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Xbox Series X game dev on what it means for open worlds: "We can stop using smoke and mirrors"

(Image credit: Tomas Sala)

The Falconeer is set to be an Xbox Series X launch game, and its developer is happy to share the ways the new console helps bring his vision to life.

The Falconeer creator Tomas Sala spoke to Xbox Wire (opens in new tab) about what bringing his game to Xbox Series X meant for its development, and what excites him the most about the next generation of consoles. Sala talked about how improved performance made parts of game development that used to be arduous - like getting a sprawling open world to work without choking your console - much more easy to handle.

Sala said having more performance horsepower allows him to focus on pulling off interesting new ideas without worrying about how to make it work behind the scenes with "smoke and mirrors"; instead of making systems and subsystems for when to account for the voyages of trading ships on the horizon and to what degree, they can just keep happening.

"In most video games things just stop being alive at a certain distance from the player; if they're not on-screen they just cease to exist in the simulation, or some simplified simulation would take over," Sala said. "When you wanted a more complex simulation you would have to spend so much of your time optimising the simulation just to make it perform. I think that's something the new generation offers – more complex enemies and ecologies filled with creatures and enemies all exhibiting more interesting behaviours.

"The big advantage I think will be in open-world games, where we can stop using smoke and mirrors to create an illusion for players, and focus on building more simulated worlds."

Earlier this year, Edge talked to Sala about how The Falconeer is a gorgeous aerial shooter that's also about "dealing with your past".

Connor Sheridan
Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.