FAST Racing NEO is one of the best looking games coming to the Wii U, and the fact that it is made my an indie studio is even more interesting. Our friend ZyroXZ2 (Host of Why Why Why) recently spoke with Manfred from Shin’en, and asked about maximizing the Wii U’s graphical capability and the graphics engine in general. Shin’en said the following:
When starting with the game we had a vision. We wanted to develop the most exciting futuristic racing game on the market. We decided from the beginning it will be 60fps, anything else was not an option for a game that fast. So we knew all GPU and CPU stuff must fit into 16 milliseconds, which isn’t a lot, especially when most games you get compared with are running on consoles with higher specs and with 30fps. We knew from the beginning we can’t develop this vision with techniques everyone else does use. We would need to find different ways to achieve our vision. This was a big motivation because we like working on limits and pushing boundaries.
We started experimenting for a year. After a short time we had a working prototype but it ran only at around 15 fps when we enabled all the cool stuff and effects you now see in the game. We had 8k Softshadows, a complete HDR pipeline, physical based rendering, SSAO, more than 10,000 drawcalls, High Quality Motionblur, High Quality Godrays, Cinematic Color Grading, Volumetric lighting and so on. It looked really pretty but was near unplayable.
We then needed the rest of the year to find fast enough solutions to handle all these effects or to find new solutions that give the same results. Often we used tricks from the past that are pretty complicated to implement but that deliver the same effect with a fraction of the costs. To make long story short: In the end we were pretty happy seeing finally the game reaching 60fps. When finally playing at 60fps with all bells and whistles for the first time we knew we did the best work in our career. I don’t say anyone else can’t go even further on Wii U, but personally we reached our limits.
FAST Racing NEO should end up being a tremendous success if the gameplay can live up to the graphics. Are you excited for FAST Racing NEO? Let us know in the comments below.