Assassin's Creed 4 developer says PC was "first" in line for performance optimization
After recent comments appeared to imply that its developers are unconcerned with PC optimization, Ubisoft has responded with a broadside of information about the design process behind games like Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Contrary to reports in the media, Ubisoft designers are "PC fans," according to a new post by Communications Manager Gary Steinman.
Steinman, a former editor of PC Gamer, had additional comments from Ubisoft associate producer Sylvain Trottier, who he says was "re-quoted out of context" in the media with regard to the PC version of ACIV. Trottier feels there is some confusion about how and when PCs are pushed to their maximum during the development process. Before any optimization work begins, there is an earlier phase that is all about discovering where the graphical boundaries might be, according to Trottier.
“You want to push the particle and lighting effects to the max to see how it looks,” Trottier said. “Thing is, while you’re doing that, the performance doesn’t matter. We were doing R&D. But we weren’t doing R&D for performance. We’re doing R&D to try to see how far we can push the limits, to make our game look very amazing.”
When the proper optimization of a game like ACIV begins for its respective platforms, the PC comes "first," according to Trottier.
“We are very proud of the PC version of Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag,” Trottier said. “The game runs well on low-end PCs, and lots of additional features were added for higher-end machines, allowing each and every customer to fully enjoy the experience on their PCs. Our partnership with Nvidia that saw our respective engineering teams work together to develop a highly optimized PC version also demonstrates our commitment to the platform.”
Now, to my eye, ACIV does look gorgeous, especially with the settings cranked up. I'm not sure a violent encounter with a rogue wave has ever looked so pretty on my machine. And we already knew there were graphical features exclusive to the PC version, which we learn from Trottier has its own team devoted to it over in Kiev, Ukraine. But of course I'm not running it on anything like the Large Pixel Collider either, so maybe I have yet to see where the limits of the game truly are.