Slightly Mad Studios Shares Details On Multiplatform Development For Project CARS

From cancelling PS3 and 360 ports, to using 8th gen consoles’ unique features, to Oculus Rift, Andy Tudor has a lot to say as the game is winding down for release.

Lost in the middle of CES hype was an interview Slightly Mad Studios held Friday last week for Project CARS. Andy Tudor, the game’s creative director, talked about the considerations and details of the four platforms the game is coming to this year: Playstation 4, SteamOS, Wii U, and Xbox One.

Andy talked briefly about Wii U, so let’s get that out of the way quickly. While he makes mention of the console’s stringent technical constraints, overall, Slightly Mad has heard the shouts from Nintendo fans loud and clear, and so they intend to satisfy the console’s owners with the quality of the visuals. Rather than bolster claims that the console could be lacking, Tudor says Project CARS will showcase the hidden power the Wii U has. They also promise to make use of the GamePad’s second screen and its touch functionality.

Andy also explained why the studio made the call to drop Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions of the game, sure to be an unpopular decision even among their backers in WMD. Andy is quite clear here that he thinks the power of the next-gen (8th gen) consoles will allow the game to be showcased as it is meant to be seen. A multitude of other factors also go into play here, including the expected dropoff in support for 7th gen, and the easier development process on 8th gen.

Now for the big talk. Andy says the team is aiming for, but not prioritizing, 1080p at 60 FPS. Slightly Mad Studios is in no better position than other devs, so they may have to back out on this goal midway, but they will prioritize the gaming experience, which he describes as awesome.

In terms of ease of development, Andy makes interesting comments on Playstation 4. He mentions bottlenecks in command list building, memory copying, etc. Andy makes it a point to mention that the console’s single-core speed is slow compared to a high end PC, so they have split their renderer across multiple threads. Similarly, the team decided to make use of the eSRAM (prioritized in Xbox One and Wii U) over PS4’s GDDR5 memory. This will mitigate some of the PS4’s advantage on that end, promising what is possibly a more even experience across consoles.

Playstation 4 will find USPs for their version nonetheless, as Slightly Mad promises to use the PS4’s Share feature, and they have taken notice of how gamers are already using the instant upload features on 8th gen consoles. Using the PS4 touchpad, and Kinect for that matter, are a different matter entirely. Andy says if they will be using the feature, they don’t want it to be gimmicky, but instead to truly add to the experience. Oddly, this became a segueway for the Oculus Rift, which Andy says is the best gadget to utilize in providing such an experience. About Xbox One, Slightly Mad has ideas on how to use the cloud, but they are, at least for now, top secret.

Perhaps the platform with the most promise, and was also only barely touched on here, is SteamOS, and high end PCs in general. Slightly Mad is definitely interested in the unique features of the PC, including upgradable hardware specs, evolving development cycles, and open platforms. Andy also mentions that the controller opens up even more new ideas, but that’s the most we get from him here.

The game is also coming natively to Windows and Linux. Expect it to come at the later half of this year.