DirectX 12 and Ashes of the Singularity

Published on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 By Brad Wardell In Ashes Dev Journals

Screenshots are hard.   What looks good in motion doesn’t necessarily look good standing still.

So what is the hype about Ashes of the Singularity about? These are just giant land ships right?

What the big deal isn’t the detail you can have on a single unit.  Homeworld was doing that years ago.  What DirectX 12 makes really practical is that you can have thousands of these units in this detail.


Let’s take a look at these two screenshots:


This is the Hyperion zoomed in.  I could zoom in further but you will get pixilation at some point since DirectX 12 doesn’t make texture size disappear. Smile

The point of this screenshot (click on the thumbnail to see a bigger version) is to look at how the light is affecting the unit and its parts. This unit has a series of guns, each with its own firing solution, it has its own personal line of sight. But let’s focus on the lighting of it.  This image hasn’t been photoshopped. It’s just a print screen.  You get the detail without the noise and you can have thousands of these.


Now, let’s zoom out:


You’ll want to click on this to see more what I mean. But notice how clean the unit remains zoomed out. It’s not noisy. It’s still crisp, distinct.   There’s no such thing as full-screen antialiasing in this game because it’s not doing deferred rendering. It’s rendered much the same way a movie CGI scene would be. 

Not to be confused with the art style or art quality

Now, someone might say they don’t think these shots look good.  That’s an artistic call.  The rendering system won’t save a game from bad art or just bad taste.  It has nothing to do with realism. What it does mean is that your objects are rendered like physical objects and not like scenes in a video game.

Ashes of the Singularity’s Alpha will be going onto Steam early access next week for those who are really really brave and have high end hardware.