Killing Floor 2’s On The Attack At Gamescom With Advanced Technology & NVIDIA GameWorks Effects
Killing Floor began life as a mod long ago, before mutating into a significantly enhanced retail release in 2009. Immediately, the mod-turned-game caught the attention of PC gamers, rocketing to the top of the Steam sales chart. As Steam grew, more and more players entered the fold, and in 2012 the multiplayer, co-op, first-person shooter achieved its millionth sale.
Earlier this year, Killing Floor developer Tripwire Interactive announced the long-awaiting sequel, Killing Floor 2. At Gamescom, the world’s largest gaming expo, I sat down with a trio of Tripwire developers to get the inside scoop on the latest happenings with the eagerly-anticipated title, and to discuss a newly-formed partnership that will see NVIDIA GameWorks technologies integrated into the sequel as it approaches completion.
If you’ve played Killing Floor, everything is bigger, better, and more spectacular, even at this stage of development. Using an extensively modified Unreal Engine 3.5 deferred renderer, Tripwire has introduced complex, fully dynamic lighting with added light bounds occlusion queries to support more dynamic lights per scene, plus other advanced effects. Furthermore, these rendering modifications enable real-time destruction of light fittings and other light casters throughout levels, plunging them further into darkness. Be this at your hand or the enemies’, battery-limited torches and night vision cameras help counter your new obstacle to success.
Similarly, Tripwire has made a number of changes to the shadow system to complement the fully dynamic lighting system, which helps create more immersive, realistic levels, many of which are set in the capital of love, Paris. This includes a combination of Cascaded Shadow Maps, batched per object shadows, and whole scene shadows, along with a modified static shadow fall back for optimum visual quality and performance.
The upgrades and enhancements continue, with extensive changes made to effects, physics, textures, and every other game element you can think of. Most impressively, Tripwire has developed new technologies that enable blood splatter to persist for the duration of a match, coating levels in crimson from top to bottom. Accompanying this gruesome but highly entertaining addition, is a new dismemberment system that enables location-based damage to all of Killing Floor 2’s undesirables. This is best demonstrated with the new melee weapon combat system that enables precise strikes of varying force, and even the mitigation of damage with quick-witted blocking.
Besting the beasties of Killing Floor 2 will be a significantly harder proposition, however, thanks to an overhauled artificial intelligence system that sees enemies dodge and flank. Crank up the difficulty, meanwhile, and Tripwire’s creations gain new abilities and moves, ducking attacks, jumping to higher new locations, and launching at the enemy at greater speed and with increased vigour.
As for GameWorks, we can’t reveal details just yet, but Tripwire’s President, John Gibson, did say, "With GameWorks NVIDIA has provided some great tools for developers to ramp up the visuals and gameplay experience for the players. We're excited to be working with NVIDIA to integrate GameWorks features into Killing Floor 2 and look forward to showing those features off in the near future.”