Going Above and Beyond with Porting for Medal of Honor

Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of assisting in porting Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond for the Quest 2. Though technically it doesn’t quite fall under the description of porting, we were one of several studios working around the clock to get the newest Medal of Honor ready for the Oculus Quest 2.

One of our peers, Virtuos reached out to us to help with taking Above and Beyond to the Quest 2 without a ‘link’. Meaning it had to be able to run without linking the VR headset to a PC, as the Quest 2 has its own internal hardware unlike earlier VR headsets. We were one of about eight studios who undertook this huge project. With the game split into portions, the Ringtail team went to work.


Establish a Baseline

We were given six levels of Medal of Honor to bring up to the requirements of the Quest 2. One of these was the one of the biggest levels in the game, arguably the size of three standard levels put together. With this on our plate, establishing the current performance of the levels was first on the menu.

There are several things you need to look out for while optimising. In this case, we needed to have the levels operating at around 72 frames per second or FPS. This is because you need quite a high FPS for a proper VR experience. A jittery or unstable VR experience can cause some serious nausea in players!

So, we used our tools to gather the performance data. While all the levels were within the acceptable polycounts, some of the performance metrics were not being met on the Quest 2. We looked at things like draw calls, GPU load, and the current FPS. The goal is naturally to lower the loads and the calls and increase the overall FPS and performance.


Full Auto Optimisation

While going about optimisation, it was trickier than a usual project. Many of the assets are shared across several levels, meaning other studios needed the same assets. Working with Virtuos, we maintained a constant communication. This was to ensure that our own work was in line with their guide and also that there were no crossed wires with the optimisation of assets.

To conduct the optimisation, we’d use Unreal which the game was based on. There we’d merge what assets we could, conduct auto-optimisation of textures and assets, and run test builds on the Quest 2 to keep QA involved from an early stage.

Auto-optimisation is a great tool to quickly determine what work was required for each asset. Whether it needed to be trimmed or reduced, merged, or reworked. From this step, once all auto-optimisation is complete, we can go about polishing.


Full Auto Optimisation

This was a big project, and we had a large team working on it. So, it was key to have our lead technical artist constantly checking the teams’ work and the game’s performance. There were a lot of nuances in the optimisation, such as taking original textures and projecting them onto new geometry. This allowed us to preserve performance without introducing new textures.

And the same went for collision. There were two types of collision, one for weapon ballistics and one for the actual player model.

The original assets also had a range of shaders applied to them. Some had unique textures, custom shader options, an array of blends and masks. But to ensure overall performance and consistency, we were working with a set of standard shaders. In many cases, we worked to merge these assets with different textures and masks to get the proper execution. And in others, it was far more efficient to remodel the object instead of trying to find the perfect optimisation from its original state.

We were delighted to be involved with Virtuos on this project. We had almost daily communication with their team, and they were always on hand to assist with any technical queries. It was a challenging but very fulfilling experience. And they were delighted with our on time and within schedule delivery, especially given the size of our levels.

Want your own game optimised for a new platform? Or have an old classic that needs a breath of new life? Get in touch! You can see some of our work and past clients here, alongside more details about Ringtail and the amazing work we do.