NASCAR 2014 Enhanced With GPU-Accelerated CUDA Particles
British developer Eutechnyx is best known as a racing game specialist, having created dozens of racers since its establishment in 1987. Earlier in 2014, they released their latest racer, NASCAR 2014, giving National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing fans the chance to participate in the world famous sport.
“NASCAR ’14 takes the soul of what it is to be a stock car driver and puts it into a video game,” says Ed Martin, Eutechnyx’s North America EVP. “Building upon the core mechanics of past titles, NASCAR ’14 will see drivers competing in the most intense NASCAR game to date with new online leagues and a return of the live season support. With the addition of new and improved gameplay mechanics, players will be rip-roaring round the ovals and competing in new online leagues to earn that Sprint Cup Series Trophy.”
For NASCAR ’14, Eutechnyx has worked with NVIDIA to enhance their particle effect system with CUDA GPU acceleration, enabling the display of realistic smoke and debris effects on NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics cards.
“For NASCAR '14 we decided to push the particle system to its limits in order to create a true to life NASCAR experience. A major feature of NASCAR races are the crashes; they always result if large amounts of smoke. With NVIDIA GPUs we have been able to push the limit of the amount of smoke that we can draw, enabling us to create vast smoke clouds that will disperse over longer periods. This creates a much greater level of realism during a NASCAR pileup than any other previous NASCAR game.” To demonstrate these effects, Eutechnyx has put together a side-by-side trailer, highlighting how CUDA greatly enhances NASCAR ‘14’s particle effects and visual fidelity:
“By using CUDA, this enabled us to take our current particle system, which runs on a single CPU thread, and accelerate it using the hundreds of CUDA Cores that are available on modern NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs. Having this extra processing power allowed us to increase the number of particles spawned during a collision by over 10x compared to the standard simulation, creating larger volumes of realistic smoke during crashes, and more effects from scrapes and impacts.”
“This on its own greatly improved the look of every impact and scrape, but even with this massive increase we found that the GPU still had further capability to push the system further. Subsequently, we developed a CUDA based collision system using the NVIDIA PhysX track collision mesh and vehicle convex hull, enabling us to bounce and roll particles off all the surfaces in the game, greatly increasing realism of particle effects.”
“As well as the improved rendering of the smoke, we also added CUDA acceleration to the system. This enables each car and its wake to push and drag the smoke around the track as they pass through a large cloud, creating exciting new game play experiences as you try to follow an opponent along a safe path through the smoke, and around a big car pileup.”
In addition to the above, CUDA-powered particles persist on-screen for over ten times longer, and in replay and quick rewind mode, each CUDA-powered particle effect can return to its spawn point and original state, something that’s never been seen before.