One of the biggest benefits of all that power in the hardware is giving developers the ability to make games that are Xbox Series X|S Optimized. This means that they’ve taken full advantage of the unique capabilities of Xbox Series X|S, both for new titles built natively using the Xbox Series X|S development environment as well as previously released titles that have been rebuilt specifically for the console. In our Inside Xbox Series X|S Optimized series, these creators will share the behind-the-scenes accounts of how they’re optimizing their games for Xbox Series X|S and what that means for the future of gaming. Today, we’ll be chatting with Associate Producer at Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe Coralie Feniello about optimizing Little Nightmares II for Xbox Series X|S.
Q: What excites you most about developing and bringing Little Nightmares II to life on next-generation hardware?
A: The next-generation hardware is an incredible opportunity to bring the world of Little Nightmares to the players in a very immersive way. Thanks to the power of the Xbox Series X|S, we have been able to add more details to the environment, from dust particles to real time ray tracing. The attention to details is something very important for us in Little Nightmares II and we wanted to use the next-gen features to bring even more details to our world. To do so, we have been very attentive to bring to light the best of each scene without changing the art direction which makes Little Nightmares games unique.
Q: In addition to benefiting from the power and performance of Xbox Series X|S for quicker load times etc. what Xbox Series X|S features were you most excited to explore leveraging in the development of Little Nightmares II?
A: Beside the great visual improvements, we are very excited to offer to the players a game in 5.1|7.1 audio when played with compatible sound system. In an atmosphere-driven game, each sound counts and the players will now be able to experience the little nightmares with a super immersive 3D spatial soundscape mix. This will give the players the opportunity to hear where the danger is coming from but will still need to face it to progress.
Q: How will these enhancements impact a player’s experience with Little Nightmares II?
A: The combination of visual and audio improvements will bring more details to each scene, more fluidity to the gameplay and more immersion in the Little Nightmares universe. In Little Nightmares II on Xbox Series X|S, the player will even be able to use the Graphics mode option to choose between Beauty mode and Performance mode. On Beauty the player will experience the game at 30fps at 4K resolution with optimized ray tracing, on Performance the game will be locked at 60fps with dynamic resolution up to 4K and ray tracing.
Q: Why did your development team choose to focus on ray tracing, volumetric shadows, interactive particles, and 5.1|7.1 immersive audio as enhancement areas for Little Nightmares II?
A: We wanted to focus on enhancements that make sense for this title and push further the immersion of the players. It was important for us to avoid denaturing the title and to use the enhancements to magnify the scenes. With each of these enhancements we made a significant work to identify which scenes would benefit the most of each feature and took time to balance the feature at the right level to fit with the scenes. We also decided to focus on immersive features as our goal is to bring the players back in their little nightmares through the game.
Q: How do you expect fans of Little Nightmares II will respond to playing it on Xbox Series X|S with these enhancements?
A: Between Little Nightmares I and Little Nightmares II we already had a clear visual step up which had an amazing reception from the fans. With Little Nightmares II Enhanced Edition, we wanted to push the quality even further thanks to the features of the Xbox Series X|S. With this free update we hope that the community will take this opportunity to replay, and maybe take time to find all the little secrets on Mono’s path.
Q: What does Smart Delivery mean for your game and how you’re bringing Little Nightmares II to fans?
A: As we wanted the upgrade to be free for all players, Smart Delivery is very important for us. It allows players who already spent several hours on the game to keep their progression and benefit from the enhancements at the same time. It is the perfect moment to explore each detail of the world and maybe become a Primetime Content Consumer.
Thank you, Coralie Feniello, for taking the time to talk to us today. The free Xbox Series X|S Optimized update for Little Nightmares II is available today. For the latest Xbox gaming news, keep it tuned here to Xbox Wire.
Little Nightmares II
BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc.