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No more buttery smooth Insomniac games...

10-30-2009, 12:48 PM
Dev: 'A Crack in Time will probably be Insomniac's last 60fps game'
by Andrew Yoon { Oct 30th 2009 at 2:15PM } PlayStation

"We want to give you guys, our fans and players, the best looking games you can buy on a console," Insomniac developer Mike Acton wrote on his company's blog. There's certainly no doubt that the team's latest release, A Crack in Time, is a very good looking game. But how much better could it have looked if Insomniac was willing to sacrifice its 60fps rate?

Consoles only offer a finite amount of resources, and developers utilize various tricks to get the results they want. For example, Bungie noted that a drop in vertical resolution in Halo 3 offered them increased bandwidth for improved lighting effects. Dropping the framerate would allow Insomniac -- and other developers -- to increase the amount of detail in each frame, something the studio is seriously considering. "There is virtually no advantage in sales or reviews of a 60 fps game versus a 30 fps game," Acton notes.

In fact, in some cases, a lowered framerate actually makes a game look better, Acton explains. "A drop in framerate is interestingly seen by some players as a reward for creating or forcing a complex setup in which a lot of things must happen on the screen at once." We nickname that phenomenon the "Otogi 2 effect." With all of these aspects considered, it seems the studio will no longer focus on locking a 60 fps rate. "It means that framerate is still important to us here at Insomniac, but it's not on the same pedestal it was before. And that Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time will probably be Insomniac's last 60fps game."

Don't know how I feel about this... I like to think I don't really notice framrates that much unless they're ~really~ bad. But there were moments in Infamous for example where the framrate would really ratchet up and everything just looked awesome. Animations looked smoother, textures looked cleaner. And then just as quickly as it appeared, it disappeared.

But on the flip side, it will be interesting to see what they can do. I guess the important thing is not so much 60 FPS, but locking the framerate at a consistent number. Nothing worse than it speeding up or slowing down ala the NES/SNES days...

10-30-2009, 01:12 PM
Thats a shame, I prefer graphical sacrifice for 60fps. A very dissapointing move from Insomniac. That said, Resistance 1 and 2 aren't 60fps so it's not as if every title is 60fps. Of course there are no improved critical ratings for 60fps, it's not as if 60fps games are going up against identical 30fps games. Also 60fps doesn't make a game good, just more responsive and look far better.

As for some people finding a drop in frame rate a "reward" I view it as a failing in the games engine and a lack of technical ability from the developers to meet their aspirations. I also find it really distracting if frames drop mid game.

I was blown away by Tools of Destruction's frame rate.

10-30-2009, 01:28 PM
I'm hoping this is some viral marketing build up for the Resistance 3 @60fps announcement.

10-30-2009, 02:28 PM
nah, its build up for a 10fps ratchet sequel :p

10-30-2009, 02:35 PM
is this do to the amount of space on a DVD?

10-30-2009, 02:37 PM
nothing to do with any thing other than the technical power of the systems/capabilities of the game engines. Takes less grunt to render something 30 times per second than it does 60 times.

10-30-2009, 03:17 PM
is this do to the amount of space on a DVD?

It's seemingly because they want to squeeze more stuff happening on screen at once or more complicated effects. Getting all that in there and keeping the frame rate locked at high speed gets more and more difficult.

Personally I like high frame rates, but I like stable frame rates even more.

10-30-2009, 06:48 PM
so what is the advantages of 60 fps? better graphics?

sorry for the dumb questions but i play games not make them:D.

10-30-2009, 07:07 PM
so what is the advantages of 60 fps? better graphics?

sorry for the dumb questions but i play games not make them:D.

Smoothness, responsiveness. COD4 and WaW offers up a buttery smooth 60fps which is what draws a lot of people into it without them even knowing it..

Games like Borderlands does not have a locked frame rate and when things start getting crazy and there are a lot of enemies on the screen, you notice little hiccups and stutters (aka frame rate drop). Its not a big deal but I also like a locked frame rate of at least 30fps but prefer 60fps.

10-31-2009, 08:55 AM
so what is the advantages of 60 fps? better graphics?

sorry for the dumb questions but i play games not make them:D.

As Mase says, games control smoother and are more responsive at 60fps. If you play a racing game at 30fps, often the controls feel delayed and it makes the game less immediate and responsive. This is why Turn 10 cut back the in game graphics on Forza 2, to ensure there was a 60fps in game framerate. It directly impacts the gameplay of genres such as racing games, fighting games and such. It also makes FPS titles a lot easier with aiming (theres a reason COD4 etc feel so "right".)

For me though, I can also see that a game isn't 60fps. You get like a double vision effect on 30fps titles where your eyes can see where a missing frame should be.