Released in late August with DLSS 2 support, the open world action/adventure title powered by Unreal Engine 4 is now being updated with DLSS 3.
Ahead of the addition of DLSS Frame Generation, we discussed implementing this technology with Eric Urocki, Executive Art Director of German developer Black Forest Games. We also learned that the studio's next game will be developed with Unreal Engine 5, and Urocki anticipates that RTX 40 Series features like Shader Execution Reordering, Opacity Micro-Maps, and Displaced Micro-Mesh will be used if supported by Epic's game-making toolset.
Keep reading to get all of the details of our chat. We'll report our findings while testing DLSS 3 in Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed (25% off now on Green Man Gaming) as part of an upcoming review.
What was your first impression of DLSS 3 as a developer? Do you feel that AI-based Frame Generation is the future of rendering to keep up with advanced ray tracing effects?
We were impressed by how DLSS evolved from being originally just a new supersampling method and now became much more than that to solve a lot of issues related to performance and optimization.
How much of an improvement does DLSS 3 introduce in your game compared to DLSS 2 (Super Resolution)?
DLSS 3’s main advantage for us is the AI frame generation. In most of our games, the bottleneck is CPU and not GPU, so having a system that creates additional frames independently from the CPU simply allows us to potentially double our framerate for free.
One of the potential drawbacks of DLSS 3 is the additional latency. Does Frame Generation add significant latency in your implementation, or is Reflex able to cover that?
It depends on how “latency” is perceived: DLSS3 with additional frames will provide a visually smoother framerate, but the system latency will be the same as the scenario where it is not active. So there's no latency benefits per se, but also no “additional” latency either. In very simple terms, what we have here is the frame count going up to 60 visually, whereas the responsiveness of the controls stays at 30 – and it does give a feeling of some “lagging”, and this “lagging” is not really the case. As a mitigation, though, there might be even some improved “latency” if Reflex manages to synchronize better the CPU and GPU compared to the previous Nvidia graphic card generation. We were not able to evaluate that point yet.
Do you have an ETA on when DLSS 3 will be added to your game?
We will be updating Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed very soon this month with DLSS 3 capability.
The new GeForce RTX 4000 Series also introduced Shader Execution Reordering (SER), Opacity Micro-Maps (OMM), and Displaced Micro-Mesh (DMM) to help with ray tracing optimization. All of these have to be explicitly enabled and set up by game developers. Are you planning to take advantage of any of them?
As we are using UE5 for our next game and try in general not to touch the core rendering pipeline of the engine, it highly depends on Epic’s roadmap on making optimizations using those new Nvidia optimizations.
The micro-mesh technology is very similar to what Nanite is doing in UE5. Consequently, if Epic decides to implement some Nanite-specific optimizations taking advantage of DMM, we will definitely use this. As it applies to all new tech, if the implementation is there at the right time in the project for us, we will be able to take full advantage of those new technologies.
What do you think of RTX Remix as a developer?
It’s very easy to imagine modding-heavy games or communities getting a lot of traction through Remix, as well as old classics that haven’t been visually modded to come back. What we see as a developer here though is very much its compatibility with Omniverse and its potential future ability to help us create visual prototypes based on older work. Beyond this, if done right, we can also see RTX Remix being very useful in game development education as well.
After Destroy All Humans! 2, are you planning to move to UE5 for your next project, or will you stick with UE4?
We are developing our next game with UE5. The improvements and new features that UE5 brings have so many advantages that there's really no point in sticking with UE4, even if some of the new big features are potentially not “tried, tested, improved” or mature enough yet. We are hoping that all those problems will be solved during the development of the game, as a lot of problems were already tackled in UE5.1.
We are in a very early stage of our next project. However, we remain confident that issues will be sorted out when we enter the production phase.
Thank you for your time.