God of War III Frame Rate Revealed

God of War III has a max sustained frame rate of 60 frames per second – but some scenes in the game might have to run at as low as 30 per second.

This and many more inside baseball-y factoids were kicked around at the "Practical SPU Usage in God of War 3" panel. Programmer Jim Tilander and Lead Game Programer Vassily FilipPov sounded more like PS3 salesmen than programmers as they expounded on the many benefits of running a Synergistic Processing Unit.

They went on and on about Sony's special EDGE geometry processing library available only to PS3 developers through Sony. It's a highly optimized SPU code that allows for easy integration, but you still control main rendering group and it can greatly improve your performance.

About this point, I feel asleep. I perked right up when they finally showed the SPU processing in action though with a five second gameplay clip. Which they wouldn't let anyone record or take pictures of (boo!).

Kratos runs up to a platform and sees the Sun God, Helios, lying prone on the ground. He's about to go in for the kill when a bunch of silver-clad guards with pikes and shields show up to make trouble. The camera zoomed seamlessly in and out on the different groups of enemies as Kratos ran up to perform combos. Then a giant cave-troll-looking thing dropped from on high into the frame and things really started getting hairy - both for Kratos and for the frame rate.

There were about 15 enemies on screen at any one time, including the cave troll that flailed around while Kratos rode his back and stabbed his head repeatedly (as seen in the first trailer). Filippov and Tilander explained that the biggest challenge in getting the SPU to work in parallel mode with their normal processor (PPU and no I don't know what that stands for) was rendering Titans.

Sounds like the Titans will have more in common with the Colossi from Shadow of the Colossus — the programmers described them as "large scale creatures that move around," which the programmers thought of as "just big levels." Apparently, the SPU technology allowed them to easily render a Titan in a level. But some designers decided to take the code for the Titans and apply to other things - like moving rope mesh.

This was like having a bunch of Titans in a level as far as the engine was concerned. Filippov and Tilander said the "titan" rope mesh crashed the level 'til the designers explained to the programmers that they'd "borrowed" the Titan rendering code.