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DF Direct Weekly on The Coalition's UE5 demo and Intel CPUs and Graphics at GDC 2021

Plus: do you play with inverted controls?

You know the score by now, right? Every week, the Digital Foundry crew sits down to talk about the tech topics of the day that have caught its attention, discuss the latest projects and then take on a bunch of questions set by users enrolled in the Digital Foundry Supporter Program. Oh, and did you know that supporters get the opportunity to watch the show every week on Saturday?

Kicking off the discussion this week are our reactions to The Coalition's Unreal Engine 5 demo at the virtual GDC 2021. This one is fascinating stuff: the developers of the Gears of War series are one of the most accomplished tech outfits in the business and their trailblazing work with Unreal Engine 4 looks set to continue with the latest iteration of the technology. We discuss the highlights of the presentation and assess the challenges facing The Coalition as they grapple with the computationally expensive Nanite and Lumen (especially Lumen!) features.

Beyond that, Alex Battaglia clues us in on a couple of Intel's presentations at GDC - on the face of it primed for the latest CPUs and graphics but strongly indicative of what we should be expecting from the company's next generation processors and discrete graphics cards. We also talk troubling legal demands sent to the modding community then double-down on our views on Insomniac's 40fps mode in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. John also shares how he is using Unreal Engine 5 in combination with a green-screen background to boost his production workflow.

DF Direct Weekly is back for a 21st episode, this week perpetrated by Rich Leadbetter, John Linneman and Alex Battaglia.Watch on YouTube

If you're looking to skip ahead to specific parts of the show, enjoy these carefully curated time-codes.

  • 00:00:00 Introduction
  • 00:00:45 GDC 2021: UE5 Demo From The Coalition - Intel CPU/GPU Presentations
  • 00:19:23 MODdb Receives Takedown Notice From Take Two
  • 00:25:23 Final Words on The Resident Evil Village PC DRM Debacle
  • 00:28:02 DF Content Discussion: Ratchet 40fps - Addressing The Confusion
  • 00:36:19 DF Content Discussion: Unreal Engine for Video Production
  • 00:45:11 Supporter Q1: Will it be possible to gauge the performance of the Steam Deck now?
  • 00:46:43 Supporter Q2: Do you think the Steam Deck will be able to handle the games from the Total War series?
  • 00:47:33 Supporter Q3: Is it likely that a performant ML-based upscaling solution similar to DLSS could be implemented on Xbox Series?
  • 00:50:31 Supporter Q4: Curious what your opinion is on the rampant devotion to leaked info?
  • 00:59:40 Supporter Q5: Could you elaborate on how you are using BFI on your LG OLED?
  • 01:06:14 Supporter Q6: What measures did you take to help prevent burn in on your OLED monitor?
  • 01:10:59 Supporter Q7: Much has been said about cross-gen development holding back the potential of the new consoles. Now, can the same be said about the PC, in the sense that targeting a wider range of platforms could hinder console games design?
  • 01:17:25 Supporter Q8: Do any of you play with inverted vertical controls?
  • 01:20:01 And now, the conclusion

Supporter Q+A? It's massive this week - there's some house-keeping on Steam Deck (but check out prior coverage for a more detailed breakdown of our thoughts there), John talks black frame insertion on an LG OLED, while I discuss how things are going in using a 40-inch OLED as a PC monitor (spoilers: it's a game changer). Beyond that, is PC holding back PlayStation 5? And finally - the question for the ages: do any of us play with inverted controls? The answer is yes - Alex does - which causes some unforeseen consequences for the team...

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