GDC 2014: NVIDIA, AMD Announce New Game Dev Partnerships - Crytek, Epic, & Moreby Ryan Smith on March 19, 2014 7:00 PM EST
With GDC 2014 taking place this week in San Francisco, there are a number of gaming related announcements occurring over the next couple of days. These announcements in turn frequently intersect hardware announcements and relationships, as both NVIDIA and AMD have made it a priority to form partnerships with various game development houses to promote their various technologies and to have them implemented into high visibility games.
To that end both NVIDIA and AMD are announcing new game development partnerships, which we’ll be briefly covering.
NVIDIA is at GDC 2014 showing off their GameWorks effects libraries. GameWorks is a reorganization of NVIDIA’s existing effects libraries, bringing them together under the umbrella of the singular GameWorks initiative. GameWorks includes NVIDIA’s PhysX and OptiX (ray tracing) libraries, along with their VisualFX suite of libraries including FaceWorks, WaveWorks, and Turbulence.
First up, NVIDIA has announced that Crytek will be adopting GameWorks for their free-to-play online FPS Warface. Warface will be integrating Turbulence and PhysX for improved debris and particle simulations. These enhancements will be released in a future patch.
Epic is also partnering with NVIDIA to integrate GameWorks into Unreal Engine 4. The various GameWorks libraries are being integrated into the mainline Unreal Engine 4 codebase, making them directly available to UE4 developers rather than requiring individual developers to bolt them on after the fact. Given Unreal Engine’s heavy use as middleware in game development, having GameWorks available to all of the UE4 licensees is a significant step up for NVIDIA, as it exposes GameWorks to a large number of developers with just a single partnership.
Update: In a late-in-the-day announcement, NVIDIA has announced that they’re also partnering with Respawn Entertainment, the developers of Titanfall. Titanfall with be receiving NVIDIA technology enhancements, specifically support for TXAA anti-aliasing (something we haven’t seen much news of lately) and HBAO+ ambient occlusion. Like Warface, these features will be patched in at a later date. Furthermore, NVIDIA also mentions that future Titanfall updates will include support for 4K resolution displays and SLI; though the nature of this announcement makes it sound like it’s generic functionality that won't be NVIDIA-exclusive.
First and foremost, AMD has announced that they are partnering with Crytek (everybody loves Crytek, it seems) to bring Mantle support to CRYENGINE. After spending the past few years attempting to license out CRYENGINE Crytek is finally having some success there, so as with AMD’s previous efforts to get Mantle into Frostbite this is another important middleware partnership for AMD. For AMD’s ISV relations efforts, this means that licensees will now have access to Mantle through CRYENGINE rather than having to undertake the more difficult task of adding it themselves.
Next up, AMD is also working with Rebellion Developments to get Mantle support in Sniper Elite III. AMD has previously worked with Rebellion on their earlier Sniper Elite titles to add Eyefinity support, SSAA, and other graphical features, so this is an expected extension of that partnership.
Square Enix is also partnering with AMD for their forthcoming game Murdered: Soul Suspect. Murdered will be integrating a number of unspecified Direct3D 11 effects. Like Rebellion Developments, Square Enix is a regular AMD partner, having worked with AMD on past titles such as Tomb Raider.
Finally, AMD and developer Xaviant have confirmed that Lichdom will be integrating support for AMD’s TrueAudio technology and their TressFX Hair technology. Lichdom was already being used to demonstrate TrueAudio back at AMD’s Hawaii press event, so this is largely a confirmation that the final game will include the technology. TressFX ont he other hand is a more recent addition.