“We’re going to do a high quality texture pack on PC to really show off the cars,” Richard Kettlewell, senior programmer at Codemasters, tells me.
“It’s quite large, isn’t it?” says Clive Moody, Grid Autosport’s producer.
“Well, it’s condensed now, it’s only 5gb,” says Rich.
“Down from…?” I ask.
“We’ve got these little go pro-style cameras that get really close to the car bodywork,” Kettlewell explains. “We’re doing the high quality texture pack on PC [because] otherwise the image could break down a little bit when you’re playing on 1080p.”
To put those textures in perspective: the full Grid Autosport install is about 11 GB. So before the textures were compressed they alone where three times the size of everything else in the game. Now they’ve been compressed you’ll be able to get everything installed and running for just 16gb of your hard drive space.
The high res texture pack will be a free DLC released via Steam on Grid Autosport’s release day.
Codemasters tell me that the development of Grid Autosport is PC-lead. “Everything’s just a bit bigger and higher res detail on PC,” says Kettlewell. “Better shadows, higher res car reflections – that’s something else we’ve put a lot of work into on Autosport, getting the car paint effect to look as authentic as we possibly can.”
“We’re locked to 30fps on console, we’re clear on PC,” Moody adds. “60fps is really nice, it gives you a great experience. And, it can be played on a three displays. It has full peripheral support – wheels, controllers…”.
“We’ve got it running on 4K in the next room,” says Adrian Lawton, Codemasters communications manager.
“The thing about being PC-lead is that in the past we’d think ‘Oh we can’t do that on console’ so we wouldn’t do it,” says Kettlewell. “Whereas now the reaction now is ‘Oh we can’t do it on console but let’s do it on PC.’
“We have little dashboard reflections. In head cam you can see reflections on the windscreen, something we’d never be able to afford to do on consoles without breaking our fps performance limit. In the past we wouldn’t have done features like that but now we’re thinking we can do it on PC. Better lighting and things like that. Little bits in lots of places.”
From what I saw of Grid Autosport, those little bits add up to a great game. See our full Grid Autosport preview for more.