Improvements in lighting technology rather than increased resolutions are going to be key to boosting realism in games over the coming years, according to Quantic Dream CEO David Cage.
Discussing the studio’s efforts to raise the bar with each new title it releases, Cage said he’s excited by the potential of real-time ray tracing, a headline feature of many high-end PC graphics cards that allows for realistic reflections like those seen in CGI movies.
Currently only a small number of PC games support the feature and very high spec systems are required to use it, but Xbox Scarlett will support ray tracing when it launches next year, as will PlayStation 5.
“Now, game after game, you know that technology evolves and new platforms arrive, and you want to boost the realism further. And we were talking about photorealism for years in the industry, and game after game, we are trying to get closer,” Cage told GameSpot
On Quantic Dream’s bid to “push the envelope” with its follow-up to Detroit: Become Human, he said: “I think that lighting is going to be a key thing. There is this new technology called ray tracing that we talk a lot about these days. I think this is going to be interesting because it will allow to improve reflections, lighting, shadows. And I think that’s a big deal.
“For years, I mean, the amount of polygons you could display was key, then it became the shaders and then textures, and now I think it’s all about the lighting, and the more subtle and nuanced the lighting will be, the better the image will be.”
Cage added: “I don’t think it’s going to be a war about resolution; I know that people talk about 8K these days and blah blah blah. I don’t think this is the real next battle. I would rather put focus on lighting. Lighting, lighting, lighting.”
id Software intends to “lead” in ray tracing technology, which the Doom studio views as “a matter of priority”, executive producer Marty Stratton told VGC in an interview published earlier this month.
Earlier this year Quantic Dream released Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls on PC via the Epic Games store, while Detroit: Become Human will arrive on the platform this fall.