Ray-marched realms

gaming

(Image credit: Shared Memory)

The upcoming puzzle platformer Animal Well has an unusual and vivid art style. That’s because solo developer Billy Basso of Shared Memory utilizes some clever tricks with the PS5 console to bring its expansive game world to life. 

Animal Well is the first game to be published by Videogamedunkey’s BigMode publishing company which is coming to PS5 and PC. We’ve known about the game since the summer, but now that a publisher has been secured, we’ll get to play it sooner rather than later. 

When we think about what the PS5 can do, we usually consider photorealistic cutting-edge 3D graphics. Animal Well, a 2D experience, uses a form of ray tracing known as raymarching to bring depth of field effects and lighting for the characters and backgrounds.

The full list of techniques is listed on the PlayStation Blog post. 

Raymarching acts as a faster version of ray tracing, which is less hardware intensive. This is achieved by the rendering technique dividing rays into smaller segments instead of drawing complete rays. For smaller games like this, especially for 2D titles, it makes much more sense from an efficiency point of view. 

“Animal Well is doing a lot of small things that add up to the final result”, explains Basso to PlayStation, and that’s reflected in the gameplay itself. A lot goes into rendering one frame onscreen from the background, midground, and foreground layering with particle effects to dynamic lighting, combined lights, and fluid simulation. Combined, it makes for one of the more visually striking platformers in recent memory.  

gaming

(Image credit: Shared Memory )

Do it yourself  

Arguably, the most exciting thing about Animal Well’s development is that Billy Basso made an entirely new engine and then built the game inside of it from scratch. That’s something unconventional for indie development, since many smaller studios would use the likes of GameMaker or Unity.

This progress means that the developer can make it so that the game itself uses incredibly low latency for a game that plays as smoothly as it looks. By creating an engine himself, there’s no need for a buffer you would find as standard with the way stock game engines use the system’s CPU and GPU together.
While certainly not a demanding game, these implementations show how the indie scene is taking steps to use the PS5 hardware in new and exciting ways. It goes to show that big, demanding game worlds with bleeding-edge graphics aren’t the only things that this generation’s gaming hardware can do.  

    TechRadar Newsletter

    Sign up to get breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more, plus the hottest tech deals!

    By submitting your information you agree to the Terms & Conditions (opens in new tab) and Privacy Policy (opens in new tab) and are aged 16 or over.

    Aleksha McLoughlin

    Hardware Editor

    Aleksha McLoughlin is the Hardware Editor for TechRadarGaming and looks after all hardware coverage for the gaming vertical of the site. Prior to joining TRG, she was the Hardware Editor for sister publication GamesRadar+. You’ll also find her hardware coverage and reviews for online publications such as Trusted Reviews, Android Central, The Metro, PC Guide, and Expert Reviews. Outside of gaming, she’s also contributed to the BBC and No Clean Singing, too. In her spare time, you’ll often find her at metal gigs and festivals listening to various different shades of black and death metal. 

    TECH NEWS RELATED

    Deadpool will reach Marvel’s Midnight Suns later this month

    “The good, the bad, and the undead”! Deadpool is about to reach Marvel’s Midnight Suns roster of characters. According to 2K, the popular anti-hero will reach the recently-released strategic game on January 26. That means, that in the next week, players will be able to enjoy this iconic character. As ...

    View more: Deadpool will reach Marvel’s Midnight Suns later this month

    The Witcher 3 will get a new patch for PS5 soon

    After long months of promises, CD Projekt Red finally unveiled the next-gen version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The new version came with a lot of upgrades, extras, and bugs. Yes, the port didn’t escape the usual set of bugs that escape the testing phase. For that reason, the ...

    View more: The Witcher 3 will get a new patch for PS5 soon

    AYA NEO Pocket Air is an Android gaming handheld with OLED display

    Android is now fully ready to be utilized in a gaming handheld console. We have already seen a couple of new Android handhelds from big companies last year. And now more companies are launching their handhelds. The one we are talking about today is the AYA NEO Pocket Air. This ...

    View more: AYA NEO Pocket Air is an Android gaming handheld with OLED display

    Jaguars vs Chiefs live stream: how to watch the NFL playoff game online

    (Image: © Getty Images / David Eulitt) Swipe to scroll horizontally Jaguars vs Chiefs live stream Kick-off: Saturday, January 21, 4.30pm ET / 1.30pm PT / 9.30pm GMT TV channel: NBC Live stream: Peacock TV (US) | DAZN (CA) | Sky (UK) | 7Plus (AU) Use ExpressVPN to watch ...

    View more: Jaguars vs Chiefs live stream: how to watch the NFL playoff game online

    A Twisted New Body Dysmorphia Romantic Film Looks Gruesomely Unique

    Some movie trailers do their best to push all the information you might need before the premiere to let you properly gauge your interest. Other trailers don’t care about all that and only want to show you a series of odd sequences you cannot piece together, but know you’ll ...

    View more: A Twisted New Body Dysmorphia Romantic Film Looks Gruesomely Unique

    How to Disable Screenshot Thumbnail Previews on Mac

    Modern versions of macOS feature a floating thumbnail preview for screenshots that allows users to quickly apply edits to their screenshots before they save them. If you find this interface too obtrusive, or simply prefer to edit your screenshots later using the Preview app, Here is how you can ...

    View more: How to Disable Screenshot Thumbnail Previews on Mac

    Persona 3 Portable: Shinjiro (Moon) social link choices & unlock guide

    The Persona 3 Portable Shinjiro social link is a strange one, and it’s quite unique in Persona 3. Most S-Link storylines require you to be proactive to rank them up, hanging out with the character in question. Others are automatic. The Shinjiro S-Link is sort of between the two, ...

    View more: Persona 3 Portable: Shinjiro (Moon) social link choices & unlock guide

    LG’s smart projector is the square cousin of Samsung’s cool The Freestyle

    This Tiny MSI PC is Packed With Power

    Persona 3 Portable: Nozomi (Moon) social link choices & unlock guide

    Logitech’s New Colorful Keyboards and Mice Look Great

    “Part of the Journey Is the End;” Marvel’s Avengers Seems to be Shutting Down

    Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Slim Hub review: A sleek and portable laptop hub

    Wi-Fi routers are being hit by a dangerous new Android malware with extra DNS hacks

    Persona 3 Portable: Akihiko (Star) social link choices guide

    Persona 3 Portable: Mamoru (Star) social link choices guide

    Servant unleashes a bed bug blitz [Apple TV+ recap]

    Persona 3 Portable: Keisuke (Fortune) social link choices guide

    Hostinger quietly shutters Zyro to focus on Hostinger Website Builder service

    Redmi Note 12 Turbo Tipped to get Snapdragon 7-series SoC

    OTHER TECH NEWS

    Top Car News Car News