Playing six degrees of Titanfall will lead you to GLaDOS

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Titanfall is one of the big games being shown in conjunction with the Xbox One. Have you seen it? It’s a multiplayer blend of parkour, jetpacks, giant mechs, and adrenaline. The pilots versus mechs combat is something that shouldn’t work as well as it does. Respawn Entertainment is making a splash with their debut game, and they’re doing it with Valve’s Source engine. Wait, Source? This is the same engine used for Left 4 Dead and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. I’ve played Source games. They look good, but not this good.

Titanfall producer Drew McCoy spoke to Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry to explain how their background on Call of Duty gave them a leg up during the development process. He also gets into some technical reasons for using Source, what advantages Microsoft’s cloud gives them, and why framerate is king.

“The thing about the Source Engine when we got it is that we actually branched from Portal 2. It was DX9, very single-threaded and they used the way that engine worked to its best possible potential for Portal. It can’t render that much on-screen. The main thread just can’t push out enough jobs, so we’ve done a huge amount of work. We didn’t choose this engine because it was going to be 60, we chose this engine knowing that we’d be spending the next two years making it fast.”

Titanfall is aiming for a Spring 2014 launch on PC and Xbox One.