PCGH interviewed Corrinne Yu, Studio Wide Director of Technology at Gearbox Software, about the science fiction shooter Borderlands, the game with 500 000 different weapons!
Read the complete 3-page interview HERE.
Question: Why did you decide to license the Unreal Engine 3 and not to develop your own engine?
Answer: Using a licensed engine allows us to have more man-hours to devote to technology and game play. We spend those man hours programming technology that matters the most.
Question: Does the render utilize features like Parallax Occlusion Mapping, Soft Shadows, HDR Rendering, Deferred Shading, Ambient Occlusion, Shader 4.0 support or post effects like Tone Mapping and Depth of view?
Answer: We adapted the engine to have high precision high resolution soft shadows. In addition to tone mapping, we have film-like full screen post process to give the game a cinematic look.
Question: As far as overall performance is concerned, can players increase it remarkably by buying a second graphics card? Do you have to add the support for multi GPU setting when developing the PC Version?
Answer: The bottleneck of modern engine is not in clocks per cycle, but instructions per clock. Players may not experience remarkable performance increase by buying a second graphics card. SLI and Crossfire are misfired acceleration designs.
Question: Developing for Console and PC usually requires an engine that is strongly multithreaded. Is that the case with your engine? If yes how does the engine profit from dual or quad core CPUs?
Answer: We adapted the engine to take advantage of as many threads and cores as detected. We perform audio in one thread, physics and navigation in another thread, and visibility on another thread.
Question: What is your personal opinion as a developer about multithreading and Quad core?
Answer: Quad core? You should be getting at least 8 cores by now! My coder opinion is multithread is a beneficial technology to exploit.
Question: What are the technical advantages of that API (DirectX 10)?
Answer: The most significant advantage of DX 10 is virtual texture management. It provides a unified reliable render memory model not available in DX 9.