Next-Gen Consoles Run the Swarm Engine ‘Amazingly’, Could Render a Lot More Than WWZ’s 1K Zombies

As part of our interview with Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch, we inquired with him regarding the upcoming next-gen consoles, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

To begin with, we asked what got the developers at Saber Interactive most excited about this new generation of hardware by Sony and Microsoft.

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There are a number of features we are excited about on both next-gen platforms. We are big fans of fully backward compatibility and cross-play. We know fans have invested a lot of money in their game catalogs, and to continue playing their favorite games along with new titles is exciting. We are also big fans of the social initiatives of both platforms, and how easy gamers will be able to interact with their games on not only the console but other platforms as well. And lastly, the power of the new hardware. We, as developers, love more power in our systems when developing games!

Saber uses its own Swarm Engine, which famously was capable of rendering over a thousand zombies on screen in the studio's multi-million hit World War Z. How bigger could this number have been if the game had been made with next-gen hardware in mind?

Bigger, a lot bigger. Running the Swarm Engine on next-gen hardware is amazing. The things we can do with the new systems will have a material impact on the experience. I would love to talk about what we have already been able to do on the new consoles, but it’s too soon.

Karch also commented on the DirectX 12 Ultimate feature set recently detailed by Microsoft. Apparently, Saber intends to use it to the full extent in future titles, which is certainly good news for gamers as DirectX 12 Ultimate will work across both the next-gen Xbox and Windows PC.

Yes, we are planning on using multiple new hardware features in the upcoming games. We are working on global illumination and realtime reflection technologies based on DirectX raytracing. We are planning on unifying our geometry and LOD authoring pipelines with Mesh shaders. Sampler feedback will be used to help optimize sparse textures and variable rate shaders will deliver a performance boost. We are excited about new technologies coming up in this DirectX update and are always looking for ways to optimize our games by taking advantage of the newest technologies.

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