Train2Game News Microsoft reveal DirectX 12

DirectX 12Microsoft has revealed the latest version of its DirectX API at GDC. The new version has been designed to work across across multiple platforms including PC, Xbox One, tablets and smartphones.

It was claimed the API reduces CPU overhead significantly compared to DirectX 11 and was designed from scratch to take full advantage of advanced GPU hardware features on next-gen systems.

DirectX 12 was shown off on stage with a tech demo of Forza 5 running on a PC powered by an Nvidia Geforce Titan Black by Microsoft DirectX development manager Anuj Gosalia.

Nvidia, which worked with Microsoft on developing the API, will support the latest upgrade on all DirectX 11-class GPUs it has shipped in the Fermi, Kepler and Maxwell architectural families.

“DX12’s focus is on enabling a dramatic increase in visual richness through a significant decrease in API-related CPU overhead,” said Nvidia engineer Henry Moreton.

“Historically, drivers and OS software have managed memory, state, and synchronisation on behalf of developers. However, inefficiencies result from the imperfect understanding of an application’s needs. DX12 gives the application the ability to directly manage resources and state, and perform necessary synchronisation. As a result, developers of advanced applications can efficiently control the GPU, taking advantage of their intimate knowledge of the game’s behaviour.”

While initial details have covered the form of the graphics API, Moreton said future Direct3D releases would include new rendering features.

No release date has been set for DirectX 12.

Train2Game News: Valve Steam Machine specs

ValveValve has confirmed the specifications of its Steam Machine prototype boxes, which will be sent out later this year.

300 of the devices will be sent to testers in a closed hardware beta, and will include the also-announced Steam Controller.

“The prototype machine is a high-end, high-performance box, built out of off-the-shelf PC parts,” said Valve in a statement.

“It is also fully upgradable, allowing any user to swap out the GPU, hard drive, CPU, even the motherboard if you really want to.”

“Apart from the custom enclosure, anyone can go and build exactly the same machine by shopping for components and assembling it themselves. And we expect that at least a few people will do just that.”

All of the “high-end, high-performance” boxes will run Valve’s Linux-based SteamOS operating system, but the cases will be made by a variety of manufacturers.

Valve’s list of the internal components of the Machines is as follows:

•    GPU: Some units with NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660

•    CPU: Some boxes with Intel i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3

•    RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB DDR5 (GPU)

•    Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD

•    Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold

•    Dimensions: Approx. 12×12.4×2.9-inches high

“This design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users,” added Valve on the details.

“It may, however, be the kind of machine that a significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase – those who want plenty of performance in a high-end living room package”

“Many others would opt for machines that have been more carefully designed to cost less, or to be tiny, or super quiet, and there will be Steam Machines that fit those descriptions.”

Train2Game News: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag at Eurogamer

ACIV Ace Of SpadesBe one of the first in the UK to play Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag at the Eurogamer Expo this weekend!

Get hands on with three different demos at the Ubisoft, NVIDIA and Sony stands, and pick up your free exclusive Assassin’s Creed Ace of Spades card, designed by award winning London artist Vic Lee, from stand staff after you have played* (while stocks last).

Fans who pre order Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag from the GAME stand at the Expo will also receive a limited edition artwork print, exclusively designed for Ubisoft by Vic Lee.

Mr Vic Lee – described variously as a storyteller, artist, illustrator, historian, mapper, ragamuffin and vagabond – can been discovered at www.viclee.co.uk

This is only the beginning of your Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag journey. The Ace of Spades is the key, the question is… to what?

The game will be available to play on a Sony PlayStation 4 I have been told. This seems an excellent game to test the new hardware.

Train2Game News: New Nvidia hand-held console announced

Project ShieldTrain2Game has discovered that Nvidia just announced Project Shield, a new gaming console that looks like a controller attached to a 5 inch HD screen.

The new hand held console runs on the Android operating system but what sets it apart from the other android platforms is that it has a controller similar to a current console controller for ease of use.

Project Shield is powered by a custom 72-core Nvidia A15 GeForce GPU and features a 5-inch 720p retinal multi-touch display, integrated speakers, wi-fi connectivity and the Android operating system. It’s also designed to interface as a controller with an Nvidia GPU-equipped PC, allowing you to play games from your couch.

Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO of Nvidia said “Project Shield was created by Nvidia engineers who love to game and imagined a new way to play. We were inspired by a vision that the rise of mobile and cloud technologies will free us from our boxes, letting us game anywhere, on any screen. We imagined a device that would do for games what the iPod and Kindle have done for music and books, letting us play in a cool new way”

No word yet on what the device will cost. A post on the official GeForce website lists a tentative release window of Q2 2013. The site states “It will first launch in the US and Canada, with a worldwide rollout to follow. Pricing and final specs will be unveiled closer to availability.”

The Android gaming platform seems to be a big player in 2013 with the OUYA games console, the recently announced GameStick and now Project Shield from Nvidia.

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up

Blizzard Entertainment released Mists Of Pandaria yesterday. The latest expansion for World Of Warcraft. Blizzard have also said that they have no fear of Windows 8 and will release games for any platform their players are on.

Avenged Sevenfold have released a new track that will feature on Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2. The song, Carry On, is the second song the band have released for a Call Of Duty game. They previously released Not Ready To Die with one of the Call Of Duty: Black Ops DLC packs.

Telltale’s five Walking Dead episodic games will be put on disc in December for Xbox360 and PS3. The game is based on the graphic novel turned TV show and through playing them myself I can say, if you are a fan of the series, play this game. You won’t be disappointed.

Nvidia’s head of cloud gaming, Phil Eisler, believes that cloud gaming could take over from consoles. He believes that consoles have one final generation in them before they die out, leaving the world of gaming in the hands of the cloud.

Ubisoft have announced that Assassins Creed 3 will not play on Windows XP. The company has released the specifications needed to play the game. There is a version for Windows 8 in the pipeline though.

Bethesda have released an animated prequel to its upcoming Dishonored. The webseries is called Tales of Dunwall and the gorgeous animated shorts are being released in three parts. The videos can be found on YouTube and they show the downfall of the in game city.

Sony Xdev are giving a small studio the opportunity to win £25,000. This new initiative, called Playstation Pioneers, will reward developers for a PlayStation Mobile game concept and will also offer successful candidates the opportunity to work alongside XDev. Further details can be found here.

An extra four titles have been added to the Humble Bundle 6. The titles are: Bit.Trip Runner, Gratuitous Space Battles, Jamestown, and Wizorb. If you have already purchased the bundle, you will get the new games added at no extra cost.

If you are attending Eurogamer this weekend you can get a special surprise when you play Company Of Heroes 2. Everyone that plays the game or attends the developer session at the event will get a code to access a future beta for the game.

Finally Train2Game will be at Eurogamer this weekend. If you are attending go and say hello, it is always nice to meet these people. I will be attending on the Saturday so if you see me feel free to talk to me. I hope everyone that attends has a brilliant time.

Train2Game competition: Codebox #1 – calling all coders!

Here it is the first of the new Train2Game monthly competitions – this month is the turn of the coders. We will need you to go to Student World to read the Terms and Conditions, they can be found in the ‘classroom section’.

All the information you need to enter is on the Competition thread on the Train2Game forum.

When submitting your entry you must confirm in the body of the email that you have read, understood and accept these Terms and Conditions.

Send your answers in to codeboxcompetition@drstudios.co.uk.
Closing date for entries is Monday, September 12th. We will announce the winners the following week.

The prize: The awesome Asus nVIDIA 3D GeForce GTX 560 TI DirectCu II TOP Graphics Card (1GB) worth nearly £200.00!

AND two runners up will also each receive a pair of tickets to the Eurogamer.

Due to the nature of floating point values, the exact result will be impossible to store in a double, so the winner will be the Search() function which comes the closest. In the event of identical results, the speed of the Search() function will be taken into account. In the event of identical speeds, the result will be drawn out of a hat. The decision of the judges will be final.

Good luck!


					

Train2Game monthly student competitions

Train2Game Competition prize - NVIDIA Graphics card

Train2Game are running one student competition per month, this month it’s the turn of the coders!

Are you a coder on Train2Game’s Developer course? If yes, then this month’s feature competition is for you!

The prize: The awesome Asus nVIDIA 3D GeForce GTX 560 TI DirectCu II TOP Graphics Card (1GB) worth nearly £200.00!

AND two runners up will also each receive a pair of tickets to the Eurogamer.
That’s got to be worth a little of your time!

What do you have to do? Check the Train2Game forum on Monday, August 29th when we will post up the problem that we’d like you to solve!