Just Cause 2
Just Cause 2 is the first game to use CUDA for advanced graphics processing.
Avalanche Studios, the creators of Just Cause 2, approached NVIDIA with the goal of setting a new standard in water simulation realism. The result of the collaboration is a new rendering technique that uses CUDA to compute a fully dynamic, non-repeating ocean surface.
Existing techniques for rendering water tend to be coarse. The details that make oceans appear realistic such as micro ripples and fine grained specular reflections are absent.
The GPU accelerated water simulation in Just Cause 2 is based on a seminal paper by Dr. Jerry Tessendorf, a fluid simulations expert. His technique was inspired by real‐world oceanographic observations and data that were gathered by studying the motion of ocean waves under different conditions. Using his technique, the ocean surface is depicted as a signal which is then processed via Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT). Because CUDA includes an optimized FFT library, and GPUs are exceptional at this type of computation, a highly detailed representation (down to the centimeter) can be rendered.
Just Cause 2 also takes advantage of CUDA to compute high quality depth of field effects. Depth of field effects such as background blurring has been used in games for some time. However, up until now, they have relied on simple approximations with the pixel shader. Just Cause 2 uses CUDA to perform a full simulation of camera lens effects taking into account the focal point, focal length, and aperture. The result is a softly blurred background with smooth highlights, much like the output of a fine prime lens.
Avalanche Studios has developed Just Cause 2 from the ground up for 3D Vision and 3D Vision Surround. By providing a wide, panoramic view of the environment, 3D Vision Surround not only delivers a more immersive experience, it also gives gamers an added edge by providing extra peripheral vision. Enemies that would be typically out of view on a single display setup are now visible when playing across three monitors at 5760x1080.
With vast environments, addictive gameplay, CUDA enhanced water, and 3D Vision Surround, Just Cause 2 is one of the most impressive games of the year.