Many of gaming’s most compelling stories come from those who’ve helped to create our favorite Xbox One games. In our Inside Xbox One X Enhanced series, these creators will share the behind-the-scenes accounts of the work involved in enhancing these epic games for Xbox One X, how they’ve helped chart the course of the world’s most powerful console, and what that means for the future of gaming. Today, we’ll be chatting with Wargaming’s TJ Wagner, Creative Director and Executive Producer on the action-packed World of Tanks.
What specifically is your development team doing to enhance World of Tanks for Xbox One X?
Our renderer uses a physically-based model which preserves high dynamic range values throughout the entire pipeline. We were one of the first games to support HDR display output on Xbox One S, and of course we had to support HDR display output on the Xbox One X at launch.
All tank and terrain textures are authored at super HD. Our Despair engine renderer has been enhanced to run full 4K at a smooth and steady 30FPS. We support Full Range HDR and have increased our lighting fidelity, improved ambient inclusion and shadow resolutions. You will see higher poly models and higher resolution textures at all distances.
How do these enhancements impact the gaming experience?
You will see higher poly models and higher resolution textures at all distances. The game looks eye popping with incredible life like detail for environments and tanks.
Why did your development team choose to focus on these enhancement areas?
Because the Xbox One is so powerful, we were able to go all out with World of Tanks and take full advantage of what the system offers. It has allowed us to increase the visuals and detail while also rendering in full 4K with HDR support. We hope this motivates Xbox players to jump into the game and enjoy the ultimate tanking experience.
How do you expect fans of World of Tanks will respond to playing it on Xbox One X with these enhancements?
Probably a lot like I did my first time, just….WOW! I immediately have to get a 4K TV and an Xbox One X test kit in my office so I could play the game like that every day. My 4K TV and Xbox One X for home are already on order just waiting for November 7th. The tanks look so lifelike in the game, it’s almost like seeing one in person.
How has the process been to get the game up and running on Xbox One X?
It was largely the work of our talented team of engineers to make the changes to the renderer. They had a first pass up and running in a number of days. After that it was optimizing, testing and adding new features. A pretty painless process as far as new consoles go.
What enhancement were you most excited about leveraging for World of Tanks on Xbox One X?
Being able to render the full detail of the source assets for tanks and environments all at 4K resolution and with HDR lighting improvements is enough excitement in itself – plus it is very rewarding not only for us developers, but also for the players out there, as they can see what we have achieved on this great piece of hardware.
What does 4K and HDR mean for your game, games in the future and development at your studio?
Mostly assets that take longer to make and take up much more disc space. It is a development expense we are happy to take on since the games look so beautiful and realistic. We are experimenting now at adding more life and FX to environments and watching what other games are doing to we are always on the leading edge.
Thanks to TJ for taking the time to chat with us about Xbox One X Enhanced. We’ll be bringing you more interviews with more developers in the future, so stay tuned to Xbox Wire!