Home Gaming Xbox Series X game dev says that next-gen games won’t rely on smoke and mirrors to create open worlds

Xbox Series X game dev says that next-gen games won’t rely on smoke and mirrors to create open worlds

2 min read

Video games! Right now! But shinier! That’s the essential spin behind this year’s PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles, next-gen tech powered by SSD drives that promise massive quality of life upgrades. We’re already seeing some evidence of this, as games that aren’t even optimised properly for the Xbox Series X can boot up within mere seconds.

But what does SSD technology really mean for games that know how to take advantage of them? There’s a lot going on behind the scenes of any game, with loading of assets happening all the time. You’ve seen this before, with a texture popping into place or the draw distance of a game being shrouded in mist so that it can hide any ugly pop-up on the horizon.

According to The Falconeer creator Tomas Sala, next-gen games won’t rely on “smoke and mirrors” to build a believable world. “In most video games things just stop being alive at a certain distance from the player; if they’re not on-screen they just cease to exist in the simulation, or some simplified simulation would take over,” Sala said to the Xbox Wire.

When you wanted a more complex simulation you would have to spend so much of your time optimising the simulation just to make it perform. I think that’s something the new generation offers – more complex enemies and ecologies filled with creatures and enemies all exhibiting more interesting behaviours.

The big advantage I think will be in open-world games, where we can stop using smoke and mirrors to create an illusion for players, and focus on building more simulated worlds.

And that right there is what excites me about gaming. I don’t see the industry pivoting away from traditional ideas or even that much of a bump in gameplay visuals, but being able to jump into games more easily and enjoy them without having to sit through an elevator ride loading screen? That’s the quality of life experience that I’m after. Now to see how The Falconeer takes advantage of that tech, because that open-world air combat game is looking mighty fine ahead of its November 10 launch.

Last Updated: October 2, 2020


  1. When are they going to stop using smoke and mirrors in the real world?
    Show all the NPC’s what’s really going on!!!
    Down with the simulation!!


  2. Seeker

    October 2, 2020 at 09:30

    This game looks beautiful. Amazing how it’s not even using a single texture to achieve that look.


  3. Banana Jim

    October 2, 2020 at 11:29

    … but the cloud …. it provided so much power.. HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH! Oh Microsoft, it’s always been smoke and mirrors with you.


  4. FAQyoumate

    October 2, 2020 at 21:27

    I always thought that optimisation wise it will be good to let the GPU have a break. The player doesn’t see what’s behind him anyways, but it was smoke and mirrors. is this dev retarded or what?


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