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Archive for the ‘PhysX Games’ Category

Hawken PhysX trailer showcases Turbulence and Particle effects

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NVIDIA has released an official trailer, that demonstrates how hardware accelerated PhysX particle effects can enhance the visual look of Hawken, free-to-play MMO mech shooter.

Update: full GPU PhysX support will be enabled in March 5 patch

Hawken incorporates two types of physical effects – APEX Turbulence based particle simulation, and also more common impact debris and weapon effects.

While basic particles were available since the release of the game in December (you can check out our preview for more detailed information), Turbulence effects will be fully enabled in Hawken after a short period of time.

However, one can get an idea of Turbulence even today, by setting

"PhysXLevel = 2"

in game’s .ini file

\Users\Documents\My Games\Hawken\HawkenGame\Config\HawkenEngine.ini

In addition, be sure to check out the “Hawken: Advanced PhysX Effects Coming Soon To Free-To-Play First Person Shooter” article at for more detailed description of current and upcoming GPU PhysX effects in Hawken.

Written by Zogrim

January 30th, 2013 at 2:02 am

PhysX effects will be re-enabled in PlanetSide 2 with upcoming patch

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During the closed beta, SOE’s PlanetSide 2 has shown us some impressive GPU PhysX tech, such as APEX Turbulence based particles, running on a newest PhysX 3 engine.

However, the hardware PhysX effects have not made it into final release of the game, happened several months ago, as it was decided to enhance some aspects of their implementation.

Now, the wait is nearly over. According to Tramell Ray Isaac, Sr. Art Director of PlanetSide 2 in SOE, GPU PhysX support will be re-enabled in the game with next big update, coming January 30, 2013.

Update: GPU PhysX effects were postponed once again. Mr. Tramell has refused to provide another release date.

Update #2: There is a way to force the PhysX effects to appear in a current state, but is it worth it?

Update #3: GPU PhysX is now officially enabled in PlanetSide 2

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Written by Zogrim

January 25th, 2013 at 9:28 am

Catzilla: a new cross-API benchmark

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A Beta version of the Catzilla benchmark, developed by Plastic Demo in collaboration with Polish post production company, Platige, is now available for download.

Catzilla is a cross-API (OpenGL 4.0 and DirectX 9/11) benchmark designed the Windows platform, and is also featuring a parallel graphics engine that can take advantage of multi-core CPUs.

Benchmark consists of the main demoscene-style dubstep-heavy giant cat fight scene, which stresses both CPU and GPU, and a set of smaller benchmarks – CPU rigid body physics, GPU smoke simulation, fur rendering, etc.

As interesting note, Catzilla uses PhysX SDK 3.2 as physics engine, however, it is running purely on CPU (as confirmed by one of the developers).

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Written by Zogrim

December 21st, 2012 at 9:33 am

Hawken Open Beta: update on GPU PhysX support

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Online first-person mech shooter Hawken, that may be already familiar to our readers, has reached the Open Beta state this week (whilst release date has been delayed).

Update: Hawken – official PhysX trailer

Update #2: full GPU PhysX support will be enabled in March 5 update

Update #3: GPU PhysX in Hawken – review and benchmarks

What kind of PhysX content current Beta has to offer ? Let’s find out.

Hawken still contains only physical particle PhysX effects, however, they have recieved a noticable overhaul over a recent month. APEX Turbulence based simulations were postponed as it was decided to give them a few rounds of additional polishing. Finally, APEX Destruction module and destructible environments will be added to the game in early 2013.

Current set of PhysX Particles includes following effects:

  • Particles from explosions and impact debris (pieces of concrete, strips of metal, etc).
  • Small parts and chunks flying off on weapon impacts on mechs.
  • Additional debris generated as mech walks, dashes or lands.
  • Forcefields (from explosions and moving mechs) to push around any ambient PhysX particles.

In overall, particle effects are done well, they are pretty intense (battlefield will be covered with chunks and debris in just a few seconds after first machine gun bursts) and are adding a certain amount of juice to the visual look of the game. We can name only one flaw – particle effects lack variety, a little.

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Written by Zogrim

December 15th, 2012 at 3:09 am

PlanetSide 2 Closed Beta: PhysX Effects Preview

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PlanetSide 2 is an MMO first-person shooter under development by Sony Online Entertainment and, along with Hawken, another title with GPU PhysX support arriving this year.

Update: initial release of PlanetSide 2 won’t have any of the GPU PhysX effects, they will be added later, in one of the patches.

Update #2: GPU PhysX is now officially enabled in PlanetSide 2

Recent beta patch has added preliminary PhysX content to the game and we decided to give it an inspection.

PlanetSide 2 is the first major game title to utilize PhysX SDK 3.x (SDK 3.2 specifically). PhysX integration is powering almost every physics calculation in the game – collision and hit detection, character controller, aerial and land vehicle physics and so on. As interesting note, PlanetSide is also using upcoming APEX Dynamic Systems module for vehicle modelling.

GPU accelerated content is driven by APEX Particles and APEX Turbulence modules, supplemented by several other tools like APEX ForceField module. Latest APEX version 1.2 is utilized.

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Written by Zogrim

November 16th, 2012 at 3:03 am

Hawken Closed Beta: PhysX Effects Preview

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Hawken, upcoming online mech-based shooter with GPU PhysX support, has entered stage #2 of closed beta testing. We have decided to examine the current state of hardware accelerated PhysX content in this title.

Update: PhysX effects in Hawken Open Beta. What has changed ?

From technical standpoint, Hawken is based on Unreal Development Kit engine, paired with APEX 1.2 on PhysX SDK – such combination presents interesting opportunities.

But so far, only lowest level of PhysX Effects (“PhysX Particles – Low” option) is available, which includes only physical particles of various types – impact debris, scraps from explosions and destroyed robots, concrete chunks as result of mech movement.

Current effects are looking not bad, but to be honest, some additional polishing won’t hurt (for example, particles are not casting shadows and impacts on metal surfaces should emit sparks, not debris). Let’s just blame the Beta state.

Of course, one can disable all extra PhysX content completely, by setting “PhysX Particles” option to “Off”.

As it was announced previously, APEX Turbulence and APEX Destruction modules will also make their appearance in this game, but we don’t have a confirmation currently, whether they will available at launch or released as post-launch update.

As the release date (December 12) approaches, we will try to keep a close eye on Hawken. Meanwhile, you can join the discussion at our forum.

Written by Zogrim

November 9th, 2012 at 4:26 am

Borderlands 2 PhysX Benchmark roundup

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Borderlands 2 is latest and one of the best GPU PhysX titles so far, but what system do you need to handle it efficiently ?

In following article we’ll try to gather all reliable PhysX benchmarks and tests, published on the web, to determine the GPU and CPU performance patterns of this title.

[19.09.2012] Borderlands 2 – GPU Test by GameGPU

One of the first articles with PhysX performance comparison, includes wide range of NVIDIA GPUs tested. At the same time, scene, choosen for benchmark, is too simplistic and does not fully represent load during actual gameplay.

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Written by Zogrim

October 4th, 2012 at 11:24 am

Comparison PhysX screenshots for Borderlands 2

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Alongside with previously released comparison PhysX video, a set of comparison screenshots in now available for Borderlands 2 title.

You can find comparison screenshots, comparison video and additional information at Borderlands 2 – GPU PhysX Profile page.

Written by Zogrim

October 3rd, 2012 at 2:26 am

Funcom plans to further expand PhysX integration into their games

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Last year, Funcom has announced the integration of “server-side PhysX” in Dreamworld engine, a technology behind popular MMO titles, such as Age of Conan and recently released The Secret World.

Rui Casais, Chief Technology Officer at Funcom, has joined us today to shed some light on how the company plans to further utilize the PhysX engine in their current and future projects. So what exactly is the server-side PhysX, integrated into Dreamworld engine?

Rui Casais: One of the most computational expensive operations we do in our servers is collision checking. Due to the nature of PC gaming, we can never trust the client and have to therefore validate all the player movement in the server.

We had a homebrew collision system that worked ok, but when it comes down to it nothing beats the performance of a physics library like PhysX for collision checks.

In addition to this the addition of PhysX makes it possible for us to do more interesting physics simulation in the future, collision is just the beginning. Since PhysX SDK has replaced your own collision detection system, has it resulted in any performance improvements or ability to implement new physics features?

Rui Casais: Server performance doubled when using PhysX, and we plan to expand on the physics side of gameplay in the future, although that isn’t a simple problem to tackle. But we like challenges!

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Written by Zogrim

September 29th, 2012 at 8:16 pm

GPU PhysX in Borderlands 2

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Borderlands 2 from Gearbox Software, first title with GPU PhysX title of Year 2012, has occupied the hearts and minds of many PC gamers the last week.

Update: Borderlands 2 – GPU PhysX Profile

Finally, we are also ready to present our PhysX oriented review of the game and, of course, usuall comparison video, showcasing additional PhysX effects.

In depth overview of the PhysX content and description of the differences between PhysX settings can be found in “Blood, Goo, & Destruction: A Close Look At PhysX In Borderlands 2” article at

Now, let’s proceed to the review.

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Written by Zogrim

September 24th, 2012 at 7:38 pm

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