God of War’s no-cut camera made adding ultrawide support surprisingly challenging

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The PC port of God of War is an enhanced version of a great game, with some of the features we love to see on PC like DLSS upscaling, a flexible FPS limiter, and ultrawide support. The last one was a no-brainer inclusion for the God of War developers as they began work on the PC version of the game, lead UX designer Mila Pavlin told me. “I think it’s just a tremendous game for the widescreen format,” Pavlin said. “It’s got those huge visuals, the big sweeping moments, and the cinematics that run on it… so I think it was something that was really important to the team, because we were looking at how to play the game in the best way possible.” How to present.

For UI designers, there’s some obvious work involved in making a game work well in ultrawide. You have to make sure that UI elements that are ‘pinned’ to the corners of the screen in 16:9 are not uncomfortably out of view on a 21:9 monitor. But that’s just one consideration that developers have to deal with to make ultrawide work. The field of view at that wide aspect ratio can be a big problem for games that were originally built to support only the standard widescreen.

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“It’s not just setting up and completing Resolve. I wish it were that easy,” said Matt Dewald, senior technical producer for the PC port of God of War. If you widen the aspect ratio without increasing the FOV, it doesn’t look quite right to our mind. But once you widen the FOV, you start seeing things you never expected, like in Bad ‘HD remasters’ of old TV shows,

“Now it’s all the stuff that was on the edge and cut out at 16:9 that’s now in the scene,” Dewald said. “Like ‘Oh no, Atreus is waging through the scene because he’s getting into position.'”

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“So you had to go back and animate all those things. It required playing through the whole game. And not just the cinematics because we’re a no-cut camera, well, it’s totally one shot. So It’s actually playing out the whole game… all these controlled camera moments, like when Kratos is trying to hit something and it goes into a locked animation, the camera controls that scene, or There is some gameplay moment where something appears like a dragger pops out and Kratos whipping ax out and it freezes.

“They’re not cinematics, they’re just moments of gameplay. You have to go through them all and check to see: Was there a dragger on the side of the screen that popped into visibility because that’s going to be behind.” is attacking from? Is Atres moving around? Is Kratos’ skirt moving because the cloth simulation isn’t working properly? There’s all this stuff you have to go through and fix it It was really just a hand effort to go back and fix all those things up.”

The only way to make sure God of War looked perfect with a wide FOV was to play it in ultrawide. A lot

“Since it’s difficult to systematically explore these issues, requiring a human being to try and look at it, you can imagine playing through 30 hours of play from not only the core game elements, but all Explore spaces and all that stuff, you’re talking about 80-plus hours of playing through the entire game to find visual things,” Dewald said. “And you have to run through it several times.”

The PC port of God of War was developed by a small team at Santa Monica Studios with Jetpack Interactive, while most of Santa Monica is still devoted to development on the upcoming sequel God of War Ragnarok. QA logs visual bugs, the PC port team will pull in animators to fix them.

“As much as I’d love to say that we’ve put in place proper planning and the amount of time it took, it didn’t happen,” Dewald said. “QA would find some new issues we missed the first time around. Once they uncovered hundreds of bugs, it was a lot of effort to fix all of them.”

These kinds of animation issues are certainly not exclusive to God of War’s “no-cut camera” design – any game built for locked FOV is going to exhibit some problems when widening the lens. But it epitomizes just how complicated life becomes for games designed around a certain console spec when brought to PC.

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