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Dead Space 3's PC port defended by its executive producer

When asked about his decision to not make a PC optimized version of Dead Space 3, executive producer Steve Papoutsis went on the defensive.

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Last week, a report suggested Dead Space 3 wasn't getting more than a bare-bones port for its PC release. While developer Visceral Games has rarely offered enhanced PC versions of its games, many other developers are taking advantage of DirectX 11 and new hardware to deliver a higher fidelity experience for PC gamers.

Even publisher Electronic Arts has been aggressively pushing PC development, with Battlefield 3 and Crysis 3 being notable examples. When asked about his decision to not make a PC optimized version of the game, executive producer Steve Papoutsis went on the defensive.

"It's confusing to me that this question even comes up," Papoutsis told us. "It's by no means any less important to us; it gets a lot of attention. The PC is a very different platform. As developers, you want to deliver an experience that's as similar as possible on different platforms.

"In Dead Space 2, I felt we made some great strides in terms of controls, responsiveness and even the visual improvements we got into it. We continue to evolve our games as we develop them, but we certainly don't target PC as something that's going to be significantly different. We aren't trying to create disparity in the experience that our gamers enjoy; we want to make sure everyone's having that same experience.

"At our studio, we've always made console games," he pointed out. "The biggest thing is we want to make sure the quality of the experience is consistent across all platforms so we don't have one userbase saying it's better on their system."

On PC, Dead Space and Dead Space 2 could easily hit 50 and 60 frames per second, and featured advanced rendering options for better shadows and anti-aliasing. While we don't expect that to change for Dead Space 3, the decision to not make a fully optimized PC version nonetheless sticks out.

"The fact that we're allowing you to control the game with a mouse and keyboard immediately makes the game feel different," Papoutsis said. "Working with the community, we found some people wanted to map the controls a little differently because of disabilities and we supported that [in Dead Space 2]. It's a confusing question and I hope my answer brings a little bit of light to it. We seem a little bit discredited for the amount of effort that goes into it, quite honestly.

"We want it to be great on all systems, that's our approach."

From The Chatty

  • reply
    January 28, 2013 11:45 AM

    Timothy J. Seppala posted a new article, Dead Space 3's PC port defended by its executive producer.

    When asked about his decision to not make a PC optimized version of Dead Space 3, executive producer Steve Papoutsis went on the defensive.

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      January 28, 2013 11:53 AM

      Dead Space 1 definitely had its issues with the mouse movement. Dead Space 2 was a huge improvement over the first. Dead Space 3 I'm sure will be fine.

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      January 28, 2013 11:56 AM

      I'll gladly buy DS3 on PC, I had absolutely no issue with PC DS 1 or 2. In fact, Dead Space 2 looked great and despite what some may think, it *did* have some graphical enhancements over the console versions with a higher framerate. The only fault I found was with DS1 in terms of vsync being tied to mouse movement, but that was easily solved with a framerate limiter or adaptive vsync.

      People are really going full retard about this. DS3 will be fine.

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        January 28, 2013 11:59 AM

        Same. I played DS2 on PC and thought it looked and played great. I'll be getting DS3 on PC as well--probably. Origin's the only roadblock, there, and not for the reason you might think. I have nothing against EA or Origin. I just don't like spreading games across so many accounts.

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        January 28, 2013 12:00 PM

        It depends on how well the game is made to begin with and what, in this particular developer's mind, constitutes a "bare port".

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          January 28, 2013 12:03 PM

          If DS2 is an indication, it will have slightly better textures (I could be wrong, but I could swear that DS2 on PC looks much better than the 360 version by a lot..), re-mappable controls, unlocked framerate, advanced shadows, anti aliasing, etc.

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            January 28, 2013 12:05 PM

            Also, when I think of bad PC ports I think of games such as Prototype 1, 2, and Dark Souls. Granted, DS with the DSFix mod looks pretty damn awesome, but it is a bad port in vanilla form.

            Dead Space 2 isn't even remotely in the same territory - it is a pretty damn good port which plays great.... hence my belief that the PC version of DS3 will be absolutely fine.

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              January 28, 2013 12:31 PM

              Right. If I can play Dead Space 3 without hassle on my PC I'll be happy. That's how the previous ports have worked.

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                January 28, 2013 1:14 PM

                True, though they traded one mouse code error for another with the first sequel, lag -> deceleration. Hopefully they won't do thresholding this time. :)

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                  January 28, 2013 2:16 PM

                  I actually never had any issues with mouse controls in either game (after turning off Vsync in the first, that is). Maybe I'm just not sensitive to that kind of thing.

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          January 28, 2013 1:15 PM

          Yeah that's the thing - a PC port can still be top notch even if it doesn't have tons of PC-specific options and a 35GB install footprint, but the way this guy phrased his answer seemed to be completely oblivious to how these sorts of things have been bungled in the past.

          His last line of "We want it to be great on all systems, that's our approach" should have been pretty much his whole answer, because his "I'm confused that this even comes up" comes across very wrong.

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        January 28, 2013 2:06 PM

        You think a normal person knows how to limit their framerate? I'd consider that pretty game breaking.

        I still haven't beat DS1 for the sole reason of it being a nuisance to turn on settings to get my FPS down low enough to make the game playable, and turning them off again when I'm done playing.

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          January 28, 2013 2:35 PM

          You can set that up as a game-specific profile in nInspector.

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          January 28, 2013 9:23 PM

          If someone can't turn vsync off (which fixes the mouse issue) they should stick to the ipad or some other idiot proof device

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      January 28, 2013 12:19 PM

      I was about to quote some of the executive producer's quotes in that article and then bash the hell out of that guy, but there are so many bash-worthy quotes I wouldn't know where to start and when to finish.

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        January 28, 2013 4:01 PM

        I know; he should've just kept silent. There are so many different ways to read these tea leaves, from "EA forced us to make a PC SKU," to "We're intentionally not developing toward each platform's inherent strengths," to "We intentionally make cookie cutter games, developing for the lead console platform, then pasting to each other platform."

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          January 29, 2013 2:32 PM

          "We're intentionally removing PC bragging rights because they tend to be a douchey demographic"

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      January 28, 2013 12:24 PM

      I fear much more about how the game will turn out to be than its port, both DS and DS2 were fine.

      I'm still angry at EA for announcing right after Dead Space 2's launch that PC version wouldn't receive any DLC though.

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      January 28, 2013 12:55 PM

      mediocrity breeds contempt

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        January 28, 2013 2:07 PM

        Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.

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      January 28, 2013 2:23 PM

      "The biggest thing is we want to make sure the quality of the experience is consistent across all platforms so we don't have one userbase saying it's better on their system."

      But...isn't that why people spend a $2k on a nuclear-powered SLI configuration? Where's valcan

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      January 28, 2013 2:33 PM

      "As developers, you want to deliver an experience that's as similar as possible on different platforms."

      No... no you don't. You want to make your game look the best on the best platform and use those better looking graphics to market the game for you on platforms that might not have all that eye candy.

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      January 28, 2013 2:51 PM

      Translation: "We only want to develop for the lowest common denominator."

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        January 28, 2013 3:05 PM

        Pander to the 360 crowd and their seven-year-old hardware.

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      January 28, 2013 8:34 PM

      "The biggest thing is we want to make sure the quality of the experience is consistent across all platforms so we don't have one userbase saying it's better on their system." I hope this also means that this time Dead Space 3 will get DLC for the PC and not just the consoles. I hope this guy gets pissed all over by a hobo if they announce PC will not get any DLC ..again.

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      January 28, 2013 9:29 PM

      Its all about the controls on PC. FPS was born on the PC. To ignore the fluidity and total immersion PC controls give to FPS gaming is to ignore the most basic magic lesson of the entire genre. Its like saying your a graduate art student but have never studied anything about the Renaissance.

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      January 29, 2013 10:42 PM

      Even though its a straight port it will still be vastly superior on PC, forced AA, AF, more image quality options, 120hz., not to mention better sound also, the list goes on. Just hope there isn't a whole heap of low mixed with high res textures.

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      February 3, 2013 4:29 PM

      There actually is no value to having an experience being consistent across all platforms. There's value in having an experience be the best that it can be for each individual platform. Consistency counts for nothing.