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"Stunning" Nitrous Engine Impressions

GameInformer has impressions of the Oxide's upcoming Nitrous game engine Stardock is showing off at CES as the technology behind their upcoming revival of Star Control, the seminal space strategy game, calling what they saw "stunning." The 64-bit cross-platform engine was announced in October by Oxide, a startup which includes developers formerly from Firaxis, and they note that Firaxis vet Soren Johnson is making his own game with the engine at his startup Mohawk Studios (a third Nitrous-engine game is in development internally at Oxide). Here's word on how Stardock demoed the engine:

The demo we saw featured two massive battalions of starships as they engaged each other in a massive space battle. The demo was entirely real-time and from a distance it looked like the the fleets were schools of fish quickly zipping in and out of cannon fire, but as we zoomed in on the action we could see that each ship was detailed enough that even the muzzle flashes from their cannons would illuminate their deck.

"The simulation is all an example of real gameplay," said Stardock's mysteriously familiar brand manager Adam Biessener. "Each one of these ships is its own entity with its own AI, its own firing solutions, and is tracking its own hostiles. Each shot is individually modeled. Basically we wanted to build an engine that opened new doors for strategy developers. There are a lot of great engines out there, but a lot of them are built for FPSs. We wanted to build an engine that could display thousands of units at once."

And Stardock has achieved just that. The demo we saw featured nearly ten thousand units and hovered around 30 frames per second the whole time.

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42. Re: Jan 10, 2014, 12:44 Creston
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 10, 2014, 11:32:

Yeah, an engine like that is overkill for something like Star Control.

But it won't be overkill for Galciv 3, which is what I'm really looking forward to.
 
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41. Re: Jan 10, 2014, 11:32 jdreyer
 
Dev wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 23:33:
SpectralMeat wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 10:20:
I don't think any developer would be stupid enough to develop a game based on an engine that only runs on 30% of the computers out there.
MS has done it before when a new windows comes out. Even though it was proven later that the games they did it on actually didn't need the new windows version to run, they just pretended they did with an installer requirement.
Overon wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 17:26:
Hold on are we getting excited over a tech demo that we haven't seen but only heard described by a 3rd party?
I'm getting excited over the game (star control) itself, I care more about the gameplay, not any specific rumored graphical achievements.

Yeah, an engine like that is overkill for something like Star Control.
 
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40. Re: Jan 10, 2014, 11:31 jdreyer
 
Overon wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 22:30:
jdreyer wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 18:13:
Overon wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 17:26:
Hold on are we getting excited over a tech demo that we haven't seen but only heard described by a 3rd party?

You can watch it here. It's pretty impressive actually.
Okay I take my point back about 3rd party description but we should still temper our enthusiasm because of the tech demo shenanigans so common in the industry.

I think it's cool, but I really want to see it in a real game. Same goes for mantle, want to see what it does in a real game vs. the same non optimized.
 
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39. Re: Jan 10, 2014, 09:56 SXO
 
gray wrote on Jan 10, 2014, 08:24:
And Oxide has achieved just that. The demo we saw featured nearly ten thousand units and hovered around 30 frames per second the whole time.

wat.

I mean that's alot of units but, 30 fps is good now?

That's actually excellent considering they've yet to optimize it.
 
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38. Re: Jan 10, 2014, 09:28 InBlack
 
Atomic wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 13:19:
Cutter wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 12:25:
Fly wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 10:25:
Something for the FPS fans out there and those wondering what Star Citizen (or some other games) could look like:

"Dream Engine"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LYpUw3Rx0c

Higher resolution & clarity version at Vaya's Vimeo page:
http://vimeo.com/43096888

That was impressive - particularly the Mustang in the desert. The water needs a lot of work though, way too viscous. I quite like what they've got going on in AC4 for water.

That Mustang in the desert really made me want to see an updated Interstate 76 game.

Oh fuck you man. Fuck you for bringing up memories of that fantastic game....
 
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37. Re: Jan 10, 2014, 08:35 SpectralMeat
 
Dev wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 23:33:
SpectralMeat wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 10:20:
I don't think any developer would be stupid enough to develop a game based on an engine that only runs on 30% of the computers out there.
MS has done it before when a new windows comes out. Even though it was proven later that the games they did it on actually didn't need the new windows version to run, they just pretended they did with an installer requirement.
Yeah but you can not really compare Microsoft to a small indy dev like Stardock.
Besides Microsoft did that to push people towards upgrading to the new OS, what reasons would Stardock have to eliminate Nvidia users?
I don't think AMD would be able to cut them a big enough cheque to cover the exclusivity.
Anyways we will see later on this month when the demo comes out but.
 
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36. Re: Jan 10, 2014, 08:24 gray
 
And Oxide has achieved just that. The demo we saw featured nearly ten thousand units and hovered around 30 frames per second the whole time.

wat.

I mean that's alot of units but, 30 fps is good now?

 
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35. Re: Jan 9, 2014, 23:33 Dev
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 10:20:
I don't think any developer would be stupid enough to develop a game based on an engine that only runs on 30% of the computers out there.
MS has done it before when a new windows comes out. Even though it was proven later that the games they did it on actually didn't need the new windows version to run, they just pretended they did with an installer requirement.
Overon wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 17:26:
Hold on are we getting excited over a tech demo that we haven't seen but only heard described by a 3rd party?
I'm getting excited over the game (star control) itself, I care more about the gameplay, not any specific rumored graphical achievements.
 
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34. Re: Jan 9, 2014, 22:30 Overon
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 18:13:
Overon wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 17:26:
Hold on are we getting excited over a tech demo that we haven't seen but only heard described by a 3rd party?

You can watch it here. It's pretty impressive actually.
Okay I take my point back about 3rd party description but we should still temper our enthusiasm because of the tech demo shenanigans so common in the industry.
 
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33. Re: Jan 9, 2014, 18:13 jdreyer
 
Overon wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 17:26:
Hold on are we getting excited over a tech demo that we haven't seen but only heard described by a 3rd party?

You can watch it here. It's pretty impressive actually.
 
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32. Re: Jan 9, 2014, 17:26 Overon
 
Hold on are we getting excited over a tech demo that we haven't seen but only heard described by a 3rd party?  
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31. Re: Jan 9, 2014, 16:55 jdreyer
 
PHJF wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 16:33:
How about the space game where instead of being able to even see your target you fire warp bombs at their suspected locations from thousands of kilometers away? It's Silent Hunter, because in space, no one *REALLY* can hear you scream.

Yeah, if you really wanted to make a simulation of space combat, this is how it would work. Speed of light beam weapons, projectiles fired from rail guns traveling 1000 miles a second, active camouflage that reflected the stars behind you, etc. I think it would be interesting, but definitely not mass appeal.
 
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30. Re: Jan 9, 2014, 16:33 PHJF
 
How about the space game where instead of being able to even see your target you fire warp bombs at their suspected locations from thousands of kilometers away? It's Silent Hunter, because in space, no one *REALLY* can hear you scream.  
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29. Re: Jan 9, 2014, 15:01 Cutter
 
Atomic wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 13:19:
Cutter wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 12:25:
Fly wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 10:25:
Something for the FPS fans out there and those wondering what Star Citizen (or some other games) could look like:

"Dream Engine"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LYpUw3Rx0c

Higher resolution & clarity version at Vaya's Vimeo page:
http://vimeo.com/43096888

That was impressive - particularly the Mustang in the desert. The water needs a lot of work though, way too viscous. I quite like what they've got going on in AC4 for water.

That Mustang in the desert really made me want to see an updated Interstate 76 game.

I'd back that on KS in a heartbeat!
 
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28. Re: Jan 9, 2014, 13:58 McSterls
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 10:01:
So... they made an engine that only supports 30% of the market.... according to this -> http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey and think that's a good thing?


I only care about me (just being honest). Everyone else should upgrade so as to not hold back the gaming revolution, and this time it will be televised with V-Sync set to on.
 
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27. Re: Jan 9, 2014, 13:19 Atomic
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 12:25:
Fly wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 10:25:
Something for the FPS fans out there and those wondering what Star Citizen (or some other games) could look like:

"Dream Engine"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LYpUw3Rx0c

Higher resolution & clarity version at Vaya's Vimeo page:
http://vimeo.com/43096888

That was impressive - particularly the Mustang in the desert. The water needs a lot of work though, way too viscous. I quite like what they've got going on in AC4 for water.

That Mustang in the desert really made me want to see an updated Interstate 76 game.
 
Avatar 2718
 
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."
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26. Re: Jan 9, 2014, 13:17 jdreyer
 
The nice thing about Mantle is it lets the console have better games too, which means consoles will hold back PC gaming less, given all the crossplatform games that come out.  
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25. Re: Jan 9, 2014, 13:15 jdreyer
 
Fly wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 10:25:
Something for the FPS fans out there and those wondering what Star Citizen (or some other games) could look like:

"Dream Engine"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LYpUw3Rx0c

Higher resolution & clarity version at Vaya's Vimeo page:
http://vimeo.com/43096888

Those are pre-rendered, not in-engine. They were created in 3DSMax. Graphics like this at playable resolutions are 10 years out.
 
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24. Re: Jan 9, 2014, 13:13 Beamer
 
smackdaddy wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 11:33:
supports 30% of the market that probably accounts for 80% of all game sales. So yes they made a good choice.

Where the...?
Why the...?
How the...?


Seriously?
 
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23. Re: Jan 9, 2014, 12:51 HorrorScope
 
harlock wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 12:20:
HorrorScope wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 12:09:
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 11:59:
My fear is one of performance/lacking features when not using Mantle.

A common theme here. How about we wait for it to happen once and then voice our concerns then? Like what does our fears do for us now way ahead of the game? If they can't get adequate performance on AMD and NVidia products, that will be developments failure, not ours. Just be another bad game released and we move on...

i had a paranoid speculation that BF4 will run perfectly fine on the mantle version... so, example #1 possibly

but in reality i doubt it

BF4 may have issues, but on my end there is no performance issue with an Intel/NVidia setup. Could perhaps a Mantle version run a bit better or look a bit better? Perhaps. But I'm getting 100 FPS with solid looks now. Anything more is gravy, but not something I have to have to enjoy the game.
 
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