Athia is a huge open-world brimming with places to explore, creatures to battle, and mysteries to unravel. Luminous Productions taps into the power of PlayStation to make this happen, from the magical flames erupting from Frey’s hands in combat to the speed at which she fast-travels on the expansive world map.
Now that it’s easier than ever for players to get their hands on PS5s and enter the world of Forspoken, Takeshi Aramaki, Head of Luminous Productions and Forspoken Director shares some insights on how the Luminous Productions team harness PS5 to bring this adventure to life:
PlayStation Blog: What were your first impressions when first learning about the power and capabilities of the PS5, from a developer perspective?
Takeshi Aramaki: With the latest GPU that supports ray tracing and a high-speed SSD that allows data to be read instantly, I felt that it was going to bring significant changes to game development as a whole. Being able to display assets on screen without the need for load times would create new gaming experiences. Once we actually began developing for it, the biggest surprise was how easily it was to develop for.
The DualSense wireless controller offers a unique level of immersion thanks to its haptics and adaptive triggers. How did your team approach DualSense controller implementation when developing this PS5 game?
The DualSense is such a unique controller, so we wanted to create a game that would allow players to feel and experience it to the fullest. As Forspoken is a game we designed for the PS5, we decided to assign L2 and R2 for casting magic so you can feel the feedback from the Adaptive Triggers. There are over 100 spells in Forspoken, and we tuned the force feedback for every single one so that each spell looks and feels unique. In addition, the haptics feedback creates a realistic sensation of traversing at high speeds when using Magic Parkour.
Forspoken features extremely quick fast-travel in its fantasy open world. How did the development team harness PS5’s power to make this happen?
The SSD makes the PS5 about 100 times faster than the PS4, so that by itself is plenty, but it also makes use of Oodle Kraken and Oodle Texture for data compression. On top of that, the PS5 also handles memory allocation and decompression on the hardware side. The CPU processing of that data then became the bottleneck, so we made over 100 adjustments to our Luminous Engine in order to realize these read speeds.
Forspoken features a dazzling array of magical visual effects and character animation for Frey during travel and traversal. How did the team tap into PS5’s power to deliver this rich visual performance?
In Forspoken, we aimed for a visual expression unlike any other. The GPU handles the dedicated shader for the magic visual effects, and the CPU handles the numerous processing needs for Magic Parkour. The PS5’s capabilities were more than enough for what we wanted to do; in fact, it’s so powerful that it encouraged us to add even more to the visual effects. Also, a lot of memory is typically needed to achieve this level of expression, but PS5 development tools are so easy to work with and allowed us to work faster than before. That gave us plenty of time to optimize the memory and process load needed Forspoken’s rich visuals.