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THQ & PhysX

THQ Selects NVIDIA PhysX Technology for Use in Its Worldwide Studios has word of another licensing win for NVIDIA and its PhysX game physics technology, saying simply that THQ "has selected NVIDIA PhysX technology for use by its studios worldwide." The rest of the press release recaps NVIDIA's view of what makes PhysX so great, along with a quote from THQ's Roy Tessler on that same topic: "The NVIDIA PhysX technology delivers astonishing physics effects and will help us develop the most competitive and innovative products in the marketplace. With support for both the CPU and the GPU, PhysX technology allows us the creative freedom to design compelling environments and deliver truly immersive gaming experiences."

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60. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 24, 2008, 12:27 theyarecomingforyou
 
How can you say it's a pointless implementation?
It's pointless because it only applies to nVidia users with 8xxx series cards and above. That wasn't a problem back in the days of 3DFX because there was nothing like it on the market but currently we have healthy competition between nVidia and ATi and everyone moving over to nVidia would destroy that. Obviously if we were talking simply about whether having it as an option or not everyone would love it but the politics behind such a move cannot be ignored. The reality is that pressure is being applied by publishers because they get a nice paycheck from nVidia. You can no longer buy the standalone PhysX cards.
 
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59. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 24, 2008, 02:43 CreamyBlood
 
Littleme: Also a good thing to see is trees and vegetation that not only be destroyed but move in a more natural way.

Larry Niven: "How smart do you have to be to sneak up on a leaf?"

Perhaps you mean Rambo style and want to wipe out everything around you with a mini-gun, as bullets fly, trees are mowed down, foliage is flying and their's nothing but the complete and utter destruction of everything around you. I'll admit, it sounds satisfying, I'm completely into that. Even if you kill a few trees.

But to be honest, I initially thought of one of those newer 'animal casual games' and that you wanted to be 'immersed' in being a Giraffe.

 
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58. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 24, 2008, 00:28 CreamyBlood
 
I'm looking forward to stacks of crates in warehouses tumbling down realistically. Once that happens you'll know that we've hit the holy grail of FPS's.


That would be nice. Not sure if you mean that sarcastically or not. I'm looking forward destructible buildings and terrain for games like Battlefield 3, ArmA 5 or whatever they will be. Also a good thing to see is trees and vegetation that not only be destroyed but move in a more natural way.

I actually meant it as a not so subtle joke as every FPS since the beginning of mankind has had a crate, somewhere in some level. Sometimes they're used as cover, occasionally as a jumping block, often as a cheap (polywise) way of providing decoration.

I really can't explain it further, if I need to then you're probably young or new to the whole evolution of FPS's. Or I'm just really crappy at telling jokes.

As to the rest of what you guys all started getting into, I don't get it. I think Derek is right in what he was talking about, but it's devolved into arguing about different things.

There's nothing wrong with adding more realism and 'imershun' to games, none at all. Go for it. Even if it adds nothing to gameplay. I like bouncing crates that don't shatter into twenty million pieces or ricochet off the walls and ceiling before finally settling down. That helps.

As far as I can understand, PhysX is just another piece of middleware/API to help you program your games, like Havok or the open source library he mentioned.

The only difference is that PhysX tried making a custom hardware device to take advantage of it, which failed. Now it's got the backing of nVidia using your GPU and probably low-level instruction sets. Who cares? Why does a gamer care if the CPU or the GPU is using processing power to calculate your falling boxes, splinters and gibs?

I'm not much of a coder anymore and certainly not a game developer, but why would you WANT your expensive graphics card doing stuff that your dual or quad core CPU is perfectly capable of? Sure, it sounds like a GPU if it has extra cycles is more efficient at that, but who cares?

I guess my point is, is that I agree that PhysX is a bunch of hype. I'm not arguing against having more 'immershun' in games, but why 'champion' some ridiculously hyped API?

It's almost like me going, “Yeah, my accounting software uses a super efficient STDLIB to convert strings to integers. But it only works with motherboards that have a VIA1922b chipset. Isn't that awesome!

This comment was edited on Dec 24, 2008, 00:59.
 
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57. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 23, 2008, 16:28 Elessar
 
theyarecomingforyou: I'd much rather see effort invested in physics that actually impact upon gameplay the pointless implementation used in Mirror's Edge.

How can you say it's a pointless implementation? Leaving whether PhysX is actually necessary to accomplish the visual enhancements aside; Since when have gamers not appreciated more realism and better visuals? Have the graphics been that good over the last couple of years that some people have become jaded and only expect gameplay improvements? I don't know about you, but I still look for devs to take new games to the next level in all facets of a title. Graphics, gameplay and sound. Physics is interconnected between all of these things. And by no means have we hit a plateau in any of those departments. While games are progressively more amazing and impressive, there's always room for improvement and not just in the gameplay.
 
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56. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 23, 2008, 13:58 theyarecomingforyou
 
Thing is, if this stuff could have been done already, why haven't we seen it? Mirror's Edge is a great example. The extra visuals are not on consoles at all and nowhere to be found on non-PhysX PCs.
Yes, but Crysis was supposed to use DX10 for improved visual fidelity but it turned out they just disabled most of it on non-Vista machines. Obviously PhysX is slightly different but that's not to say it couldn't have been done in a different way to support all platforms; nVidia are paying developers to make their technology good, not to pick the best implementation.

BTW, I support physics being used to improve games. I just think nVidia paying publishers to implement it simply to get one up on ATi is simply not in the interests of gamers. I'd much rather see effort invested in physics that actually impact upon gameplay the pointless implementation used in Mirror's Edge. It also remains to be seen what the performance hit is, as using shaders for physics takes away from performance, not to mention the additional demand that such additional rendering demands - dropping 20fps for tat does not seem like a worthwhile use of time.
 
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55. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 23, 2008, 13:53 4D-Boxing
 
Unlike you armchair pundits, I'm a developer who has not only written graphics and physics pipelines, but also have experience with PhysX. I, like others, decided to pass on it because for what it gives you, the end just does not justify the means.

Wow you're developer & you can't grasp simple concepts posted on a gaming site. Must be a reflection on your work. If it's to hard for you to understand that people including devs need to see the alternatives before they they invest in developing a more complexe engine. You've read about all the titles that die in dev. & the % of the titles that make it on the shelves that make profit etc.. & You still can't grasp this simple concept. Car manufacturers bring all these concepts to auto shows jsut for fun right.

Recess is over D! I recommend that you go back to school or finish school & change your career path. So did you ever get a real degree are still using that mail in one?!
Your attempt at starting a flam war over comments that back up your ideas is just weak & to be honest it's as much of a failure as your career as developer.


How many devs or publishers do you hear talking about releasing PhysX enabled games? Even as patches? Thats right. NONE.

Making up stuff does not make your weak comments worth reading..check out the news on this site & do little research D! Patch in PhysX lol coming from they guy who said with reason that physics should be built in the engine lol!!! You're even fighting yourself D! whats up?

This is officially over Kid..when you start making up stuff you just prove to everyone that you're complete joke.
 
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54. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 23, 2008, 13:26 Elessar
 
dsmart: Point being - again - there is NOTHING in Mirror's Edge that couldn't have been done on a separate CPU core. Nothing. Heck until I read this, I had no idea that it even used PhysX. Go figure.

And - again - why haven't we seen it then? If you watch the demo video, particularly when the blue tarp gets blown out, I've NEVER seen that type of plastic physics in a game. Not from Havoc or any other physics engine out there. So why now, all of a sudden, we see something that's this fluid, rich and realistic? If it could have been done on another CPU core (which have been available to average consumers for years now), according to you, we should have seen it already. Yet we haven't seen it until the Mirror's Edge demo. Only difference I see between now and before is PhysX.

*edit* Just wanted to note that I completely agree with LittleMe. In something like Mirror's Edge PhysX adds visual enhancements which GREATLY improve the atmosphere. Yes, gameplay is important, but atmosphere is just as important for immersion. And no, I'm not saying it's going to make or break the PC game. It adds to the experience. You can't bank the success or failure of title based on one feature.

This comment was edited on Dec 23, 2008, 13:37.
 
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53. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 23, 2008, 01:12 LittleMe
 
Then when the game tanks or fails to meet expectations because they are focusing on novelty rather than GAMEPLAY, people wonder why.

Well, there's more to games than gameplay, imo. What about atmosphere? For example, the Stalker games have nice atmosphere, and that atmosphere is *more* than a novelty. Does atmosphere add to gameplay directly? No, but it adds immersion. Can physics on GPU add that? I know that Stalker doesn't use phsyx... Just saying that games aren't all about gameplay.

Gameplay isn't everything. Sure, it's a central feature of a game, but there's more than gameplay. I mean, why do games have textures and colored lighting? Those don't add to gameplay either.

Things that don't add to gameplay that are still important to have in a game:

Music
Textures
Colored lighting
Graphical options that offer visual enhancements
etc etc etc

This comment was edited on Dec 23, 2008, 01:18.
 
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52. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 22, 2008, 19:40  dsmart 
 
@ Elessar

Thing is, if this stuff could have been done already, why haven't we seen it?

Because it doesn't factor into the gameplay experience? Especially since it takes time to implement something - and then not have it be an integral part of "the game".

Mirror's Edge is a great example. The extra visuals are not on consoles at all and nowhere to be found on non-PhysX PCs.

Yet...

(a) Mirrors Edge tanked at retail

(b) Nobody is talking about how AWESOME the PhysX integration is and how it changes the game, the gameplay, puts hair on your chest etc.

Point being - again - there is NOTHING in Mirror's Edge that couldn't have been done on a separate CPU core. Nothing. Heck until I read this, I had no idea that it even used PhysX. Go figure.

You think this is all hype and marketing on nVidia's part? They would have you believe the processing power just isn't there for it otherwise.

Yes. That and the fact that they're trying to justify their expense (the purchase of PhysX) - and stick it to ATI at the same time. At gamer's expense.

Point is, Havoc blinked (see Intel) and nVidia freaked out.

To wit: Charging $50K for the sdk source if you want to tailor it to your needs. So e.g. if you wanted RBD, you have to buy the source, then hack it in. They're fucking crazy if you ask me.

Not sure how true or not that is. If it is true; As a gamer I'd feel quite betrayed that this market's progression was being held back for monetary reasons (big surprise).

Well it won't be the first time now would it?

So I guess I'm hoping that the PhysX hardware truly is the enabler when it comes to the visuals and physics they advertise and not just smoke and mirrors.

It'll never happen. It is in fact all smoke and mirrors. Any game using PhysX is not going to be able to stand head and shoulders above any other game that doesn't have it. If that does in fact happen, I'd be shocked. But given the current and previous PhysX attempts in games, I'm not holding my breath. Neither should you.

This comment was edited on Dec 22, 2008, 19:43.
 
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51. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 22, 2008, 19:31 Tanto Edge
 
PhysX has it's place, but it's not in the mainstream yet.
nVidia hopes to change that. It won't be the first time, and if AMD and ATI wanted to really stand apart, then this would have been a natural evolution, given that they're already a merger, it would make logical sense to me that they went forth. But they didn't.
So nVidia made the wise call.

I'm not saying ATI and AMD wanted PhysX, I'm just saying it would have been a sensible movement.
That was, the PhysX could slowly be integrated with the CPU.
Then maybe we can have the GPU in there too.
Then suddenly we can simplify our computer market as a whole.

"Tanto, you one crazy asshole."

Yeah... dunno why I make this shit up.
 
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50. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 22, 2008, 18:08 Elessar
 
Alright, I'm understanding where you're coming from and I don't necessarily disagree. Thing is, if this stuff could have been done already, why haven't we seen it? Mirror's Edge is a great example. The extra visuals are not on consoles at all and nowhere to be found on non-PhysX PCs. You think this is all hype and marketing on nVidia's part? They would have you believe the processing power just isn't there for it otherwise. Not sure how true or not that is. If it is true; As a gamer I'd feel quite betrayed that this market's progression was being held back for monetary reasons (big surprise). So I guess I'm hoping that the PhysX hardware truly is the enabler when it comes to the visuals and physics they advertise and not just smoke and mirrors.

This comment was edited on Dec 22, 2008, 18:08.
 
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49. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 22, 2008, 17:03  dsmart 
 
@ 4D Boxing

OK, dsmart let me simplify my comment so even you can understand. If like you said all the stuff done using PhysX can be done without implementation of Havoc or Physx...Developers should produce games that backs that claim that way Physx & havoc will die a quick death. Hope that is no to hard for you to grasp D lol!!! I'm not even Anglophone & I can understand 99.99% of what is posted in here!

Let me simplify this for you and your brethren:

(1) PhysX already died once - even while there was decent physics and awesome graphics in games that didn't need or support it.

(2) The games that did have PhysX support didn't add anything to the experience by its implementation. Not a single thing.

(3) Even when offered as FREE to devs, 99% (judging by the list of games supporting it compared to the number of games released since the first PhysX was announced) could'nt care less - hence the reason nVidia is now using a marketing gimmick and causing the publishers to shove it down the devs throats.

(4) You don't need PhysX to add "awesome" physics related features to ANY game. You can pretty much do the same - and beyond - on the CPU by taking advantage of multi-core (the norm) hardware. PLUS, let me add that sticking your physics pipeline on a spare core is trivial when compared to all the aggravation that is required for PhysX. Even quad core CPUs are so yesterday, now that we're talking about i7 and higher cores coming down the pipeline.

Unlike you armchair pundits, I'm a developer who has not only written graphics and physics pipelines, but also have experience with PhysX. I, like others, decided to pass on it because for what it gives you, the end just does not justify the means.

I can give so many examples but you would just discount my argument again and continue with the straw man* arguments so common around here. So I'm just not going to bother.

However, I will give one example. GTA-IV. As massive and advanced as it is, my guess is that the devs wouldn't have rolled their own physics library when in fact PhysX was already free long before they even hit Beta.

In fact, Mirror's Edge would have been yet another excellent example.

How many devs or publishers do you hear talking about releasing PhysX enabled games? Even as patches? Thats right. NONE.

Saying that only PhysX can achieve the results that nVidia says it can is just crazy talk and is directed squarely at the marketing bigwigs who - traditionally have no frigging clue - use it as bullet points while makinh more un-necessary work for the devs. Then when the game tanks or fails to meet expectations because they are focusing on novelty rather than GAMEPLAY, people wonder why.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawman

This comment was edited on Dec 22, 2008, 17:11.
 
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48. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 22, 2008, 16:42 4D-Boxing
 
@ dsmart

Are you KIDDING? Devs have to produce something to prove that PhysX is over-hyped? You can't be serious. Thats like asking someone to jump off a cliff to prove that the rocks below are hard.

OK, dsmart let me simplify my comment so even you can understand. If like you said all the stuff done using PhysX can be done without implementation of Havoc or Physx...Developers should produce games that backs that claim that way Physx & havoc will die a quick death. Hope that is no to hard for you to grasp D lol!!! I'm not even Anglophone & I can understand 99.99% of what is posted in here!


As for you little reply lol!!! It's like asking a car maker to prove that his car performs better than a competitors car. If GM says Ford cars are crap I really hope they have something better to offer to back up their claim if not well..it's just talk. Since you could not even understand the initial comment it's safe to say you wont be able to grasp this concept.

Anyone can say something is craptastic...just come & read the comments section on this site. Some people complain & complain other do act. I don't just go around complaining about the party that is in power I vote to change things. What are you going to do to end this havoc/PhyX hype other than complain & use fancy words like craptastic & turn on people who agree with your view on the subject?!

This comment was edited on Dec 22, 2008, 16:49.
 
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47. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 22, 2008, 15:15 Elessar
 
Once again, you missed the point. Quite frankly, I can't be bothered. If someone else wants to explain it to you, let them.

I got your point, I just didn't see any sense in it. No one here claimed that PhysX will make or break a game. You can site Force Unleashed all you want, but a bad game is a bad game (some may disagree on this particular title, but I'm using it because of what you said about it). There are many things that make a game good or bad. But certainly if a game was good and included a good implementation of PhysX (or even Havoc), it would be one of the contributing factors of it's success. PhysX is just another method of doing something that has it's pros and cons as any other method does. Unfortunately, one of the cons is hardware exclusivity, which may or may not be an issue in the future.

I can't see what exactly there is to be mad about here. More is better.
 
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46. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 22, 2008, 15:13 Kosumo
 
....ask a silly question...

Well, from that screen shot I would say that you where not and also wonder what is up with those clouds.
 
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45. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 22, 2008, 15:03  dsmart 
 
@ Elessar

First of all, settle down. We're talking about games here. Sure we can be emotional about the topic, but no need be on the attack here. Just have a discussion.

er, uhm, wot?

As far as cloth realism not being relevant, how could it not? Look at the PC version of Mirror's Edge. PhysX will essentially add eye candy with realistic cloth/plastic visuals and more glass breakage. It's a bonus, it's a perk, it's visual evolution. How could you NOT want that?

Once again, you missed the point. Quite frankly, I can't be bothered. If someone else wants to explain it to you, let them.


@ Kosumo

Does your game have any kind of anti-aliasing in it or is that just one of those new fangdangle tech that no one will use?

AA? Whats that? Is it one of those new fangdangle tech that no one will use.

....ask a silly question...

This comment was edited on Dec 22, 2008, 15:05.
 
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44. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 22, 2008, 14:58 Elessar
 
@dsmart
Wakeup! This is not about realism (looks like you missed the boat). It is about viability and gameplay. Claiming that cloth simulation is realism is no more silly than claiming that a game's flight dynamics is realism.

No amount of cloth simulation, breakage etc can make up for a bad or sub-par game. And certainly not to the extent that is has to be exclusive to one API and one hardware type. Don't be silly.

First of all, settle down. We're talking about games here. Sure we can be emotional about the topic, but no need be on the attack here. Just have a discussion.

My point wasn't pro-exclusivity. It was pro-gaming and it's evolution. If it takes one or more dev companies to do that, fine. I welcome any new, intelligent contributor to our market that will challenge existing methods and bring new ones to the table.

As far as cloth realism not being relevant, how could it not? Look at the PC version of Mirror's Edge. PhysX will essentially add eye candy with realistic cloth/plastic visuals and more glass breakage. It's a bonus, it's a perk, it's visual evolution. How could you NOT want that?

This comment was edited on Dec 22, 2008, 15:00.
 
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43. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 22, 2008, 14:51 Kosumo
 
http://www.3000ad.com/aaw/media/shots/08-12-17/pic082.PNG

@ dsmart

Does your game have any kind of anti-aliasing in it or is that just one of those new fangdangle tech that no one will use?
 
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42. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 22, 2008, 14:32  dsmart 
 
@ 4D-Boxing

I just wish that all those people who bash Physx would produce something fresh to prove their point…yeah yeah physx this physx that but release something with descent support & mod tools so that people can take in game physics to the next level. If not it's just whining for the sake of whining but that is just my opinion & we all know what that is worth.

Are you KIDDING? Devs have to produce something to prove that PhysX is over-hyped? You can't be serious. Thats like asking someone to jump off a cliff to prove that the rocks below are hard.

@ Sessar

Honestly, who doesn't want more realistic cloth, hair and more individual elements of broken glass, walls, etc.? I can see people being bitter about having to buy a separate addin PPU card as it was initially. But this shit is integrated on some of the video cards we buy. So what if it doesn't directly modify your gameplay. Since when has more eye candy been a bad thing? And who's to say this won't develop into something bigger and include gameplay and visual improvements?

Wakeup! This is not about realism (looks like you missed the boat). It is about viability and gameplay. Claiming that cloth simulation is realism is no more silly than claiming that a game's flight dynamics is realism.

No amount of cloth simulation, breakage etc can make up for a bad or sub-par game. And certainly not to the extent that is has to be exclusive to one API and one hardware type. Don't be silly.

Look no further than Star Wars : Force Unleashed for the latest argument in this regard. There was another recent game that talked up terrain deformation. It tanked. Spectacularly and last I checked, the devs were out of a job. Next up? Red Faction Guerilla.

The point of all this is that there is NO compelling reason to have PhysX be exclusive to ANY platform. Its not high-end enough, not fun enough, certainly not worthy of such lofty goals. Especially in the face of Bullet, Havoc etc.

This comment was edited on Dec 22, 2008, 14:34.
 
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41. Re: THQ & PhysX Dec 22, 2008, 12:50 MMORPGHoD
 
Meh, we'll probably have to wait for the next iteration of console designs to find out what physics hardware becomes the "standard".. and see gameplay that is actually enhanced by it. The PC gaming market is already too factured for pubs/devs to care about another specialized niche tech. Didn't anyone learn from DX10? This is an even smaller market slice of that. I own an nvidia card now (which doesn't support physx), but these news burbs still haven't changed my mind on making ATI my next card.

This comment was edited on Dec 22, 2008, 12:54.
 
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