Nvidia Partially Open Sources GameWorks Library

One of the biggest complaints about GameWorks is the closed source nature of the toolkit. Because of this black box like nature, developers and competitors have had a hard time optimizing games and hardware for it. With the release of GameWorks 3.1 though, Nvidia will be open sourcing parts of GameWorks which will be available on GitHub.

Right now PhysX, PhysX Clothing and PhysX destruction are already available on GitHub. Of the new additions to GameWorks, Volumetric Lighting will be added at GDC while the previously FaceWorks will join it as well. In the near future, HairWorks, WaveWorks and HBAO+ will also join the open source depository.

Even with these open source additions, there still remains parts of GameWorks that will remain closed source. These are VAXO, VXGI, Turf Effects, FlameWorks and PCSS among others. This means that developers are still limited somewhat unless they agree to Nvidia’s EULA and gain some private source access.

The biggest question about GameWorks though is its implementation. Developers have been lazy in optimizing GameWorks and leaving too much at default or maxed out settings. Open sourcing might not help if developers don’t take the time to tweak things. This should help AMD though who have been on of the most vocal critics. The biggest question is how quickly the open source will track new GameWorks releases, especially given how version 3.2 has no mention of GitHub releases on the roadmap.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege GameWorks Trailer Released

Are you ready for the latest Tom clancy game? With the release date rapidly approaching, Ubisoft and Nvidia have now released the latest trailer for Rainbow Six: Siege!

The new trailer showcases the latest Nvidia GameWorks features, demonstrating how HBAO+ and TXAA will take Rainbow Six: Siege graphics to the next level. It’s not the biggest range of features, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have them. Great for Nvidia users, not so great with if you’re rocking an AMD card, in which case you may experience some issues, as with most GPU brand-focused game releases recently.

If you’re saving up for a new GPU and eager to play Rainbow Six: Siege, remember that Nvidia’s Bullets or Blades promotion gives the game away with qualifying graphics cards.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege is set to be released on the 1st of December on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Bethesda’s Fallout 4 Will Feature Nvidia’s GameWorks

With Fallout 4 set to launch relatively soon, we’re getting more word on how the game will run like on PC. According to the latest report, Bethesda has integrated components from the controversial GameWorks library. Provided by Nvidia, GameWorks is a library that allows developers to implement solutions designed by NVIDIA, with minimal work from the developer.

GameWorks gained notoriety when it caused issues in Warner Bros’ Batman Arkham Knight. Some players have blamed the poorly implemented GameWorks features as causing at least some of the many bugs and performance issues faced at launch. In that case, both AMD and Nvidia’s own users, especially those using Kepler cards, ran into serious performance issues with GameWorks enabled.

AMD has also been critical of GameWorks as well, claiming Nvidia was being anti-AMD. These claims were based off performance on AMD cards in The Witcher 3. In that title, HairWorks, a part of GameWorks used excessive tessellation that negatively impacted AMD’s and Nvidia’s own Kepler cards. Users found that turning down the tessellation levels did not impact visual fidelity but allowed for much better frame rates.

It’s important to note there have been GameWorks titles like GTA V that have implemented the features well without tanking performance. It remains to be seen which camp Fallout 4 will be belong to. Some commentators have expressed concern that the lopsided GPU recruitments may point to GameWorks hitting AMD cards hard. We’ll find out soon either way.

NVIDIA GeForce 358.50 WHQL Driver Released for Star Wars: Battlefront

The Latest NVIDIA GeForce 358.50 WHQL Driver has been released, bringing with it a new GeForce Game Ready driver for the Beta release of Star Wars: Battlefront, which includes new features and functionality for the GameWorks VR SDK, and support for the latest OpenGL ARB extensions and OpenGL ES 3.2.

Highlights from the NVIDIA GeForce 358.50 WHQL driver release notes include:

GameWorks VR Support
Updated driver support for the GameWorks VR SDK, adding VR SLI enhancements and bug fixes.

Gaming Technology
Supports OpenGL 2015 ARB extensions and OpenGL ES 3.2.

Windows 10
-Added SLI support for ShadowPlay and GameStream.
-Added Stereo support for DirectX 12 SLI and 3D Surround.

NVIDIA Control Panel
3D Settings->Manage 3D Settings page: Added controls for forcing the use of the integrated graphics processor or the NVIDIA GPU on Optimus notebooks.

Application SLI Profiles
Added or updated the following SLI profiles:
• Layers of Fear – DirectX 11 SLI profile added
• Miscreated – DirectX 11 SLI profile added
• Trainz: A New Era – DirectX 11 SLI profile added
• Zui Zhong Bing Qi – DirectX 11 SLI profile added

3D Vision Profiles
Added or updated the following 3DV profiles:
• The Moonlight Blade – Fair
• The Park – Not recommended
• Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide – Fair

3D Compatibility Mode Profiles
These games must be run in DirectX 10/11 mode to see improvements and are not compatible with 3D Vision Surround mode. 
Added or updated the following compatibility mode profiles:
• Mad Max – Excellent
• Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – Excellent
• Total War: Arena – Excellent

Software Modules
• NView – version 146.78 c
• HD Audio Driver – version 1.3.34.3
• NVIDIA PhysX System Software – version 9.15.0428
• GeForce Experience – version 2.5.14.5
• CUDA – version 7.5

The NVIDIA GeForce 358.50 WHQL driver can be downloaded here.

Image courtesy of WCCFTech.

NVIDIA Plans on Upgrading Its Cross-Platform Tech With Latest Acquisition

NVIDIA plans on bringing your favourite games to all major platforms through its GameWorks project. Whether you want to play on your PC, NVIDIA Shield handheld console, Android gaming tablet or Android TV console, NVIDIA plans on delivering the same quality on whatever you choose. The latest deal shows that the company is also dedicated in bringing the cross-platform compatibility to a whole new level.

TransGaming is the company that developed the GameTree TV platform and an on-demand cloud gaming service, so it’s pretty clear they are all for cross-platform. Their achievements in the technology were noticed by NVIDIA, who offered them a $3.75 million deal for their tech. And guess what? Their tech is now being included in the GameWorks project.

What this means is that the GameWorks team, made out of over 300 specialists in maths and physics, now have a chance to make their code work with one of the best cross-platform tech on the market. Cross-platform compatibility is not really impossible, but it does need a lot of knowledge in different operating systems and a lot of optimization on the software side. The news comes right after Apple announced that it will make its Metal API available on Mac too, so we might see NVIDIA releasing something for the new Mac OS 10.11 El Capitan soon too.

However, let’s just stick to what NVIDIA has to offer first. The latest hardware, namely the NVIDIA 4K TV console announced earlier this year, got a lot of attention. And how could it not? I mean when you get a TV/console with NVIDIA’s Tegra X1 strapped to it, it’s hard not to notice it.

But until we get to see actual cross-platform gaming, the team needs to work out how the tech works and how to properly integrate it. This is why NVIDIA is planning on opening a new GameWorks studio in Toronto, the same city TransGaming had its headquarters in. This leads to the conclusion that NVIDIA plans on keeping the old TransGaming staff and have them work with the GameWorks team. So are you excited about what NVIDIA has in plan for the future of gaming? Let us know!

Thank you CNet for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of NVIDIA

NVIDIA Explain GameWorks VR

NVIDIA is at the forefront of gaming, be it offering an in-house synchronising feature called G-Sync or dealing with game developers first hand to deliver some of the best designed and visually pleasing games on the market. At a recent press conference, NVIDIA let us in on GameWorks VR.

“GameWorks VR includes:

  • NVIDIA Multi-Res Shading (MRS) — An innovative new rendering technique for VR. With NVIDIA MRS, each part of an image is rendered at a resolution that better matches the pixel density of the final displayed VR image. This technology uses the multi-projection architecture of the GeForce GTX 980 Ti GPU to render multiple viewports in a single pass. The result: substantial performance improvements for VR games.
  • VR SLI — Provides increased performance for VR apps. Multiple GPUs can be assigned a specific eye to dramatically accelerate stereo rendering. With the GPU affinity application programming interface, VR SLI allows scaling for PCs with two or more GPUs.
  • Context Priority — Enables control over GPU scheduling to support advanced VR features such as asynchronous time warp. This cuts latency and quickly adjusts images as gamers move their heads, without the need to re-render a new frame.
  • Direct Mode — Delivers plug-and-play compatibility for VR headsets. With Direct Mode, the NVIDIA graphics driver recognizes the headset as a VR display rather than a standard desktop monitor, providing a more seamless user experience.
  • Front Buffer Rendering — Lets the GPU render directly to the front buffer to reduce latency.”

If you aren’t sure what the VR display system involves, here’s a breakdown. Inside the Oculus Rift Crescent Bay headset, you have twin 3K resolution displays and twin optics. When looking at an image through an optic, it gives a ‘fisheye’ effect. If you were to play the game like this, it will likely cause nausea. To view an image through a VR headset, you need to manipulate the image so it will be viewed correctly. To achieve this, the image is split up into different sectors and warped differently to react differently to the view through the optic.

NVIDIA are working closely with multiple companies to bring us the best possible VR experience.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GeForce GTX Bundle Now Available

NVIDIA has previously indicated that they will be shipping a copy of the most anticipated RPG game of the year, The Wither 3: Wild Hunt, along with select graphics solutions. For those who are not familiar with the game, The Witcher titles are excellent storytelling RPGs, with a lot of branching quests and morally ambiguous choices.

In the latest title, NVIDIA made sure that the game uses advanced graphics. By ‘advanced graphics’ we mean that CD Projekt Red, The Witcher’s developer, has teamed up with NVIDIA to add its new techniques and the latest effects in order to bring fantastical scenes to life with the help of NVIDIA GameWorks effects, including HBAO+, HairWorks, and PhysX.

NVIDIA is apparently giving a copy of the title bundled with its “Undeniably Epic” GeForce GTX 980, 970 or 960 graphic cards, for both desktop and notebook solutions. A list of retailers can be found here.

Source: GeForce

NVIDIA Just Made Its PhysX Source Code Free

‘Free’ looks like the word everyone is using recently when it comes to technology. After we saw Epic make its Unreal Engine 4 available for free, it now looks like NVIDIA is taking the same approach with its PhysX technology by giving away its source code for free.

While some bits of the PhysX technology were available for free on Windows, the developer now has given the full source code, which means that it will include the PhysX Clothing and PhysX Destruction features.

By having the full source code free and available for anyone out there, developers will be able to take full advantage of this world-class physics effect in their games, as well as speed up the adoption of the technology in future games.

Unreal Engine 4 itself has the Clothing and Destruction technologies integrated into the engine. However, developers can now add the technology in their own game engines, should they choose not to use the UE4 engine.

The aforementioned technology has been seen in titles such as Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City, Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands 2, Lords of the Fallen, Monster Hunter Online, Daylight, as well as the upcoming title, The Witcher 3.

All PhysX technologies can be found in the NVIDIA GameWorks library, including the latest version of PhysX, namely 3.3.3. It is said that the latter version brings improved stability and performance, along with features such as constrained rigid body dynamics, collision detection, scene queries, character controller, particles, vehicles and much more.

The GameWorks library can be found on GitHub and accessed via the NVIDIA GameWorks Developer Program.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information

Free Ubisoft Game with the Purchase of Selected Nvidia GPUs

As part of the “Pick your Path” promotion, Nvidia is giving away keys for The Crew, Assassin’s Creed Unity and Far Cry 4 with the purchase of selected graphics cards. Nvidia have had a close relationship with Ubisoft for a while and most their games are built on the GameWorks technology.

Each game offered in this promotion is based on the GameWorks technology and are great examples to show off what the new GPUs features can do. The qualifying cards are the GeForce GTX 980, 970, 780 Ti or 780 as well as notebooks with GeForce GTX 980M or 970M

  • Assassin’s Creed Unity, the latest installment in Ubisoft’s most successful franchise, will feature HBAO+, TXAA, PCSS and tessellation technologies.
  • Far Cry 4 is another legendary game series getting a visual and technology upgrade. Besides HBAO+, TXAA, PCSS and enhanced 4K support, Far Cry 4 integrates NVIDIA “Godrays” technology so gamers can all but feel the sun beating down in the Himalayas, and NVIDIA HairWorks, for rendering the hyper-realistic adversaries players encounter.
  • The Crew is the ultimate street racing game and looks superb thanks to the use of HBAO+ and TXAA technologies – all rendered in breathtaking 4K.

The offer is only valid through selected and authorized dealers. So better check with your retailer before you order and expect to get a code, only to end up disappointed. Codes can be redeemed and further information and rules can be found on the Pick your Path mini site.

You can also find out more and be a part of this promotion through our friends at Overclockers UK here.

Thanks to Nvidia for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Nvidia

AMD Attacks Nvidia’s Gameworks, Claims Secret Contracts Are Anti-AMD

AMD’s Graphics Executive Richard Huddy is a well respected figure in the industry. Huddy has worked for ATI, AMD, Nvidia, Intel and is now back at AMD. He is also considered one of the pioneers of the DirectX API so it’s fair to say that his opinion matters. Huddy had some pretty critical things to say about Nvidia’s Gameworks program, claiming that Nvidia are using exclusivity contracts with game developers, hidden by NDAs, to disadvantage AMD. Furthermore, he claims he has evidence from various independent software vendors that those NDA-bound contracts are the reason why many game developers, particularly those in the Gameworks program, cannot work with AMD to optimise the game engines for AMD hardware. The most recent example of this is obviously the whole saga of AMD graphics cards running WatchDogs poorly.

Huddy thinks Gameworks is bad news for the industry because it is closed source, game developers receive code from Nvidia in a pre-compiled DLL forms whereas with Mantle the entire code is open source for game developers. Huddy claims the idea of using pre-compiled DLLs is a foreign idea to the games industry and is significantly more inefficient than allowing game developers build what they want from the ground up with the source code of an API. The heart of the concern is that Nvidia-written DLLs are being used for games that consumers with AMD graphics cards will play, as well as games that review sites will use to benchmark AMD hardware. All in all Nvidia’s Gameworks program is accused of locking down and fragmenting the gaming industry. It would be interesting to hear Nvidia go on record and rebut some of AMD’s claims.

What are your opinions on Nvidia Gameworks?

Source: MaximumPC

Image courtesy of Nvidia