ThatGameCompany describes their dependence on the PlayStation 3’s SPU processors in rendering Flower’s multitude of grass blades.
I was incredibly impressed by the graphics of ThatGameCompany’s Flower when I reviewed the game in February. There are thousands of grass blades that all interact with you (the wind) during gameplay.
In an interview with Kellee Santiago, co-founder and president of ThatGameCompany, we spoke on the technology and techniques used in rendering the PlayStation Network game. After complementing the game’s graphics, I asked how the developer used the PlayStation 3 in ways they couldn’t with their first game flOw:
“We learned so much on flOw, especially about SPUs! The grass system really leverages the PS3 to render 200,000 blades of grass simultaneously, and gives the player this sense of blowing wind through them,” said Kellee.
When asking for more detail on intensively using the Cell’s SPUs, she responded:
“An artist friend of ours came to us, really hoping that we could tell him some clever trick that we used to make it look like we had so many blades of grass. He was reluctant to believe that really John Edwards just made it happen on the SPUs.
“It really would be impossible to make it look the same on any other system. But, it’s one of the pros with knowing your game is exclusive to a specific system – you can really design everything towards that one platform.”
The full ThatGameCompany interview will be posted soon, and will cover everything from the inspirations behind the game, whether the company might branch out into full retail games and how many flowers are actually in Flower.
[UPDATE] – The full ThatGameCompany interview has now been published and can be found by following this link.