Forums - Nintendo Discussion - DigitalFoundry: Super Mario Odyssey on Switch: The Complete Tech Analysis

Zekkyou said:
bigtakilla said:

Essentially not a lack of ambition, but neither is it the lack of ambition of any other dev that fails to make the golden standard Nintendo has set. They just both merely fail at doing so.

I think we might be talking about slightly different things. I'm talking about in-game tech relative to overall performance profile (image quality + frame-rate), which is where Nintendo tend to be fairly conservative. Hitting perfect locks is almost impossible without a degree of technical conservatism after all (you have to 'waste' a lot of resources to guarantee it never falls below your target no matter the scene complexity). Looking at your other comments i think you were referring purely to 60fps?

But technical conservatism is relative to the hardware at play. Nintendo used to know well what the limits to the hardware is relative to the game developed and obtain 60fps. I'm saying now their development paradigm seems to be more in line with other AAA devs. For whatever reason Nintendo is now saying "close enough" instead of refining to perfection.



Around the Network
SuperNova said:
bigtakilla said:

99.9%, is that a number actually given, or your speculation?

Just for claryfication, I think John from DF himself mentiones that 'it runs like butter 99% of the time'. Most of the dips where as little as 1-2 frames and there's only one bigger dip of ~12 frames in one specific area of New Donk City.

All in all when paired with the visual fidelity that the game displays, it's an impressive and ambitious result. Also note that Odyssey is the first 3D exploration Mario game ever to hit 60fps.

I was aware of that, but it was just an easy way to say most of the time while I doubt there is any actual sitting back and testing and coming up with actual percents either for or against. The visual fidelity also changes greatly, so saying it's impressive and ambitious is a bit generous in this instance. 



bigtakilla said:
Zekkyou said:

I think we might be talking about slightly different things. I'm talking about in-game tech relative to overall performance profile (image quality + frame-rate), which is where Nintendo tend to be fairly conservative. Hitting perfect locks is almost impossible without a degree of technical conservatism after all (you have to 'waste' a lot of resources to guarantee it never falls below your target no matter the scene complexity). Looking at your other comments i think you were referring purely to 60fps?

But technical conservatism is relative to the hardware at play. Nintendo used to know well what the limits to the hardware is relative to the game developed and obtain 60fps. I'm saying now their development paradigm seems to be more in line with other AAA devs. For whatever reason Nintendo is now saying "close enough" instead of refining to perfection.

Of course, but i think that goes without saying. If i wasn't talking relative to the Switch's hardware i'd have little positive to say about SMO's in-game tech :p Artistically it's excellent in any context, but its core technology is obviously quite sub-standard. 90% of PS4 games have lacking tech and they've got orders of magnitude more wiggle room.

What i'm talking about is the capacity with which they push their in-game tech, which is where Nintendo have historically been quite conservative (yes, relative to hardware and performance). They're frequently willing to trade large chunks of their render budget for relatively minor things, like pushing a 95%+ 60fps title to 100%. You can describe that as ambitious performance targets (and i'd agree to an extent), but that comes with an unavoidable cost. With SMO, they've taken a slightly different rout. They're allowing minor frame-rate variables, have a fairly large dynamic resolution range, distance based animation targets, and are making use of a variety of other image quality scaling methods (these all on-top of standard stuff like LoD fields).

If it was just the small frame-rate variability i'd agree it was sloppy for them, but together these all serve to smoothen out the resource curve between technically intense scenes and standard ones, which in turn allows for more technical ambition. The end result is something a decently sized step over MK8, Splatoon 2, and ARMS. Zelda is the only major exception, though how they compare relative to performance is more difficult to judge.

I don't like all the decisions they've made (i personally value image quality over in-game technical ambition, in the same way you likley favour frame-rate over it), but i appreciate the effort. They could easily have just used the same tech they used for MK8 and ARMS, but they opted to try and work slightly outside of their standard development style. The results aren't perfect, but i'm a fan of the attempt.



bigtakilla said:
Zekkyou said:

I think we might be talking about slightly different things. I'm talking about in-game tech relative to overall performance profile (image quality + frame-rate), which is where Nintendo tend to be fairly conservative. Hitting perfect locks is almost impossible without a degree of technical conservatism after all (you have to 'waste' a lot of resources to guarantee it never falls below your target no matter the scene complexity). Looking at your other comments i think you were referring purely to 60fps?

But technical conservatism is relative to the hardware at play. Nintendo used to know well what the limits to the hardware is relative to the game developed and obtain 60fps. I'm saying now their development paradigm seems to be more in line with other AAA devs. For whatever reason Nintendo is now saying "close enough" instead of refining to perfection.

I think you're blowing this out of proportion. We're not talking about a game that regularly dips below 30fps here, nor one of those games that "targets" 60fps yet spends a lot of it's time in the 40-60fps range, like Bayonetta. We are talking about a game that achieves a 60fps flatline the vast majority of the time, and has a few minor, fleeting, and infrequent dips, much like Smash Bros Wii U.

The kind of game this is also needs to be taken into account; there's a reason open-ended/non-linear titles like this are almost always 30fps, it's a considerable technical challenge to keep frametimes within a strict 16.67ms window at all times when moving around a large detailed world where the rendering load can vary enormously from moment to moment and new assets need to be constantly streamed in and out of memory.

You say their attitude is now in line with other AAA devs, yet I guarantee you almost any other AAA developer tasked with making this game would have shot for 30fps.



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

curl-6 said:
bigtakilla said:

But technical conservatism is relative to the hardware at play. Nintendo used to know well what the limits to the hardware is relative to the game developed and obtain 60fps. I'm saying now their development paradigm seems to be more in line with other AAA devs. For whatever reason Nintendo is now saying "close enough" instead of refining to perfection.

I think you're blowing this out of proportion. We're not talking about a game that regularly dips below 30fps here, nor one of those games that "targets" 60fps yet spends a lot of it's time in the 40-60fps range, like Bayonetta. We are talking about a game that achieves a 60fps flatline the vast majority of the time, and has a few minor, fleeting, and infrequent dips, much like Smash Bros Wii U.

The kind of game this is also needs to be taken into account; there's a reason open-ended/non-linear titles like this are almost always 30fps, it's a considerable technical challenge to keep frametimes within a strict 16.67ms window at all times when moving around a large detailed world where the rendering load can vary enormously from moment to moment and new assets need to be constantly streamed in and out of memory.

You say their attitude is now in line with other AAA devs, yet I guarantee you almost any other AAA developer tasked with making this game would have shot for 30fps.

Oh, I certainly agree I'm being pitpicky. Happily admitted.