Vigil: Wii U has plenty to work with, “manage memory” issues with Darksiders II PS3 development

By Stephany Nunneley
19 July 2011 21:05 GMT

Marvin Donald, game director for Darksiders II, has said the Wii U version will look a lot like the PS3 and Xbox 360 version of the title, due to the console’s horsepower. He also makes no mention as to whether the team had to do any “wacky stuff” on the Nintendo version, like Vigil had to do on PS3.

No visual concessions on Wii U

“There’s plenty of horsepower there, so we’re not going to have to make any visual concessions at all for Darksiders 2,” Donald told Eurogamer.

“At a minimum on par, for sure. Whether or not we can go one step further, that might be driven by what’s available on the PC and whether or not that is easy to translate to the Wii U hardware, because there are most likely going to be resolution choices for the PC version of the game.

“We know some gamers are just going to have more horsepower at their disposal. It’s probably going to be the same graphically, regardless of any minor or major horsepower improvements on the Wii U.

“But, in all honesty, if the Wii U turns out to be this ridiculously powerful machine, we will probably make changes to our budget and scope to take advantage of that. But that’s currently not the plan. It’s going to be a direct port. That’s what we’re planning on. But that’s based off of what we believe the hardware’s going to be like.”

Donald said the team plans to make use of the console’s tablet, but adding the “obvious stuff, like making the inventory available and showing maps,” but Vigil is also looking to add action-oriented elements to the tablet screen.

“We just haven’t taken that step yet,” he said. “The first thing we needed to do was get what we had already working and make sure it was solid. There are still some issues we have to work out. The game doesn’t run perfectly on the Wii U as it is now. There are some things we have to deal with. But it’s to be expected because the hardware’s been changing and, also, there’s really no precedent for it.”

PS3 can be a bit of a pain to work on

Donald also told Eurogamer that Vigil has had to do some”wacky stuff” when developing for PS3 in order to “manage memory.”

“It’s a pain in the ass to work on,” he said. “Five years later, getting used to it? That means it’s a pain in the ass. I’m not an engineer, but I hear about it all the time. We have to do wacky stuff with the way we manage memory.

“Even as an artist, it’s like, OK, my textures are too big, I’m in trouble because I checked in something that’s making the 360 crash because it’s a 20×48 when it really should just be a 10×24, or even smaller.

“But on the PlayStation 3, the assets go into different categories, and if one of those categories becomes too bloated it’ll crash the system. It’s a little bit more sensitive on the PS3 in that regard. There are some things you just can’t do, or you have to do differently.

“Yeah, it’s a pain.”

Vigil stressed though that all versions of the game, be it for PS3, PC, Wii U or Xbox 360 will look stellar, and none will be inferior to the other.

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