Capcom’s had a tough few past years, with many titles, but none ever living up to the hypes they created before release. The company is hoping to change all that with a fresh new start, and last year’s display of the upcoming next-gen title “Deep Down” is an indication.
Capcom has shoved aside the familiar MT Framework engine and developed something new from the root, called the Panta Rhei.
We’re still waiting to witness the full potential of what the engine is truly capable of, but the company’s senior manager Masaru Ijuin ensures us that this technology will unlock the full potential of the PlayStation 4 and other next-generation hardware.
Ijuin was keen to suggest that the sacrificing of the MT Framework for a new, more powerful and up to date engine was a step that was both necessary and ensured future efficiency for the company.
“Upgrading “MT Framework” was definitely an option, and there were people in the company who were a little hesitant about developing a new engine. But taking the easy route often fails to bring about the best results.
Improvements to “MT Framework” might have reduced the work time from one hour to 30 minutes. We sought to go beyond that and shorten those 30 minutes to ten.”
However, this doesn’t mean that the MT Framework will be an abandoned gem. Ijuin believes there is purpose for this classical engine.
“We won’t use “Panta Rhei” to develop games for the current generation of consoles. We intend to continue using “MT Framework” to do that, and use “MT Framework” Mobile for handhelds and smartphones. These engines provide the optimum development environments for hardware with different characteristics and specifications.”
But he does agree that the transition from the familiar MT Framework to the newer and more complex Panta Rhei will force developers to learn things from the scratch.
“Well, I’m afraid creators will have to start back at square one when they learn how develop games using “Panta Rhei”. Next-gen consoles have drastically redefined the way games are rendered.
Conventional theories no longer work. If we create games the same way as before, we won’t be able to give our fans what they want, and that’s games unlike any they have ever played. We think we should view this new hardware as an opportunity to tackle new challenges.”
Ijuin was intent on giving valid examples as to what makes the Panta Rhei stand out as compared to the traditional and more familiar engines, and the graphic and dynamic impact it has on realism.
“The players of Deep down”will be surprised to see realistic fire rendered by fluids. Traditionally, fire is rendered by arranging a large number of so-called billboards, but this method fails to depict the motion of fire. We can now make fire look more realistic by using fluids and simulating the flow of the flames.
Imagine a T junction at the end of a narrow corridor. The fire rendered through the use of billboards ends at the wall of the T junction. On the other hand, the fire rendered with fluids fans out to the left and right when it hits the wall.”
Yes, I do agree that the fire from the dragon was indeed very impressive in the trailer for Deep Down.
You can have a look at the full interview of Masaru Ijuin and his view of the usage and potential of the Panta Rhei engine on the Capcom Business site.