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Advanced PhysX in Metro 2033

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Metro 2033 was looking as highly considerable title – post-apocalyptic setting, intense focus on atmosphere and storyline, state-of-the-art graphics engine with DX 11 support, and of course, solid implementation of PhysX SDK based physics.

And after finishing it we can say – Metro 2033 is pretty good game for sure. But following the direction of our site, will leave other game aspects to reviewers and focuse on in-game physics implementation, and “Advanced PhysX” mode particularly.

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Written by Zogrim

March 20th, 2010 at 1:04 am

Posted in PhysX Games

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Dark Void: PhysX System Software patch

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You see ? Only two months passed and I was able to fix it

Small patch for Dark Void title emerges today – it’s purpose is to resolve issues with PhysX mini-driver, called “Game System Installer”, which was able to corrupt existing PhysX System Software installation (my personal experience), and cause other problems.


An earlier version of PhysX System Installer, called “Game System Installer”, was inadvertently provided and subsequently incorporated into the released version of Dark Void for PC. This version is not compatible with some accelerated PhysX configurations and features, most notably the ability to turn on the medium and high PhysX setting within the game.

Please use the new PhysX System Installer patch below which will automatically cleanup and update the PhysX subsystem to resolve this issue.

You can download PhysX System Software patch here (36 mb)

Please note, retail version of Dark Void requires main PhysX patch to be applied firstly.

Written by Zogrim

March 10th, 2010 at 12:48 am

Posted in PhysX Games

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Metro 2033: tech-interview by PC Games Hardware

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Recent articles about Metro 2033 have revealed so much technical details (about engine itself, and PhysX components specifically) so, one would think, nothing new can be added. However, recent interview with Chief Technical Officer Oles Shishkovstov by has something to offer:

PCGH: It could be read that your game offers an advanced physics simulation as well as a support for Nvidia’s PhysX (GPU calculated physics) can you tell us more details here? 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?

Oles Shishkovstov: Yes, the physics is tightly integrated into game-play. And your example applies as well.

PCGH: 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?

Oles Shishkovstov: We’ve chosen the SDK back when it was Novodex SDK (that’s even before they became AGEIA). It was high performance and feature reach solution. Some of the reasons why we did this – they had a complete and customizable content pipeline back then, and it was important when you are writing a new engine by a relatively small team.

PCGH: What are the visual differences between physics calculated by CPU and GPU (via PhysX, OpenCL or even DX Compute)? Are there any features that players without an Nvidia card will miss? What technical features cannot be realized with the CPU as “physics calculator”?

Oles Shishkovstov: There are no visible differences as they both operate on ordinary IEEE floating point. The GPU only allows more compute heavy stuff to be simulated because they are an order of magnitude faster in data-parallel algorithms.

As for Metro2033 – the game always calculates rigid-body physics on CPU, but cloth physics, soft-body physics, fluid physics and particle physics on whatever the users have (multiple CPU cores or GPU). Users will be able to enable more compute-intensive stuff via in-game option regardless of what hardware they have.

Pay attention to last paragraph – Metro 2033 will feature true multi-core implementation of GPU PhysX content – feature that most PhysX titles are lacking currently ? We are curious to see if this will really work, and since game has already gone gold, we’ll learn that very soon.

Written by Zogrim

March 9th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Metro 2033: system requirements

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PC specs for highly anticipated Metro 2033 shooter were revealed today. Optimal requirements are looking just terrifying.

Minimum System Requirements:

- Dual core CPU (any Core 2 Duo or better will do)
- DirectX 9, Shader Model 3 compliant graphics cards (GeForce 8800, GeForce GT220 and above)

Recommended System Requirements:

- Any Quad Core or 3.0+ GHz Dual Core CPU
- DirectX 10 compliant graphics card (GeForce GTX 260 and above)

Optimal System Requirements:

- Core i7 CPU
- NVIDIA DirectX 11 compliant graphics card (GeForce GTX 480 and 470)
- As much RAM as possible (8GB+)
- Fast HDD or SSD

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Written by Zogrim

February 25th, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

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Metro 2033: 4A Engine specifications

without comments website has published some very interesting materials, related to upcoming Metro 2033 title.  Firstly, they revealed full specifications of proprietary technology behing Metro 2033, known as 4A Engine, which is called even by its developers “one of the most advanced engines on the planet”.

You can read full specs here, and we’ll quote only part related to engine physics system:

Physics System
Powered by nVidia PhysX technology, can utilise multiple CPU cores, AGEIA PhysX hardware, or nVidia GPU hardware.

* Tightly integrated into the content pipeline and the game itself, including physical materials on all surfaces, physically driven sound, physically driven animations
* Rigid body and multi-jointed constructions. Breakable fences, walls , sheds and other objects. Thousands of different physical entities simulated per frame.
* Cloth simulation, water physics (including cross-interactions)
* Destruction and fracturing, physically based puzzles
* Soft body physics on selected special game entities
* On hardware-accelerated PhysX platforms engine implements full physically correct behaviour of particles such as smoke, debris, etc.

For dessert – Metrospective, interview with 4A Games chief technical officer Oles Shishkovtsov about game engine optimizations and platform specific features.

Metro 2033 is coming out March 16 on PC and Xbox 360, PC version will include 3D Vision, DX 11 and GPU PhysX support.

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Written by Zogrim

February 20th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Shadow Harvest: website update

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We haven’t heard anything about Shadow Harvest from Black Lion Studios, tactical shooter with GPU PhysX support slated for 2010 release, for a long time, but today official website – – was completely revamped, filled with game background information, characters profiles and new screenshots.

Game engine supports graphical features such as deferred rendering, ambient occlusion, volumetric particles and complex postprocessing pipeline (HDR, DOF, Color Correction, etc), from GPU PhysX side – destructible environments, advanced smoke and cloth simulations.

In addition, according to, developers are planning to release game demo and even a benchmark (probably, with GPU PhysX effects included).

Written by Zogrim

February 15th, 2010 at 8:30 pm

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Metro 2033: Story, Combat and Tech interview

with one comment website has published exclusive video interview with Luis Gigliotti, Metro 2033 executive producer, which also includes new gameplay sequences.

First part give a glimpse on human survival in Moscow after nuclear strikes.

[not available]

In second part Luis describes new proprietary engine used to produce highly detailed post-apocalyptic world plus new innovative weapons.

[not available]

In addition to excellent graphics with DX11 support and intensive storyline, Metro 2033 will include GPU accelerated PhysX content. If you are interested in details about GPU PhysX support, please refer to our  inteview with 4A Games, focused on in-game physics.

Written by Zogrim

February 11th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

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EVE Online Incarna will use APEX Clothing

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According to Nvidia GDC 2010 sessions plan, next major add-on for EVE Online, popular sci-fi space MMO game, known as “Incarna” or “Walking on Stations” will use APEX Clothing module for character clothing simulation.

Physically Simulated Clothing in Eve Incarna Using NVIDIA APEX

In this session, we will demonstrate how CCP added physically simulated clothing to their Eve Incarna characters using NVIDIA’s APEX Clothing. We will demonstrate, step by step, the full authoring pipeline, from DCC tools to final integration into the game engine. This session introduces the full NVIDIA APEX suite of artist friendly tools and runtime libraries (Clothing, Destruction, Particles, Turbulence & Vegetation), which significantly speed up creation and inclusion of scalable, dynamic content without a large engineering effort.

Previosly know as “Ambulation”, than “Walking on Stations” and now “Incarna” project is supposed to pare capsuleer pilots out of their ships and put them into stations – for the first time. (currently, players have no ability to control their actual avatars, only space ships)

Update: APEX Clothing and EVE Incarna – first look from GDC 2010.

[18.08.10] Update #2: Carbon technology blog from CCP, and accompanying video.

Written by Zogrim

February 6th, 2010 at 12:50 am

Posted in PhysX Games, PhysX Tools

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Metro 2033: Interview with 4A Games on physics.. and PhysX

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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. 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. Will Metro 2033 contain destructible objects, and in what quantity ?

Yuriy: Our engine supports destructible environments, and this component is used in the game. 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.

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Written by Zogrim

February 4th, 2010 at 11:46 pm

PhysX commands you to dance !

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There are some titles with GPU PhysX support we haven’t mentioned before, due to their specific nature (oriented on Chinese inner market) and, thus, lack of information about them. Now, as we collected enough data, we are ready to present detailed description.

Hot Dance Party from Perfect World is 3D casual style MMO dancing game, with micro-transactions-like business model. Besides dancing, game includes appearance personalization, pet raising and make-up systems.

Title is using in-house engine called “Angelica 3D“, which is augmented with PhysX SDK based cloth simulation support – dancer’s hairs, ribbons, dresses and skirts are simulated as dynamic cloth objects.

Interesting detail – apart from other GPU PhysX games, which are unplayble with extra PhysX effects enabled and without appropriate GPU from Nvidia, this title runs fast enough with all physics calculated on CPU, while presence of Nvidia GPU only boost framerate.

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Written by Zogrim

February 4th, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

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