Why Titanfall Has Framerate Drops: Particles and Physics; Performance Improvements Still Possible

Respawn's Richard Baker explains why Titanfall framerate drops so often: it's mainly because of particles/physics. They are apparently using an outdated Havok version, similar to the one in Half Life 2.

He also promised future performance improvements, though.

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IanVanCheese1736d ago

I don't get why they used such an old engine. Source was great back in the day but it's showing its age now.

Don't know what engine I'd want Titanfall 2 on though? Cryengine usually has performance issues, UE has texture pop to the max etc.

Septic1736d ago

I think its because they didn't really have the resources to build it on a newer engine that would have more expenses associated with it.

I reckon Frostbite 2.0 would be a good fit with all the destruction etc. That would be cool (although you wouldn't be left with anything to wall-run on lol).

Alexious1736d ago

He said "business reasons", but they were published by EA, so I reckon they could have used Frostbite Engine.

Let's hope they choose it for Titanfall 2 though, it would be a blast to run around smashing things with Titans, kind of like a videogame version of Pacific Rim.

cyguration1736d ago

There's no way they could have hit 60fps with destructible environments on the XB1 using the Frostbite engine.

I can't think of a game running on consoles using the Frostbite engine that runs at a stable 60fps.

Source is one of the best known engines to maintain 60fps.

GarrusVakarian1736d ago (Edited 1736d ago )

"He also promised future performance improvements, though"

That is the only thing i care about, i don't expect a framerate/stability patch before i get my copy, but im hoping it won't be too long after i have it. Last thing i want is big dips and screen tearing while im duking it out in a titan. I'm glad it's their main priority post-launch.

GarrusVakarian1736d ago


BF4 on PS4 when playing 'Rush' mode is pretty much solid 60fps with the odd dip here and there, usually when the big levelution events happen.

Conquest large on the other hand......

darthv721736d ago (Edited 1736d ago )

Is it possible the game originated on the 360? Maybe MS had not yet completed the toolset/libraries to make dedicated XB1 games so the game was essentially recombined to fit the XB1 within the time frame given.

Just taking a wild guess. It isnt uncommon for games released around the launch of a new platform to have been started out on the previous one.

TheXgamerLive1736d ago

No. They were in devekopment for well over a year before EA agree'd to publish them.
They started out bare bones but yes TF2 they can afford any engine they want.

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Kayant1736d ago

One of the reasons -->

"The ironic thing is that we wanted an engine that would work on PS3, because that’s the riskiest platform in current gen. When Portal 2 came out and it seemed to be a pretty decent PS3 game, that was the point when we decided to go with Source. And then we stopped supporting PS3."

Alexious1736d ago

Wow, didn't know that. Must have been a real bummer.

They won't have this problem with PS4, though!

Pandamobile1736d ago (Edited 1736d ago )

The engine used in Titan Fall is not the same engine that powered Half-Life 2 back in 2004. It's gone through radical changes and forks in development since then and is almost certainly more closely related to Source 2 than the original incarnation of the engine.

I've been playing Source games since 2004 when I got my first decent computer. I've seen and experienced how the engine has changed and evolved in the last decade. It's no longer the cutting edge (comparatively speaking) engine that it was a decade ago when put on display next to cutting edge engines such as CryEngine 3, Frostbite 3 and Unreal 4. Valve is a design-focused studio, not a tech-focused studio. Source does what Valve needs it to do, and that's about it.

That said, Valve routinely releases some of the best-designed games we've ever seen, so does it really matter that they're not pushing the graphical envelope anymore?

To be perfectly honest, I couldn't think of a better engine for a game like Titan Fall. The cinematic layer in a multiplayer environment is not something that most engines other than Source can handle natively. Source has been used for a decade in competitive multiplayer games (Counter Strike, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead and DOTA2), it's got some of the best netcode in the business.

A lot of people bring up the Titan Fall-Call of Duty comparisons, but the game doesn't really feel like Call of Duty in any area besides the shooting mechanics. To me, Titan Fall feels like a cross between Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and DOTA2, which probably explains why I fell in love with it so quickly.

Alexious1736d ago

If you read the article, he is talking about the Havok version used, not the Source engine as a whole - and he confirms that they are essentially using the physics engine from Half Life 2, albeit tweaked and optimized.

That easily explains why physics is so limited in Titanfall.

Pandamobile1736d ago

Limited physics? Hardly. Games don't need to have buildings exploding and collapsing to have good physics. Havok (even older iterations of Havok) is an amazing physics engine - especially for networked games like Titan Fall where having the hundreds of physically-controlled objects in the game world synchronized across everyone's screens is priority number one.

One of the main reasons I can't get into Battlefield 4 as much as BF3 and other FPS games is the wonky networked physics implementation DICE used.

Source and Havok are tried and tested engines that work as well as they need to for the applications they were designed for. Why would you want them to willingly complicate things when they already work perfectly?

1736d ago
BattleN1736d ago

Will get this on 360 The One is not for me! Things may change when Gears 4 is shown tho!

RamboRabbi1736d ago

The only reason I am considering buying an xbone in the future is for GoW 4 nothing else, but imo they need move away from how they developed judgement and refine the gameplay mechanics and connection. Unreal engine 4 will make it look amazing though something to look forward to in the future hopefully.

Festano1736d ago

I agree, I hope they use a new engine for Titanfall 2 .

THamm1736d ago (Edited 1736d ago )

FOX Engine

solar1736d ago

Source itself isnt an old engine. the engine has seen upgrades for the last what...almost 10 years and is one of the most stable on the market. and with how open Valve is, they let Respawn modify it the way they see fit.

Geoff9001736d ago

They used the Source Engine simply because it's good Netcode.

Using Frostbite, and many other would've proven bad for Titanfall's MP, hence using a more stable games engine.

medman1736d ago (Edited 1736d ago )

Titanflop. Boy, that cloouuuddd really is something. Hoodwinked and suckered again. Wake up sheep.

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XiSasukeUchiha1736d ago

Damn after this all talk of cloud computing where does put us at 792p with dipping frame but the game is fun after that though, but yep hopefully Respawn i believe in U.

BattleN1736d ago

I also believe in my U my WiiU cant wait to see Mario Kart 8 on my beautiful TV!

stuna11736d ago

I don't understand the purpose of using a old engine on next gen consoles period. One would think that fairly newer engines would be in development to coincide with newer hardware! Being as things are the architecture of the next gen consoles closely mimic PC architecture.

The issue present now in TitanFall will always be present imo, simply because of how old the engine is! The things that can now be accomplished now in todays tech, wasn't even a discussion in older tech. Therefore the set peramatters are restrictive in themselves, because certain attribute haven't even been factored into the equation.

FlameWater1736d ago (Edited 1736d ago )

you're making to much sense, this is the gaming industry

Pandamobile1736d ago

Respawn choosing Source over another engine was probably a much more calculated decision than you could ever imagine.

No other engine on the planet has the same set of features that Source does. Next-gen gaming is about a lot more than just improving graphics technology, you know.

Titan Fall represents a huge achievement in both visual and level design. For a game as fast and chaotic as Titan Fall to work as well as it does is truly a testament to the developers' combined talent.

1736d ago
Volkama1736d ago (Edited 1736d ago )

They're a relatively small studio, and independent too. They had pedigree, but not necessarily the funding to tread water while they started up this new development cycle.

When the chap says they settled on Source because they found the engine boosted their productivity relative to other choices then you can probably take it on face value. It makes sense.

Ittoryu1736d ago (Edited 1736d ago )

Of you look up in the comments kayant posted a link to an article where respawn wanted a very stable engine for ps3 because they felt it was the riskier platform for last gen. So they chose source and after they had already begun Ms paid them to make it an xbone exclusive. So that's why source was chosen.

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ThMarkedmenSocom1736d ago

I really hope they do, but the game is still a blast of as last night. :-)

Dlacy13g1736d ago

So in a nutshell, we went with Source engine because we were the most familiar with it as a team and being a smaller start up it was the most cost effective for us and easiest to get results with.

As for Frostbite, Frostbite is not a licensed engine. You must be an EA Owned Studio to use it as far as I understand. They don't allow outside studios to use it, I think EA feels it's going to be their "edge" long term compared to others and in some ways I can't disagree.

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