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Deep Down’s Panta Rhei engine to unlock “full potential” of PS4 & next-gen hardware

Friday, 10 January 2014 12:33 GMT By Dave Cook

Capcom’s next-gen Panta Rhei engine was unveiled at Sony’s PS4 reveal over a year ago, and we’re yet to see the extent of its potential. It’s lucky then, that the company’s senior manager Masaru Ijuin has discussed the engine in a new blog post.

It follows the release of a new Deep Down PS4 screenshot, showing off something particularly nasty.

Over on the Capcom business site, Ijuin explained that the company’s MT Framework engine started to run into problems as tech advanced, underlining the need for a new technology. “Don’t get me wrong,” he added, “We believe MT Framework is a powerful rendering engine. But it’s clear that heightened game quality leads to a rise in the number of man hours.

“The amount of work involved in making games for next-gen consoles is eight to ten times greater than what is required for the current generation of consoles.”

Ijuin explained that Capcom had considered simply updating the MT Framework engine, but decided to build Panta Rhei from the ground up to meet the demands of next-generation development. “We won’t use Panta Rhei to develop games for the current generation of consoles,” he stressed, and added, “We intend to continue using MT Framework’to do that, and use MT Framework Mobile for handhelds and smartphones. These engines provide the optimum development environments for hardware with different characteristics and specifications.”

This, understandably, means that Capcom developers will have to learn a new engine over again. But it will be worth it, Injuin continued, “Well, I’m afraid creators will have to start back at square one when they learn how develop games using ‘Panta Rhei’. Next-gen consoles have drastically redefined the way games are rendered. Conventional theories no longer work.

“If we create games the same way as before, we won’t be able to give our fans what they want, and that’s games unlike any they have ever played. We think we should view this new hardware as an opportunity to tackle new challenges.”

Injuin and his team aren’t blind to the potential negatives of having to start over however, but reasoned, “there were people who were initially against the introduction of “Panta Rhei”. I think everyone’s a little apprehensive about changing the development environment. People frequently asked us why we felt the need to replace a smoothly running engine with a new one. We promised to offer them maximum support, and moved ahead with the development of ‘Panta Rhei’. Currently we’re working with the “deep down” development team and using this engine to make the game.”

It’ll worth it in the end, Injuin feels, as he added, “Panta Rhei is designed to unlock the full potential of hardware and maximize the rendering power of next-gen consoles. It also reduces the iterations in developing games for next-gen consoles. To make games more exciting, we need to go through a process of trial and error, such as adjusting parameters and considering how games are played.

“This process needs to be completed in the shortest amount of time possible. Reducing the iteration time from ten minutes to one minute delivers a tenfold increase on the amount of work we can do.”

On how the engine has been used to enhance the play experience in PS4 exclusive Deep Down, Injuin explained, “One of the main features is ‘parallelization’. Normally when a game is made, the planner comes up with a plan, and the designer draws a map. The characters are then placed on the map and the created game is played. If the game’s not fun, the map is redesigned from scratch. This is what you would call a serial process. On the other hand, “Panta Rhei” transforms this into a parallel process, thereby minimizing work loss through the coordination of efforts.”

“The players of Deep down”will be surprised to see realistic fire rendered by fluids,” he continued. “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.

“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.”

There’s tons more over at the Capcom business site, but for now, what do you make of Panta Rhei and Deep Down?

Via OXM.

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9 Comments

  1. monkeygourmet

    I wonder why PC is only including MT framework?

    #1 1 year ago
  2. jomac3db

    Can’t wait for this game

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Tormenter

    @1

    because the consoles NEED some wiggle room in order for them to insist they are still relevant.

    Their sad state would be far too obvious if all platforms had the same features… it’s purposeful crippling.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Gheritt White

    Yeah, after 7 million unit sales after one Xmas season consoles are *so* irrelevant.

    Welcome to the cyclical nature of videogames – you must be new here. In two years time, we’ll be back to the same-old same-old of PC games going into decline. Then, three or four years later (i.e. five or six years from now), there will be a PC game resurgence.

    Same as it ever was.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. monkeygourmet

    @4

    Yeah, but your not saying the PC couldn’t handle this engine are you?

    Of course it’s ‘purposeful crippling’ if these engines are usable but they choose not to?

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Kreion

    @5
    The point is that the engine isn’t designed for PC, so isn’t optimized for it – which is something you have no right to complain about because it’s the developers choice.

    There are plenty of developers making engines for the PC which are better than the one on display here -.-

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Gheritt White

    ^This. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing whether Star Citizen ever makes it to next-gen consoles and the GFX parity between versions.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. monkeygourmet

    I’m not complaining, just thought big devs wanted parity?

    #8 1 year ago
  9. FuntimeBen

    I was really excited, but after the confounding trailers they have released I have to say that I have lost all interest in the game. It is simply too weird.

    #9 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Ubisoft has put a number of its games on sale through the Humble Store. Franchises Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are on discount as are single release titles. The list of games on sale are below. For pricing in your region, head over to the Humble Store. Anno 2070 Complete Edition Assassin’s Creed 3 Assassin’s […]

  • Payday 2: Repeater rifle, Peacemaker pistol introduced with The Butcher’s Western Pack

    Overkill Software released the 21st DLC pack for Payday 2 yesterday, titled The Butcher’s Western Pack. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and other digital distribution channels. “For our 21st DLC we go back in time to visit the Wild West and the arsenal it was known for,” said the developers. “With it we’re introducing […]

  • The Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter just launched and has already met its funding goal

    Playtonic Games launched the Kickstarter campaign for Yooka-Laylee at 5pm UK, and in just over 30 minutes it already hit its $270,000 funding goal. You can watch the funding counter continue to roll over through the link. Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer where the characters use special moves such as Yooka’s tongue grapple and Laylee’s […]

  • Batch of hi-res Persona 5 screenshots released by PlayStation Japan

    A set of screenshots have been released for Persona 5, and while you’ve seen these before in magazines and on the official website, these are high-res versions. Some will even look familiar to those who watched the first gameplay trailer back in February. The shots were posted over on the PlayStation Japan Persona 5 game […]

  • Is Alien: Isolation getting HTC Vive support?

    Placeholder images for SteamVR icons have been found and it looks like there may be support for Alien: Isolation, so if you enjoy soiling yourself, get psyched! NeoGAF members found a thread on Reddit, where a little rooting around in a Steam directory unearthed the images. The list includes both games and apps, and as […]

  • Xbox Live multiplayer is free this weekend on Xbox 360

    Xbox 360 players in all Xbox Live regions can play multiplayer online for free this weekend. If you are a Silver member, this means you are Golden from May 1-3 and can play multiple games online with your buddies. All you have to do is log-in to Xbox Live.

  • Assassin’s Creed actor Michael Fassbender confirms film production starts September

    The Assassin’s Creed movie will start production this fall, actor Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, 300, X-Men:First Class) as confirmed. Speaking with ComingSoon.net, Fassbender said filming will start in September, which is inline with Ubisoft’s announcement in February. The actor will star in the film alongside Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, both reuniting with their MacBeth director Justin […]

  • Eve Online boss states VR won’t be as big as we think next year

    I don’t think I’m the only one who wants VR to hurry up and manifest into a Sword Art Online-esque reality. Unfortunately, the chief executive officer at the studio behind Eve Online doesn’t think that will be happening any time soon. Talking to Venture Beat, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson touched on his excitement at the prospects […]

  • The Last of Us: Left Behind goes standalone in May on PS3, PS4

    Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of US DLC Left Behind will be released as a standalone experience next month. It can be purchased for both PlayStation 3 and PS4 through the PS Store and a two-hour demo of the Factions multiplayer will also be made available. “The Left Behind standalone game will have […]

  • EA’s annual E3 press conference takes place on June 15

    Electronic Arts has announced its annual E3 2015 press conference will take place the day before the show kicks off on June 15. EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft always hold press events the day before E3 officially starts, so this isn’t any surprise, really. The presser, dubbed “Live to Play”, will last one hour and […]

  • Steam exchange rate mix-up closes down community market

    The Steam community market was buggered up big time today after a mix-up with currency conversion had items selling from practically nothing, to millions of dollars. PC Gamer picked up on the news after a thread on Reddit appeared with screenshots depicting just how silly things were getting over there. The currency exchange rate data […]

  • Britney Spears signs five-year deal with Glu for new mobile game

    Pop star Britney Spears has signed a five-year deal with Glu mobile for a new, untitled game. The mobile game will feature her “voice, likeness, and creative influence,” and is due for release sometime next year. Glu also signed a deal with Katy Perry in February, so expect a game revolving around her to hit […]

  • Large Activision publisher sale on Steam discounts Call of Duty, Prototype, more

    Activision has put the majority of its library on sale through Steam this weekend, and if other titles weren’t included, it could be referred to as a Call of Duty sale. Below are a few standouts. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Gold Edition 25% off Call of Duty: Ghosts 67% off Call of Duty: […]

  • The Dota 2 International Compendium is out, second Stretch Goal almost complete

    The International Compendium has been released for Dota 2 with the prize pool sitting at a lovely $1,917,155 as of press time. Valve said over the weekend to expect the International Compendium to drop sometime this week. As with previous years, those who purchase the Compendium can earn rewards by completing challenges, making predictions and by […]

  • If permadeath RTS games are up your alley, check out indie project XO

    The Square Enix Collective showcases projects for a limited time to help drum up community support and potential backers, and RTS title XO from Jumpdrive Studios is worth taking a look at. The teaser trailer is fairly brief, but if you visit the page for XO over at the Square Enix Collective, it’s understandable – […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch disables mods. Here’s how to get them working again

    A new patch for the PC version of GTA 5 was released yesterday and, as it turns out, has wiped the ability to use mods with the game. The wasn’t great news for some players, but YouTuber taltigolt has already figured out how to play the PC version with mods after installing the patch. Matt […]

  • Xbox One ad stealth launches a mysterious Halo 5 competition

    A new Xbox One advert released today isn’t as straightforward as it appears. The trailer has a couple of pretty conspicuous ‘glitches’ throughout, and members of NeoGAF wasted no time in breaking it down. The first item of interest is the screen from the hunt the signal site, which displays an error message when accessed […]

  • Battlefield 4 Jungle map improved with latest update

    DICE LA has updated the Battlefield 4 Jungle map, adding more foliage and a new route. As demonstrated by Westie in the video above, the map now has the kind of foliage you’d expect in the jungle, helping to conceal infantry players. The update also tweaks positions of objective points and has added a concealed […]

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate free DLC pack for May includes Metroid and Mega Man armour

    The May DLC pack for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate boasts some big ticket items, including Metroid, Street Fighter, and Mega Man gear. This big fat chunk of free DLC, detailed on the capcom unity blog, includes Hunter equipment: Metroid’s Varia Suit Metroid’s Zero Suit Metroid’s Arm Cannon Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn USJ’s Star Rook […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for May 1, 2 – Hard Light edition

    Here he comes with his weird face, dealing goods and gear for Guardians. It’s Friday. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back in the Tower. Of Course he is. Got your Strange Coins? Here’s what’s in his bag this week: Ruin Wings [Exotic Titan gauntlets] – 13SC Don’t Touch Me [Exotic Hunter gauntlets] – 13SC […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC drops for PS4 on May 26

    Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC has now been announced for May 26 for PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The announcement was made on Twitter via the official Dragon Age account. Mark your calendars! #DAIJawsOfHakkon pic.twitter.com/mU1WfkSrQV — Dragon Age (@dragonage) May 1, 2015 The DLC was released for PC and Xbox One back in March thanks to […]

  • New Witcher 3 screenshots highlight Geralt’s questionable fashion choices

    Even though The Witcher 3 release date is drawing closer, it still feels like a million year away. So here are some more screenshots to tide you over until then. We got to look at in-game shots yesterday, but these new screens show Geralt riding through some gorgeously vibrant mountains, in the midst of combat […]

  • Sims Gurus patch out pregnant men

    Say goodbye to The Sims 4 unique take on fatherhood, as The Sims Gurus confirm that male pregnancies are no more. The Sims 4 players have been reporting high numbers of alien abductions, leaving their male characters with sore bottoms and a bellyful of alien baby. Kotaku reports that not everyone was getting their knickers […]