‘PUBG’ At Gamescom: Nvidia Shadowplay Released, New Terrain Tech Teased, Future Discussed, And More

The developers behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have been making their way around Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, the past couple of days. In addition to the Microsoft publishing partnership for the Xbox One, Bluehole has revealed a couple of new features for the game while also discussing their long-term plans for the battle royale shooter.

Support for Nvidia ShadowPlay Highlights was released to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Monday. The feature will allow Nvidia GeForce video card holders to automatically capture in-game highlight videos of kills and wins.

Players will need to go to the PUBG “Settings” menu and change the “Highlights Auto Capture” setting to “Nvidia Shadowplay Highlights” to enable the feature. The GeForce Experience app will then present a pop-up asking if you want the feature to automatically record highlights.

The Monday update to PUBG also added support for HBAO+, a technique that provides more realistic shadows in the game. Again, players will need to go into the game settings menu and choose a “Post Processing” detail other than “Very Low” to enable this feature.

Meanwhile, Creative Director Brendan Green (aka PlayerUnknown) revealed some new terrain technology coming to PUBG during a Devcom panel at Gamescom. Images of the work in progress technology were shared via Twitter to reveal a tessellation effect that makes the ground look more naturally rocky.

Meanwhile, work continues on two new maps for PUBG. Green explained it can take up to a year to create and polish a map for the shooter during a Mixer appearance at Gamescom. A desert map is the first to be revealed and it will come with new weapons and vehicles specific to the map. The sparse setting of the desert will force a different style of play than is currently employed on the “Erangel” map.

The new maps are part of Greene’s and Bluehole’s plan to support PUBG as a “game as a service” title. This means constant updates and upgrades to the game so it will keep players engaged for five to 10 years down the road.

One example Green gave is how the team could come back a year or two down the road and upgrade the existing map with 4K texture and other technology.

The Industrial Ruins in PUBG.

As for PUBG on consoles, an Xbox One build running on PC is available to play at Gamescom. Greene notes that the UI and HUD are still a work in progress but that it still looks like the PC version with some differences, such as a shorter draw distance.

Game Informer got the opportunity to go hands-on with the Xbox One version of PUBG and reported the draw distance is indeed shorter. The good news is the game was running consistently in the 30-40 frames per second (fps) range. While not 60 fps, this is good for the base Xbox One which struggles with other open-world titles running on Unreal Engine 4 like ARK: Survival Evolved.

Bluehole is still on track for PUBG to exit Steam Early Access on the PC later this year. The Xbox One Game Preview version is also confirmed for later in 2017 thanks to the publishing partnership with Microsoft. This allows the development team to draw on the console maker’s resources and expertise to get the game out more quickly.

If that’s not enough, the first PUBG Invitational is set to start Wednesday at Gamescom and run through Saturday. Players will compete in Solo, Duo, and Squad modes starting at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT each day for the chance to win prize money. Bluehole is treating the Invitational as a testing ground on how best to support competitive eSports in the future, but fans can watch on Mixer and Twitch.

What do you think of the flood of PUBG news out of Gamescom? Sound off in the comments section below.

[Featured Image by Bluehole, Inc]