Resolution and Framerate,
The discourse around resolution and framerate continues to make headlines as developers optimise their games as they see fit. Fulton and the team at Playground are firmly of the belief the next-generation is about light rather than resolution, but he did confirm Forza Horizon 2 on Xbox One would display at 1080p and, like the original Forza Horizon, a locked 30 frames-per-second.
Dropped or torn frames have traditionally been a common bugbear with many console games that target approximately 30 frames-per-second. However, with the original Forza Horizon Playground found it was able to avert these issues entirely. The team adopted a zero-tolerance approach to frame drops (regardless of what level of rendering was required on screen the frame rate was never permitted to dip) and as such the game was rigidly locked at 30 frames-per-second. Most importantly, the locked frame rate (as opposed to a fluctuating one) resulted in a smooth and consistent racing experience. Playground has approached Horizon 2 similarly.
“I think what we did on Horizon was demonstrate that, and this is really important, a locked frame rate that’s absolutely solid and never drops is the most important thing for our game,” explains Fulton. “30 [frames-per-second] actually enables us to realise that experience.”
“I think I remember that’s always a hot-button topic, until a game comes out and people go, ‘Oh, this actually really works.’ But 1080p was an absolute must for us; it’s the benchmark for next-gen.”
Audio is another obvious focus and we’ll be diving deeper into that later this month. On the topic of music, however, Fulton explains quite a bit of work has gone into ramping up the aural offering in Horizon 2.
“Music is incredibly important to Horizon,” says Fulton. “I think we did a great job in the original Horizon. Our goal for Horizon 2 is to go bigger and broader.”
“We want a soundtrack you can explore in the same way you can explore our world. To that end we’ve doubled the number of radio stations in the game. We’ve doubled the amount of music that we’re going to be shipping with the game on disc.