Dead Rising 3 Capped At 30fps On PC, Modders Can Access 60fps At Their Own Risk

By William Usher 6 months ago discussion comments
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Capcom continues to cause a lot of strife from within the gaming community with their treatment of their fanbase (or what's left of it). The upcoming release of Dead Rising 3 on PC will be hard-capped at 30 frames per second due to the game's simulation being tied to engine code that locks certain features to the frame-rate.

On Capcom's Twitch.tv live-stream from this year's E3, Dead Rising 3 producer Jon Airhart released some disheartening news that the game would be hard-locked at 30fps on PC due to the way the engine was designed. Neogaf transcribed the quotes from Airhart, who stated that...
“...we're not gonna stop you from uncapping the framerate and seeing what your hardware can really do with this game, but we can't guarantee the experience because we just don't really know what's gonna happen; you might see some weird stuff with physics, some weird stuff with zombies – but if you want to mess with it and see what you can see, we'll totally let you do that.”

“I really don't believe you're losing anything by playing at 30 frames per second.”... “if you want feel free to uncap it, but it's gonna be wild and crazy”

It doesn't take a wild imagination to guess what the average response was from potentially eager PC gamers on NeoGaf who found out that the game would be running at the same limitated frame-rate as the Xbox One version (just minus the massive frame drops).

Quite naturally, there was a call to arms for Durante, the legendary programmer who fixed the original Dark Souls PC port that Bandai Namco released back in 2012. Unfortunately, it's not that simple.

DSO Gaming spotted a post by one of the programmers on Dead Rising 3 later on in the NeoGaf thread, who goes by the handle of quantumnerd, putting a damper on the possibility of a quick-fix from the modding community by saying...
“It's shitty to be capped at 30FPS, but DR3 on PC still feels like the definitive version of the game. It's not going to drop frames much if your hardware is good, which is more than the XB1 version can say for itself. And you can uncap it at your own risk, so you don't even need Durante.”

“The main problem with our engine is that it's custom and in-house but we don't have tons of resources (we make only one game series). And DR3 was developed over a generation transition to boot. All those factors together mean that we can get games out the door and design them mostly how we like, but the code incurs technical debt. So stuff like this happens when something like 60FPS isn't considered in advance, but the engine is too hard to change-- you have to basically rewrite large components, then push out extra QA. I'm guessing the higher-ups don't think PC is enough of a priority for an expensive drive like that.”

Need For Speed: Rivals had a very similar problem, where the game's AI logic, physics and car dynamics were tied to the frame-rate ticks. It seems like an insane design, but at the same time it really hammers home the point to “hard lock” a game at a specific frame-rate for the home consoles (or at least, I imagine that's the goal).

In the case of NFS: Rivals the game would break when the engine simulation was stuck at 30fps but gamers upped the game's runtime to 60fps. On the upside, tweakers eventually figured out how to get both the game-time and the simulation time to run at 60fps.

I wouldn't be shocked if we see something similar happen with Dead Rising 3. However, there's no way to tell right now until the game gets out there in the wild and the PC community has time to mess around with uncapping the frame-rate.

You can look for the former Xbox One exclusive, Dead Rising 3, to launch on PC this summer.
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