Archive for the ‘Planetside’ tag
A very interesting presentation from Game Developer Conference 2013 – “Enhancing Hawken and PlanetSide 2 Through Turbulence and Destruction” by Dane Johnston (NVIDIA), Aron Zoellner (NVIDIA), Tramell Isaac (SOE) and Ryan Elam (SOE) – is now finally available for replay from GDC Vault.
The presentation covers the basic features and authoring pipeline of APEX Turbulence and APEX Destruction modules, among other modules, and also provides a little post-mortem on how those modules were utilized to enhance several latest GPU PhysX games – PlanetSide 2 and Hawken.
It was also revealed during the talk, that with current implementation of GPU physics effects in Planetside 2 developers have only “scratched the surface of what APEX can do”, as more advanced content, including enhanced Turbulence effects, Destructible environments (like player created bases) and potentially Environmental cloth will be coming to the game in the future. Good news for PlanetSide 2 players.
During Hawken and APEX Destruction part, it was mentioned that upcoming improvements for the Destruction module will include networking sync support, damage based vertex coloring, more authoring tools options (PhysX plug-ins, third party) and also a new damage system, that is based on artist feedback.
Finally, the APEX Hair & Fur was mentioned as the upcoming module.
To reinforce the official release of GPU PhysX effects in PlanetSide 2, free-2-play MMO shooter, NVIDIA has revealed the official trailer to demonstrate how extra Particles and Turbulence effects can enhance the visual look of the game.
What is interesting in case of PlanetSide, is the fact that all the extra PhysX effects are GPU exclusive – there is no CPU backend even for regular impact particles. According to one of our sources, it was a deliberate developer’s decision, directed by technical requirements to save CPU cycles for gameplay physics and game logic, not some kind of “marketing trick”.
Update: some extra details coming on this topic, stay tuned.
Be sure to check back on PhysXInfo.com later on for our own comparison video and PhysX Review.
Very similar to Hawken, GPU PhysX support in another free-2-play MMO title, PlanetSide 2, has a multi-staged history – basic integration in Closed Beta, unfulfilled promises after the release, unofficial way to enable the effects later on.
Update: official PhysX trailer by NVIDIA
And now, finally, we are glad to inform you that GPU Physics option can now be officially enabled in PlanetSide 2.
PlanetSide 2 is build on a brand new ForgeLight engine from SOE, which features a two layers of PhysX and APEX integrations – a basic CPU physics layer, based on PhysX SDK 3.2, which power all the collision and hit detection, character controllers and vehicle physics, and also an extra GPU accelerated physics effects layer, which is working working on APEX Particles and APEX Turbulence modules.
GPU PhysX effects, present in PlanetSide 2, can be devided into two categories – various types of impact debris effects (sparks, rock pieces, metal chards, wood splinters, etc) and Turbulence particles, applied to objects such as jump-pads, grav-elevators, healing grenades, teleporters and so on.
All the effects are done really well, from both artistical and technical standpoint, and also present a dramatic enhancement to the visual look of the game. PlanetSide 2 is a must-play, or at least must-see, for every user interested in PhysX Technology.
Head on over to the PlanetSide 2.com to enlist, and if you are interested in technical details behind PhysX effects, don’t forget to check “Maximizing PhysX-based particle effects in Planetside 2” article on NVIDIA Developer Zone.
Recently it was discovered, that one may already enable PhysX effects in PlanetSide, just by adding several parameters to one of the .ini files of the game. But should one do it?
Bear in mind, that GPU PhysX support was not like “frozen and abandoned” since Beta – it is a part of the game which is yet under active development.
That means, all the fancy particle effects you can unofficially enable today still require some tweaking from both artistical and technical standpoint – that means, visual look of the effects is not yet final, and performance or stability problems may occur.
Thus, if you missed the Beta and want to know what to expect from GPU PhysX in Planetside 2 – go ahead, take a sneak peak.
But we highly not recommend you to leave the “forced” PhysX effects enabled for everyday use – just wait till they will be ready, as such unfineshed feature may give you a false impression of the final content.
Similar suggestion from SOE:
We do plan to reintroduce these portions of PhysX (saying there isn’t any is actually incorrect) at a near future date. These are currently being tested to ensure smooth gameplay. In the interim we don’t advise making these changes for an optimum experience.
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?
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.
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.
Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has announced today PlanetSide 2, a sequel to previously-popular MMO first person shooter game, PlanetSide.
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