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.

Stardock Developing Software to Combine NVIDIA and AMD GPUs

 

Stardock has revealed that it is developing a unique software solution that will allow GPUs from different vendors to be used in unison. While DirectX 12 already boasts such support – though the only game that supports it as yet is Stardock’s own Ashes of the Singularity – Stardock CEO Brad Wardell says that his will open this option up to everyone.

“One of the biggest problems with games is that a new video card comes out from AMD and Nvidia, and they’re like [expensive], and you have to make a call,” Wardell told Venturebeat. “I like my video card. I can play most games on it, and I don’t want to spend $800 on some new video card. But imagine, instead, hey, they’re having a sale [using my GTX 760 as an example]. Hey, they’re having a sale on an AMD 290 for $75. Wouldn’t it be cool to put this into your computer and double your performance. You keep this in there [the 760]. You put this in there [the 290], and your games are twice as fast without doing anything else.”

Wardell says that his company has been working with NVIDIA and AMD on the solution for the past year and that, while the two video card giants aren’t necessarily happy at the idea of their hardware being combined with that of their competitors, they certainly approve of anything that mean more people will buy their products.

“They don’t love that part [mixing competing cards in one PC], but [what they do love] is the idea that people will buy more cards,” Wardell added. “It’s a major friction where someone says, ‘I have a card that works. I’m not going to spend $800.’ They don’t get the sale. But you’re going to get the same effect by adding [an] $80 video card [to your existing setup].”

More news on Stardock’s new multi-GPU software is expected to be revealed by Microsoft at GDC 2016 this week.

The “Political Machine” Lets You Run For President

The various campaigns from hopeful candidates aiming to be the next president of the United States feels as if it has been going on forever, from Donald trump and his controversial views to Hillary Clinton and her private email scandal, it really feels like Groundhog day. Hoping to harness the political interest is a games developer by the name of “Stardock Entertainment” who has both developed and also released a game by the name of “The Political Machine”.

Below is a summary of the key features of this game along with a selection of screenshots,

  • Mudslinging – Use your power and money to purchase ads and influence voters.
  • The game has over a dozen political candidates – Play as one of the several pre-made candidates like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
  • Scandals – the game includes such real-life scandals as email hacking, affairs and also natural disasters.
  • Custom built candidates – Create your own custom front-runner and race for the White House.

Below is the first screenshot, as you can see, it’s not the most high-tech game in the world in terms of graphics, although it does capture Donald Trump.

The next screenshot is below and conveys how your chosen political figure will perform in terms of how many votes will be gained and also who will win each state.

Below is a trailer video to convey the style of this game,

The specifications for this game are below, if your thinking of running this title then it should be pretty straightforward.

  • Operating System – Windows 10 / 8 / 7 SP1 / Vista SP2
  • RAM –  1 GB RAM
  • Graphics – 64 MB DirectX 9.0c 3D Video Card with Pixel Shader 2.0 Support
  • CPU –  1 GHz Processor
  • Hard Drive Space – 1 GB HD space
  • Sound Card – DirectX 9.0c Compatible Sound card

The game is priced at $7.49 and is available through Steam, Stardock themselves and also a digital download.

Ashes of the Singularity Public Beta Released

The first public beta of Stardock’s real-time sci-fi strategy game, Ashes of the Singularity, has been released. Ashes of the Singularity is the first game to support DirectX 12 natively, powered by the Nitrous engine, which is said to be able to handle busy screens with interactive and visual complexity.

“In Ashes of the Singularity, gamers aren’t fighting a battle, they’re fighting a war,” Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock, said. “Players command thousands of units across a vast battlefield while building up their economic and technological might.”

“Over the past few months we’ve worked closely with AMD and NVIDIA to fully leverage their hardware,” he added. “Our alpha testers have reported substantial performance gains, which is allowing us to begin lowering the hardware requirements.”

According to the announcement of the public beta on the official website, the game boasts:

  • The first native DirectX 12 game allowing each CPU core to command the player’s GPU simultaneously, which allows for an order of magnitude more rendered units to be on screen at the same time than previous RTS games.
  • A multi-core real-time strategy AI that allows for excellent single player RTS gaming.
  • A new native 64-bit 3D engine called Nitrous that makes full use of the features of DirectX 11 and DirectX 12, allowing for thousands of light sources on screen simultaneously.
  • A new type of unit group organization known as a “meta” unit that makes it easy for players to manage potentially tens of thousands of units across a world.
  • Advanced Nitrous 3D engine allows players to zoom out on the map without having to transform the map into a simplified view of the battlefield.

“Our goal with Ashes is to help introduce a new generation of gamers to real-time strategy games,” Wardell said. “We want to make a game where players can invite their friends in and be up and playing relatively quickly without a lengthy explanation about how to play.”

The Ashes of the Singularity public beta is available now from Steam and GOG.

Stardock CEO Raves About DX12 Again! 4-5x Faster Than DX11

Stardock CEO Brad Wardell loves extolling the virtues of DirectX 12 and, in a recent interview with Niche Gamer, he’s been at it again. According to Wardell, DX12 will boast a 400%-500% performance improvement over DirectX 11.

Wardel told Niche Gamer:

“For me, it’s the tech, what is going to be the tech story that comes out of here? What I hope most users get, I’ve had a lot of meetings with Microsoft, AMD, and a little bit of NVIDIA and Intel – they really need to hit home the fact that DirectX 12, Vulkan, and Mantle, allow all of the cores of your CPU to talk to the video card simultaneously”.

“But everyone’s really iffy about that, because that means acknowledging that for the past several years, only one of your cores was talking to the GPU, and no one wants to go ‘You know by the way, you know that multi-core GPU? It was useless for your games.’ Alright? No one wants to be that guy.”

“People wonder, saying ‘Gosh, doesn’t it seem like PC games have stalled? I wonder why that is?’ Well, the speed of a single core on a computer has not changed in years. It’s been at 3GHz, or 2-something GHz for years, I mean that’s not the only thing that affects the speed, but you get the idea. Now, with DirectX 12, Vulkan, and Mantle, it’s how many cores you’ve got. We’ve got lots of those. Suddenly, you go by 4x, 5x, the performance”.

If Wardell is to be believed, DirectX 12 could cause the gulf between PC and console gaming to significantly widen. No wonder Microsoft are so keen to implement Windows 10-to-Xbox One streaming.

Source: TweakTown

First Ashes of the Singularity In-Game Footage Compares Performance of DX11 and DX12

Stardock’s Brad Wardell, probably the biggest advocate for DirectX 12 outside of Microsoft, has released the first in-game footage from his forthcoming real-time strategy Ashes of the Singularity, comparing differences in performance between DX11 and DX12.

Ashes of the Singularity is powered by the Nitrous Engine, designed to handle busy screens with interactive and visual complexity, and by the looks of it, the game pushes that engine to its extreme.

The video below, posted to Wardell’s YouTube account, is a tad shaky…

…but, thankfully, Wardell produced a more professional-looking follow-up with AMD:

Source: Dark Side of Gaming

Test Shows Over 100fps Difference Between DX12 and DX11

Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock, has had some interesting things to say about DirectX 12, and in a recent test he compared DX12 to its predecessor, DX11, on a high-end system with an unreleased GPU. The results saw DX12 outperform it previous iteration by over 100fps.

Wardell shared the following tweet:

Of course, Wardell’s followers had questions aplenty regarding his DX12 test, which he duly answered. He told one follower that he ran the test on a Crossfire system with an AMD processor, while he said to another, when quizzed on whether the system specifications compared to the Xbox One, Wardell replied that it was, “way beyond console stuff”.

Wardell was quick to share his thoughts on the benefits of DX12, telling another follower:

Microsoft, Stardock, and other developers are set to reveal more details on DirectX 12 at GDC next month.

Source: Dark Side of Gaming