Lately, Metro 2033 is more and more often referred as starting title for new GF100 GPUs from Nvidia – due to it’s truly next-gen graphics engine, with DX 11 support and, of course, intensive usage of Physx SDK and hardware accelerated PhysX effects – aspect we are most interested in.
Yuriy Saschuk, 4A Games engine programmer, has joined us today to answer some questions about Metro 2033 in-game physics in general, and PhysX specifically.
PhysXInfo.com: How much physics is involved in gameplay ? Do players have ability to carry physical objects or drag corpses ?
Yuriy: Physics in Metro 2033 has more demonstrative, than gameplay affecting, nature. It’s supposed to enhance game, make it more diverse, realistic and exciting. But actual gameplay isn’t focused on physics.
You can’t carry or throw objects – we’ve decided that there is no need for this, but enemies (and player too) can receive damage as result of certain physical interactions.
PhysXInfo.com: Will Metro 2033 contain destructible objects, and in what quantity ?
Yuriy: Our engine supports destructible environments, and this component is used in the game.
PhysXInfo.com: Tell us a bit about hardware PhysX support in the game. Presence of appropriate Nvidia GPU will simply increase the fps numbers or add some exclusive effects ? Will GPU PhysX content have influence on gameplay ? Which advanced physics effects will be included ?
Yuriy: PhysX hardware acceleration capability of Nvidia GPUs will add performance in the first place. There are two physics modes in Metro 2033 – basic and so-called, “Advanced PhysX”, which will include both enhanced, more detailed effects from basic mode and some additional physics features. Advanced PhysX mode requires appropriate Nvidia GPU to run properly, meanwhile, it will not affect gameplay, just add some immersion.
Or engine support cloth and fluid simulation. By “fluid simulation” we imply various particles system, like lighter- and heavier-than-air gases, smoke, dust, debris from bullet hits, not only liquids.
PhysXInfo.com: Will players have ability to customize level and/or quality of physics effects?
Yuriy: Only by switching between basic and advanced physics simulation modes.
PhysXInfo.com: As it was said previously, your game supports multi-core CPUs. Does physics simulation take advantage of additional cores ?
PhysXInfo.com: Why PhysX SDK was choosen as physics middleware for Metro 2033 ?
Yuriy: Main criteria – cross-platformity, functionality and price.
PhysXInfo.com: Have you encountered any issues during development ? Features that were planned, but weren’t implemented because of PhysX SDK limitations ?
Yuriy: Main problem – inherent variability of physics simulation. As a result – there are always the so-called “bad cases” when visual result of the simulation does not look good enough. Attempts to solve such problems weren’t always successful – sometimes solution was too resource intensive, and we had to compromise in “performance / quality” matter.
PhysXInfo.com: Are you using new PhysX toolset – APEX ?
Yuriy: In fact – no. But we are looking closely at APEX.
PhysXInfo.com: Do you cooperate with Nvidia at PhysX hardware area and how closely?
Yuriy: We have constant contact with engineers at nVidia’s Moscow office and with those that are “overseas”. Their representatives are visiting our office. I believe this cooperation is definitely useful and productive.