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Mafia II: Developers Interview

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With Mafia 2 coming closer to it’s release, hype atmosphere is getting hotter, and apart from other materials you can find on the web, PC Games Hardware has published decent interview with Denby Grace from 2K Czech on several Mafia’s engine features, and PhysX part specifically:

PC Games Hardware: Are there any differences between the Console and the PC Version of Mafia 2 as far as technical as well as visual aspects are concerned, for example GPU accelerated PhysX effects?

Denby Grace: You hit the nail on the head. The biggest difference is the GPU enabled physics effects. While on a system without GPU (consoles and ATI cards), the game will have a great PhysX simulation with particles and cloth, however, if you have the extra hardware we are able to push things to a whole new level which has not yet been seen in open world game before.

Our destructible environments feature thousands of physical particles which in turn can be affected by individual explosion force fields to make them move. It’s all very impressive and it’s these kinds of improvements that high end PC gamers can expect.

PC Games Hardware: We know you are using Nvidia’s PhysX API and also APEX moduls (“Clothing”). Besides PhysX support why did you decide to use Nvidia’s physics middleware instead of other physics libraries like Havok or ODE? What makes Nvidia’s SDK so suitable for your title?

Denby Grace: PhysX is a really scalable system, which is something that appealed to us. We get to integrate a base system that can be dialed up and down, dependant on what system specs the users have. We have a minimum benchmark frame rate that we want to see, then the PhysX simulation level will adjust itself based upon the type of hardware you have.

CPU vs GPU quite simply means that we can really push the boat out with that much dedicated horsepower without being concerned that it’s going to affect the performance of other areas, separating this out is certainly preferable. Going a step further is separating out the gfx from the physics with separate GPU’s (SLI configuration).

People without a GPU PhysX card will still have these effects but it won’t be quite as advanced. We were very careful in ensuring that this would not affect the game play experience, no matter what system you have. , Mafia II I think looks absolutely amazing even without the full PhysX.

PC Games Hardware: Does regular by CPU calculated physics affect visuals only or is it used for gameplay terms like enemies getting hit by shattered bits of blown-away walls and the like?

Denby Grace: No we don’t do this. We didn’t want to alienate a part of our user base with that sort of selective functionality.

Also, don’t forget to check several comparison PhysX screenshots, located at this technical review.

Besides, has uploaded an interview with Eric Liu, Nvidia content manager, covering PC version specific features, like 3DVision and GPU PhysX and APEX support.

Written by Zogrim

July 23rd, 2010 at 10:00 am

4 Responses to 'Mafia II: Developers Interview'

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  1. PhysX is amazing x)
    with PhysX full, 1680×1024 withotu AA and high-settings u will run this game with GTX460 and better



    23 Jul 10 at 12:26 pm

  2. What looks cool is the combination of 3D + PhysX. I would bet 3D + PhysX Debris = Win.

    I knew I should have bought the 3D edition of the Daily Sport a while ago, for the 3D glasses of course.

    (I am too poor for a 3D monitor + kit:-( Maybe I will just go watch Toy Story 3D at the cinema or something…


    David Black

    23 Jul 10 at 3:28 pm

  3. Sadly modern 3D cinema uses circular polarization ( Doh, I should have don my homework first.

    Although Shrek in 3D is great, cant wait for Resident Evil 3D… (I am even tempted to watch Step Up 3D, despite having no interest in the content…).

    Maybe one day it will be possible to buy polarizing projectors for the home…


    David Black

    24 Jul 10 at 1:15 pm

  4. I would bet 3D + PhysX Debris = Win.
    Heh. Fortunately, I have full 3DVision system ;)



    24 Jul 10 at 9:19 pm

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