Insomniac's New Game

The game maker's engineers ask: does framerate matter?

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I profiled Insomniac, makers of games including Resistance and Rachet & Clank, in a previous issue of IEEE Spectrum.  The company always manages to churn out great games that exhibit both sophisticated technology and addictive play.

But, according to this blog post from Insomniac's Mike Acton, the games are changing.  The company had long been making games under a certain formula - the higher the frame rate, the better.  But those days are done, Acton says.   "One of the long-standing sacred cows here at Insomniac is framerate," he writes, "We’ve long viewed a solid framerate as both a sign of a quality product and professionalism as developers. It’s always been point of pride in our work and considered an extremely serious part of our development process. However, during development, there are hard choices to be made between higher quality graphics and framerate. And we want to make the right choices that reflect our commitment to providing you with the best looking games out there. To that end, our community team did some research into the question of framerate. The results perhaps confirmed what I’ve known for a long time, but found it difficult to accept without evidence. They found that:  A higher framerate does not significantly affect sales of a game.  [AND] A higher framerate does not significantly affect the reviews of a game."

Read more here.