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Archive for January, 2011

PhysX and Breach: Final Verdict

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Multiplayer shooter Breach from Atomic Games is hot topic for us these days, thanks to features like fully destructible environments and robust integration of PhysX SDK physics engine.

We’ve spent some time playing Breach and are presenting our overview, focused on PhysX related components of the game.

Destruction and physics systems.

Destruction in Breach is pretty pervasive  – each level contain lot of active physical objects, from fully desctructible (wooden cabins, bridges, barricades, etc) to semi-destructible (structures made of stone and concrete will take damage, but won’t collapse entirely). Rigid body chunks and bricks from explosions will remain active physics objects, reacting to players movement, gunfire and explosions.

Physics calculations quantity can be controlled through special Physics Settings panel, that allows users to tweak amount of rigid bodies present on the scene and time they stay active before disappearing.

Breach and PhysX overview - high physics settings

Breach - high physics settings (click to view full pic)

These settings are  mostly related to secondary rigid bodies (bricks, debris and smaller pieces), while gameplay affecting obejcts (for example, falling wooden planks, that can hurt other players) remain intact.

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Written by Zogrim

January 27th, 2011 at 3:32 am

Posted in Articles, Reviews, PhysX Games

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How PhysX is used in Breach: Interview with Atomic Games

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This week our undivided attention is focused PhysX SDK based multiplayer shooter Breach, notable for its pervasive and complex dynamic destruction system.

Update: PhysX and Breach: Final Verdict

Breach and PhysX - Interview

We’ve contacted Atomic Games, developers of Breach, to get more background on PhysX implementation and technical aspects of in-game physics. Mark Davidson, director of core technologies, was kind enought to answer some of our questions: Destruction system and physics in general – what do they mean for Breach? Are they just a cosmetic features or integral part of the gameplay?

Mark Davidson: Destruction in Breach defines the game. It’s not just a facet of game play; it is the core mechanic, the soul. Everything revolves around it, how to attack, how to defend, where to take cover, these choices are all driven by the destructible nature of the environment.

The fact that almost anything on the battlefield can be destroyed means physics play a pivotal role in how any skirmish plays out. We have gone way beyond swapping models for a destroyed version, In Breach you are physically affecting elements of the world and forcing other players to react to that.

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Written by Zogrim

January 25th, 2011 at 1:16 am

Breach: The World Most Destructible Battlefield trailer

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Atomic Games has released a new trailer, showcasing destruction system capabilities in Breach – multiplayer shooter for PC and XBLA.

Update: How PhysX is used in Breach – interview with Atomic Games

Physics system is Breach is handled by PhysX SDK integration. As promised earlier, some GPU accelerated physics effects will also be present.

Breach will be released at January 26, 2011.

Written by Zogrim

January 22nd, 2011 at 2:06 am

Posted in PhysX Games

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January UDK: now with PhysX for iOS

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UDK logo PhysX

Epic Games has released latest, January 2011 version of Unreal Development Kit (UDK), free edition of Unreal Engine 3.

One of main highlight of this version is enabled PhysX functionality for iOS development, while previous Mobile UDK featured only basic collision detection system.


  • PhysX is now supported on iOS.

Rigid body physics, fracturable meshes and ragdolls are among supported features.
Note: Cloth, fluids and soft bodies remain disabled on iOS for performance reasons.

According to our knowledge, this has became possible thanks for standalone PhysX SDK port for iOS (previously, only Unity Technologies have possessed their own custom iOS PhysX port  – for Unity 3D engine).

However, this time we may hope that iOS PhysX SDK will be available for public download someday, along with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux versions.

Written by Zogrim

January 21st, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Posted in Engines and Wrappers

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How to restore PPU support with latest PhysX Drivers

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Owners of original Ageia PhysX cards are not in love these days – PPUs are not only not recognized by PhysX SDK 2.8.3/8.4, but even not supported by more or less recent PhysX System Software.

However, our reader Andrew “MohawkADE” Elliott has discovered a way (through drivers mixing, registry editing and some alchemy) to re-enable PPU support even with newest PhysX Drivers.

ASUS Ageia PhysX PPU with latest PSSIn this case you’re be able to kept your PPU in the system, benifit from hardware acceleration in PPU PhysX games and, potentially, in CPU PhysX titles, or even pair your PPU with dedicated Nvidia GPU.

Head over to our forums for further instructions.

Written by Zogrim

January 17th, 2011 at 10:39 am

Posted in PhysX Drivers, PhysX Hardware

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APEX Clothing authoring workflow in details

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One of the main features of NVIDIA APEX framework is not only complexity or quality of simulation, but artist-focused authoring pipeline, that allows easy creation of physical content without significant programmer involvement.

Update: PhysX plug-ins for Max and Maya with APEX Clothing features are available.

Update #5: New complete set of official APEX Clothing tutorials.

Authoring process in promising APEX Clothing module (you can remember its debut in Mafia II title) goes through DCC plug-ins for 3ds Max and Maya.

Following tutorials (available previously for plug-in beta users) are giving perfect overview of clothing authoring process, basic capabilities and features, using 3ds Max plug-in as an example.

Tutorial I – Waving flag

APEX Clothing tutorial - 1

Tutorial II – Physically simulated Cape

APEX Clothing tutorial - 2

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Written by Zogrim

January 15th, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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Breach will feature GPU PhysX support ?

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Atomic Games, a developer of simulations for US military and intelligence agencies, has announced today that their tactical shooter called Breach for X-Box 360 and Windows PC has gone gold today, target to be released at January 26.

Update #2: How PhysX is used in Breach – interview with Atomic Games

On particular line in press release has caught our attention:

The Windows PC version will feature support for larger explosions, particle effects and more through NVIDIA PhysX technology.

Seems like GPU PhysX titles numbers have grown :)

Update: we have recieved confirmation from NVIDIA.

Breach is a first-person multiplayer shooter, with an emphasis on tactical combat and fully destructible environments.

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Written by Zogrim

January 14th, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

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Activate3D: Intelligent Character Motion

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Interesting piece of software was released recently – Activate3D, player’s motion recognition system, that combines inverse kinematics, animation synthesis, and real-time manipulation of animated characters in one technology called Intelligent Character Motion.

Following video is illustrating capabilities of Activate3D.

Animation system if fully integrated with dynamic environment, provided by PhysX SDK.

Written by Zogrim

January 12th, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Posted in PhysX Middleware

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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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WeeklyTube Issue 46: PhysX video overview

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After a long break WeeklyTube is back, with set of interesting PhysX videos we have missed in recent months.

Two Worlds II – Magic of Physics by Dseph

Spirit of Cellfactor lives within Two Worlds II, thanks to accurate PhysX SDK integration and versatile magic system.

BioReplicant — Prolonged Interactive Experiences by ActionReactionLabs

Dynamic character animation system called BioReplicant. Not a Natural Motion’s Euphoria yet, but step in right direction.

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Written by Zogrim

January 2nd, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Posted in WeeklyTube

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