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Metro Last Light: developer talks about CPU and GPU PhysX support

with 6 comments

Metro: Last Light, sequel to Metro 2033 title, is aiming technology throne with DX 11, tesselation and support for GPU accelerated PhysX effects. PCGamesHardware.com had the chance to talk with Oles Shishkovtsov, Chief Technology Officer at 4A Games, about improvements that are planned for PC version of the game.

Update: Metro Last Light – GPU PhysX effects explored

PC Games Hardware: You keep the support for GPU PhysX in Metro Last Light. If so can we expect some improvements or enhancements compared to Metro 2033 (e.g. soft bodies, debris, and destructible environments)? What graphics card do you recommend for maxed details in Full HD with Antialiasing? An upcoming Nvidia Kepler-based Geforce for example? ;-)

Oles Shishkovtsov: Yes, you can expect a lot of improvements, especially in destruction and debris. The upcoming Geforce cards will be fully supported.

PC Games Hardware: When benchmarking Metro 2033 we found out that the engine utilized more than four cores of multicore CPUs if we were using the advanced PhysX effects on CPU, so you are utilizing Nvidias PhysX SDK 3.x? Will all the advanced PhysX effects only be available in PC version?

Oles Shishkovtsov: That’s the common misconception that PhysX 2.X cannot be multithreaded. Actually it is internally designed to be multithreaded! The only thing – it takes some programmer time to enable that multi-threading (actually task generation), mostly to integrate with engine task-model and ensure proper load-balancing. So, 2033 used PhysX 2.8.3, and Last Light uses similar, a slightly modified version at the time of writing. And yes, advanced PhysX effects will be available only on PC.

Read the full interview

Sounds good.

However, we are hoping that this time Metro will be able to surprise us with more than two minor particle effects (as in Metro 2033 – while “debris, smoke and dust” were promised) and it won’t require “upcoming GeForce card” to run those GPU PhysX effects with playble framerate.

Written by Zogrim

October 31st, 2011 at 3:28 pm

6 Responses to 'Metro Last Light: developer talks about CPU and GPU PhysX support'

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  1. Hmmmm. I hoped that new Metro will use PhysX SDK 3.0.

      

    mareknr

    31 Oct 11 at 5:46 pm

  2. >Hmmmm. I hoped that new Metro will use PhysX SDK 3.0.

    Why? What features does it offer over(2.8.x) that you would like to see?

    At present(3.x) it seems to be slightly a subset of features, in terms of what is visible to the end user…

      

    David Black

    1 Nov 11 at 12:35 am

  3. to David Black:

    Because of optimalizations in CPU accelaration. I think this can help PhysX to more masive usage and in the future this can push effects in GPU accelaration forward. For example I never see in any game full destruction enviroment. Yes there is some sort of games like new Battlefield with good looking destruction but it’s only about scripts and animations. No real physics at all. Also I like destruction in Mafia II but in future I’m expecting more. And at this time PhysX is the only engine which can provide such solution using power of GPU.

    But I see your point. At this time when PhysX 3.x is only subset of PhysX 2.8.x and there is no reason to use newer version of PhysX for now from the view of common user.

      

    mareknr

    1 Nov 11 at 5:54 am

  4. David Black: What features does it offer over(2.8.x) that you would like to see?

    How about increased performance on consoles, and thus more advanced physics for multi-platform PhysX SDK based titles ? :)

      

    Zogrim

    1 Nov 11 at 1:29 pm

  5. OK, performance is a worthwhile feature. Not sure if on its own(unless the gain is huge) it is enough to encourage upgrades to 3.x.

      

    David Black

    1 Nov 11 at 2:52 pm

  6. David Black: Not sure if on its own(unless the gain is huge) it is enough to encourage upgrades to 3.x.

    Well, as I spoke with NVIDIA (see last interview) I was told that many developers are actually moving to PhysX 3. NV was even forced to speed up porting of APEX to SDK 3 because of that.

      

    Zogrim

    1 Nov 11 at 4:34 pm


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