, but barring that I don't see much reason for the thread to be active.

LiquidEagle
05-30-2007, 02:41 PM
Well given David Doak's comments on the PS3 hardware that


Its strengths are obviously that is has a lot of processing power. Its weaknesses are that its processing power is locked away at the moment.

By the account of everybody working with the Cell, it sounds like an absolute beast, and I don't think that's any exaggeration.

deded999
05-30-2007, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by Tesseract:
This thread, again, was meant for a technical assessment of what's different about developing for the three platforms. Even if all three versions were to look EXACTLY similar, there'd be differences in what the programmers would do to GET those results.

I'm not interested in comparing and saying 'XBox wins because of this feature' or 'PC dominates over all'. For the purposes of this thread, I'm more interested in the nuts and bolts than the finished product.

I was hoping to have intelligent and insightful discourse here between those who are merely looking forward to PLAYING the game and those who have their fingers in the guts of these platforms on a daily basis. But if you kids can't play nice, then we can lock the thread, go home, and not have to worry about posting anything else that might be enlightening or insightful.

That would be an interesting thread, but unfortunately this kind of thing is complete fanboy territory. Anyone can start throwing around 'facts' about how each system works, what each systems strengths are, etc, and often with reams of technical data to back it up, but without the necessary understanding behind it by both the writer and reader, it's unreliable at best, and often riven with bias towards a particular system. It doesn't even have to be deliberate - everyone has their personal favourite, but I think unless you are an experienced (with all systems) developer, and don't have any axes to grind (or any first/second party ties with which your opinion can be again reduced to 'bias'), it's almost impossible to get a reasonable view of the strengths and weaknesses of each system. The fact that not one system is any more than two-odd years into firm development doesn't help either.

NumoneX makes the point that:


Xenon does AI and physics better because of 2 things. A thread can be dedicated to it from beginning to end without relying on any other threads to feed it data, second that thread has use of a branch predicter which is crucial for processing AI and physics code. SPE has no branch prediction which makes it abysmal for AI and physics.

As far as I understand it, not being a third-party, experienced with all systems developer, this is true, in that the PS3 is not particularly good at branching prediction for AI, not natively at least. However, this assumes that developers must use this system pretty much exactly as the PC/360 uses it, in which case the PS3 suffers in comparison. However, it is not necessary to cling to the paradigm and other approaches can be used to either alleviate the worst problems with the current paradigm, or use an alternate one such as neural-based AI, which may appear in the future and quite possibly prove more appropriate for the PS3 and better than it's rivals. I don't claim that last to be true, just that it's possible. People can be very easily blinded by apparently-gold tech-talk, (I'm not personally dissing you here NumoneX, but I don't think you're vision of PS3-as-poorly-designed-calculator is quite accurate).

Discussing such things is best left to other, more technically oriented forums IMO, where despite higher knowledge levels the same pointless arguments still go on anyway.

I think the topic is a good one Tesseract, it's just unfortunate that it's too easily hijacked by people with either poor information or not the best intentions in posting...

Let's wait and see what each system is capable of by waiting to see the games shall we? I know no better way of doing it than that...

Tesseract
05-30-2007, 02:53 PM
Right. But to facilitate this, you would need the input of someone who is in fact developing the game. Not B3D-read armchair developers, but someone who is familiar with not only multiplatform development but also the specific development environment and procedures that apply to Haze. I suppose Neko could attempt to hook that up, but barring that I don't see much reason for the thread to be active.

That was the intent right from the start. I wouldn't have posted this question on any other forum because I know that folks from FRD actually READ this stuff.

deded999
05-30-2007, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by Tesseract:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Right. But to facilitate this, you would need the input of someone who is in fact developing the game. Not B3D-read armchair developers, but someone who is familiar with not only multiplatform development but also the specific development environment and procedures that apply to Haze. I suppose Neko could attempt to hook that up, but barring that I don't see much reason for the thread to be active.

That was the intent right from the start. I wouldn't have posted this question on any other forum because I know that folks from FRD actually READ this stuff. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That would be great to read, but I really doubt you'll see Neko discussing cross-platform development on here, if for no other reason than because all the other threads discussing the 360/PC versions have already been locked...

sylonious
05-31-2007, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by NumoneX:
Ok. I wish people would think a little or look up the facts before posting stuff like this. The PS3 has 1 PPE and 7 SPE. An SPE is not a real core, it just handles VMX or floating point math same as the VMX units inside the Xenon CPU. Xenon has 6 hardware threads, each core is dual threaded. The CELLs SPE is not dual threaded. Not only that but the PPE and SPE doesnt even talk the same launguage which means that they cannot nhelp eachother. The way CELL works is that the PPE or main core does all the loading into the processor and then hands off the tasks to be done to each SPE, kind of like a traffic cop. All of the branch prediction and load/store is done on PPE with 2 threads. Xenon has 6 seperate threads each able to load/store and make use of branch prediction. Add to this that the VMX in Xenon has been extended with special instructions specifically for gaming. Xenon does AI and physics better because of 2 things. A thread can be dedicated to it from beginning to end without relying on any other threads to feed it data, second that thread has use of a branch predicter which is crucial for processing AI and physics code. SPE has no branch prediction which makes it abysmal for AI and physics.

I thought I did "look up the facts" (http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2453&p=4).


So what does Tim Sweeney see the SPEs being used for in UE3? "With UE3, our focus on SPE acceleration is on physics, animation updates, particle systems, sound; a few other areas are possible but require more experimentation." Source (http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2453&p=4)

I guess Tim Sweeney was wrong. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Ayepecks
06-02-2007, 11:55 AM
So... back on topic anyone?