There's no doubt that Flower is one of the most unique and impressive accomplishments of the current generation, but did you realize that without the PlayStation 3, it may never have happened?
In a Gamezine.co.uk interview with ThatGameCompany's co-founder and president, Kellee Santiago, we learn that the designers took full advantage of the system's significant SPU capacity. Said Santiago:
"We learned so much on flOw, especially about SPUs! The grass system really leverages the PS3 to render 200,000 blades of grass simultaneously, and gives the player this sense of blowing wind through them."
Yeah, we distinctly recall many blades of grass, all bending and swaying in the wind that we – for all intents and purposes – control. There's little doubt that it was visually appealing, as the only minor drawback centered on the lack of texture detail in the individual petals that comprise our colorful "tail." Santiago spoke more about the SPUs:
"An artist friend of ours came to us, really hoping that we could tell him some clever trick that we used to make it look like we had so many blades of grass. He was reluctant to believe that really John Edwards just made it happen on the SPUs. It really would be impossible to make it look the same on any other system. But, it's one of the pros with knowing your game is exclusive to a specific system – you can really design everything towards that one platform."
We've often said that if a developer wishes to focus on the PS3, we'll see some seriously polished titles. Flower is just a downloadable game one can nab for only ten bucks on the PSN; it's not a giant mega-blockbuster and yet, it proves that Sony's machine boasts certain hardware and architectural advantages.
Related Game(s): Flower