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Mar 4th, 2014

The list of upcoming games to support Mantle API

Mantle vs DirectX vs OpenGL

This post will be slightly different than usual. That’s because I normally don’t write about games. However I recently received a list of upcoming Mantle titles, a list that was not published before.

Mantle is currently supported only in one title, Battlefield 4. There’s also a technology demo called Star Swarn, but it’s not really a game. Thief, which was released last week, does not support Mantle yet, but it should received it very soon.

Released

  • Battlefield 4 – (Developed by DICE/Frostbite Team)
  • Thief – (Developed by Eidos), no Mantle yet
  • Need for Speed Rivals — (Developed by Ghost Games), no Mantle yet

Unreleased

  • Star Citizen – (Developed by Cloud Imperium Games, Behaviour Interactive)
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare –(Developed by PopCap Games)
  • Sniper Elite 3 – (Developed by Rebellion)
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – (Developed by BioWare/Frostbite Team)
  • Havana (codename) – (Developed by Visceral Games/Frostbite Team)
  • Mars (codename) – (Developed by Mohawk Games/Oxide Games)
  • Mass Effect (untitled) – (Developed by BioWare/Frostbite Team)
  • Mirror’s Edge 2 – (Developed by DICE/Frostbite Team)
  • Star Control  – (Developed by Stardock/Oxide Games)
  • Star Wars: Battlefront — (Developed by DICE/Frostbite Team)
  • Unannounced title — (Developed by Oxide Games)

As a Battlefield fan I immediately noticed Havana, which is developed by Visceral Games. The rumor has it that this developer is preparing the new police themed Battlefield game. So is this the Battlefield 5?

The rest is pretty self explanatory. Mars is a new game developed by people behind Civilization. I don’t think it would actually be called Civilization, but the game could be very similar.

I’m not really sure what is Mass Effect is doing on this list, because Mass Effect 3 was supposed to be the last game in the series. Is this a new game or just old title being updated – I’m not sure.

I hope this lists gives you a small heads up of what is coming with Mantle this, or early next year.

OpenGL and DirectX to fight with Mantle

Last week a new information appeared suggesting that both OpenGL and DirectX will receive a major upgrades. Special sessions will be held at GDC2014.

OpenGL: Approaching Zero Driver Overhead in OpenGL (Presented by NVIDIA)

Driver overhead has been a frustrating reality for game developers for the entire life of the PC game industry. On desktop systems, driver overhead can decrease frame rate, while on mobile devices driver overhead is more insidious–robbing both battery life and frame rate. In this unprecedented sponsored session, Graham Sellers (AMD), Tim Foley (Intel), Cass Everitt (NVIDIA) and John McDonald (NVIDIA) will present high-level concepts available in today’s OpenGL implementations that radically reduce driver overhead–by up to 10x or more. The techniques presented will apply to all major vendors and are suitable for use across multiple platforms. Additionally, they will demonstrate practical demos of the techniques in action in an extensible, open source comparison framework.

NVIDIA rather than showing more interest in Mantle decided to focus on OpenGL. The main idea here is driver overhead reduction by 10 times. The only question is, why no one has thought about developing it sooner.

DirectX: Direct3D Futures (Presented by Microsoft)
Come learn how future changes to Direct3D will enable next generation games to run faster than ever before!
In this session we will discuss future improvements in Direct3D that will allow developers an unprecedented level of hardware control and reduced CPU rendering overhead across a broad ecosystem of hardware.
If you use cutting-edge 3D graphics in your games, middleware, or engines and want to efficiently build rich and immersive visuals, you don’t want to miss this talk.

Similarly to OpenGL, DirectX (12.0) would focus on CPU usage reduction.

DirectX: Evolving Microsoft’s Graphics Platform (Presented by Microsoft)
For nearly 20 years, DirectX has been the platform used by game developers to create the fastest, most visually impressive games on the planet.
However, you asked us to do more. You asked us to bring you even closer to the metal and to do so on an unparalleled assortment of hardware. You also asked us for better tools so that you can squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC, tablet, phone and console.
Come learn our plans to deliver.

Am I personally interested in Mantle? Well, I want to see where it goes. If the only benefit of announcing Mantle would be better DirectX and OpenGL, then I still think it was worth it. However my thoughts about Mantle itself, about the delays, the problems you can encounter using it, are far worse. I have the feeling that when AMD first announced Mantle in September, it was in very early development stage. So if I were to buy R9 290X only because it would support Mantle in Battlefield 4, I would be disappointed.

Hopefully the list posted above will be filled with more games later this year.

Special thanks to Frank for the information!