At GDC 2013, developer Vivid Games was showing off its new 3D fighting game, Real Boxing. The new sports game, which was built on Unreal Engine 3, takes full advantage of NVIDIA Tegra 4 technology. Krystian Komisarek, senior programmer) on the title at Vivid Games, talks about how Tegra technology delivered extra punch to the game in this exclusive interview.
How did you work with NVIDIA on your game?
Cooperation with NVIDIA began to take its shape at Gamecom. Our CEO, Remigiusz Kościelny, met NVIDIA employees, who were very interested in Real Boxing. After a few days we presented an early version of the game for the Android platform. We also got a prototype device with Tegra 4 and we started to worked very hard to show our best at CES in Las Vegas.
What has NVIDIA provided in terms of tech that has helped with development?
We got access to the entire documentation right away, as well as contacts to people from Nvidia, whom we could ask for help whenever we had questions or encountered problems. We were also given early feedback about changes we needed to implement in our game, not to mention support in developing Unreal Engine 3 to fit it to our CES demo.
How does your game make use of the latest Tegra technology?
Thanks to Tegra technology we could launch the game with way more detailed character lighting, add post proccesing effects like depth of field and bloom and put more objects in the scene. The biggest surprise was that we could double such a complicated render scene in 720p resolution. It was rendered on the device and with the spectator view through HDMI.
How does this impact the gameplay experience across the platforms you’re targeting?
This kind of efficiency allowed the game to be more fluent. The users will feel as if the game was on a “AAA” level from PC or a gaming console.
What are the challenges of developing for Android devices today?
The biggest problems are the wide number of device configuration on which a game has to be checked for different versions of Android OS and optimalization for the older types of smartphones. Also, with the variety of graphic processors, the situation is getting close to what can be seen on the PC platform. Yet, in comparison to the PC, devices from Tegra give us a better chance that the game will run properly.
How does NVIDIA help with this?
NVIDIA makes changes in the UE3 engine. They also facilitate the SDK toolkit with tools like perfHUD and Tegra Prfiler that help to test the game and optimize it. Last, but not least, we were given a prototype device with Tegra 4 running.
What are your thoughts on what can be done with tablet gaming today?
Touch controls give the user a different kind of feeling during gameplay and allows specific mechanics to appear in the game. Tablets are opening up more possibilities with the increased power and graphics quality that can be displayed on the newest GPU. It allows tablets to be treated as portable game consoles.
What are your thoughts on Tegra 4 technology and how it compares to Tegra 3?
Tegra 3 is a good technology, our game looks very nice and works pretty fluently with it, yet Tegra 4 gives us way more possibilities. As always, there's a huge leap between the older and newer generation. The fact that the game did not suffer from any slowdown, in spite of having doubled the rendering and using effects like depth of field and bloom, is the most visible example of its capabilities.
What are your thoughts on Project SHIELD?
From the beginning Shield was a big surprise, mixing strong console functionality with allowing the user to get the games to a market dedicated to Android platform. In my opinion, it’s one of the best ideas lately.
What were your goals heading into this game?
To create a high-end AAA game on mobile devices and show that portable platforms have grown up and are ready for graphically advanced games of quality comparable to what we can see on gaming consoles.
Can you talk about the gaming experience and how it utilizes tablet and smartphone functionality?
In our game, we were able to achieve the most intuitive way of controlling the boxer on smartphones.
How does it take advantage of Project SHIELD?
Controls are the main difference between Real Boxing on smartphones and tablets and the version on SHIELD. Adding the gamepad allowed us to modify gameplay so we could take advantage of an additional set of controls.
What excites you about what you can accomplish in mobile gaming today?
What I find the most delightfull is the fact that we are able to make games of console quality.
How did Unreal Engine 3 help with what you were able to do with this game?
Unreal Engine 3 is a complex and scalable engine, which allows us to create games for both low-end and high-end devices like SHIELD. Only a few modifications were required to show our game in a completely new light, with a larger number of effects.
How do you see Project SHIELD opening up things creatively for mobile and PC games moving forward? At the moment, thanks to Tegra 4, artists making games can develop them in new directions, use double screen rendering, create more complex effects and go past the boundaries to their creativity by past hardware limitations.