Dragon Age: Inquisition producer Aaryn Flynn believes that 30 frames per second can be better in some situations than the generally-accepted holy grail of 60.
Inquisition’s frame rate has not yet been announced, although earlier this week it was revealed that it will run at 900p on Xbox One and 1080p on PlayStation 4.
“For me, to move to 60 fps, very crudely, you’re halving the amount of time you have to render anything,” Flynn told VentureBeat,
“Something has to be given up to achieve 60. For the right game that may be the thing you have to do.”
Beyond aiming for the best frame rate for the type of game you’re making, a steady frame rate is the most important thing, said Flynn.
“A competitive, PvP-based shooter, for example, you want that smoothness to optimise the experience. You can live with lower-quality textures and simpler animations, especially because you’re not rendering the player character in that case,” he said.
“But you might find that in a different kind of game, you want something more lush, something richer in texture detail and character detail. Maybe you need to drop down to 30 to deliver that.”
Flynn wasn’t sure about the claim some developers make that 30 frames per second gives a game a more cinematic feel.
“I don’t know about cinematic effects. For me it’s more about what you can do because you’re at 30 frames per second,” he said.
“Can you increase texture quality, increase the complexity of the models and the animations because you have that extra time to render? That’s the question,” he added.
“Maybe you can group all that under the theme of cinematics.”
However, higher frame rates can look bad when it comes to TV shows, Flynn said.
“If you call that a cinematic – if you get too high a frame rate and you lose that classic 24 frames-per-second cinema feel, maybe that’s a part of it,” he said.
“But for me, it’s more about how you have to make tradeoffs. The kind of game you’re making and what the players want to do with the game is much more the driver behind how you should build things than what I want or what I think we can do.”
Dragon Age: Inquisition is due to release on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC on November 21.