I hardly see 60fps support as essential in games but I won’t say no to it. So coo, look, gorgeous fight-o-explorer Hyper Light Drifter [official site] can now run at 60fps, thanks to a new update in public beta. This also boshes in a Boss Rush mode, for people who simply want to duff up big monsters. Good things!
Boss Rush mode is, y’know, Boss Rush, where you get to fight all the game’s bosses in a row. It’s unlocked by beating the game. If you want less challenge, not more, hey, developers Heart Machine have also added an easier ‘Newcomer’ mode – though it has fewer achievements and won’t unlock Boss Rush.
If you don’t fancy waiting for the update’s full launch, check out the announcement to see how to try the beta. Now let’s talk frames.
“Hyper Light plays as intended at 30fps locked, and we feel confident, great about the end result,” Heart Machine said in April, addressing the surpisingly controversial topic. “We realize some may not agree, and some refuse to play games at 30 these days.”
They added that going to 60fps would be “a HUGE endeavor” for such a small studio, taking at least three months. Well. They did it. And yep, it was far more complex than flicking a switch from ’30fps’ to ’60fps’. Alex Preston explains:
“This conversion was indeed a massive task to undertake: we worked through over 115 thousand lines of code the past several months in order to make this happen, manually changing timings of each object and enemy, fixing the dozens upon dozens of little problems that arose when changing frame timing, optimizing the game and testing the bits out of it internally.”
Not many small studios can afford the time to do this, mind, so probably don’t expect it from every game which has the temerity to run at 30fps.
I still don’t get the ’60fps or death’ contingent of PC gaming. I entirely agree that 60fps (or higher) looks lovely in many games, and is especially better in 3D first-person games, but I won’t scorn games which run at 30fps. It’s not that big a deal. Maybe this is a side-effect of having rubbish PCs for so long – after years of Quake 2 at 20fps (limited by both hardware AND Internet speed, back in the day) I’m not that bothered. I’ve got a fancy PC now and am glad when games take advantage of that, but they’re not ruined if they don’t.
Speaking of Hyper Light Drifter’s gameguts, do also check out The Mechanic’s investigation of its recharging ammo and the consequences thereof.
To celebrate this update, Hyper Light Drifter is on sale on Steam. It’s down to £10.04/13,39€/$13.39 until Friday evening.