I recently got a chance to ask a few questions to Kirill Yudinetsev, Creative Director at Gaijin Entertainment, most well known for their series of flight sims. We got a chance to talk about Gaijin’s newest flight sim, the free-to-play War Thunder, and chat about its upcoming PS4 release.
War Thunder is an incredibly in depth flight sim, including the controls. How well does the PS4 version control?
We have already released three aviation simulators for PS3/X360 and we do know lots about controls. PS4 will probably have one of the most comfortable control schemes and, at the same time, we’ll make it customizable and suitable for all players – from newcomers to real pilots.
Are there any major differences between the PC and Playstation 4 versions?
The War Thunder MMO project was originally designed as a PC game and was recently announced as being in development for mobile devices. Because of the PS4 features, we are going to be able to develop a lot of really cool features that are not currently presented in our PC version which is in open beta. These features will be ready for PS4 players right from the start.
How well has the technology translated to the Playstation 4? Have you run into any significant technical problems?
PlayStation 4 has amazingly powerful architecture and it is a fixed platform. When developing for PC, you always have to provide a lot of settings, some of which will help to increase performance but only on certain configurations or for the sake of maintainability. PC engineers are sometimes forced to choose a more universal approach when working on the larger amount of configurations rather than the most optimal because most players don’t have top of the line rigs. Playstation 4 is a fixed platform which allows us to optimize at the highest levels. Of course, we will still work on the PC and Mac version of the game, as well as the recently announced mobile version. It is not only x86 architecture (which is technically not x86 since PS4 is 64 bit platform), it is a whole paradigm shift. Sony really made a huge step towards ease of development. Playstation 3 was very powerful, for that generation, but it was much harder to exploit– the power was mostly in SPU units. We had to spend a lot of time developing code for the PS3. The PS4, I am happy to say, is much more accessible.
Has Sony offered Gaijin Entertainment any support when porting War Thunder?
Sony is more open and more actively looking for new game concepts, new business models and new titles than any console holder has ever been (at least for a very long time). But things can change in the future – we potentially can go to any platform if the platform owner is not setting borders between our players. Currently, Sony’s PS4 is the most open platform, open to allowing us to find a way that War Thunder players can get their game on cross-platform which is really cool and something the industry has lacked for years. Sony’s guys really want to help us to make a great game for our players and that means a lot when you are making a game for any console.
Are there any major differences between developing for the Playstation 4 versus developing for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360?
Sony has made development for the PS4 much easier than the PS3. Playstation 3 was very powerful and very difficult to to work with. Xbox 360 was easier but still with some tricks – and also with lots of non-technical limitations. You also need lots of time to get deep into those platforms, make a game and then release it, and then you need to go deeper and make a new title after another 1-2 years. Now we can start very quickly and then just make this certain game better – increasing its quality. That’s completely new to console market; things have been changed and I think it will be a noticeable change. You were not able to make patches on previous generation (it was REALLY hard and sometimes it was easier to make a new game). Now you cannot just make patches but, rather, constantly update your game, increasing its quality and bringing new experiences to your players.
Do you have any interesting features planned to take advantage of the new social aspects of the Playstation 4?
We will use all of the available social functions for PS4. One of them will provide an interesting opportunity – a player will be able to share his latest 10 seconds of the game, which means that players will be able to record all their successful attacks!
Is there anything else that you would like to tell us about War Thunder? I’d like to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I’m a big fan of the PC version of War Thunder and am incredibly excited to see how well it translates to a console.
Thank you for your questions! We have just the same feelings for cross platform gameplay between PC and PS4 players. This year will be full of events for War Thunder. Soon we will add squadrons; after that, our players will see ground battles and then we will have PS4 as one of the supported platforms! It’s a really HUGE part of game that will come this year!
If you can’t wait to try out War Thunder on the PS4, consider signing up for the PC beta and putting your skills to the test, and check out our gallery of screenshots and the trailer so you know what you’re getting into!