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Reason for limitations


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Disclaimer: Just to be clear, I'm not whining. I'm just genuinely curious about the technical limitations on console. I have dozens, or even hundreds of hours into the PS4 version and I'm very happy with it. It's just a purely academic question.


Anyway, I'm wondering where the cause of the console limitations versus PC comes from. I see a lot people blaming it on the hardware and that just doesn't make sense to me. For instance, draw distance and distant POIs are hot button issues. Why is it that I can boot up GTA 5, get in a helicopter and see practically forever, but in 7dtd, my mini bike can only go so fast so I don't fall off the map?


It seems like they come from Unity and the way it interacts with console hardware as opposed to PC more than anything else.


Does anyone know the specifics? I'd really like to know. Thanks in advance!

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In a word, voxels. Voxels are the foundational difference between GTA 5 and this game. GTA is not broken into one meter cubes, each of which has properties like material, hit points, block ID and so on. There are some optimizations that can be done, but when you see a regular sprawling landscape in 7 Days to Die, what the game is simulating is something more like this...


Perhaps some people are still wondering what the big deal is with voxels. 7 Days to Die doesn't look more taxing than a lot of other games, so how could voxels really be so limiting?


Well, Pille posted an image yesterday which I think is illustrative.



Yikes! You don't see that in other games outside of some weird tech demo. But imagine how much it takes to process all those blocks. The game is processing that much stuff all the time.


Okay, that's not entirely fair. There are no trees or flags underground, for instance, which require more calculation than a solid block. And I would hope the game has some sophisticated occlusion-based optimization, so that a similarly sized hillside takes less processing than this mess of different blocks. I asked what kind of framerate Pille got when taking this shot, which might give us an idea of how optimized things are.


But I think this offers a better perspective. Voxels mean we don't have 10,000 zombies on screen because we already have 10,000 blocks on screen.


On top of that, GTA 5 was designed for console from day 1, while 7 Days to Die started on PC and was ported after the fact.

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