Housemarque’s upcoming shooter Resogun would be “a lot less” thrilling without PlayStation 4’s GPU compute capability, the developer has said.
To create graphics such as the fleeting bursts of light, spirals of sparks that dazzle like Catherine wheels and the “tens of thousands” of particles in the sidescrolling 3D shooter, Housemarque has handed certain duties to PS4’s graphical processing unit, the developer told Polygon.
This has freed up the central processing unit to focus on other tasks, such as keeping the game running at a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pace.
“Basically, most of the cubes, the individual voxels, all of that stuff is basically done on the GPU,” said lead programmer Harry Krueger.
“And that offloads a tremendous workload off the CPU that’s left to just focus on gameplay.”
Without the ability to divide up tasks across PS4’s architecture, Krueger said the quality and overall experience of Resogun would suffer. The console, he added, gets “better results with less work”, compared to the PS3 and its Cell processor.
“If we had to do all of that on the CPU, the game would still kind of be a similar experience, but it would have a lot less of this going on. It would be a lot less dynamic, a lot less fluid. Basically, the experience would not be the same,” he said.
The Finnish studio is also responsible for Dead Nation and Super Stardust, from which Resogun is a spiritual successor. Krueger added that the decision to offload processing to the GPU happened because Housemarqe is composed of tinkerers.
He added: “At Housemarque, we’ve always been a very technically proficient company because we have a lot of people from the demo scene," he said. "A lot of people just naturally like tinkering with this kind of stuff, you know? So, it just came naturally that we just started looking at GPU compute and using it as much as possible in order to get all this stuff happening.”