When it launches on November 10, Xbox Series X will be the most powerful console the world has ever seen.
One of the biggest benefits of all that power is giving developers the ability to make games that are Xbox Series X Optimized. This means that they’ve taken full advantage of the unique capabilities of Xbox Series X, both for new titles built natively using the Xbox Series X development environment as well as previously released titles that have been rebuilt specifically for the console. In our Inside Xbox Series X Optimized series, these creators will share the behind-the-scenes accounts of how they’re optimizing their titles for Xbox Series X and what that means for the future of gaming. Today, we’ll be chatting with Multiplayer Lead Game Designer at Enhance Tomohiro Tatejima, Technical Director at Monstars Takanori Uchida and Project Manager at Monstars Yasuyuki Togo about optimizing Tetris Effect: Connected for Xbox Series X.
Q: What excites you most about developing and bringing Tetris Effect: Connected to life on next generation hardware?
A: Tatejima: Being able to portray our graphical expression—one of the things we care about—in a higher quality for everyone.
In making new content, we free ourselves – temporarily – from the performance restrictions. By doing so, it allows us to explore the visual aesthetic and art design we want to achieve.
Q: In addition to benefiting from the power and performance of Xbox Series X for quicker load times etc. what Xbox Series X features were you most excited to explore leveraging in the development of Tetris Effect: Connected?
A: Uchida: During development, what really impressed me was how beautiful the particle effects can be when they’re drawn at the pixel level in 4K. It really lets you feel their presence when each one of them is lighting up. My goal in development was to pursue even prettier visuals with the Xbox Series X.
Q: How will these enhancements impact a player’s experience with Tetris Effect: Connected?
A: Uchida: You can take in the type of beautiful expression Tetris Effect pursues while plunging even deeper into the Tetris game. After you’re done playing, you’ll see a world unlike any Tetris before. I doubt you’ll be able to play it on anything besides the Xbox Series X.
In multiplayer, you’ll also be able to enjoy feelings you’ve never had before, playing co-op and competitive Tetris with players worldwide while surrounded by magical visual effects.
Q: Why did you choose to focus on increased resolution and framerate, as enhancement areas for Tetris Effect: Connected?
A: Enhance: Tetris Effect is a game that relies a lot on particle effects for its graphics–those tiny dots that shoot out and zoom around when you clear a line, for example. They appear in one form or another in almost every part of the game, pulsing to the music, morphing into everything from dolphins to distant planets. And with particle effects, resolution and framerate are key: how finely we can draw those particles, how many of them we can push and how smoothly they move around–these things have a noticeable effect (both consciously and unconsciously) on the experience of the game, how it looks and more importantly how it feels to play.
Q: How do you expect fans of Tetris Effect: Connected will respond to playing it on Xbox Series X with these enhancements?
A: Tatejima: I think a lot of people who enjoy Enhance’s games, not just Tetris Effect, will be enamored with the particle effects in the visuals. If you have a 4K TV, I’m sure you’ll quickly notice that the particles are far more vivid, rich, and smooth than on previous systems. (You’ll still get a lot out of it if you don’t have a 4K TV, though.)
Tetris is all about smooth control speed. The Series X’s overwhelming processing speed has helped us greatly improve on this, so it should be more comfortable to play.
Q: What is it like developing on Xbox Series X?
A: Togo and Uchida: The improved loading times makes it easier to pursue the trial-and-error process during development, and that connects to implementing new features and further improving the quality. It also lets us realize the visuals we’re aiming for without restrictions.
Q: Which enhancement were you most excited about to explore leveraging for Tetris Effect: Connected on Xbox Series X?
A: Togo and Uchida: It comes down to the higher frame rate and resolution. In a world made of particles, the difference these two enhancements make is striking.
Q: What does Smart Delivery mean for your game and how you’re bringing Tetris Effect: Connected to fans?
A: Enhance team: We’re proud to be one of the Series X launch titles but for those not quite ready to upgrade, they can start playing on Xbox One and still enjoy Tetris Effect: Connected with their friends. Cross play is enabled and allows Series X and Xbox One players to join multiplayer matches together as we hope to connect more Tetris Effect players around the world.
Q: What does Xbox Series X/next-generation development enable in current or future projects that you could not have achieved with the current generation of consoles?
A: Enhance team: More and better particles for our graphics, more and better physics to move those particles around and have them react to the music, or the player, or the world. More power, more freedom, more flexibility — we can’t wait to design a game from the ground up with the next generation of game machines in mind!