Ryse: Son of Rome’s tech torn down at GDC session, Marius model initially made of 130,000 polygons

Monday, 24th March 2014 10:11 GMT By Dave Cook

Ryse: Son of Rome received a technical tear-down during a GDC panel session last week, which revealed a reduction in polygon counts due to optimisation. The biggest change was in lead character Marius, whose model went from 130,000 polys down to 85,000 before launch.

DualShockers reports that the session, entitled ‘Play the Cutscene: The Characters of Ryse,’ was presented by Crytek Senior Character Artist Abdenour Bachir and Art Technical Director Christopher Evans.

In it; the duo explained that initially, Ryse’s production standard was similar to that of a CGI movie, with some 4 million polygons per armour piece, which brought the Marius model up to 130 million polys alone. Textures on individual parts of his character model weighed in at 4,096 x 4,096 pixels each, which came to 147,456 × 147,456 for the full model, or 22 billion texels if you prefer.

Had Crytek continued on with this degree of production, Ryse’s frame-rate would surely suffer heavily, so the team entered into a process of optimisation, opting for 40,000 polygons for goons and background NPCs and a maximum of 160,000 for main characters. The final Marius model clocked in at 85,000 polys. By comparison, PS3 and Xbox 360 character poly counts average 10-20,000 polygons.

Optimisation is, of course, a key part of the development process, so this is standard practice. That said, what do you think of the stats?



  1. Panthro

    I think you are lieing there are no graphical downgrades for xbox games only resolution which doesn’t matter and the compression youtube uses makes shadows and stuff disappear.

    #1 8 months ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @Panthro It’s spelled ‘lying’ and don’t ever call me a liar again please. If you don’t like the report then don’t believe it, but don’t shoot the messenger.

    #2 8 months ago
  3. Panthro

    @Dave Cook

    I was joking, chill the fuck out.

    #3 8 months ago
  4. Animal Mother

    But what do these numbers actually mean? In the other article it says KillZone polygon count was 40,000. Does this mean the detail is higher on Ryse? Meaning what? Better looking characters?

    Basically, can you explain it to a five year old?

    #4 8 months ago
  5. jmg24bad

    Lmao. Dave Cook was tight lol (tight as in , mad as fuck)

    #5 8 months ago
  6. Dave Cook

    @jmg24bad Well, I am Scottish after all. We’re a mad bunch.

    #6 8 months ago
  7. The_Red

    I don’t think Ryse suffered a downgrade. As mentioned, it was mostly optimization. Forza 5 on the other hand, my god that was like 3 Watch_Dogs combined. The downgrade in lighting model and crowds was almost laughable…
    And people think it running being 1080p 60fps was note worthy.

    #7 8 months ago
  8. The Auracle

    There tends to be a real false equivalency where graphical fidelity is concerned. A lot of gamers like to throw around the word ‘downgrade’ a lot without actually knowing what technical work the Devs have put in.

    Thus, things like “reduced polygon count” immediately becomes “HAHAHA XBone sux! Can’t handle the graphix!”

    Looking at the full tear-down, the conclusion I can reasonably draw is that Crytek did a lot more using a lot less. By using existing tools and a bit of technical trickery, they’ve managed to build a rather nice looking game without wasting resources on brand new engines and such. If Turn 10 has done the same with the latest Forza, then I think it’s fairly reasonable to suggest we’re looking at a possible role reversal from the last gen: it’s not about how much power, it’s what you do with it.

    #8 8 months ago

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