11 Days of DirectX 11: AMD interview with Battlefield developer DICE
Currently only Ati graphics cards support DirectX 11 and AMD deals with the matter intensively. Now an interview with Dice, the developers of the Frostbite Engine, about the new API has been released.
With the Radeon HD 5000 series AMD introduced the first consumer level graphics cards that support Microsoft's new DirectX 11. The latest version of the application programming interface (API) delivers several new features like Hardware Tessellation and is also supposed to make better performance possible. In a series of interviews, called "11 Days of DirectX 11”, the graphics card manufacturer asks representatives of several industry sections about DX 11. On day six the developers of the Frostbite engine, Dice, had a change to share their thoughts.
Johan Andersson, Senior Software Architect in the Frostbite Engine team, revealed some interesting pieces of information about the forthcoming Frostbite Engine 2 which is currently developed and will support DirectX 11, too.
AMD: Can you start please with some background on how you are using DirectX 11 in the Frostbite 2 engine? What made you decide to jump onboard with DirectX 11?
Johan Andersson: [...]Now in DirectX 11, with the new support for multi-threading in the API, we can render objects and submit it to the GPU in parallel on all available CPU cores (we've tested up to 16 virtual cores). This will be a big performance improvement and allow us to have much more variation and detail on our levels while costing less than before.[...]
When asked about how the developers plan to use Direct Compute 11 for Deferred Shaders, Andersson referred to the presentation he held at Siggraph 09 where a demo scene of the Frostbite 2 with 1000 dynamic light sources was shown. According to the Senior Software Architect the Tessellation offered by DirectX 11 is supposed to be used for "Smooth / round objects (for example vehicles and their wheels), Very bumpy objects such as cobblestones and rocky terrain; Characters”. Besides that the Dice man also mentions that with the Frostbite engine the developers have chosen their own way for dealing with physics in video games: At DICE and with Frostbite we have taken a bit different approach than most I think. We do not care about how realistically individual pieces are simulated or how many rigid bodies or physics particles you have. Instead we try to focus on the big picture and create large destructible environments that are consistent and can truly affect the way people play our games on all platforms to experience a dynamic and chaotic ‘battlefield'. For example, if a sniper is hiding in a building - blow up the building and the sniper with it. Or if you are in a tank and your path is stopped by trees, fences or even the side of a building - just drive through it all, no need for those puny objects to stop your big tank. All of the different types of destruction work together to create opportunities for the pure fun, emergent game play experience that Battlefield is known for. And everyone likes to blow stuff up right?. So now everyone can think for themselves what this means for the next Battlefield and Bad Company games.
you can find the whole interview with Johan Andersson, as well as other episodes from the 11 Days of Direct X 11 series, in the AMD Blog.
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