PhysX World First Now Available In Funcom’s Age Of Conan

March 29, 2011

By Andrew Burnes

Today, NVIDIA and Funcom are proud to announce that Funcom’s massively multiplayer online role-playing action game, Age Of Conan, is the first game in the world to feature server-side PhysX technology. For players, this means that all objects, characters and NPCs are now physical entities, unable to defy the law of physics by occupying the same space at the same time, and that frame rates should be higher, and the game more responsive. For Funcom, they can now run more zone shards per server and can increase the number of players per zone, or utilize the performance gains for spectacular world events and unique, complex gameplay opportunities.

This world first is possible through the use of Funcom’s Dreamworld 2.5 massively multiplayer game engine, which powers the aforementioned Age Of Conan, Anarchy Online, and the hotly tipped The Secret World, from famed developer Ragnar Tørnquist. Rui Casais, Funcom’s Chief Technology Officer, believes that, “server-side collision using PhysX will allow Funcom to add a new level of realism to online worlds,” and spoke of future improvements, such as “NVIDIA APEX clothing and destruction, to make games even more interactive and immersive.” Today’s PhysX upgrade more than doubles the speed of in-game physics, helping to deliver realistic collision effects in a genre that typically omits collision detection altogether, for the sake of server-side and client-side framerates.

NVIDIA has also collaborated closely with Funcom to improve other aspects of the Dreamworld engine, the first result of which is the implementation of FXAA, a low cost shader-based anti-aliasing technique for NVIDIA graphics cards that removes jagged lines from Age Of Conan’s detailed and open worlds, without crippling frame rates. Launching alongside the implementation of PhysX and FXAA is a completely revamped Age Of Conan rendering engine, yielding major performance increases on high-end systems, and enabling a number of new visual settings on lower spec machines. For a detailed, in-motion look at all the new Age Of Conan improvements, click the large image below to watch a commentated trailer highlighting each new addition: