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An Unexciting Video About Optimising Planetside 2

… but you should watch it, anyway. In my very casual time with Planetside 2, I haven’t ran into that many egregious technical troubles. I think I must be in the minority, or perhaps even the only person who hasn’t had his game hitch or crash or exhibit any slowdown, because SOE has (virtually) downed tools on a lot of content updates to focus on making the game run better. They’re also documenting this process for the fans in least visually exciting gaming video series, ever. You know how seriously they’re taking this when they have a game with Planetside 2’s visual oomph but put out a video of people talking in a room. Operation: Make Faster Game’s (O:MFG) first video is below.

It’s encouraging to see a company take on the challenge of making their game work in such a forthright way. SOE’s President John Smedley laid the gauntlet down for the team a few months ago, stating: “The PS2 team will be shifting their priorities to focusing purely on optimization. It’s unacceptable as it stands.”

He wasn’t kidding. As Planetside 2’s Tech Director Ryan Elam puts it: “All of our teams have been given the freedom to fix things that take significant time to fix. What you’re going to get at the end of this is a serious, noticeable increase in frame rate, PLUS some ancillary benefits that are capable as a result of some of these architectural advances. Every single member of the team, no joke, is actively looking for and implementing ways to make the game faster so we can deliver a better gameplay experience to you.”

That will cover everything: physics, animation, UI, view distance, and more will all be looked at to see where they can be improved. Expect major changes. There’s a document with a fair amount of info about what they’re looking at as a companion piece to the video below.

I think it’s a trick. I just looked at some PS2 screenshots and had a powerful urge to load it up, so if they only put out videos of people talking in a room then fewer and fewer people will play it, and it’ll appear as if they’ve made it better. A cunning plan, no doubt.

Now let’s all admire the game they’re making.

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Craig Pearson

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