At a press briefing earlier today, NVIDIA took the time to give us all an update on what’s been happening with PhysX, and also introduced a new tool for game developers called APEX. It seems like everyone wants to release game-optimizers lately (Intel and AMD announced their own this week also), and NVIDIA isn’t going to be the one man out. APEX is a modular API that can be plugged into any game engine, in order to aide developers in correctly implementing PhysX into their games.
APEX also features modules, which can be plugged in to offer more functionality. So far, clothing, vegetation and destruction (all self-explanatory) are available, with more in development, such as turbulence. The goal of APEX is to make thing easy on the developer. Once implemented into a game engine (some engines already have it, including Unreal Engine), developers could right-click a tree, for example, and then explore the various physics options with PhysX. The same would go for any in-game object.
Because APEX is modular, it’s designed to be plugged in anywhere, including various author tools and also game consoles. During use, developers will also have access to PhysX platform analyzers and visual debuggers, in order to critic their work and look at ways for better optimization. According to the company, APEX is already being used to help with the development of a few upcoming games, including Sacred 2 and Shattered Horizon.
The best part of Apex might be that it’s free to PhysX developers, which is no doubt a wise choice. PhysX already gained a major boost when NVIDIA bought up AGEIA, and free intuitive tools to work with is a huge plus to developers. Sadly, NVIDIA didn’t announce any new PhysX-enabled games, but did mention that both PhysX and APEX have been picked up my major publishers, so we can only hope we’ll see more titles that support the technology soon.