Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen for the PC

We lift the veil of secrecy on the PC version of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen to Polish gaming website Polygamia. This project was a great challenge for us and an incredible journey as well. Not to mention that the PC version of DDDA was announced as Capcom’s fastest-selling game for the platform.

 

Three questions to the creators of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen for the PC

14.03.2016, Paweł Olszewski, Polygamia

Many people do not know that a Polish company, QLOC, is responsible for Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen for the PC. We decided to ask them about a few issues concerning the PC version of the game.

There are flagship companies of our branch in Poland who spend equal amounts on PR and on production. Apart from CD Projekt, Techland and many other Polish companies which are more or less recognisable around the world, there are tens, or even hundreds, of other companies on our market. Large companies, with extensive experience and international connections, who do not care that much about staying in the spotlight. QLOC is one of them. It does not create its own games (yet?) but is very good in porting other games to new platforms. Thanks to QLOC, the remastered DmC was released on PS4 and Xbox One, reaching 1080p and 60 fps on both platforms, which is not a standard for the current gen consoles. Their recent work, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, was ported to PC upon request of Capcom.

However, it is not an ordinary conversion, but a game which was properly customised to fit the PC specifics. In his test, Rafał Kurpiewski, sensitive to negligence of the Japanese developers, appreciated the quality of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, the opportunity to play in 4K resolution and a few other elements, although he also had a few remarks. We asked the company for the reasons behind the specific solutions.

Before moving on, just a few more words about the frame rate. As we learned from Jon Airhart from Capcom, only certain games can be boosted to 60 fps. Such operation depends not only on hardware resources, but also on the input material, which will not be smoother by itself even with a few times better specification. This is something worth remembering – I wrote “boosted” myself, as if it was the issue of a few clicks in the game for a new platform. The above is confirmed by Maciej Jene, Development Project Manager at QLOC:

“Finding and understanding the relations between the game mechanics/structure and its frame rate takes months. Sometimes, the game mechanics is connected with a specific frame rate. In such case, it cannot be changed without actually rewriting the game code.”

One of our remarks concerning Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen for the PC was that after smoothing the graphics and adding high resolution, the game becomes extremely empty. It would be sufficient to add a few new elements and perhaps thicker vegetation. However, Jon Airhart explains:

“Adding more objects and vegetation would have surely made the vista nicer, but it would have also affected the experience of traversing the world, and that was something we didn’t want to do.”

Seems logical – Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen for the PC is not accompanied by a Remaster or Redux subtitle, therefore, many technical changes were introduced while staying as close to the original as possible. On the other hand, the colors suffered after porting to the PC. Dragon’s Dogma seems to be cooler, more devoid of colors. Why? Airhart states that it was a consequence of introducing new effects:

“There are a lot of extra graphical effects which we wanted to take advantage of which simply aren’t available on the last gen consoles. Adding these effects inevitably changed the overall image in different ways in different scenes. This is true not only for the color gamut, but also for brightness / contrast, and gamma in some cases. [In the case of porting games between gens – editor’s note] it’s always a mix of artistic and technological decisions when making these kinds of choices.”