'Horizon: Zero Dawn' 4k resolution version takes giant leap toward new age of 4k gaming

Guerrilla Games has revealed at the Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (Siggraph) in Los Angeles the techniques they used for bumping up the resolution for their highly-regarded "Horizon: Zero Dawn" title. In the presentation, the developers explained to other video game creators how it was possible for them to render the 1080p full display even further to 2160p with very minimal glitches and dropped frame rates.

The Siggraph event took place from July 30 to Aug. 3. The presentation was facilitated by Guerrilla Games Principal Tech Programmer Giliam de Carpentier and Kojima Productions' Kohei Ishiyama wherein they explained the various necessary steps they took with their "Decima" engine to make full use of its 4k resolution compatibility.

Prior to the release of the 4k version of the game, the developers had difficulty rendering reflections of rough and jagged surfaces on the game. This is a minor graphics issue but considering the post-apocalyptic setting of the game, this will contribute a lot in terms of complete in-game immersion, especially given the open world nature of the game. Using a graphics tool called GGX that allows for a more natural reflection no matter what surface is what makes the 4k resolution version of the game pop. More importantly, they have successfully executed this technique and is already approved to be used for the next titles.

Another key element in improving graphics is the use of super sampling, which is an Anti-Aliasing technique used to process graphics. Whereas the GGX focused on the micro details of the game, super sampling was used to improve the macro details of the game. For the 4k display, the developers were successful in employing different anti-aliasing techniques appropriated for the different types of visuals of the game. This allowed the game not only to achieve its revolutionary appearance, but it also allows for decent performance to maximize the player experience.

With the recent strides made for 4k resolution gaming, Guerrilla Games has proven that the next generation of graphics might come sooner than expected. It is safe to assume that other developers will follow in their footsteps, and make the necessary changes that will eventually push hardware manufacturers to meet the necessary gaming demands of these new features.