When it launches this holiday, Xbox Series X will be the most powerful console the world has ever seen. One of the biggest benefits of all that power is giving developers the ability to make games that are Xbox Series X Optimized. This means that they’ve taken full advantage of the unique capabilities of Xbox Series X, both for new t**les built natively using the Xbox Series X development environment as well as previously released t**les that have been rebuilt specifically for the console.
In our Inside Xbox Series X Optimized series, these creators will share the behind-the-scenes accounts of how they’re optimizing their t**les for Xbox Series X and what that means for the future of gaming.
Today, we’ll be chatting with Manuel Fernández, Cofounder & Programmer at Out of the Blue about optimizing Call of the Sea for Xbox Series X.
Q: What excites you most about developing and bringing Call of the Sea to life on next-generation hardware?
A: It is always exciting to see how old limitations are overcome and try to find new ones. The feeling of adventure when exploring something new is what we like best.
Q: In addition to benefiting from the power and performance of Xbox Series X for quicker load times etc. what Xbox Series X features were you most excited to explore leveraging in the development of Call of the Sea?
A: Without a doubt, benefiting from the power and performance of the new generation is something that everyone is looking for, but it is not the only thing that calls our attention. We believe that some features like Smart Delivery are building the future of gaming by putting the players first and we are happy to be a part of this.
Q: How will these enhancements impact a player’s experience with Call of the Sea?
A: With the Smart Delivery feature you’ll always have access to the best version of the game. Sharing settings and games between different systems. That makes you design the game thinking as a whole and not as something that is tied to a single platform. On the other hand the power and performance of Xbox Series X will allow us to offer the game at beautiful 4K at 60fps, leveraging the rich game environments and making the art really shine.
Q: Why did your development team choose to focus on 4K Resolution, 60FPS and DirectX Raytracing as enhancement areas for Call of the Sea?
A: We are focusing on delivering the most beautiful game possible. Although we have a stylized art style, we are giving it a next-gen look, full of visual effects and movement in the scene. With DirectX Raytracing, we will have the chance to make the island even more present, almost come to life. Players will have the opportunity to enjoy the island’s stunning environments in beautiful 4K, allowing for a greater immersion and an overall better experience.
The power of this new hardware allows us to not have to make compromises between frame rate and resolution. We can finally offer the best of the two worlds to Xbox Series X players!
Q: How do you expect fans of Call of the Sea will respond to playing it on Xbox Series X with these enhancements?
A: We hope fans are delighted by the visuals, spend more time in the game and enjoy exploring every corner of the island.
These enhancements will also allow us to tune the environments, weather, and make the environments evolve as the story does. We consider the island a character in Call of the Sea and enhancing all the visual effects helps us convey the player’s emotions in a fantastic way.
Q: What is it like developing on Xbox Series X?
A: We are still in the first stages of experimenting with the new hardware and we are exploring how far we can go. We are working in line with the advances in Unreal Engine, the engine in which we are developing the game, towards implementing them in the Xbox Series X version of the game. Both Microsoft and Epic Games are doing an excellent job of giving developers tools to make it as smooth as possible to develop on their platform.
Q: Which enhancement were you most excited about to explore leveraging for Call of the Sea on Xbox Series X?
A: The graphic power that allows us to show our scenarios in 4k at 60fps is something we are really excited about. Sometimes it allows us to take our visuals to where our only limit is creativity.
Q: What does Smart Delivery mean for your game and how you’re bringing Call of the Sea to fans?
A: We want our players to enjoy the game at its best, so we love the idea that those who have the game on Xbox One, can continue playing it on Series X when they will be ready to jump into the next generation. We love how easy it will be for players to do this transition without having to worry about their save game and game progression, as they will carry over between the two platforms. We love being part of this new norm as the generation shifts.
Q: What does Xbox Series X/next-generation development enable in current or future projects that you could not have achieved with the current generation of consoles?
A: We want to explore in future projects the opportunity to cross the barriers of the game itself, not as something that starts when you press play and ends when you go out, but as something that is alive inside the console and uses the new user interface to extend the game experience.