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Capcom on 3DS MT Framework and Resident Evil Revelations

Powerful development library retains many of its visual effects in the move down to the small 3D screen.

 

Technology writer Zenji Nishikawa posted his latest "3D Game Fan" article today at Impress Watch. The focus of this latest entry in the long-running series is on Capcom's MT Framework, particularly upcoming developments. Nishikawa spoke with Capcom's head of production Jun Takeuchi, head of technical research and development Masaru Ijuuin, and programmer Satoshi Ishida and picked up new information on how the company will be using the development tools for 3DS.

Capcom previously announced that Resident Evil Revelations, its new 3DS Resident Evil game, would make use of the MT Framework. The name of the 3DS version of the framework is officially "MT Framework Mobile," revealed Ishida. While MTFM is based off MT Framework 2.0, the graphics have been specialized for the 3DS.

Revelations is the first game to use MTFM, said Takeuchi. "[Revelations] is a completely new project that we started up after hearing about the 3DS. It's not a project that was progressing on separate hardware and was moved to the 3DS."

Our first glimpse at Revelations came through an E3 trailer. Regarding this, Takeuchi said "The images since the game's E3 unveiling have all been real time rendered on the 3DS development hardware. It seems as though people didn't believe us at first, but we'd like you to know that the 3DS is capable of this level of expressive power."

Although Nintendo has forbade developers from sharing final graphics specs for the 3DS, Capcom was willing to discuss the kinds of technology that the game uses.

The game's graphics rendering pipeline is, when looked at from a far, almost identical to that of Resident Evil 5. The game has such things as HDR Rendering, Self Shadows and Normal Maps. Effects like color correction, depth of field, gamma correction and such have also already been implemented. During 3D use, the game will maintain a 30 frames per second output.

Motion blur is currently in a test state. The staff is determining if motion blur fits in with 3D visual output, so it's possible that this will end up being switched off in the final.

The article shared a few pics comparing Revelations with various effects toggled on and off:

HDR Rendering Off (left) and On (right):

Color Correction Off (left) and On (right):

Self Shadows Off (left) and On (right):

Normal Maps Off (left) and On (right):

Depth of Field Off (left) and On (right):

Motion Blur Off (left) and On (right):

Regarding the game's use of 3D, Nishikawa writes that the game is being made to be played throughout in full 3D. You can, of course, play with the 3D effect off. In general, there will be no difference in the visual quality. However, things like antialiasing will change. During 3D, this will be off, while 2D will use 2x.

Outside of Revelations, Nishikawa confirms that Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is also using MTFM.

A markedly different use for the engine in Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition.

The article also touched upon developments for the MT Framework series outside of 3DS.

There are many variations of MT Frameworks in use right now, some of which have been officially announced. Marvel VS Capcom 3 makes use of MT Framework 2.1, the next step up from the MTF 2.0 tools that were used for Lost Planet 2. Sengoku Basara 3, released on PS3 and Wii, makes use of "MT Framework Lite." Nishikawa got comment on these from the developers.

Marvel's case is particularly interesting. In a Nishikawa feature last year, the MT Framework team said that Capcom was looking to have the MT Framework used by its contract studios (here's a summary of that feature in case you missed it). Nishikawa confirms that MVC3 is the first case of this happening, although he said that he couldn't reveal the name of the external studio that's developing the game.

Nishikawa notes that MVC3 will be the framework's first 60 frames per second game since Devil May Cry 4.

Regarding MT Framework Lite, this name was given to the tools when they were made to work with Wii. MTFL is officially compatible with Wii and PlayStation 3.

Marvel (left) and Sengoku Basara 3 (right) use two different versions of of MT Framework.

As evidenced by MT Framework Lite and Mobile, Capcom seems to be interested in bringing the framework to multiple platforms. The PSP family could be included in these -- although not the current PSP. Asked about making the framework compatible with PSP, Takeuchi said "At present, there are no plans. However, if the PSP has a next generation version, the hardware specs will presumably rise, so we will probably have to make it compatible."

Capcom is also pushing the high end areas of the framework forward by implementing the latest in visual technology. Included among these technologies is Deferred Lighting, which is currently being implemented.

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