Requiem of Life – PlayStation.Blog
Hi all! I’m Nicolas Becavin, lead engine programmer for A Plague Tale: Requiem. The game releases October 18th and I’m here to tell you about what you can expect in terms of technology!
Transition to the next generation
We decided to develop A Plague Tale: Requiem for PlayStation 5 to completely break free from the limitations of the previous generation and make the most of the new generation. The potential it offers is incredible! Take loading time for example: it is reduced in such a way that new map and level designs are possible. With more memory, we get a better draw distance, which means you can see much farther. Horizons will literally expand! The result is a much more open environment than the first game.
Unleashing the rats
Rats are a key feature of A Plague Tale, and for this second game, we wanted to make the most of the next generation to take the horror and trauma caused by rats to the next level. The number of rats on the screen has increased 60 times, from 5,000 to 300,000! This is a good number to convey the vision of the apocalypse, which oppresses our heroes more and more. We also changed the aspect of their movement so that they look like a giant wave, much like a tsunami crashing down on you. We’re lucky that we work with and rely on our own internal engine to handle complex renderings like this one, an element that’s completely A Plague Tale specific.
Shedding new light on a cloudy world
Thanks to the power of the new GPU, lighting quality can be greatly improved. With a wide range of technical tools and reduced restrictions, we can emphasize the role of light and introduce new light-related situations. Hugo and Amicia will discover new sensations as they travel south, and so will the player! With this new level of detail, they will be able to experience an atmosphere enriched with beams of light and amplified lighting on top of atmospheric elements such as volumetric fog.
Feast of a new generation for the eyes
Requiem’s technology not only takes players into a setting with a more vibrant atmosphere, but also makes the visual simulation more in-depth overall. This includes an increase in geometric quality: there are technically more polygons in the mesh! Texture resolution has also been improved. A good example of how these improvements affect the gaming experience is the high level of detail that landscapes will be rendered with. For example, we rely heavily on parallax occlusion mapping to add tiny volumetric details to terrain and props. There will also be more physical and dynamic objects that will affect the rendering of clothes.
On top of all this magic, spatial perception will be improved thanks to 3D Audio. This means that you will be able to understand where the talking character is: behind or in front of you, above or below… Players will be completely surrounded by the game and involved in it in a much more realistic and immersive way.
The new PlayStation 5 controller, the DualSense, was also our focus. It offers exceptional immersive technology through haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. I’m going to pass it on to two of my studio colleagues to explain it further.
Using the DualSense Controller to Break Barriers Between the Screen and the Player
Hi all! Our names are Cyril Doillon from Asobo Studio, Lead Programmer, and Aurélien Peters, Sound Engineer. We’re excited about everything the next generation will bring to the game… and especially the PS5 DualSense controller! It brings a whole new level of realism and immersion to A Plague Tale with a whole host of new features added since Innocence. It was incredible to work on this, and we aimed to make the most of this brilliant technology. Here to tell you about the DualSense innovations we have in store for you in the next chapter of A Plague Tale!
Haptic feedback and adaptive triggers
One of the most revolutionary innovations in the DualSense controller is haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. We started thinking about implementing them as we worked on adapting Innocence for the next generation, which gave us an idea of the most suitable options for our new game. Requiem will introduce real physics response and related gameplay improvements. The sensory feedback provided will create a realistic feel when using weapons and tools.
For example, if a weapon requires more pressure, adaptive triggers will adjust the feel of the force being applied to the player. As for the strap, if you hold the button too long, you will lose accuracy. Adaptive triggers will give the impression that the shooting becomes more difficult, which also works as a marker for the player, measuring the right time to shoot.
Amicia will also have a new weapon: a crossbow, which will be subject to the same law. At the same time, its physics is not the same as that of a sling. It is more powerful, but slower to use and equip. Such sensory qualities will find their place in the simulation thanks to adaptive triggers. You will have to click the first time to equip the crossbow and then the second time to fire. This next-generation vibration technology that allows us to associate physical reactions with the player’s actions is absolutely incredible for us developers. We are used to working with image and sound, now we can create direct effects on the player’s fingers to mimic a real instrument.
There will also be new features for conveying character movement: haptic feedback is used to simulate the effect of each step while sprinting, creating small bumps so that the player feels the rhythm of the sprint, giving the impression that he is near the characters and sharing his sensations.
Tactile enhanced sound
The sound is also completely redesigned with haptic feedback. Flocks of rats can be subtly felt through the pillow, through stereo vibrations. It’s as if you can touch the sounds. The same applies to explosions and real-time cutscenes; they will affect you physically thanks to the range of touch input offered by the DualSense controller. The features it provides bring a whole new dimension to the gameplay; you will be able to feel movements around you, like where rats come from! The game will offer richer situations thanks to the increased perception of the environment, which will include not only direct interaction, but also semi-remote elements.
Another DualSense innovation is the built-in speaker. We use it to play the weapon sound when the headset is not in use, giving audio feedback to the player when using the sling and crossbow. This provides a much more dynamic experience with the ability to hear an arrow or stone in the air. This is the third speaker provided to the player that allows subtle feedback to be delivered over the rest of the soundtrack, acting independently of music and ambient sound.
Plague Tale 2.0
To sum it up, we have taken full advantage of all the new technological possibilities to provide a more open environment with more light, more detail, more geometry, more texture. Oh, and more rats!
We hope you enjoy all these perspectives and get ready to embark on Amicia and Hugo’s next journey on October 18th! You can pre-order the game now on PS5.