Following the release of Microsoft's Forza Motorsport 2, Bizarre Creations' forthcoming Project Gotham Racing 4 represents the next high profile racing title for the Xbox 360, but this did not keep the game from being taken to task during E3 by the gaming media, some of who questioned the studio's decision to opt for 30 frames per second gameplay rather than 60.
“We looked at that,” commented Adam Kovach, PGR 4's global product manager during an E3 demonstration. “We debated for a long time... we looked at what we would be giving up if we tried to go to 60 versus 30 frames a second. We don't want to lose the visual fidelity... we made a conscious decision that 30 frames plus all the effects in the game was far more important than having a pure 60.”
He added: “If we take a look at 60 frames a second in Forza, which looks great, if you look at the visual fidelity with PGR - you look at the motion blur, all the particle effects, and everything that we put on the screen to ensure that's it's visually stunning - it's really a rich experience, not just a simulation experience.”
Interestingly, while these sorts of effects were featured within Forza Motorsport 2, they only came into play during replays, during which the game slowed from its normal 60 frames per second pace to a more moderate 30. Why wasn't this an acceptable compromise for the studio? Kovach responded matter of factly with his own question: “Why wouldn't you want those effects while you're racing?”
“For us, we want to give people the experience right away,” he commented. “We want to give them the real experience, we don't want to deliver it in replay... from an artistic standpoint, we'd rather put more stuff on the screen and give you that really rich fidelity.”
That said, the studio remains hopeful that future iterations of the series may satisfy those players looking for both. “One of these days we'll figure out how to get 60 frames per second and all of the visual effects.” Kovach added that Project Gotham Racing 4 represents a second generation title for the studio, and that this may become possible “as we get more familiar with the hardware and how to output against it.”