DeVV Diaries: Matt Bishop, Senior Engineer
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been in the industry for nearly 20 years now! Nearly 5 of those years have been spent at Vicarious Visions, and I’ve been with Activision for longer. My first big shipped title at VV was Skylanders Superchargers. I’m a graphics engineer by training, and am now a senior engineer.
What did you work on in regards to the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy?
I was the lead engineer on the Crash Bandicoot multi-platform release this year. Specifically, most of my work focused on the Xbox One port, HDR for the PS4, and managing the other engineers working on the project across both the Xbox and PS4 platforms.
What was the most exciting thing about working on the Xbox version of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy?
Getting to play around with the Xbox One X was incredible. Being able to get Crash running in HDR and native 4k was super fun, and it’s amazing how incredible the game looks when utilizing both of these features.
What was the biggest challenge in making Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy High Dynamic Range (HDR) compatible?
Our original render pipeline wasn’t set up for HDR out of the gate. We had made a lot of shader performance optimizations in our renderer from the PS3 and Xbox 360 era that didn’t play nice with HDR. There was a lot of iteration necessary to make sure that by adding HDR we weren’t then breaking the renderer at some later point in the pipeline. The other big challenge was getting the look for HDR right, and making sure our tweaked values worked across the board on multiple generations of HDR TV Tech.
Anything else your team worked on that you would like to highlight?
We put significant engineering resources into making the load times shorter and the results are outstanding! Xbox One and PS4 also got our ‘Nitro Loading’ feature, which predicatively loads things in the background while you play. With this, level loads have been reduced in places to mere seconds. It has got to the point where the fade out/in of a level takes longer than the actual load!
What is your favorite thing about Crash Bandicoot?
The humor never gets old, I especially enjoy all of the associated death animations that are incorporated into the game. I also get a laugh out of the meme-like marketing we do for it, having Crash Bandicoot turn up at E3 and doing random dance offs with the attendees and developers. Seeing it on YouTube cracks me up and is a great breath of fresh air in comparison to traditional marketing.
Our DeVV Diaries feature exclusive interviews with our developers and include highlights of their work as well as tidbits about recent games. Be sure to check back for more DeVV Diaries.