Sony Unveils PhyreEngine 3.0 & New PS3 AI Middleware at GDC11
At GDC 2011 Sony unveiled to PS3 developers the new PhyreEngine 3.0 which includes NGP support alongside new PlayStation 3 AI middleware.
To quote from Develop-Online.net:
Sony have touted several new features of the 3.0 iteration and tools, including a new asset pipeline and processing tool, a rewritten level editor, 'more accessible' API and support for entities, scripting, and integrated physics and navigation components.
The engine also integrates with middleware tech from several of Sony's business partners, including Havok, Nvidia and Scaleform.
"We're very happy to see the popularity of PhyreEngine with the global game developer community" said SCEI technology platform SVP Teiji Yutaka.
"It has helped demonstrate our commitment to the game developer community and in particular enable smaller independent developers and publishers to flourish on PS3 and NGP."
Finally, below is the PS3 AI Middleware Press Release from ElectronicTheatre.co.uk (linked above):
Autodesk, Inc. has announced the imminent release of three new middleware products, amongst them is Autodesk Kynapse 2012 for artificial intelligence (AI).
The new releases help facilitate integration with popular game engines, support new game platforms and offer enhanced performance. Autodesk middleware has been integrated on numerous game productions including Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Dragon Age: Origins and EVE Online.
Autodesk Kynapse provides game developers with an extensive set of software libraries and development tools for real-time 3D path-finding, spatial awareness and team coordination. The middleware helps game developers save time and achieve greater game realism through ready-to-use tools for achieving complex behaviours.
Kynapse 2012 uses significantly less memory and provides better performance than previous versions. Developers will now enjoy greater control over the trade-off between CPU and memory consumption versus the precision of the AI solution.
On the PlayStation 3, navigation mesh algorithms can now execute on a synergistic processing unit (SPU). Further pathfinding optimizations make it easier to more quickly determine the existence of a path between two points. Such performance enhancements and the lower memory footprint mean game developers can build even more ambitious real-time character behaviors.
Developers can also better integrate Kynapse and use advanced features. "Path objects" items in a game level, such as doors, elevators and ladders, that a nonplayer character might interact with are now easier to use.
The other middleware products to be released by Autodesk, Inc. are Autodesk Beast 2012 for global illumination and Autodesk HumanIK 2012 for character animation. Along with Autodesk Kynapse, these products are expected to be available in spring 2011.
More PlayStation 3 News...
Ummm... what is this for exactly?
Some more details for those unaware on PhyreEngine: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PhyreEngine
PhyreEngine (also known as Phyre Engine) is a free to use, cross platform (PC, PSP & PS3) game engine from Sony Computer Entertainment. It supports OpenGL and Direct3D in addition to the low level PS3 LibGCM library.
PhyreEngine is distributed as an installable package that includes both full source code and PC Windows tools, provided under its own flexible use license that allows any PS3 game developer, publisher or Tools & Middleware company to create software based partly or fully on PhyreEngine on any platform.
The engine uses sophisticated parallel processing techniques that are optimized for the Synergistic Processor Unit (SPU) of the Cell Broadband Engine of PS3, but can be easily ported to other multi-core architectures.
As a result, PhyreEngine has been adopted by dozens of game studios creating games for the PlayStationStore or on Blu-ray Discs.
PhyreEngine also provides fully functional “game templates” as source code, including support for Havok Complete XS, NVIDIA PhysX and Bullet for physics.
So in other words they're going to actually start using the SPUs? Too little, too late. Aside from admitting what idiots they are, begging for forgiveness and promising to change their ways there is little that Sony can do to convince me to buy any more of their products ever again.
Unlike those who claim to be boycotting something who then break 10 seconds later I actually stick with it until something changes.
First thing they should (but won't) be doing is losing their "lose millions to make thousands and scare people" strategy.
Lol... what are you talking about... they have been using SPUs for years.. it's been years now and we have games like Killzone 2 &3, God of War 3, and Uncharted 2.
and no other games on console can match those graphics because of SPU.. get your stuff right.
The SPU's are used for everything, from the moment you turn your ps3 on and use the xbm, you are using a spu.
I should have been more clear, I meant on a regular basis. Of course exclusives make use of at least some of the available SPUs, but most games don't make use of the available resources. A weak GPU alone isn't the only reason for games running at low resolutions (stretched to 1280x720 from lower resolutions, not scaled properly), especially considering that it's not just a low resolution, it's low quality on everything along with a low frame rate.
Why do you think some 720p games look so significantly more detailed than other "720p" games? It's because they're not all really 720p. They're stretched to 1280x720 from all sorts of wacky resolutions with the most common being standard ratio 16:9 resolutions of 960x540 and 1024x576. That combined with poor textures (partially due to the separated RAM) makes their "720p" games look like trash compared to a real 720p games like God of War 3 as you mentioned earlier.
It's very obvious when a game is not making use of the SPUs due the fake 720p games being aliased to hell and back along with being unable to sustain a constant 30fps. It's happens far too often.
The example I use often is Bayonetta due to being the best example, it was clearly 960x540 at best, no AA, no vysnc and averaged 25fps at best (at one point drop to 0 and pause). On the 360 it was 1280x720 running at 55fps+ on average and tore far less despite also lacking vsync. Setting it to SD didn't increase the frame rate making it obvious it wasn't ported properly at all. I doubt it made use of even a single SPU on the PS3. It just used the one main section of the core the Cell has, the PPE.
Due to the complaints Sega/PG got about that game in their next one there was a giant leap in quality (Vanquish). People were blown away with how "great" Vanquish was on the PS3. Vanquish was NOT 720p. It was actually 1024x720 stretched to 1280x720 along with 2xMSAA and it barely managed to stay at 30fps.
Sega/PG showed they were just being shameless previously and didn't make use of the PS3 resources. They went from one game looking terrible and being too choppy to enjoy, to a sub par game which ran at 30fps and yet got praise for being great quality in comparison to their previous. I would still bet it wasn't properly coded to make use of all of the PS3's available resources.
The point of all that is that even though you may think a game looks good and is making use of the resources, it often isn't. I can't name one three dimensional (as in not drawings) PS3 game which is real 1280x720, isn't heavily aliased and sustains a constant 60fps. With the hardware of the PS3 it shouldn't be impossible.
Correct me if I'm wrong on anything.
does this means future games can't be played on 3.55?... because of the missing new tech in today's 3.55?
you are correct on everything..
um yeah, regardless of the tools available the PS3's cell is a pain to code for. Try it yourself and you'll see.
The majority of the stuff in pack is more workflow orientated (modelling, animating, packing and custom shaders etc) but that's not the difficult part of coding for the cell.
But as with every and any console developers learn how to speed things up with optimising tricks etc through consoles lifecycle. its why early games generally look worse than later games on every platform ever. The cell architecture just makes the job even more difficult because it''s radically different from any other CPU any of devs would have ever coded for.