“Lords of the Fallen” Gets GameWorks Treatment (Video)

by Matt Rusiniak

Take a bad man. Put him in a world where no sin is forgiven. Now, pit him against an army of evil led by an ancient god for one last chance at redemption.

Lords of the Fallen – a new action role-playing game for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One released today by Deck13 Interactive and CI Games – has been hailed as “Dark Souls taken to the next level.”

Next-generation graphics – to go along with this game’s slick combat mechanics and grim storyline – are key to what this game has to offer. These are visuals on the cutting edge.

So it makes sense most of the game’s visual effects – built on the PC platform – were created by Deck13 and CI Games with NVIDIA GameWorks technology.

Leveling Up

NVIDIA GameWorks gives game developers libraries, developer tools and code samples built by more than 300 NVIDIA visual effects engineers. Many are veteran game developers themselves who work with developers to enhance their games. You can see the some of the results of their work in Lord of the Fallen, and in the custom game engine Deck13 and CI Games created so they can create more games in the future.

One Particle at a Time

Particles play a key role in the new game engine. Artists rely on particles to build a more immersive environment by letting dust, dirt and smoke interact with elements such as wind and explosions.

The problem: creating a cutting-edge particle system is a time-consuming job. So, when Deck13 and CI Games decided to build their own game engine, they didn’t want to create an advanced particle system from the ground up.

Instead they used our PhysX Software Development Kit (SDK) and integrated PhysX Particles. These are basis for the simulated particle effects in Lord of the Fallen and used as the default particle system of the game.

It’s a system that works on a wide variety of hardware. The particle effects on GeForce, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and CPU platforms all rely on NVIDIA PhysX. All Deck13 and CI Games had to do was author the effects once and scale them up or down, based on the underlying hardware platform’s performance.

Dressed for Success

PhysX also helps ensure the characters’ clothing – always a tricky detail to capture – is lifelike and interactive. For that they turned to PhysX clothing – also used in Batman Arkham City and BioShock Infinite. It’s also used on the many flags and banners encountered throughout the game.

Next-gen visuals are key to building an engrossing – and eerie – world in “Lords of the Fallen.”

Outdoor scenes are also enhanced, thanks to GameWorks. Our NVIDIA Turbulence technology helps particles respond to the movement of solid objects and turbulent fluid motion. You can see examples of this in the game’s snow and embers and in special attacks.

Light It Up

Lighting is a big part of any gameplay experience, and Lords of the Fallen is no exception. Deck13 and CI Games created an excellent lighting system for their game engine that enhances the eerie ambiance of the game.

Volumetric lighting creates light shafts that shine through windows. Transparent shadows, like those from the stained glass in a church, shows colored shadows in the shape of the window panes. These two technologies work together to create richly colored light shafts and shadows, which give an already detailed world an extra level of beauty.

In any action title, lots of stuff gets smashed. Lords of the Fallen uses NVIDIA PhysX Destruction throughout the game to enhance the gameplay experience. Deck13 and CI Games were also able to save time and money by dropping in PhysX Destruction instead of creating their own system from scratch.

To be sure, while our technology helped Deck13’s developers move faster – this is a game only Deck13 and CI Games could build. The look, feel and gameplay of Lords of the Fallen are the result of painstaking work by a team of artists with a unique vision for the world they were creating.

But, by extending the state of the art – and putting new technologies at the command of developers – we’re helping make gaming a richer experience. That makes Lords of the Fallen an excellent example of how GameWorks advances gaming.