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OpenC1: stable version 1.3.1 released

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You may remember OpenC1 project (previously known as OpenCamageddon, but renamed due to copyright issues) -  fan-made remake of Carmageddon by Stainless Software, based on XNA and PhysX SDK wrapper for .NET.

Update: Version 1.4 is available

Since recently released version 1.3.1 is actually the first one that was able to run on our system without problems, we decided to give it a closer look.

OpenCramageddon 1.3.1

OpenC1 leaves a nice impression – car physics still needs tweaking, some bugs are popping up, but overall feeling is close to good old Carmageddon. And since project is now open source, it has great possibilities for modders and user made content.

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Written by Zogrim

January 11th, 2011 at 11:45 am

Posted in PhysX Games

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Active Worlds VR platform adds PhysX features, including cloth physics

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Activeworlds Inc. has announced recently that their Active Worlds 3D virtual reality platform now features PhysX SDK integration, including rigid body physics, joints and, more interesting, cloth simulation.

ActiveWorlds PhysX Cloth

In Active Worlds you can explore virtual worlds and environments that others have built, interact with other users or build structures and areas of your own. Originally this project was started in 1995, so don’t be confused by outdated graphics.

You can find PhysX integration demos in this thread or just spend some time to log into AW and visit physics playground by yourself. Download Active Worlds 5.1 Browser from here, log in as “Tourist” (autoupdate process may occure) and teleport to “AWPhysics” world.

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Written by Zogrim

December 30th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

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OpenCarmageddon 1.0 Beta released

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If you’re watching over Carmageddon remake, powered by XNA and PhysX.NET wrapper, we’ve got a surprise for you – first public beta version of OpenC1 project (that’s how it is called now, due to copyright issues) was released today.

Update: v1.1 available, should fix some of the crashes.

Update #2: version 1.3.1 available

OpenCarmageddon 1.0 Beta

Basically, OpenC1 is a accurate remake of classic Carmageddon by Stainless Software (original data files are used, but underlaying code is completely new). Currently, all basic systems (car physics, opponents  AI, carcase deformation, pedestrians, sound, user interface, race logic, etc) are already implemented.

Installation instructions:

- Install XNA Framework 3.0

- Install latest PhysX System Software.

- Download OpenC1 v1.1 Beta from original post. Extract the OpenC1 files, check out the readme.txt, then run OpenCarmageddon.exe.

Remember that this is still early beta, and stable work is not garanteed. Please report found bugs and errors here.

Written by Zogrim

October 16th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

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PhysX: Physikoterapia

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And yet another PhysX article has arrived today – this particular one from is mostly focused on GPU PhysX effects analysis and comparison.

Almost every single modern title with hardware accelerated PhysX content (except for Sacred 2 and Darkest of Days) was reviewed, and detailed description of extra PhysX content both in form of text and comparison videos were included. For example:

Mafia II

Batman: Arkham Asylum

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Written by Zogrim

September 10th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Benchmarking Tool available for Metro 2033

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Recently released Ranger Pack DLC (will be downloaded automatically via Steam, if auto-update is enabled) for Metro 2033 has brought us not only new Hardcore mode, new achievements and new guns, but also a nice standalone Benchmarking Tool.

It uses intensive firefight sequence from Frontline level, and has well-thought-out interface with lots of settings and additional features, like framerate graphs generation after the test.

Benchmark can be used to measure GPU PhysX performance, since it includes some effects affected by “Advanced PhysX” option, like grenade explosions and particles from bullet impacts (5000+ particles in most intensive scene).

In addition, cloth simulation (several banners at benchmarking sequence start – around 1700 cloth vertices in total) supports GPU acceleration too.

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Written by Zogrim

September 6th, 2010 at 3:17 am

Posted in PhysX Games

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Mafia II: APEX Clothing in numbers

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In Mafia II, as you may notice from our comparison video, clothing simulation on main character (Vito Scaletta) is present regardless to APEX PhysX settings, main difference is in Cloth detalization and used technologies – standart PhysX Cloth (APEX PhysX Off) and more advanced APEX Clothing module (APEX PhysX Medium/High).

Clothing detalization is mostly determined by number of vertices, forming a physical cloth mesh.

So, just for curiosity, we decided to count them in Mafia II (with help of AgPerfMon profiler), using different APEX PhysX settings and various Vito’s suits.

Leather Jacket.

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Written by Zogrim

August 31st, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Posted in Articles, Reviews, PhysX Games

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Mafia II is not using GPU for PhysX Clothing simulation ?

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Everyone who played Mafia II will eventually notice, that enabling special APEX PhysX content will not only bring you flowing clothing and particle debris, but also significantly reduce framerate – even if you have a proper NVIDIA GPU and latest PhysX System Software.

Update: APEX Clothing in numbers

Update #2: Tests with dedicated PhysX GPU added – PART III.

While preparing our PhysX tweaking guide we have discovered that physically simulated clothing on characters is affecting performance the most. Why that ? Cloth is one of the basic effects, used intensively in many GPU PhysX games – just remember Mirror’s Edge and it’s countless tearable banners and flags. Two answers come to mind:

  • Clothing simulation in Mafia II is so detailed and so high-resolution, that only top dedicated GPUs can run it at proper fps.

Unlikely. Even in most intensive scenes total cloth vertices count is not exceeding 8000, while framerate is crawling around 20 fps – on GTX 470.

  • Clothing simulation is running on CPU, while it is supposed to be hardware accelerated on GPU.

Plausible. But, as our further tests have revealed, proved to be true for single GPU systems only.

Combine it with facts that a) Cloth in PhysX SDK is not using all available CPU resources by default b) Clothing is heavy computational task in any case – and you’ll see the probable reason of poor performance. Let’s check this theory.


For the first part of tests we’ll use benchmark, built into Mafia II, running with two sets of APEX effects – Clothing only (Particles are disabled using methods from tweaking guide) and Particles only (Clothing is omitted) – and PhysX acceleration enabled/disabled from NVIDIA Control Panel.

Settings: 1680x1024, AO/AA On, AFx16, APEX High. System: C2Q 9400, GTX 470, 4GB RAM, Win 7 x64, 198.32 GPU drivers, PSS 9.10.0513

Interesting results. While Particles are benefiting from GPU acceleration without doubt, PhysX switch is not affecting Clothing simulation at all.

It seems our assumption was correct – APEX Clothing is calculated on CPU in any case – but let’s confirm it with some deeper research.

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Written by Zogrim

August 30th, 2010 at 9:19 pm

APEX PhysX in Mafia II: Particles

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We are completing our overview of APEX PhysX content in Mafia II by this video,  showcasing most noticable effects based on APEX Particles module.

Previous comparison video, dedicated to APEX Clothing module, is available here.

If YouTube video is not working for you, you can watch alternative variant at Vimeo

APEX Particles effects are including:

  • Various dynamic debris (concrete fragments, glass pieces, wood splinters, etc) from bullet impacts.
  • Additional physically simulated chunks from explosions, car crashes, wheel slip, trash cans, mailboxes and other destructible objects.
  • Vehicle tire burnout effect -  realistic fluid smoke, which reacts to environment and character/NPC movement.
  • Up to 3000 (APEX Medium settings) or 10 000 (APEX High settings) unique particles on screen.

Sum: You can find dynamic particles almost in every single GPU/PPU PhysX game, but in Mafia II particle effects are close to their perfection – realistic collision simulation, various particle types (for both graphical mesh and physical behaviour), LOD based resource management (particles are not dissapearing over time, like in earlier games) – and, most important, pretty decent performance.

If your system can handle such effects, we recommended to leave them enabled, or you’ll loose significant piece of game’s immersion.

Finally, keep an eye on Mafia II GPU PhysX info mini-site for additional information and comparison screenshots.

Written by Zogrim

August 29th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

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APEX PhysX in Mafia II: Clothing

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Mafia II, likely most important GPU PhysX title for this year, was released just a few days ago, and as usuall we have prepared some PhysX comparison materials.

This particular video is focused on how APEX Clothing module is used the enhance game experience.

Update: Part II, dedicated to APEX Particles effects, is released.

Update #2: APEX Clothing in numbers

In general, APEX Clothing content includes:

  • Much more detailed (you can even notice how wrinkles are formed), fully simulated clothing for main character – Vito Scaletta.
    Standart PhysX Cloth is still being used on consoles and PC (APEX Off settings), but in comparison to APEX Clothing based simulation (APEX High and Medium settings), it is looking chunky and crusty.
  • Dynamic clothing for additional characters (Joe, Derek, Steve, etc) and some NPCs, instead of simple skinned mesh.
  • Several supplementary effects, like cloth reaction to the wind and shockwaves from explosions.

Sum: High-resolution clothing simulation is nice looking, immersive and promising technology. However, in Mafia II resources are used not optimally – hardly noticable, but very demanding clothing simulation on NPCs can bring your system to knees.

Fortunately, PhysX tweaks discovered for Mafia II demo are working nicely in final version too. Following this guide, you can easily tweak amount of APEX Effects (for example, disable clothing simulation for NPC, but leave it for Vito) and find a compromis between visual fidelity and performance.

Also, keep an eye on Mafia II GPU PhysX info mini-site for additional information and comparison screenshots.

Written by Zogrim

August 28th, 2010 at 6:51 am

Posted in PhysX Games

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Mafia II: PhysX Reviews roundup

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Mafia II is about to hit the shelves in US, and since it is, probably, most heavyweight title in 2010 GPU PhysX games line, we can expect a lot of detailed reviews about APEX PhysX special effects, added to the game.

We’ve already posted an benchmarks overview for Mafia II Demo, so let’s focus on final version now:

[23.08.10] Mafia II: Perfection for NVIDIA’s Graphics Plus Technologies ? by HardwareCanucks

APEX effects decription and comparison are pretty basic, and only two GPUs [GTX460/GT240 dedicated] were used for testing, but enough attention was paid to CPU scailing [i5/i7] and CPU usage graphs.

According to benchmarks results, Mafia II is pretty playble on CPU even with APEX set to High.


In the past NVIDIA and their developers took an incredible amount of flak over the use of GPU-processed physics due to the utter lack of optimizations the PhysX API had for the CPU. With Mafia II’s use of the open-minded APEX routines, a corner seems to have been turned because we finally see that it is possible to run these calculations quite smoothly with only a few hiccups on a multi core CPU.

The GPU is still more efficient at physics processing but in some cases you will likely want all of the rendering horsepower it brings to the table. This feature is still nothing more than eye candy but if you can run it, we suggest you do so because it does increase the overall believability of certain scenes.

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Written by Zogrim

August 24th, 2010 at 10:25 am

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