Archive for the ‘Engines and Wrappers’ Category
NVIDIA FleX is the new GPU accelerated particle-based simulation library. The core idea of FleX is that every object is represented as a system of particles connected by constraints. Such unified representation allows efficient modeling of many different materials and natural interaction between elements of different types, for example, two-way coupling between rigid bodies and fluids.
Update: FLEX SDK 0.8 can now be downloaded through GameWorks Download Center
Interested developers may be pleased to hear that NVIDIA has already completed basic integration of FleX solver into Unreal Engine 4, and it can be freely obtained with one specific UE4 source code branch at GitHub.
Standalone FleX SDK and sample demo executable (as showcased below) are also included in the package.
To get access to the UE4 source code branch with FleX integration few steps are required:
Epic Games has announced, that their highly anticipated Unreal Engine 4 is now available for developers, with a very friendly licensing model (which even includes full C++ source code) – only $19 per month, plus 5% of gross revenue from any commercial product.
In comparison to PhysX 2.8 branch, PhysX 3 will bring a significant performance improvements and a broad amount of new features, such as advanced vehicle module, new cloth solver, reworked scene queries and CCD systems, full multi-threading support, etc.
However, current release does not include APEX Turbulence module (moreover, there are no plans to release Turbulence publically), and is still using 2.8.4 version of PhysX SDK.
- All APEX debug visualizations supported with “apexvis” command.
- Get APEX stats with “stat apex”.
- APEX Clothing
- New embedded PhysX 3 cloth solver (old/new solvers will be auto-selected depending on the clothing asset type).
- Local Space Simulation.
- Improved material mapping allows actors to override asset materials.
- Support for different number of LODS in clothing asset and skeletal mesh.
- Fix for displaying correct physical clothing LOD in AnimSetViewer.
- Improved DCC tools (2.86 PhysX plug-ins).
While inspecting the PC version of Hitman: Sniper Challenge demo, recently released as bonus to Hitman: Absolution pre-order, we have spotted interesting detail – this demo is utilizing PhysX SDK 2.8.4 engine for physics calculations.
Since Sniper Challenge is based on same new “Glacier 2” engine, developed by IO Interactive, it is safe to assume that Hitman: Absolution (and other future games on this engine) will be also using PhysX SDK.
PhysX is responcible for rigid body physics, character controller and collision detection, while cloth simulation is powered by CloakWorks Shroud engine.
However, we do not have any official or unofficial information regarding GPU PhysX support in Hitman: Absolution – most likely, it will feature only CPU based physics.
As interesting note, latest games by IO Interactive – Kane & Lynch: Dead Men and Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days – were using Havok physics solution.
Ever since the existence of Unreal Engine 4, next-generation game development platfrom from Epic Games, was revealed, one question was bothering us – will it still rely on PhysX SDK integration for physics sumulation, like UE3 and UDK?
And it seems the answer is “Yes”.
During presentation of PhysX and APEX features, that NVIDIA employee was giving to Gametrailers at GDC 2012, following words were said:
So here we are showing some of our technologies that are already incorporated in the games and game engines.
In this case all three of these demos are in Unreal Engine.. we are integrated in both Unreal 3 and upcoming Unreal 4.
Unfortunately, UDN documentation was not yet updated, and some flaws were found in this release - for example, APEX GPU Rigid Body libraries are missing from the February distribution. Not to mention, that not all APEX 1.1 features have made it into UDK.
UPDATE: March UDK is released. Issues with missing GRB libraries were resolved.
UPDATE #2: November 2012 release of UDK adds APEX 1.2.1 support
Let’s take a look on some of the new features in APEX 1.1 integration we were able to discover:
APEX DESTRUCTION 1.1:
For additional data on Destruction Module please refer to UDN page
- GPU Rigid Bodies (GRB). One of the most interesting features of 1.1 release is new ability to calculate rigid body physics on CUDA-capable GPUs, thus achieveing performance improvement in scenes with many destructible actors and simulated chunks, while using exact same assets and settings as for CPU physics.
----- Following is valid only for February 2012 UDK
As we have mentioned, current GRB implementation is missing vital libraries and also has some bugs: you can either wait until March UDK release or try it out now (for your own risk) – using our .dll package (36 mb).
Copy “GRB_1_x86.dll” and “pxtask_cuda_x86.dll” to “UDK\Binaries\Win32\” folder.
Copy “GRB_1_x64.dll” and “pxtask_cuda_x64.dll” to “UDK\Binaries\Win64\” folder.
---- Previous is only valid for February 2012 UDK
Now, to enable GRBs you need to set following parameters in “Engine\Config\BaseEngine.ini” file:
PlanetSide 2 takes all the groundbreaking features from the original game – massive multiplayer battles, distinctive empires to rally around, and enormous continents to support intense ground and air combat – and adds features that modern gamers have come to expect out of the FPS and MMO genres.
PlanetSide 2 will be based on new next-generation MMO engine, called Forgelight, that will rely on PhysX SDK integration for all in-game physics calculations.
SOE has also partnered with NVIDIA to provide the game’s physics engine, utilizing its PhysX technology to allow art and design environments in PlanetSide 2 to become truly interactive. NVIDIA PhysX technology is considered the world’s most comprehensive physics solution for designing real-time, real-world effects into interactive entertainment titles.
According to our knowledge, there is a high possibility that PlanetSide 2 will feature GPU accelerated PhysX effects.
In addition to PlanetSide, Forgelight technology will also be used in another upcoming MMO project – EverQuest 3.
You can watch PlanetSide 2 trailer here
First tutorial is covering basic principles of mesh fracturing using PhysXLab tool.
NVIDIA announced today that Funcom’s Dreamworld 2.5, a game engine for MMO games, now features server-side PhysX SDK integration.
“We are excited to be working closely with NVIDIA to integrate PhysX technology into our Dreamworld 2.5 engine,” said Rui Casais, chief technology officer at Funcom. “Server-side collision using PhysX will allow us to add a new level of realism to our online worlds, and we look forward to implementing other enhancements as well, including NVIDIA APEX clothing and destruction, to make our games even more interactive and immersive.”
Server-side PhysX SDK, used by Funcom, is specially modified 64-bit Linux version.
Dreamworld 2.5 currently powers two popular MMOs: Age of Conan and Anarchy Online, with a third, the Secret World, currently in development. The updated Dreamworld Engine 2.5 with server-side PhysX integration is now live in Age of Conan.