In the aftermath of E3, it’s always easy to recognise what the gaming industry considers to be in vogue. Whether it’s social connectivity, blurring the lines between single-player and multiplayer or, in the case of this year’s event, four player co-op experiences, it seems publishers and developers latch onto a popular concept and run with it for the foreseeable future.
However, in a behind closed doors demonstration at the trade show, Square Enix showcased its attempt to buck the trend with Project Flare, an all-new cloud-based tech that pushes the boundaries of game design.
Speaking with Polygon, Jacob Navok, Square Enix’s director of business development, outlined the ambition of Project Flare, which can render worlds 17x larger than that of Bethesda’s revered RPG, Skyrim.
“Games now use smoke and mirrors to provide the illusion of a living world. With Project Flare, we can provide an actual living world.”
In essence, Square Enix considers Project Flare to be an evolution for modern game design. By harnessing the power of cloud technology, the company will be able to render a pixelated playground that simply wouldn’t be possible across the current generation of consoles or PC.
Still, expanding the in-game horizon is one thing, but populating that world with experiences worthy of your time is another. Take the first entry in Rocksteady’s Arkham series, Asylum, as an example, which is arguably the best entry in the franchise to date precisely because it provided players with a more focused experience than its 2011 successor, Arkham City.
Nevertheless, it will be fascinating to learn of Square Enix’s developments with Project Flare in the years to come and how it plans to build vast gaming experiences around this most gargantuan framework.