VR Portal Tech Demo Screenshots Give First Glimpse of Source 2 Engine

Valve has released the first screenshots of its new Source 2 game engine, taken from the VR Portal Tech Demo it screened at GDC2015.

Joe Ludwig, a programmer at Valve, confirmed before the show that the Portal Tech Demo was powered by Source 2:

The screenshots are little more than a tease, especially since the tech demo itself was designed more to show off the VR capability of the engine, rather than to exploit its graphical capabilities.

For those interested in seeing the Source 2 Engine in action, MaximumPCMag managed to capture a short video of it during Valve’s GDC presentation:

Source: Dark Side of Gaming

New NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X Photos Released

After the first reveal of NVIDIA’s forthcoming graphics card behemoth, the GeForce GTX Titan X, at Epic Games’ GDC event, a series of new photos have now been revealed.

The Titan X is shown next to the GeForce GTX980, and while the chassis is similar, the comparison highlights the sleek black finish.

Another difference between the GTX980 and the Titan X is the lack of backplate on the new graphics card which, according to TechGage, is to aid hot air convection from the GPU and VRAM.

The 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe connectors suggest the card could have a TDP as high as 250w.

Since GDC, we have also learned that the Titan X boasts 8 million transistors, a 12GB buffer, and support for 4-Way SLI. Rumours say that the 28nm GM200 card will also feature 3,072 CUDA cores while running 100MHz slower than the GTX980. Official specifications should be unveiled by NVIDIA at the GPU Technology Conference on 17th March.

Source: Hexus

Intel Shows Off NUC NUC5i7RYH with Intel Iris Graphics 6100 at GDC

Intel has showcased its NUC NUC5i7RYH – the first NUC model to feature an Intel Core i7 processor – at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.

The system sports an Intel Core i7-5557U CPU, a 28w TDP processor with Iris Graphics 6100, making the system 4K-ready and able to play a number of mainstream gaming titles.

Though the NUC5i7RYH uses a larger NUC housing – the enclosure’s capacity is 0.62 litres, according to Intel – it seems that the CPU cooler is the same size as the i5 model. Intel says that the system runs on the same motherboard as the Core i3 and i5 Rock Canyon NUCs, and contains an M.2 PCIe SSD.

We should see the Intel NUC5i7RYH released in April this year. Price is yet to be disclosed.

Source: Legit Reviews

Microsoft Releases Xbox One SDK to App Developers

Microsoft has announced that it is opening the software development kit (SDK) for the Xbox One to app developers, in an effort to unify with the upcoming Windows 10 operating system.

Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, revealed the news at GDC 2015 in San Francisco on Wednesday, telling the audience that the Xbox One SDK is already being used by a handful of developers and that it will soon be made available to more. Driven by Microsoft’s desire for cross-platform unity, the SDK will allow apps and games created for Windows to be ported to Xbox One.

“This SDK will provide access to the vast majority of Xbox Live services currently available on Xbox One, under a shared set of APIs, integrated with the Windows Store,” a post on Microsoft’s Xbox Wire blog reads.

Microsoft says it wants to make Xbox Live accessible to developers of all sizes, and wants to facilitate greater interaction between developers and the gaming community.

Source: Reseller News

See Alien Isolation’s First Incarnation as a Third-Person Sneak-em-Up

Creative Assembly, developer of last year’s Alien Isolation, held a post-mortem of the game at GDC, during which Creative Lead Alistair Hope revealed that for a time during the development process the game adopted a third-person perspective, even showing test footage to prove it.

Hope discussed his team’s approach to the game, citing Resident Evil 4Dead SpaceClock Tower, and Silent Hill 2 as early influences. The third-person perspective was an effort to emulate those games, but the team soon realised that the camera position revealed too much, robbing the game of the necessary sense of claustrophobia.

Creative Assembly’s design lead Clive Lindop discussed the first-person/third-person debate with Polygon last year, saying, “We really argued about third-person versus first-person. In third-person, you have too much information. Your character is hiding behind a desk, but the camera is up above and you see too much. You know more than the alien does. The fact that you can’t see stuff in first-person really drives you crazy.”

Do you prefer third-person and its greater peripheral view, or is the immersion of first-person perspective more to your taste?

Source: Polygon

Intel Broadwell CPUs Due This Summer

Intel has announced that its line of overclocker-friendly Broadwell CPUs is due for release mid-2015. The news, leaked in the form of an Intel roadmap (below) back in January, was confirmed at GDC 2015 in San Francisco.

The Broadwell chips will feature Iris Pro graphics, boast an impressively low TDP of 65 watts, and will come unclocked, making the CPU perfect for overclockers running a micro ATX or mini ITX board.

The timing of Intel’s Broadwell release means it will likely coincide with Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system, making the second half of 2015 a great time to build a new system.

Source: TechSpot

Source 2: Valve’s First New Game Engine in 11 Years!

Valve has unveiled its new game engine at GDC 2015, its first for 11 years. Source 2 is the successor to the original Source engine, released in 2004 with the launch of first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Source (above).

Jay Stelly, Software Developer at Valve, said in a press release that “with Source 2, our focus is increasing creator productivity. Given how important user-generated content is becoming, Source 2 is designed not for just the professional developer, but enabling gamers themselves to participate in the creation and development of their favorite games.”

Like the latest versions of Unreal Engine and Unity, Source 2 will be made available to “content developers” free-of-charge. Though, what constitutes a content developer, or whether “free” includes a royalty percentage deal, à la Unreal, is as yet unclear.

Though details of the new engine are scant, Valve promises that Source 2 will have a special version compatible with low-overhead API Vulkan. There was no mention of a release date, but the announcement itself suggests that Source 2 will get an official launch soon.

Source: TechSpot

SimCity Developers Maxis Closed Down by EA

Game developer Maxis, creator of “successful” franchises The Sims and SimCity, is being consolidated by its parent company, Electronic Arts. Though the Maxis label will still be used on its existing series as a brand name, the studio itself has been dissolved.

The news was announced during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015 in San Francisco, which is odd timing, to say the least. The story broke after former Maxis developer Guillaume Pierre tweeted the sad news:

EA followed that with an official statement on Wednesday evening:

Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to our studios in Redwood Shores, Salt Lake City, Helsinki and Melbourne locations as we close our Emeryville location. Maxis continues to support and develop new experiences for current Sims and SimCity players, while expanding our franchises to new platforms and developing new cross-platform IP.

These changes do not impact our plans for The Sims. Players will continue to see rich new experiences in The Sims 4, with our first expansion pack coming soon along with a full slate of additional updates and content in the pipeline.

All employees impacted by the changes today will be given opportunities to explore other positions within the Maxis studios and throughout EA. For those that are leaving the company, we are working to ensure the best possible transition with separation packages and career assistance.

Maxis was founded in 1987 by Will Wright and the company made its name with a series of simulation games, of “digital dollhouses,” as Wright described them.

EA has developed quite the reputation for ruining respected game development studios, with gamers turning against the likes of Maxis, BioWare, Pandemic, and Westwood Studios after their EA buyouts.

Source: Kotaku