The PC version of Assassin’s Creed 2 is finally going to hit the markets in early March.
But it will only support DirectX 9. some question from the interview taken by PC Games Hardware with 3D Lead Programmer of the game(David Champagne) about the technical background.
PCGH: Do you have to reprogram/alter/add parts of the Anvil/Scimitar engine for Assassin’s Creed 2? If so, can you please describe what technical modification you have made and why they have been necessary?
David Champagne: Several new features have been added to the engine. A lot of them came from the AI and level design but still a lot came from the graphics side. We also had to develop new tools and plug-ins to help artists and designers integrate those new features.
PCGH: Regarding the different release dates for the Console and PC version we assume, that you develop the console and PC version separately to fully take advantage of the technical possibility the PC as a platform has to offer? Is that correct?
David Champagne: Even though it is not obvious at first glance, a lot of small things need to be addressed in order to successfully port a console game to PC. Enough to keep a team working for a couple of months. We worked a lot on improving the PC version to support all the possible hardware and to take advantage of multi-core processors.
PCGH: What are the main differences between the console and the PC version as far as general technical aspects as well as the visuals is concerned? What technical features can only be realized with the PC as platform?
David Champagne: As mentioned, we spent quite some time improving the performances of the PC version by taking advantage of multi-core processors. The PC version also supports much higher resolutions than the console version and multi-sampling modes up to 8X (as opposed to the console version which only supports 2X).
PCGH: Is it correct that Assassin’s Creed 2 will offer improved shadow rendering and lighting as well as a day and night cycle? Do you integrate other new visuals into the game? If yes, what rendering techniques do you apply?
David Champagne: Efforts have particularly been put on improving our lighting system to support day and night cycle. New techniques such as support for spot lights and reflections have also been implemented into the engine.
PCGH: Can you explain why you removed support for DX10.1 in Assassin’s Creed with the patch 1.02 although DX10.1 improved the quality of FSAA as well as the performance on Radeon cards? Is it really true that DX10.1 caused errors when calculating post processing? Will the renderer of Assassin’s Creed 2 support DX10.1 or once again just DX10?
David Champagne: I personally didn’t work on the first Assassin’s Creed PC so it would be hard for me to answer this question. For Assassin’s Creed II, we decided to stick to DX9. This allowed us to focus on a single version of the renderer and helped us to achieve the best possible performances.