We wanted to talk with Nvidia about The Way It’s Meant to be Played for some time and finally we got the opportunity to get a few questions answered by Roy Taylor, Vice President of Content Relations at NVIDIA, and also with the help of Ken Brown. Here is what Nvidia said.
Fudzilla: What does Nvidia think about DirectX 10?
Roy Taylor - Nvidia: DirectX 10 is important. But in some respects its importance is misunderstood. While some DX 10 features can be produced in DX 9, what’s often missed is that those features if/when implemented in DX 9 are very expensive in terms of hardware requirements. In addition, DX 10 allows key features like motion blur, depth of field and god rays to be more easily implemented compared to DX 9. So I like the features and streamlined programmability that DirectX 10 offers.
I’ve seen some gamers express impatience with DX 10’s impact. Consider when DX 9 came out: it took 18 months from the launch of DX 9 in Dec 2002 to the first DX 9 content to arrive. Compare that to the launch of DX 10 in November last year to the launch of Lost Planet – that took only 8 months. This is a testament to DX 10, and of course, The Way It's Meant To Be Played. Now we have 5 DX 10 games out and another dozen coming before Christmas.
Secondly DX10 is delivering on features that mean something to gamers. Ask yourself this – what features did DX9 bring that as a gamer you can remember?
DX10 delivers not just technology but game features like motion blur, depth of field, god rays, view distance, volumetric (realistic) clouds, fog, etc.
For example, until now faces on characters have been a big challenge. Have you noticed how many games have troops / people / bad guys wearing masks? Or when you run up to someone they look just like all the others? Well, that’s because face art and animation is very hardware-and software-intensive. DX10 support for GPU blend shapes and allow major changes in facial animation and detail. In addition, it’s now possible using state-based instancing (among other techniques) to have lots of people all with different looks and with facial animation. So, for example, your character could run into a nightclub or a village and have to find a specific person before it’s too late. That creates a tense new gaming challenge.
Fudzilla: How many TWIMTP titles can we expect this year and can we get a peek at what is coming?
Roy Taylor - Nvidia: We expect to release more than 25 titles in The Way It's Meant To Be Played program this year, including Crysis, Hellgate London, World In Conflict, Unreal Tournament 3, FPS Creator X, PT Boats, Universe at War, and Company Of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. A full list can be found at www.nzone.com
We’re looking forward to seeing the DX10 versions of Gears of War, Flight SimX, and Lord of the Rings Online later this year.
Fudzilla: How does The Way It's Meant To Be Played work? Do you help to develop content or do you spend the marketing money for games?
Roy Taylor - Nvidia: The biggest misconception people have of The Way It's Meant To Be Played is that it's just a marketing program. That’s probably because the logo is the most visible aspect of the program to consumers, but the program is really about:
1. Content creation: we support, advise and help create content with our free tools like FX Composer 2, our support team, and our dev tech engineers.
2. De-bug and test. We provide performance analysis and optimization tools like PerfHUD, and we have a Games Test Lab where all they do is test games on hundreds of different platforms. The GTL provides voluminous reports to help the developers and our dev tech team figure out where we need to make improvements to ensure the best performance across a wide range of system configs.
3. End user tests, feedback and beta testing. So far, more than 5M people have taken part in testing their PC’s for game compatibility using the test program on www.nzone.com
Our goal is to make sure that GeForce owners have a rich gaming experience.
As we didn’t want to give you a massively long read we will post Part Two where Nvidia talks about its relationship with developers and publishers and the future.
If you have more quetions you can ask Nvidia or us at our Forum here.