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 both Ubisoft’s Micha Noordegraaf and Steeve Dallaire, Graphics Technical Director and Lead Engine Programmer, respectively, on the inventive, action-packed game For Honor.
What specifically is your development team doing to enhance For Honor for Xbox One X?
Micha: The update has made significant improvements on various graphics features: water reflections, distance LOD, shadow resolution, and improved texture filtering along with providing For Honor in 4K resolution. We improved the esthetics of water reflections by implementing an SSR (screen-space reflections) model, which gives us dynamic reflections.
As for Distance LOD, the increase in processing power of the Xbox One X enabled us to draw small objects over a greater distance allowing for more detail in the maps. For shadow resolution, we have increased shadow map resolution by 50% to increase overall image quality. The shadows are crisper and more defined on Xbox One X. Finally, to achieve 4K resolution, we used a temporal upscale technique to get the best 4K resolution image possible for For Honor.
How do these enhancements impact the gaming experience?
Micha: Overall, these improvements allow for a greater immersive experience for players. Even those without a 4K set up will benefit from the graphical enhancements from this update.
Why did your development team choose to focus on these enhancement areas?
Steeve: This dev team jumps on any opportunity that presents itself to improve our game. As gamers, the passionate and talented 3D programmers researched the latest techniques in implementing the newest technology and wanted to bring it to the For Honor engine.
How has the process been to get the game up and running on Xbox One X?
Steeve: Pretty easy to be honest. The Xbox One X is fully compatible with the Xbox One so with some changes here and there we were able to have the game up and running fairly quickly. This actually helped us have a greater focus on improving the quality of the features available in this update.
What enhancement were you most excited about to explore leveraging for For Honor on Xbox One X?
Micha: I think 4K resolution is the obvious answer here, the increased resolution combined with the improvements in Distance LOD and water reflections really make the For Honor world shine.
What does 4K and HDR mean for your game, games in the future and development at your studio?
Steeve: It opens a new window of opportunity in terms of providing the best immersion and graphical fidelity when developing games.
Thanks to Micha and Steeve 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!