One of the biggest benefits of all that power is giving developers the ability to make games that are Xbox Series X Optimized. This means that they’ve taken full advantage of the unique capabilities of Xbox Series X, both for new titles built natively using the Xbox Series X development environment as well as previously released titles that have been rebuilt specifically for the console. In our Inside Xbox Series X Optimized series, these creators will share the behind-the-scenes accounts of how they’re optimizing their titles for Xbox Series X and what that means for the future of gaming. Today, we’ll be chatting with David Amata, Product Director, Maneater Next-Gen at Tripwire Interactive about optimizing Maneater for Xbox Series X.
Q: What excites you most about developing and bringing Maneater to life on next-generation hardware?
A: The speed of the SSD inside the Xbox Series X cannot be understated. It has allowed us the freedom to make the world of Maneater even more visually impressive, helped us cut down on load times, and even helped to increase the draw distance.
Q: In addition to benefiting from the power and performance of Xbox Series X for quicker load times etc. what Xbox Series X features were you most excited to explore leveraging in the development of Maneater?
A: Bringing ray tracing to Maneater has been a huge effort for us when prioritizing features for the next-gen upgrade. We’re incredibly proud of the amazing water simulation in Maneater, and adding ray traced reflections and refractions (via post-launch patch) really adds another layer to make the water appear even more lifelike.
Q: How will these enhancements impact a player’s experience with Maneater?
A: The combination of technical and visual enhancements will make the overall experience of playing Maneater even more immersive than it already is. The draw distances are farther, load times are shorter, light behaves in brand new ways, and much more.
Q: Why did you choose to focus on increased resolution and 120 FPS, as enhancement areas for Maneater?
A: When it came time to figure out what we could achieve for Maneater Next-Gen, we decided to prioritize 4K HDR and ray tracing at a steady 60 FPS. We knew that these visual enhancements would pair extremely well with what we had already released on current-gen and we wanted to be one of the first out of the gate with a game that will look gorgeous on the new hardware.
Q: How do you expect fans of Maneater will respond to playing it on Xbox Series X with these enhancements?
A: Fans of the game love the world of Maneater so much, and have spent so many hours exploring every corner. With a brand new coat of paint, we’re hoping that fans will fall in love with the world all over again.
Q: What is it like developing on Xbox Series X?
A: It’s been exciting to be able to leverage the powerful new hardware to enable things like Ray Tracing and 60 fps that just weren’t possible in the current generation of consoles. Fortunately, gaining access to that increased power has been a relatively seamless experience as our existing development tools and pipeline were compatible with the new hardware. This allowed us to get the game running natively on the new hardware very quickly.
Q: Which enhancement were you most excited about to explore leveraging for Maneater on Xbox Series X?
A: Playing the game at a smooth 60 FPS on Console with 4K and higher fidelity assets is truly the way the game was meant to be played. So we’re excited to be able to bring the definitive version of the game to the new generation. Additionally the work we’re implementing for HDR and Ray Traced Water Reflections and Refractions adds a level of detail and information that transforms the lighting into something much more vibrant and realistic.
Q: What does Smart Delivery mean for your game and how you’re bringing Maneater to fans?
A: Smart Delivery is such an amazing feature that really puts the players first in a way that previous generations haven’t. Being able to guarantee that our game will upgrade along with the players’ upgrade to an Xbox Series X is such a great innovation that ensures we won’t be nickel and diming our fans while we continue to grow Maneater’s fanbase with its next-gen version. With Smart Delivery, everybody wins.
Q: What does Xbox Series X/next-generation development enable in current or future projects that you could not have achieved with the current generation of consoles?
A: The sheer power and capability of this new generation has raised the bar on our limitations with consoles. A lot of times we have to sacrifice some amazing ideas for our games because they simply can’t be implemented with the current gen hardware. Now, more than ever, we’re extremely excited to start fully realizing our vision for what’s coming next from Tripwire.