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!