On may 21st, Facepunch Studios’ astronomically famous survival video game Rust is lastly making its way to PS4 and Xbox One, courtesy of twin Eleven.

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Matt Phillips, twin Eleven

The long-awaited console version has been near to three years in the making, and comes almost eight years after the original game’s launch.

One factor for this lengthy wait is the sheer technical an obstacle of gaining the video game to role on last-gen hardware. Rust’s computer version may have been roughly for rather a if now, however with its large world, its system specifications room demanding – or at least, much more demanding than the now-previous generation consoles have the right to handle.


On peak of that, Rust’s popularity, an especially on Twitch, way that fans are unlikely to expropriate a hugely pared-back version of the game. Numerous console players may be play the video game for the first time in May, but will have actually been enduring the computer version in its complete glory via their favourite Twitch streamers – meaning Double Eleven to be under great pressure not just to harbor the video game to significantly less powerful hardware, but also to certain parity v its pc counterpart.

Which makes the an extremely promising-looking port nothing brief of a technical marvel. To discover out exactly how the team traction it off, we spoke come Matt Phillips, command programmer at double Eleven.

“Right indigenous the start, we tried to save the game as close to the pc version together possible,” Phillips confirms, “that’s why it took so long to develop. That’s why we ran right into so many headaches.”

MEMORY LOSS

That push to store parity v the initial PC variation was routinely hampered by the limitations of the hardware, Phillips relates.

“The main concern was storage for the many part,” the says. “We have about four and-a-half gigabytes to play through on the Xbox One and also PS4, but the computer version on steam needs a minimum the 10GB of RAM. To shot and squeeze the down has actually been pretty lot the crux of the project.

“The CPUs don’t assist either. Ns mean, they’re the identical of 2013 Macbook agree CPUs. So as soon as you compare the to pc players with their peak of the heat processors, you have a lot to contend with. And also that’s all under to the slim amount of stuff in the game. It’s a huge, semi open-world title.

“There’s so countless things in the game at any one time. All the trees, rocks, bears, players, all the building pieces… one of the best issues, you can construct things in the game. There’s a the majority of object administration happening in the background trying to facilitate that.”

Many of the transforms made relate come how and when information around the game civilization is interacted to the player. Given that players have the right to alter and also build upon Rust’s landscape, the map have the right to be an altering in real-time as you discover the world.

“PCs have the right to just deal with all objects in the world existing at once, yet on consoles us can’t afford the storage or handling cost, therefore we spawn objects in and out based upon a radius native the player. Us don’t care around a missing falling animation on a tree that has actually been felled 8 miles far by an additional player, or the a be afflicted with is attacking a deer on the various other side of the map, for this reason we only keep the content relevant to the player’s immediate surroundings in storage at any one time and allow the server to keep their claims up to date instead.

“This comes through a couple of complications of its own, because once you do acquire close come those things, her console demands to both generate them in and also update them come their states at the existing time. It’s to be a bit of a nightmare trying come coordinate storage usage, the cost of spawning points dynamically, and keeping castle in sync.”

Technical limitations aren’t the only worry the team at twin Eleven had to deal with, the course. Adapting a video game designed from the begin for a mouse and also keyboard setup expected that huge sections that the video game had come be entirely redesigned native scratch.

“Every solitary UI in the video game is redesigned native the ground up to work-related with controller,” claims Phillips. “There’s no way to sugarcoat it, it is a most work. Pretty much anything you can read, or anything friend can click needed redoing.

“There are additionally some requirements from the platforms themselves. Because that example, on Xbox, if you can see their Gamertag, you require to have the ability to push a switch to view their Gamercard – that’s one of their requirements. Therefore we had actually to work around UI design to make that work. Which method finding an ext real heritage on the screen, things like that.

“We had actually to change a many the aiming stuff, prefer for the gun recoil. If you’ve ever before played Rust ~ above PC, it’s a tiny bit harsh. Obviously controllers exacerbate that type of problem, so you need to rework things choose recoil, things like aim aid – which itself have the right to be a really polarising function – and also PC didn’t have support for any kind of of that. And of course, computer didn’t have controller assistance at all, so every one of that is our very own implementation.”

That controller support (or in ~ least, double Eleven’s version of it) is i can not qualify to struggle the computer version anytime soon by the way. The slim amount of transforms required to gain Rust to run on consoles means it’s a “very various beast” come the computer original.

“It would certainly be fairly tricky to port the back,” notes Phillips. “We’re open up to it, yet I’m not sure we have the right to afford the time!”

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The capacity to develop anywhere in Rust renders it far more demanding than countless titles

CROSSING THE STREAMS

The differences between the two builds method that, if Rust support crossplay in between PS4 and also Xbox One, console players will be playing individually to their computer cousins.

“We’ve had actually to maintain a separate release roadmap to Facepunch,” says Phillips, “or we’d simply constantly it is in playing catch up. That’s since every attribute we’ve had actually to implement, we’ve had to adapt for the console version. We’d need to rebuild quite a the majority of features, basically.

“So we created our own roadmap in a method that suits our production pipeline, to bring the ideal features the the video game for the main point Rust experience, and also then we’ll look in ~ the most renowned features and also look in ~ bringing those in as a priority basis.”

Mercifully, implementing crossplay no too lot of a headache because that the team, though extra considerations should be made to ensure players have a grief and harassment-free time.

“The big issues for crossplay room things like how you take care of blocking a player indigenous the various other side. The 2 platforms don’t have access to each other’s user databases. So, if you’re being harassed through a player ~ above Playstation, friend can’t yes, really block lock in that way on Xbox., for this reason we’ve had to build our own device for that, if you desire to block a player, that details is save on computer on our servers, and also not theirs.”

There’s right now no message chat in the game, v a controller-friendly chat wheel introduced instead, with straightforward stock unit volume such together ‘hello,’ ‘goodbye’ and ‘get off me!’ which will certainly hopefully limit harassment. Add to of food there’s the alternative to rotate off proximity voice chat, a feature supported by the console platforms themselves.

THERE’S NO MAGIC BUTTON

Still, every these headaches yes, really go to describe why the common refrain that “port this to consoles!” is frequently more complicated than people think. Sure, unity does have a ‘port button,’ yet it’s not rather the magic equipment we’d all favor it come be.

“I really execute wish the was that simple,” Phillips sighs. “If you press that button, it will certainly compile your video game for that platform, sure. Yet that won’t magically optimise the for the machine. It’s no going to take it it under from 10GB of ram to 5GB to acquire it to operation on a PS4, that’s still her job.

“Nor will it instantly make the controller inputs magically work key-board mapping, it is a redesign. It’s not going to do the UI changes. Everything on Unity encounters hard disks, for this reason if you desire the game to fill from a Blu-ray you’ve obtained to write that system, the button’s no going to perform that because that you.

“There’s also things like various online networks, handling PSN, rather than Steam. You’ve got to attend to their conserve systems, the cloud systems, the entitlement mechanism for DLC is fully different. I could go on because that days explaining the distinctions between heavy steam and PSN, and those differences are her problem. Pressing the switch isn’t gonna immediately solve every those issues. So also for the the smallest game, it’s actually a phenomenal job, there’s so much much more to the than acquiring it come compile.”

In fact, to gain just a small taste that the quantity of work twin Eleven have done behind the scenes, just compiling the video game for console is a great place to start.

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“I think the best surprise for united state is the quantity of time that takes to compile the game for console,” claims Phillips. “We began working through the pc version early to get a feel for it, and it was relatively quick ~ above PC. However on console, if you want to do a adjust and send the build to QA, she looking at approximately 14 hours.

“That’s just down to the method that consoles check the data, it’s a completely different format to PC. Therefore for quite a when we had actually to down tools completely. Us weren’t doing any work top top the game, we were only doing work-related on the develop optimization, to shot and obtain that time down. We got it down around an hour and a fifty percent to actually making alters to the game and around an hour and a half before QA got to test that change. That’s a hell of a lot much better than it provided to be.”

Maybe save that in mind following time you require to Twitter to demand a video game to be ported to your platform the choice. When there’s no doubt a substantial crowd of players eagerly anticipating Rust’s console debut, they’ll have to ensure they give thanks to the technological wizards at twin Eleven because that making the happen.