Rockstar talk 4K, PC performance and more

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PC Gamer: Do you think getting to experience that environment in 60fps makes a difference to the way the game feels?

Absolutely, as developers we’re always trying to balance between high framerate and the quality of features and visuals we can pack into the game. PC has allowed us to deliver both so you can feel and see the game in a different light. It really allows you to appreciate the subtleties and detail that’s already there in all features form vehicle handling, to impacts, to explosions, weapon handling etc… everything.

PC Gamer: Is the frame rate locked at 60 fps?

The target framerate for the PC build of the game is 60fps, when you start up GTA 5 for the first time it chooses settings to maximise the framerate and visual quality on your PC. These are simply recommendations though, and players can change these to whatever they want. We will never be able to guarantee the framerate when someone decides to push their texture, shader or post-fx quality to a level that their PC can’t support. That said, if your monitor and PC support it you can choose to run at even higher framerates.

PC Gamer: GTA 5 supports 4K resolution on PC – how much of a big deal do you think 4K will be for players? Do you think it’ll transform the way they experience that world?

4k is an eye opener when you see if for the first time, it really does make you look at the world differently and in greater detail as you would expect. That said, you could probably say the same thing about a lot of the other high-end graphical options and ultimately it will be personal preference which particular resolution and graphical settings that each player decides to settle on.

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PC Gamer: Can you talk about the range of PC-specific visual options in GTA 5? In the PS3 and Xbox 360 editions I was blown away by the environmental detail and water effects – how far can players push those options on high-end PCs?

Kevin Hoare: We opened up a lot of options, offering a broad range of settings that allow us to support more basic PC’s as well as being able to push the visual limits on the latest high-end, multi-GPU setups. There are incredible range of visual parameters for players to play with. Not only can you manipulate settings like textures, shaders and water quality, but we will give you the option to manipulate the quality of grass and particles, tessellation, reflections and Post FX, to name a few. We will also have a population density slider, allowing you to configure how busy the streets and sidewalks are and how busy the city can be around the player.

These settings not only allow the player to adjust graphical options but also some gameplay-oriented options as well. We obviously support high resolution displays and high resolution shadow and reflections maps, as well as many of the common graphical settings. This would include things such as AA filter type and level, level of anisotropic filtering, SSAO options and so on. Some of the graphical enhancements available exclusively to PC include contact hardening shadows, enhanced light ray volumes, particle system shadows, etc. We expose separate render quality settings for the various game components such as shadows, reflections, grass, water, tessellation level, post-fx etc., which have all been enhanced for PC. We’ve increased the variety and population density of vehicles and pedestrians and allow the LOD draw distances to be increased. All of these enhancements bring the quality of the visuals to an entirely new level and give the player very fine grained control of all the settings.

PC Gamer: Can you talk about the development of the Rockstar Video Editor for GTA 5? What are the differences between the version for GTA 4 and this one?

John Macpherson - lead gameplay designer, Rockstar Toronto: The Rockstar Video editor in GTA 5 features a number of significant improvements. This starts at the recording level, where players now have the option to start and stop their captures at will. We have also added a brand new feature known as “Director Mode”. This gives users the ability to play and record using any actor from GTA 5 such as story and heist crew characters, members of the ambient population and even animals. Wherever applicable, those characters can then speak and perform contextual actions at will. This radically increases the possibilities for creativity.

Certain world settings such as the time of day and weather can also be adjusted. In addition to this, a host of cheats are available in Director Mode to further enhance cinematic efforts.

On the editing side of things, GTA 5 now allows players to add and trim multiple radio tracks to a single video. Scored music is also available as are numerous in-game commercial recordings. A new suite of custom filters have been added along with custom post effects tuning. Players can add and customize depth of field effects in their videos now as well. For camera edits, additional targeting and blend options have been added for greater control over shots. Final edits can now be shared directly to YouTube and entered into upcoming Social Club contests.

For more, read our hands-on preview with GTA 5 running at 4k and 60fps. In addition, here's everything you need to know about GTA 5, and why not check out the latest batch of sweet GTA 5 PC screenshots.

Samuel Roberts
Former PC Gamer EIC Samuel has been writing about games since he was 18. He's a generalist, because life is surely about playing as many games as possible before you're put in the cold ground.