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Inside Xbox Sequence X|S Optimized: Fortnite

One of many greatest advantages of all that energy is giving builders the power to make video games which are Xbox Sequence X|S Optimized. Which means they’ve taken full benefit of the distinctive capabilities of Xbox Sequence X|S, each for brand spanking new titles constructed natively utilizing the Xbox Sequence X|S improvement surroundings in addition to beforehand launched titles which were rebuilt particularly for the console. In our Inside Xbox Sequence X|S Optimized collection, these creators will share the behind-the-scenes accounts of how they’re optimizing their titles for Xbox Sequence X|S and what meaning for the way forward for gaming. At present, we’ll be chatting with Ben Woodhouse, Lead Console Programmer at Epic Video games, about optimizing Fortnite for Xbox Sequence X|S.

Q: What excites you most about creating and bringing Fortnite to life on next-generation {hardware}?

A: The brand new era of {hardware} brings large enhancements in CPU, GPU and I/O efficiency. 

The group was clear from the beginning that we needed to make use of the additional horsepower to make the sport really feel extra alive, not simply to extend the graphics settings and backbone. To do this, we had to make use of the ability of the {hardware} in additional inventive methods. 

We added options like volumetric clouds, GPU simulated physics fields and fluid simulations, in addition to a bunch of custom-authored results, all designed to make the sport really feel extra dynamic. 

From a technical standpoint, new {hardware} is at all times enjoyable for builders to get their tooth into and we’ve loved the method of optimizing Unreal Engine for the {hardware}, bettering the efficiency of shaders, decreasing CPU bottlenecks and optimizing loading from the SSD. All this work has been pushed again into Unreal Engine for the advantage of licensees. 

Q: Along with benefiting from the ability and efficiency of Xbox Sequence X|S for faster load instances and so on. what Xbox Sequence X|S options have been you most excited to discover leveraging within the improvement of Fortnite?

A: Quite a bit has been mentioned concerning the GPU energy of Xbox Sequence X|S and the Velocity Structure, and Fortnite makes full use of those, however one of many issues we’ve been most impressed with is the CPU. We’re seeing an enormous uplift when it comes to directions per clock relative to the earlier era. This unlocks experiences that weren’t attainable with the earlier era of {hardware}. 

Q: How will these enhancements affect a participant’s expertise with Fortnite?

A: Final-gen consoles couldn’t deal with working split-screen or Save the World mode at 60fps. We had the GPU energy, however even on the Xbox One X, we have been bottlenecked by the CPU. On Xbox Sequence X|S, the extra CPU headroom removes these constraints. With just a little tuning, we’re capable of get each these machines working at a stable 60fps in each modes.

Equally on last-gen, Battle Royale mode ran at 60fps however with occasional hitches and dropped frames throughout heavy scenes as a result of CPU being pushed to the restrict. On Xbox Sequence X|S, these points are a lot rarer. We’re seeing an order of magnitude fewer dropped frames on this era, and gameplay feels smoother because of this. 

The additional CPU headroom, mixed with blazing quick loading efficiency has allowed us to extend streaming distances dramatically, enormously bettering the element within the distance. That is particularly noticeable in 4K. 

Q: Why did your improvement group select to deal with dynamic visuals and physics as enhancement areas for Fortnite?

A: It goes with out saying that we run at 4K and 60fps on Xbox Sequence X, and we’ve ramped up all the standard settings. However we needed to transcend the plain visible upgrades and use a number of the further energy to make the world really feel extra dynamic and alive. 

We added GPU fluid simulations for explosions and smoke and hearth results. These look nice in movement and make the consequences really feel way more pure. We’re additionally utilizing GPU compute energy to simulate physics fields. This permits us to generate shockwaves from grenade and rocket explosions, including reasonable movement to close by grass and foliage and enhancing the gameplay. 

We added raymarched volumetric clouds which have actual depth. These look stunning beneath completely different dynamic lighting situations, particularly while you’re skydiving by way of them. The artists have made full use of the liberty the brand new {hardware} offers them. There’s a bunch of recent results, for hearth, elimination animations, and the storm. 

We’re very completely happy to say that we managed to allow the overwhelming majority of those options on Xbox Sequence S too. Just a few high quality settings are decrease than the Xbox Sequence X, however the principle distinction was merely decision (Sequence S targets 1080p, whereas Sequence X outputs 4K). 

On Xbox Sequence X|S, we use dynamic decision and a brand new bleeding-edge temporal antialiasing algorithm (TAA2) to offer high-quality 4K output at 60fps, whatever the GPU load. TAA2 shall be a brand new characteristic in Unreal Engine 4.26. 

Q: How do you count on followers of Fortnite will reply to taking part in it on Xbox Sequence X|S with these enhancements?

A: Fortnite appears to be like improbable on Xbox Sequence X|S. With easy 60fps gameplay in all modes and super-fast loading, it’s an important expertise that we predict followers are actually going to take pleasure in. We’re excited to lastly get the Xbox Sequence X|S model of the sport within the arms of gamers so we will hear what they assume. 

Fortnite is a consistently evolving sport that by no means stands nonetheless, and we’ll be including extra enhancements to the Xbox Sequence X|S model in upcoming releases. Suggestions from gamers will certainly be a consider deciding what options so as to add subsequent. 

Q: What’s it like creating on Xbox Sequence X|S?

A: Microsoft made the transition very straightforward for us. The event instruments have been nice to work with, and lots of of them are very acquainted to us from Xbox One. 

As with all new platform, there have been tough edges throughout improvement round stability and efficiency, however we had nice help from Microsoft’s {hardware} group when these points arose. They’ve circled fixes in a short time, typically inside 24 hours. 

One other factor that helped our improvement course of was the brand new Sport Growth Package, which permits us to share widespread code throughout generations of consoles. This shared codebase will make supporting each generations a lot simpler as gamers transition over to the brand new {hardware}. 

Q: Which enhancement have been you most enthusiastic about to discover leveraging for Fortnite on Xbox Sequence X|S?

A: We have been notably excited concerning the Velocity Structure and benefiting from the extra I/O bandwidth on Xbox Sequence X and S to scale back loading instances and enhance stage streaming efficiency. This really got here with a variety of challenges. As quickly as uncooked disk bandwidth stops being a difficulty, the CPU can rapidly change into a bottleneck in loading. To actually benefit from the {hardware}, we needed to scale back the CPU overhead considerably.

The engine group spent lots of time over the previous yr rewriting the loader in UE4 and optimizing the engine initialization code to scale back these bottlenecks. On the Fortnite facet, various the load time is spent ready for servers, so we reordered the work to permit parallel execution. We’re fairly proud of the place our loading instances ended up at launch, however that is an ongoing space of enchancment. Count on additional optimizations for future releases. 

Apart from load instances, the added I/O efficiency has allowed a lot quicker streaming of belongings. Textures, meshes and ranges take loads much less time to load in, and the quicker streaming additionally allowed us to extend stage streaming distances, rising visible constancy within the distance. 

Q: What does Xbox Sequence X|S next-generation improvement allow in present or future initiatives that you could possibly not have achieved with the earlier era of consoles?

A: Fortnite is a consistently up to date title and gamers can count on extra next-gen enhancements over the approaching months. There’s undoubtedly extra we wish to do with the Xbox Sequence X|S {hardware}, each when it comes to visuals and decreasing latency – we may additionally have a look at supporting a 120fps mode in future releases.

This present model is Fortnite on Unreal Engine 4. Within the subsequent yr, we are going to begin shifting Fortnite over to Unreal Engine 5 and are very excited to see what we will do with that change. We’re additionally very curious to see what Unreal Engine licensees all through the world can do on next-generation {hardware} with each Unreal Engine Four and Unreal Engine 5. 

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