AMD Announces DX12 Game Engine Partnerships

One of the biggest changes DX12 brings to the table is the increased reliance on developers to properly optimize their code for GPUs. Unlike DX11, there will have fewer levers to tweak in the GPU driver, with more work being needed in the game engine and the game itself. To address this, AMD has announced a partnership with multiple game engine and game developers to implement DX12.

To kick start the effort, AMD is headlining 5 games and engines they are partnering with to ensure DX12 works smoothly with Radeon GPUs with the software. These are Ashes of the Singularity by Stardock and Oxide Games, Total War: WARHAMMER by Creative Assembly, Battlezone VR by Rebellion, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided by Eidos-Montréal and the Nitrous Engine by Oxide Games. These titles span a wide range from RTS to RPG and FPS which gives a sense that AMD is trying to cast as wide a net as possible.

In addition to this, AMD will also be working with EA and Dice to get the Frostbite 3 engine to enable DX12. This engine is of particular importance due to the many AAA EA and other titles using it. AMD is also hoping to push Asynchronous Compute and to make sure games will squeeze the most out of GCN using DX12.

Fancy Making Your Own Game? Cryengine Bundle Could Help

Ever feel like making your own game? Well with the news that the Cryengine is now free to use, you could start doing just that and Humble bundle are looking to help you by giving you a bunch of assets for cheap with proceeds going to charity.

As with most bundles, there are three tiers for the Cryengine bundle. The first tier features everything you need to create your very first game, with plants, shrubs and trees joining environmental props and a paintball first person shooter project to get you started with the engine.

The second bundle you get once your donation goes over the average and features some vehicles, weapons, audio tools and the nature and animal pack for Ryse.

Finally, you have the upper tier of the bundle, featuring a starter project for a survival game, some extra vehicles, characters and city scenery. You even get two Ryse packs, featuring the world building and roman pack which contains building and characters from Ryse: son of Rome.

With so much content, you could build your own survival game combining the best of two worlds, with legionnaires going up against your well-armed modern day character or perhaps flip the table and see how long a well-armed legionnaire would survive in the modern city?

The world is yours to create, and with the money going towards the children’s miracle network, a charity where gamers help support hospitals all over, you can’t help but grab the bundle.

Frostbite’s Senior Graphic Programmer Leaves DICE to Join Unity

Unity has been steadily gaining in popularity with developers, as it’s very easy to work with and from my own experiences pretty easy to learn too. It’s quite VR friendly, meaning a lot of new and existing developers have been tempted by what it offers, especially those toying around with tech demos for Oculus Rift and the plethora of VR devices that are soon to be released.

The latest incarnation, Unity 5, is putting up solid competition against the likes of Unreal Engine, Frostbite and many others, but the battle just took an interesting turn as Frostbite’s senior graphic programmer, Sébastien Lagarde, who has been with DICE for two years, is now leaving DICE behind to join Unity as their Director of Rendering Research.

This is bad news for DICE, who will now need to replace Lagarde, but it’s obviously very good news for Unity and no doubt good news, in the long term, for the who use Unity technology. Who know’s, maybe one day Unity will be even better than Frostbite, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Have you ever used Unity or Frostbite? Which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below.

Thank you DSO for providing us with this information.

Japanese Company Wants to Build a Stunning 3D Holographic Display

We’ve been talking about holograms like something out of sci-fi movies, but with today’s technology, it really is possible to make a holographic display. We’ve previously seen this as a DIY project, where a guy showed you how to build your own pyramid-shaped display and use it with your smarphone. Now a Japanese company named ‘SSS’ seems to take it even further and started a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo for a 3D holographic display, dubbed ‘Holo case’.

As with the DYI project, the display is shaped as a pyramid for a full 360 degree holographic effect. The company already has a lot of useful real-world applications for it, from meeting your favourite characters in the ‘real-world’, to displaying expensive jewelery and minimize the risk of it being stolen from the showcase.

“Our mission is realize that thinking about how to interact with the characters. VR is the way we go through the world of character. However, there isn’t the only one answer for it. One of these is studying how to ” invite character into this world ” and we’ve realized it.”

“Here’s the example of exhibiting “authentic” ring in “Holo case”. Although the ring itself is just $10, you can display it just like expensive one by giving effect to the ring. Here’s the mini figure set in Holo case. We can display snowing scene.”

The company says that making an app for the Holo case is easy too. It just takes some animations to display on all sides of the pyramid, and you’re all set! They even say that using a game engine such as Unity3D or Unreal Engine 4 will make life even easier for you. You can find more information about the project over on Indiegogo.

CryEngine Gets Support for Linux and SteamOS

It seems that the recent shift in the game engine market strategy is now forcing everyone licensing their own engines to comply with the times. CryTek is known for its CryEngine development platform and we all know the Crysis titles. However, the CryEngine is also licensed to other developers who want to make their games based on the latter engine.

Up until now, the CryEngine was focusing only on the Windows operating system and DirectX. But as times change and competition grows stronger, the company made a few changes. They announced that starting with CryEngine 3.8.1, developers can now ship their titles for the Linux operating system, as well as the upcoming SteamOS.

However, developers still need to do a bit of work to get them to work on the Linux OS. But this marks the beginning of a whole new CryEngine and future AAA graphics for Linux. In addition to the latter, OpenGL support will not necessarily restrict titles to be shipped for just Linux and SteamOS. We could even see support for Mac, Android, PlayStation and possibly even Nintendo.

In the end, a lot of support is now offered in engines to help developers port games. While we won’t see the same support in in-house engines, publicly available game engines such as CryEngine, Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5 seem to start making cross-platform development a priority.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Valve Improves Dota 2 Reborn and You Can Play the Beta Now

The long wait for Valve’s latest Dota 2 title, Dota 2 Reborn, is now over. Despite the many bugs and features which are not fully functional just yet, fans and curious gamers can now play the beta version alongside Dota 2 on Steam.

Dota 2 Reborn brings a lot of features and improvements to its predecessor, including the Source 2 Engine. What this means is that Dota 2 will have a lot of rendering improvements, performance optimizations, higher fidelity content, and not to mention enhanced physics. Valve says that they will further improve cloth and simulation physics in the future too, but they are still awesome as they are now.

Other improvements can be seen in the UI, having Dota 2 Reborn come with a new and improved interface. Players area able to quickly and efficiently search for matches, stay in touch with their friends through newly added party and chat features, as well as see the what your friends (or enemies) are up to.

Now we all know how frustrating it is to have problems connecting or maintaining a connection to a server sometimes. This is why Valve worked hard to offer more reliable network connections through a new backbone and relay protocol. In addition to the latter, a lot of effort has been put into DDoS protection and we know that is a major problem nowadays.

Last but not least, Custom Games is also a nice addition to the series, having it come with better developer tools for modders. While regular users get to play other modes and maps made by fans, modders get the chance to expand their ideas a bit with new tools. The new Hammer Level Editor lets you quickly prep your map, while the Material, Model and Particle editors help shape it to look how you imagined it to be. Also, Valve now offers better debugging with their new Developer Console.

More details about the latest title can be found on their website here, or if you want to get straight into the action, you can do so by following the steps below:

  1. Install Dota 2 if you haven’t already
  2. Start up Dota 2
  3. Go to the Play tab and select Dota 2 Reborn Beta
  4. Click Install to begin your download

Unity 5.1 adds Native Oculus Rift Support

Unity is one of the largest game engines around. The platform already supports a wide range of target technology, Windows and Linux PC’s, Macs, Android phones and tablets and iOS devices.

Virtual reality will never get off the ground without the availability of tools to make things with. Unity realised this too and one of their offerings from the newly released Unity 5.1 is native Oculus Rift support with optimized pipeline for virtual reality and augmented reality.

To further embrace the future of VR they will also be adding native support for other platforms in the near future, these include Microsoft Hololens and Gear VR. If you are interested in developing anything for these headsets there are third-party SDKs out there to help you get started.

Many games have already been developed for the Oculus Rift with Unity, this native support should see a lot more being developed in the future.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries?list=PLX2vGYjWbI0S7YMIXT44gD4txxfA6F_ng&w=560&h=315

The improvements don’t just stop there though. Version 5.1 also adds the Unity Multiplayer Service. This makes building new multiplayer games a lot more simple. This new service adds Matchmaking and Relay servers which makes connection and firewall issues less common as the relay server sends traffic between the client and servers. These changes are only currently in the preview stage, but the full launch shouldn’t be too far off.

Personally I am expecting great things from Unity in the near future. They are only just getting their toes wet in the whole VR world at the moment, I expect they will be diving in much deeper over the next few updates.

Better Visuals and Modding Tools Promised in Latest Wasteland 2 Engine Update

Unity’s latest release, Unity 5, is nearly here and since more and more games are being developed with its Game Engine, a lot of developers will receive new and improved tools to tweak their games. The release promises more flexibility and power, as well as a more simplified process of developing games for a variety of platforms.

inXile Entertainment is one of the companies which are already keen on using Unity 5’s power and is currently planning on ways to upgrade its Wasteland 2 title. Chris Keenan, the project lead for Wasteland 2, posted what to expect in the near future from the title, having significant “visual improvements” and “better tools for modders” as a result of the new changes.

“…one task we’re working on right now is migrating the Wasteland 2 codebase from the Unity 4.5 engine to Unity 5, which will enable some new possibilities for us. A major benefit of moving to Unity 5 is that 5 will include many of the tools from Unity 4.x Pro. We relied on many of these tools during our development (like creating and building navigation meshes), and they will be available to modders without having to pay thousands of dollars for a Pro Unity license … Unity 5 offers physically based shading, which is already starting to look amazing in the scenes we’ve touched up.”

inXile stated that it has a few unique features planned as well, but it isn’t ready to reveal them. However, since modding and better visuals are the main topic, it’s hard to imagine the ‘unmentioned’ features being a disappointment.

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information

Incredible Unreal Engine 4 Engine Tech Demos Now Available For Download

Remember the truly incredible Unreal Engine 4 technology demo which launched last year? Well know you can download it, as well as several other impressive graphics technology demos to try out for yourself. Not only are the demos technically impressive, but they also offer us gamers a first hand look at how the engine can bring improvements to our games, most important of which are the massive advancement in global lighting.

The Elemental tech demo isn’t the exact same one we say in the trailers, it looks like it has been cobbled together by a few developers just to let us have a quick tinker and sneaky peak at the new engine. There is no installer, but you can extract the files for the demo and modify the launch settings via a very easy to understand .ini file. Remember to install the VC++ 2013 runtime that is included in the downloads too, if you haven’t already. From that point on you just run the required batch file in the folder and enjoy the stunning graphics.

Remember that Unreal Engine 4 scales really well, so it should run on some slightly older hardware, but you’re really only going to see the full benefits of these demos on newer hardware (eg; GTX 6xx / AMD 7xxx and up) as that will be capable of the effects being generated.

Download for Elemental Tech Demo

Download for Five More Tech Demos

Remember there will be a few rough edges here, these aren’t final gaming products and I’ve seen people crying out about texture quality on some parts. This isn’t a sales pitch, the software is there to demonstrate the processing that is going on in the scenes, so those of you with a tiny understanding of the workings of game engines will enjoy it more.

Thank you Techpowerup for providing us with this information.