​AC IV Lead: Working On Next-Gen Easier Than 'Nightmarish' Current-Gen

 AC IV Lead: Working On Next-Gen Easier Than 'Nightmarish' Current-Gen

It must be awfully tricky making a game run on both current-and next-gen systems, taking advantage of the power of new consoles while keeping things running on the old ones. With Assassin's Creed IV, one of the highest profile cross-gen games around, it sounds like the current-gen side of things was, perhaps unsurprisingly, a real hassle.

"Development on both consoles was very smooth since they are both very similar to PCs," said AC IV director Ashraf Ismail today in a Reddit AMA. "Both XboxOne and PS4 were easy to deal with and the 1st partys were both there to help us out. The one grey area was understanding both Sony and MS requirements for the consoles. They were trying to figure them out themselves. Overall it was super smooth to develop on [next-gen systems]."

Making the game work on last-gen systems, however, was "very difficult and even nightmarish," Ismali said. He didn't elaborate just why this was, but after playing through the game on PS3, it seems like Ubisoft pulled some kind of magic trick to get everything working with current-gen consoles' comparatively sparse RAM allotment.

I played a good chunk of the PS4 version of the game, and while I'd advise holding out for next-gen versions (or PC) if you're getting one of those platforms, the PS3 version really does look and run just fine. Choppy in places, and certainly not as shiny as next-gen, but totally playable and generally lovely-looking.

We'll have more in-depth impressions of cross-gen multiplatform games like AC IV once we've had a chance to test them out on both Xbox One and PS4. But it's nice to hear that developers will indeed have an easier time making games for the new systems… though I don't envy those who have to continue to make cross-gen games over the years to come.

IamA Developer on Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag AMAA! [Reddit]


Comments

    What's the story behind the pic? Or is it just a random arrow pointing at stuff?

      Probably means trying something daring will get bitten by the Ram ceiling. I believe AC4 have a lot of textures load and next gen console have sufficient ram for them to increase the texture to make it beautiful while they struggle to keep that quality of work for current gen console.

      Just my 2 cents.

      Its that current gen has something like 1/2 a gb of ram to use. This makes creating a game that uses 4gb+ very difficult to make on a machine with around 1/8 the ram.

      Much like jumping a 3m gap over a chomping crocodile is a hard task i imagine :P

      Last edited 07/11/13 4:06 pm

        Its even harder on the PS3 as that only had 256mb of ram :(

    Oh, there's been an edit. http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1pz0j2/iama_developer_on_assassins_creed_iv_black_flag/cd7hnjn

    "EDIT - There seems to be a misunderstanding about me saying "Last generation was very difficult and even nightmarish". I was referring to general game development on the generation switch between Last Gen (PS2 and Xbox) and Current Gen (PS3 and Xbox360). That was a very tough transition, where the PS3 to PS4 was a much smoother and easier one.
    PS3/Xbox360 development of Black Flag was very smooth as this is the end of the generation and we know the tech inside and out."

      That makes alot more sense too, it read very differently originally.

    Amazing what can be done with 512MB of RAM. Now devs have 16X that amount to play with.

    I hope the next Cod game (yeah talking about it already lol) is not on this current gen so it actually takes advantage of new hardware. I know it won't happen but I can dream

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