Apart from the obvious stuff like the game mechanics and gameplay, a lot of work goes behind the scenes when developing games, such as graphics and visual effects.
To help simplify these tasks for game developers and visual artists, NVIDIA has announced its new GameWorks program, a multi-platform solution aimed at empowering developers with the tools to help them create better graphics experiences.
GameWorks is essentially is comprised of three key pillars - research done by 300 world-class engineers; a library of SDKs, technology and algorithms; and finally developer tools.
Along with GameWorks, NVIDIA has announced three new SDKs - Flex, GI Works and Flame Works. These three SDKs hopes to solve classically challenging tasks and problems.
Flex is a unified physics system that combines rigid body and fluid simulations. Before this, developers had to combine and integrate different physics simulations, which was not always easy. Flex, however, completely unifies both physics simulations, thereby allowing game developers to easily combine rigid and fluid elements in their scenes.
GI Works is short for Global Illumination Works and it is a real-time simulation of global illumination. Why is this a big deal? Traditionally, developers often “bake” global illumination effects into their scenes, this means that they “cheat” by placing multiple (hundreds, if not thousands) light sources within a scene to generate global lighting effects. This is not only tedious, it is also not dynamic. This leads to difficulties for developers whenever a certain element requires an update. GI Works, on the other hand, is completely real-time and dynamic, thus saving developers lots of time and effort.
Finally, Flame Works is a film-quality volumetric effect solution for rendering flame and smoke, which are classically tricky for developers to do.
All in all, with their GameWorks initiative, NVIDIA is committed to helping developers achieve the best visual effects and graphics performance in their games.
In addition, NVIDIA has also stated that it will fully support SteamOS from day one.