Programming the Engine Behind Vanquish


Filed: Community, Games, PlatinumGames, Vanquish

Hi. My name is Hideaki Nakata, and I was in charge of Vanquish’s PS3 Engine as well as overall engine tuning. I thought I would write a blog entry to give you some insight into the system programming on Vanquish.

So what is system programming? It is actually hard to explain, but it is best described as the foundation of the game. To use a car analogy, it is the engine behind things… This is why we use the term game engine as well. Looking at it from the top down, the system programming is everything to do with the game that doesn’t involve actual gameplay (everything other than the code running the player/enemies, etc.). But still, a bit hard to explain exactly…

For the engine powering Vanquish, I tried focusing on all-out quantity. Shinji Mikami, the director of Vanquish, made a number of requests. “I want the game to look unlike anything else out there! I want our battlefields to have the overwhelming feeling of a real battle.” I realized the only way we are going to pull this off is with “quantity.” More and more enemies are going to have to keep appearing, more and more bullets are going to have to fill the air, bigger and bigger explosions are going to have to ring out… We would need an engine that could pull that off while still keeping the characters and backgrounds rich in detail.

While the Vanquish engine is based on work done on Bayonetta, it was for that reason that we had a lot of work to do changing things for this project. For instance, we completely rewrote the renderer, implementing a technique known as “deferred rendering.” I think the new renderer turned out quite well.

We also tuned the title so that if you play Vanquish on the PS3 or the Xbox 360 you should notice little to no differences. Even the developers on the Vanquish team have a hard time telling the two versions apart at a glance… So no matter which console you have, you have nothing to worry about!

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36 Comments Add Your Own

Garrtaose Posted on August 26, 2010 at 7:22 pm's down to pretty flipping a coin between both versions?

Mokuu Posted on August 26, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Gotta say guys, after looking at :

You obviously got High-tier quality. Im still wishing for somekind of multiplayer but those intense singleplayer battles and crazy boss battles are more than enough. I gotta ask, how did you guys select your concept artist for this project? Did the bayonetta art-team have to tune themselves to this sci-fi theme and such?

SonicTHP Posted on August 26, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Hooray for console parity!

Trejser Posted on August 26, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Is there any resolution difference between both versions?

inveni0 Posted on August 26, 2010 at 9:41 pm

We've heard this before. You're gonna have to show us. Personally, I'm tired of supporting developers that won't give the PS3 a proper version of the game. If you don't have the time/resources to do it right, then don't do it at all. However, if you've really done the console justice, then you'll get respect from the entire consumer base.

consumer Posted on August 27, 2010 at 12:15 am


again. first the wii gets all the ported crap, the ps3 too. sorry, the ps3 got much more power, why dont use it? not enough budget? so, then dont make a game for ps3. why dont implement sixaxis/waggle? killzone does it right, only a bit. shame on capcom too. ps3 gets deadrising2, but only a dumped down x360 port – like here.

no, so i dont spend 60-70€ for such a game. i will better buy console exclusiv mades on wii.

FAUNA Posted on August 27, 2010 at 1:56 am

Very impressive tech at work….

Kushalafang Posted on August 27, 2010 at 2:05 am

Well the demo is up next week, so we’ll see how true your words are.

isoToxin Posted on August 27, 2010 at 5:02 am

Vanquish was developed for the PS3 as the "lead platform" according to various sources, which means that it should definitely run well on Sony's console. Another reason this should be much better than the PS3 version of Bayonetta is that Platinum are handling both consoles internally, whereas Bayonetta's PS3 programming was outsourced. The 360 version of Vanquish is the "port", although I expect there will be little difference (if any) judging by this blog post.

It will come down to which controller you prefer I guess. for that reason, I'm going for the PS3 version.

Can't wait for the game, looks incredible.

Videos Please, every Posted on August 27, 2010 at 5:04 am

look at maffia 2, bayonetta, MW2, red dead redemption etc. the ps3 always gets the dumbed down version.

BG Posted on August 27, 2010 at 5:39 am

I hope this is the truth because I want a copy for the 360!

baberific Posted on August 27, 2010 at 5:44 am

Well, since this game’s being developed on PS3 dev kits, the 360 is getting the port, but since you said there’s no difference, I’ll take your word for it~!

Animamundus Posted on August 27, 2010 at 7:52 am

I wanna know if the game run at 60 FPS and the resolution on both consoles, i guess the game use 1280x720P.

But i want a confirmation from PG.

Firefly Posted on August 27, 2010 at 8:43 am

Console parity on multiplatform titles, as SonicTHP points out, is a Good Thing.

Given that Vanquish is being developed in parallel for the PS3 and 360, talking about either version being a 'port' is utterly ludicrous; as is referring to one version as 'dumbed down' or being the 'proper version' when both are being held to the same standards… that is, both look awesome and play well, and cannot be distinguished from one another by the casual viewer.

With respect to Sixaxis (or Move or Kinect when they launch): they're interesting, but might not necessarily be central to a given game… In this case, Mikami and company simply decided that Sixasix didn't fit the game and moved on. That is better by far than half-assing an implementation just to fill a check box.

Vaistrat Posted on August 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Yeah right… the same…I'll have to see it to believe it.I hope you guys at least used the SPU's

(walks away uninpressed)

Mason Wales Posted on August 27, 2010 at 3:25 pm

360 version it is then.

echo Posted on August 28, 2010 at 4:35 am

Good to hear. PS3 for me.

Do both versions have anti-aliasing?

txGreg Posted on August 31, 2010 at 3:51 pm


heh, I'm going to agree and disagree with you… sounds like it's down to the controller preference, so I'm going with the 360 version. Yea, choices! :)

Wifininja Posted on September 1, 2010 at 4:03 am

Just so you guys know who keep complaining about why there hasn't been too many companies that have taken full advantage of the PS3 and that is because of the the time and resources to program for it. IMHO its more difficult to program for the ps3 due to the cell processer, granted sony has released some sdk tools to help with the programming of it, it still requires alot of resources to take care of. anyway I was just tired of hearing these stupid console wars that keep going on.

Nakoruru Posted on September 1, 2010 at 8:33 am

Thanks for the insight Nakata-san. I'm looking forward to this game playing equally on both consoles. I'll be going with the 360 version. Downloading the game demo as we speak. Can't wait till Oct. Put about 70+ hours on Bayonetta, planning on putting another 70+ on Vanquish.

Phan Posted on September 1, 2010 at 8:18 pm

WOW!!! Just played the demo, this is gonna be an amazing game. Smooth and fast and fun as hell, the controls are spot on. I can't wait for this game to come out.

kushalafang Posted on September 2, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Played the demo, very impressive good job guys.

60Hertz Posted on September 2, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Seems to be running at 30 frames not 60… but other than that it's a great piece of work on every level, tech, art, gameplay and sound.

SonicRetro Posted on September 3, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Seriously, if you're discussing if it runs at 30 fps or 60, you're not hardcore gamers, you're just annoying persons who are to bored with they're lives, that need to have FULL-HD game. If you haven't already played the demo, you should. And by the way, stop with the FPS talk, PLATINUM GAMES may be annoyed by your intolerance to creative minds and too much EYE CANDY ON YOUR HDTV.

Shawn Posted on September 4, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Glad to see that there's not really a much difference in both versions! Good job! And 30 FPS is ok to me, as long it as it's 30 FPS locked though. ;)

SlaveSpawn Posted on September 5, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Well after the Bayonetta ps3 (pre-patch) I was kind of worried about the quality of Vanquish but… after hearing ps3 was the lead dev. console & playing demo I'm Very Happy with how smooth it runs – the gameplay & the overall visual quality …it's def. a day 1 purchase for me : )

P.S. I eventually did get Bayo after it was patched & really enjoyed evey minute, I await a sequel w ps3 has the lead dev console.

Hide Posted on September 7, 2010 at 4:09 am

You guys did a great job using deferred rendering and triple buffering (PS3). The motion blur per object is a nice implementation too.

I wish you used that famous MLAA technique instead of MSAAx2 though. Maybe for you next game…

Inevermiss1 Posted on March 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Vanquish is the most amazing shooter I have ever played in my life…Im a big "mech-suit" "forearm housed, transformable weaponry"- Robo-fanatic…Everything about the game is amazing, I ask that you PLEASE MAKE A SEQUEL, continue to make this an intensive single-player experience and DONT introduce anymore playable characters accept Sam. In addition please consider these alterations to the follow up: 1.) Allow the player the option to begin a game with the powered up weapons he completed the game with and, the option to play a completed game with no need for cool-down. 2.) I understand you have made melee a "single-hit then overheat" to promote movement and weapon usage but, PLEASE allow successive melee hits without overheating. 3.) A new ARS Battlesuit or suit upgrades. 4.) A default "blade" in the "Blade System" for quick take downs of more powerful enemies or in case of depleted ammunition. Finally 5.) MORE CIGARETTES.

This is the first time I ever commented about a game on any site….I realize Im super late for the release but, you guys did an AWESOME job and thought I'd offer some input. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Biking Games Posted on May 31, 2013 at 9:36 pm

You obviously got High-tier quality. Im still wishing for somekind of multiplayer but those intense singleplayer battles and crazy boss battles are more than enough.

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