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Thursday, October 17, 2013
Nvidia Dips Into Game Development With GameWorks, Announces New Holiday Bundle

Nvidia is trying to promote its graphics technology and products by engaging more actively with the game developing community through what the company calls GameWorks. In addition, the company announced a special holiday game bundle.

Nvidia is expanding "The Way It's Meant To Be Played" with GameWorks. GameWorks puts NVIDIA's tools and technologies - and some of its best engineers - into studios building games. "The goal of this initiative is to empower and enable game developers with new tools that will aid them in creating better gaming experiences," according to Nvidia.

At its heart are more than 300 NVIDIA engineers, with thousands of years of collective experience. Nvidia dispatched its engineers to work onsite with top game developers and add effects, tweak performance, fix bugs, and train developers in open standards

There are 6 core elements of GameWorks:

- VisualFX SDK - tools for complex effects, such as WaveWorks, FlameWorks, and GIWorks for real-time simulation of global illumination. FlameWorks is a volumetric effect engine designed to make flams and smoke more realistic. GIWorks is a real-time global illumination solution designed to minimize the amount of work games devs need to expend to implement realistic lighting into a scene, with accurate reflections and indirect lighting.

- Graphics library

- PhysX SDK - Flex will be integrated into the PhysX development tools

- Core SDK - the foundation technology behind GeForce and all Nvidia platforms

- Game compute library - for GPU Compute

- Optix - for creating interactive ray tracing engines, ambient occlusion, procedural surfaces, and light baking; will be used as part of the core pipeline for a lot of multiplatform game engines

Nvidia also plans to fully support SteamOS from the moment it is available, and the GameWorks program will play an integral role in the collaborative effort between game developers, Valve, and Nvidia.

Here's a taste of what Nvidia's team has helped accomplish:

- "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag" will feature God Rays, which allow game makers to paint beams of light that illuminate a scene from above; horizon-based ambient occlusion + (HBAO+) for more detailed and realistic shadows around objects that obstruct rays of light; percentage-closer soft shadows (PCSS) for more lifelike contact hardening shadows; and temporal anti-aliasing (TXAA) for smoother edges.

- "Batman: Arkham Origins" is built with support for GPU PhysX for realistic turbulence, particle and cloth effects, NVIDIA Bokeh & Depth of Field technologies for cool camera effects, HBAO+, PCSS, and TXAA.

- "Call of Duty: Ghosts" will feature GPU PhysX for more realistic turbulence and particle effects, TXAA, and HBAO+.

Nvidia also announced a special holiday game bundle. With any GeForce GTX 660 or GTX 760 graphics card, consumers will also get a free copy of "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag" and "Splinter Cell Blacklist." Buying a GTX 770, GTX 780 or GTX TITAN also includes a free copy of "Batman: Arkham Origins."

To celebrate the production release of PC game steaming to SHIELD, Nvidia is also offering $50-$100 off the purchase of an NVIDIA SHIELD with your GTX purchase.

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