Last week we heard that Dead Space 3 would be a straight console port, with no bells attached and certainly no whistles. Have you seen the price of whistles lately? Not on your nelly. DirectX 11 support was among the features that hadn’t made the list.
But Visceral executive producer Steve Papoutsis has since defended his company’s decision not to optimise the game for PC – and questioned some assumptions about the nature of cross-platform releases in the process. Set chin to stroke.
“It’s confusing to me that this question even comes up,” Papoutsis told Shacknews. “[The PC version] is by no means any less important to us; it gets a lot of attention. The PC is a very different platform. As developers, you want to deliver an experience that’s as similar as possible on different platforms.
“In Dead Space 2, I felt we made some great strides in terms of controls, responsiveness and even the visual improvements we got into it. We continue to evolve our games as we develop them, but we certainly don’t target PC as something that’s going to be significantly different. We aren’t trying to create disparity in the experience that our gamers enjoy; we want to make sure everyone’s having that same experience.
“At our studio, we’ve always made console games,” he explained. “The biggest thing is we want to make sure the quality of the experience is consistent across all platforms so we don’t have one userbase saying it’s better on their system.”
So Visceral would prefer not to deal with the fallout yammer that might come with imbalanced versions. But they haven’t skimped on adapting their games to the unique needs of us desktop types.
“The fact that we’re allowing you to control the game with a mouse and keyboard immediately makes the game feel different,” Papoutsis said. “Working with the community, we found some people wanted to map the controls a little differently because of disabilities and we supported that [in Dead Space 2]. It’s a confusing question and I hope my answer brings a little bit of light to it. We seem a little bit discredited for the amount of effort that goes into it, quite honestly.
“We want it to be great on all systems, that’s our approach.”
Message received: Visceral’s philosophy is to make their games more-or-less indistinguishable between platforms – regardless of their relative power or the respective wants of their users.
Which raises the question: should PC gamers automatically get a better version of a game, simply because our hardware allows for it?