Why The Order: 1886 runs at 30fps

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Ready at Dawn’s The Order: 1886 will run at 30 frames per second, and has black bars to give it an overall cinematic look. That was the developer’s excuse for a lack of 1080p, 60fps gameplay when they first revealed the game, and they’re sticking to it. Speaking to Kotaku, Ready at Dawn’s Dana Jan has explained exactly why the game has to run at 30 fps.

“60 fps is really responsive and really cool. I enjoy playing games in 60 fps. But one thing that really changes is the aesthetic of the game in 60 fps,” Jan told Kotaku in defence of the 30fps cap.

“We’re going for this filmic look, so one thing that we knew immediately was films run at 24 fps. We’re gonna run at 30 because 24 fps does not feel good to play. So there’s one concession in terms of making it aesthetically pleasing, because it just has to feel good to play.”

According to Jan, there’s so much going on in the game – likely because of that incredible engine – that running at 60 fps would mean sacrificing all that wizardry.

“Then, on top of it, I don’t know of any other games that are gonna look like our game in real-time with no pre-rendered movies, with all the stuff that’s going on lighting-wise, and run at 60. I think that’s probably the thing that most people underestimate is [that] to make a game look like this—the way that they’re lit, the number of directional lights that we have… We don’t have a game where you’re just outside in sunlight, so there’s one light.

“We have candles flickering, fires, then characters have lights on them. So [to make] all those lights [work] with this fidelity means, I think, until the end of this system most people won’t have any clue how to make that run 60 and look like this.”

“That was something where we kind of said, ‘What was important to us?’ We’re visual creatures. when we see things, that’s kind of our first senses. I think immediately we look at this game, one of the things that’s exciting to me, it feels next-gen.

“It’s one of the first things that I go, ok, I think this is helping define what next-gen really means. Getting a new system and actually booting up and saying something that is like, ‘I’m blown away by what I’m seeing.’ There’s almost nothing that you can take away from that.”

I honestly think some games work better, and feel more natural when they’re locked to 30 fps. Racing games and shooters most certainly benefit from the higher frame rate, but most other genres don’t. Either way , The Order: 1886 is shaping up to be quite a visually sumptuous game.

Last Updated: May 30, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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