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MT Framework is a game engine created by Capcom. "MT" stands for "Multi-Thread", "Meta Tools" and "Multi-Target". While initially MT Framework was intended to power 2006's Dead Rising and Lost Planet: Extreme Condition only, Capcom later decided for their internal development divisions to adopt it as their default engine. As a result, the vast majority of their internally developed video games for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms were created on it, including four new titles and three remastered ports of past titles in the Resident Evil series, Capcom's biggest franchise.[1] The visuals of the first games powered by the engine were well received and MT Framework has also won a CEDEC award.[2]

Throughout the years MT Framework received various updates, most significant of which was a major revision called MT Framework 2.0, first introduced with Lost Planet 2 in 2010. Additionally, two offshoots of the engine have been made. MT Framework Lite targets the Wii and PlayStation 3 consoles and MT Framework Mobile powers games for the Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita and iOS.

As of 2014, Capcom's stance on the future of the engine is that while it will continue to be used to create games for the seventh generation of video game consoles, smartphones and handhelds, Panta Rhei and the "RE Engine", which is used to develop Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, are intended to be MT Framework's successors for developing games for the eighth generation of video game consoles.

HistoryEdit

BackgroundEdit

Before the creation of MT Framework, Capcom's internal development teams were each using engines and tools of their own design, a process that was deemed inefficient. Thus, the decision to build an engine that would support the needs of all of Capcom's developers was made.[3] At first MT Framework was being developed to be used in Dead Rising and Lost Planet: Extreme Condition only. Capcom evaluated the Unreal Engine 3 engine for adoption as their internal engine but decided against it due to some performance limitations and difficulties of getting technical support from its American developer, Epic Games, in Japan. As such, the decision to further develop MT Framework and extend its internal use was made.[4]

MT Framework 1.xEdit

Development of MT Framework had begun in September 2004 based on the Onimusha 3 engine. The engine was built to use PC development tools and initially target the Xbox 360 system because of its similarity to the PC platform. In 2004 the project had started by just one programmer but in the following years and as they added support for more platforms more people joined in.[4] Because of its PC development tools, video games can first be programmed on the PC and then adjusted to run on console hardware.[5] MT framework supports multithreading techniques to take advantage of the multicore CPUs that are powering both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 consoles as well as modern PCs.[6]

Capcom highlighted the following features supported by Lost Planet: Extreme Condition and its use of MT Framework. A light motion blur effect called "2.5D motion blur" (based on the "Stupid OpenGL Shader Tricks" presentation by Simon Green at the Game Developers Conference 2003)[7] is supported to help smooth 30 fps games. Light-Space Perspective Shadow Maps,[8] a form of shadow mapping, is used for the rendering of the shadows and a technique called Percentage Closer Filtering to smooth them. The engine also supports normal mapping, HDR rendering, soft particles, variable amounts of MSAA and a technique with which particles can be rendered at 1/4th of the full resolution of the image for the benefit of performance. Basic physics are handled by the integrated Havok middleware, while a custom physics engine handles character-local physics calculations such as cloth physics and inverse kinematics.[4]

The first significant update to the engine was the release of the PC version of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, which was the second PC game to support DirectX 10 and the first with a DirectX 10 demo.[9][10] Ambient occlusion and parallax occlusion mapping support were added to the engine, and under DirectX 10 improved soft shadow rendering, and by the use of vertex shaders, less artifact-prone motion blur, fur shading and improved depth of field with a bokeh-like appearance.[11][12][13] The two games on PC that followed Lost Planet: Extreme Condition - Devil May Cry 4 and Resident Evil 5 - also featured DirectX 10 support, but Capcom decided against using it to improve upon the visuals,[14][15] thus making them look largely the same as the DirectX 9 versions.[16][17] However, Resident Evil 5 under DirectX 10,[18] was the first video game to be presented fully in stereoscopic 3D, including all of its cutscenes, and the first to be rated as "3D Vision Ready" by Nvidia.[19] Later re-releases of the two games on PC removed DirectX 10 support.[20][21]

MT Framework 2.xEdit

A major update to the engine called MT Framework 2.0 began development in January 2008 and made its debut with the release of Lost Planet 2 in 2010. According to Capcom several parts of the engine were re-written from scratch and as a result the engine performs better on the PlayStation 3 compared to the previous version which was first built with the Xbox 360 in mind. Capcom highlighted the interactivity between characters and vegetation as a significant improvement but also noted because the game began development on the previous version of the engine it doesn't fully represent the capabilities of the new iteration. Capcom also said MT Framework 2.0 is able to hide the specifics of the hardware and the supported shader models from programmers, allowing them to write more platform agnostic code than before and reducing their burden. In Capcom's 2011 annual report, it was confirmed that 80% of MT Framework's development process is common between the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC platforms which reduced development costs.[22] Lastly, Capcom made possible for the first time, for external contract studios that would partner with them to use the engine.[23] The first externally developed game to use MT Framework 2.0 was Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.[24]

The PC version of Lost Planet 2 added support for DirectX 11 features such as tessellation, displacement mapping and the use of DirectCompute for soft body simulation and wave simulation.[25] Later MT Framework 2.0 games released on PC were DirectX 9 only.

Another significant update was made for Dragon's Dogma, released in 2012. Previous MT Framework games were "stage-based" with each stage divided by a loading screen. Dragon's Dogma's levels are tens to hundreds times bigger and the structure of the game is open world meaning the only way they could make it work was by adapting the game engine to move in and out of memory portions of the game world, as needed. Another improvement is that the engine moved from using a forward renderer to a hybrid one that makes use of deferred lighting (also known as Light Pre-Pass).[26] This made possible to support a 24 hour cycle and weather variation and an "infinite" number of lights. Other changes include support for real-time variation of a character model and FXAA.[27] Building on top of Dragon's Dogma updated technology, Resident Evil 6 added SSAO,[28] and improved hair rendering (based on the "Light Scattering from Human Hair Fibers" paper presented at SIGGRAPH 2003)[29] along with facial expressions and eye movement.[26]

MT Framework Lite and MT Framework MobileEdit

In late October 2009, it was reported that Capcom was bringing MT Framework to Wii to reduce the development time and costs of developing Wii games separately.[30] Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes was confirmed as the first game running on MT Framework Lite, a special version of the engine targeting the Wii and PlayStation 3 hardware. At E3 2010, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition and Resident Evil: Revelations were announced as upcoming games for the Nintendo 3DS. In late September 2010, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D and Mega Man Legends 3 were also announced and later all four revealed to be running on MT Framework Mobile, a new version of the engine, based on MT Framework 2.0, and specifically designed for the Nintendo 3DS.[31][32] Capcom noted that thanks to MT Framework Mobile Resident Evil: Revelations features a graphical pipeline that is almost identical to that of Resident Evil 5, supporting HDR rendering, self shadowing, normal mapping, color correction, gamma correction, depth of field, motion blur and anti-aliasing on the Nintendo 3DS hardware.[24] In late January 2011, Capcom demonstrated the intro of Lost Planet 2 running on MT Framework Mobile on the "Next Generation Portable", later renamed to PlayStation Vita.[33] The Vita version of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was the first MT Framework Mobile game to be released on the hardware. MT Framework Mobile's support for iOS was later also announced,[34] and the first game to use the engine on the iPhone was the port of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, released in 2014.

FutureEdit

In an 2014 interview with Masaru Ijuin, an engineer behind MT Framework and the upcoming proprietary Capcom engine Panta Rhei, it was detailed that Capcom plans to move to the new engine starting with Deep Down but will continue the use of MT Framework for games developed for the seventh generation of consoles as well as MT Framework Mobile for handhelds and smartphones.[35] He stated that "creators will have to start back at square one when they learn how [to] develop games using Panta Rhei" but the overall efficiency of development would increase more than it would if they had merely updated MT Framework. In June 2016, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was announced and revealed to be running on a new proprietary engine by Capcom named RE Engine, which will also power multiple upcoming Capcom games.[36] In 2017, seemingly reversing the development of demanding new games on the MT framework engine Capcom announced Monster Hunter World to be using a modified MT Framework while adding next gen features like HDR support and support for mid-generation platforms like the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X in the process.

List of games using MT FrameworkEdit

Main engine (MTFW)Edit

Title First release date Engine type Platform(s) Notes
Dead Rising 2006/08/08 MT Framework 1.x Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One Uses MT Framework 1.0[23]
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition 2006/12/21 MT Framework 1.x Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 Xbox 360 uses MT Framework 1.1, Windows uses MT Framework 1.2[23]
Devil May Cry 4 2008/01/31 MT Framework 1.x PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows Uses MT Framework 1.3[23]
Resident Evil 5 2009/03/05 MT Framework 1.x PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows Uses MT Framework 1.4[23]

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases of the game features some minor graphical improvements and thus might be using an updated version of the engine[37]

Lost Planet 2 2010/05/11 MT Framework 2.x PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows Uses MT Framework 2.0[23]
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds 2011/02/15 MT Framework 2.x PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Uses MT Framework 2.1[24]
Resident Evil Code: Veronica X HD 2011/09/27 MT Framework 2.x PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 The logo of MT Framework is displayed when the game is started
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
(Home console versions)
2011/11/15 MT Framework 2.x Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One The box art mentions MT Framework, unlike the PlayStation Vita version which mentions MT Framework Mobile
Dragon's Dogma 2012/05/22 MT Framework 2.x PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows [27]
Resident Evil 6 2012/10/02 MT Framework 2.x PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows [26][28]
E.X. Troopers
(PlayStation 3 version)
2012/11/22 MT Framework 2.x PlayStation 3 The box art mentions MT Framework, unlike the Nintendo 3DS version which mentions MT Framework Lite
Resident Evil: Revelations
(Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions)
2013/05/21 MT Framework 2.x Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360 The box art mentions MT Framework, unlike the PlayStation Vita version which mentions MT Framework Mobile
Sengoku BASARA 4 2014/01/23 MT Framework 2.x PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 [38][39]
Resident Evil HD Remaster 2014/11/27 MT Framework 2.x Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One Confirmed on box art
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 2015/02/24 MT Framework 2.x Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One The credits list the "MT Framework Development Team" for providing development support
Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition 2015/06/18 MT Framework 2.x Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Confirmed on the Japanese box art.
Sengoku BASARA 4: Sumeragi 2015/07/23 MT Framework 2.x PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 Confirmed on the box art.
Dragon's Dogma Online 2015/08/31 MT Framework 2.x Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 [40]
Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster 2016/01/19 MT Framework 2.x Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One Confirmed on box art
Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-Den 2016/08/25 MT Framework 2.x PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 Confirmed on the box art.
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers 2017/05/26 MT Framework ?.x Nintendo Switch [41]
Monster Hunter: World 2018/01/26 MT Framework ?.x PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows [42]
Mega Man 11 2018/10/02 MT Framework 2.x PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows and Nintendo Switch [43]

MT Framework Lite (MTFL) and MT Framework Mobile (MTFM)Edit

Title First release date Engine type Platform(s) Source
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles 2009/11/17 MT Framework Lite Wii, PlayStation 3 [citation needed]
Sengoku BASARA: Samurai Heroes 2010/07/29 MT Framework Lite Wii, PlayStation 3 [24]
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition 2011/02/26 MT Framework Mobile Nintendo 3DS [24][44]
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D 2011/06/02 MT Framework Mobile Nintendo 3DS [24]
Nazo Waku Yakata 2011/08/04 MT Framework Mobile Nintendo 3DS [45]
Sengoku BASARA 3 Utage 2011/11/10 MT Framework Lite Wii, PlayStation 3 [24]
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate 2011/12/10 MT Framework Mobile Nintendo 3DS, Wii U Confirmed on box art
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
(PlayStation Vita version)
2011/12/17 MT Framework Mobile PlayStation Vita Confirmed on box art
Resident Evil: Revelations 2012/01/26 MT Framework Mobile Nintendo 3DS [24]
E.X. Troopers
(Nintendo 3DS version)
2012/11/22 MT Framework Lite? Nintendo 3DS Box art mentions MT Framework Lite instead of Mobile. It could be a mistake.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies 2013/07/25 MT Framework Mobile Nintendo 3DS, iOS MT Framework Mobile confirmed on box art of the Nintendo 3DS version. Furthermore, in the credits of both versions the "MT Framework Development Team" is listed, with the iOS version crediting additional staff that worked on that version.
Monster Hunter 4 2013/09/14 MT Framework Mobile Nintendo 3DS Confirmed on box art
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate 2014/10/11 MT Framework Mobile Nintendo 3DS Confirmed on box art
Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken 2015/07/09 MT Framework Mobile Nintendo 3DS Confirmed on box art
Monster Hunter X 2015/11/28 MT Framework Mobile Nintendo 3DS Confirmed on box art
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice 2016/06/09 MT Framework Mobile Nintendo 3DS Confirmed on box art
Mega Man Legends 3 Cancelled MT Framework Mobile Nintendo 3DS [46]
Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Kakugo 2017/08/03 MT Framework Mobile Nintendo 3DS Confirmed on box art

See alsoEdit

  • Panta Rhei - one of MT Framework's successors.
  • RE Engine - another successor to MT Framework, it also includes Virtual Reality development tools among other features.

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.gamespot.com/articles/capcom-lists-its-six-powerful-franchises-can-you-guess-what-they-are/1100-6419525/
  2. http://www.capcom.co.jp/ir/english/news/html/e080911.html
  3. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/132156/coop_creators_resident_evil_5s_.php?page=3
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 http://game.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/20070131/3dlp.htm
  5. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3021/the_devil_laughs_a_chat_with_.php
  6. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/132533/sponsored_feature_resident_evil_5_.php?page=3
  7. http://www.nvidia.com/docs/io/8230/gdc2003_openglshadertricks.pdf
  8. https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/vr/lispsm/wimmer-egsr04-lispsm.pdf
  9. http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_42444.html
  10. http://www.legitreviews.com/directx-10-benchmarking-lost-planet-extreme-condition_505
  11. http://game.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/20070926/lp.htm
  12. https://www.beyond3d.com/content/news/499
  13. https://web.archive.org/web/20120731055449/http://firingsquad.com/hardware/lost_planet_demo_directx_10_performance/
  14. http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,645907/Interview-about-Devil-May-Cry-4/News/
  15. http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,693783/Capcom-Producer-Masachika-Kawata-about-Resident-Evil-5/News/
  16. http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/devil_may_cry_4_performance,1.html
  17. http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,690313/Resident-Evil-5-PC-vs-Xbox-360-and-DirectX-9-vs-DirectX-10-graphics-comparison-Top-article-of-July-2009/Reviews/
  18. http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/resident-evil-5,review-31677-4.html
  19. http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/resident-evil-5-pc-version-to-be-available-from-september-18th-across-european-territories
  20. http://www.dsogaming.com/screenshot-news/devil-may-cry-4-special-edition-versus-devil-may-cry-4-directx-10-comparison-screenshots/
  21. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-04-02-resident-evil-5-steam-edition-ripped-out-code-needed-for-split-screen-mod
  22. http://www.capcom.co.jp/ir/english/data/pdf/annual/2012/annual_2012_05.pdf
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 http://andriasang.com/com8ig/mt_framework/
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 24.6 24.7 http://andriasang.com/comp7w/3ds_mt_framework_detailed/
  25. http://techgage.com/article/lost_planet_2_dx9_vs_dx11/
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 http://game.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/series/3dcg/538452.html
  27. 27.0 27.1 http://www.capcom-unity.com/gregaman/blog/2012/04/05/how_dragons_dogma_changed_the_mt_framework
  28. 28.0 28.1 http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-resident-evil-6-face-off
  29. http://www.cs.cornell.edu/~srm/publications/SG03-hair-abstract.html
  30. http://andriasang.com/comd11/mt_framework_wii/
  31. http://andriasang.com/compm9/capcom_3ds_push/
  32. http://www.capcom-unity.com/devroom/blog/2010/12/13/the_mega_man_legends_3_project:_eguchis_take_on_the_bonne_mecha_event
  33. https://www.engadget.com/2011/01/27/lost-planet-2-yakuza-demonstrated-on-ngp/
  34. http://www.capcom.co.jp/ir/english/interview/2011/vol07/02.html
  35. http://www.capcom.co.jp/ir/english/interview/2013/vol03/
  36. http://www.play-asia.com/famitsu-interview-reveals-resident-evil-7-is-about-65-percent-complete/5f/747wj
  37. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2016-resident-evil-5-remastered
  38. http://www.4gamer.net/games/209/G020985/20140128031/
  39. http://www.famitsu.com/serial/tsubakigame/201403/14049862.html
  40. http://www.4gamer.net/games/289/G028968/20150114071/
  41. https://www.yahoo.com/tech/ultra-street-fighter-2-first-223314473.html
  42. http://wccftech.com/monster-hunter-world-30fps-mt-framework/
  43. Wccftech - Mega Man 11 Is Powered By Capcom’s MT Framework Engine; Mega Man X9 Discussed.
  44. http://game.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/series/3dcg/20100913_393420.html
  45. http://www.4gamer.net/games/130/G013028/20110808003/
  46. http://www.capcom-unity.com/devroom/blog/2010/12/13/the_mega_man_legends_3_project:_eguchis_take_on_the_bonne_mecha_event

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