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Development Lessons From Killzone 2: An Interview
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Development Lessons From Killzone 2: An Interview

May 8, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 4

That's actually really interesting. Because to a certain extent, you have expectations when you create technology, both based on the hardware and based on the application of the technology. But to find that when you're asked to exceed some of your expectations, that's what it creates.

AB: Yeah.

HH: We definitely added stuff to our technology base on the back of this project.

AB: So, for instance, I think that you can see here in this scene, featuring now, [indicates screen] is a system... This is actually a real-time reflection. So, that wasn't in Killzone 2. We developed this for this demo as a kind of test. So, you know, we'll use that in future games. We can now do good reflections, so it's really interesting.

But this is the Killzone engine. Is that was the engine is called? Or do you have an internal name for it?

AB: Oh, it's the Killzone engine, yeah.

It's something you would potentially use. It's your studio's tech.

HH: Yes. It's fully proprietary.

You will definitely leverage it for any project that your studio does. I'm assuming that's your goal.

HH: Yeah, a lot of it has come from previous projects. It's evolved, going back a long way.

AB: Another thing that this features that's kind of cool, is you can actually see these different buffers. Let me slow it down a bit -- because you can actually see it run in real time.

The things that I explained before in GameTrailers, the different depth buffers or lighting buffers and etcetera. So, it is kind of this tech demo in a sense that people can have a view about the underlying technologies that we used to make that.

HH: Are you somewhat familiar with what we're doing? We created this deferred rendering engine that allows us to composite this image by layering various special effects, lighting, various material buffers on top of it? Maybe take a step back, Arjan.

AB: Yeah, sorry. [laughs]

HH: You're assuming too much knowledge already. [laughs]

Actually, that sort of leads into my question, right. So, this is going to be on PSN, right?

HH: Yeah, that's right.

So, what do you think about pulling back the curtain for your audience, you know what I mean? Letting them see how these things are. I mean obviously, you know in film, a lot of making of features hit DVDs and whatever, but this is sort of on a different kind of level because, well, A, it's interactive, and B, it's so technical. What do you think about that?

HH: I think it's fantastic that end users get to understands how complex it actually is. It's just one of those quirky terms. It's a "deferred rendering engine". What the hell does it mean? What the hell does it allow you to create?

I think for us to visually present that, and that people toy around it any play with it and sort of experiment with it in their own time at their own pace is very helpful to making them aware of how complex it is. You started with the question, "You spent quite a number of years," and this is a way I think to express the complexities that went into this project.

AB: And we had talks on videos on GameTrailers, etcetera, and they were super highly ranked. And you look at the comments, people were like, "Whoa, we need more of this information!" So, you know, let's give this kind of stuff to them.

And to actually once more show this is real time. This is not fake, this is not a movie that we're playing in slow-mo or whatever, but you can actually see all that kind of stuff in the background.

And it's a unique thing that we developed for the Killzone engine. It's a completely different way how to render your screen, and we kind of explain how we did that. So, I think that's interesting for many people.

And another feature that it has, is there are director commentaries. So, we had our art director, lead technical artist, senior tech coder, and the director from Zoic who helped with this, took over what you're seeing on the screen, etcetera, so.

I think that people will find that pretty fascinating. It's interesting because among most people, even developers, very few proportionally are working on games of this stature. You know what I mean, triple-A, first party, single platform, 190 people at a top of the line team.

HH: It's kind of a developer's dream to get that kind of opportunity to not only make a game of that magnitude but also do it specifically for one platform and not have to sort of find the lowest common denominator.

It really is great. That's also very much the reason why Arjan and myself decided to sell the company to Sony, because we got that opportunity three years ago.

Article Start Previous Page 4 of 4

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