NVIDIA's New Tools To Debug and Speed Up Games
Three New NVIDIA Tools Help Developers Quickly Debug and Speed Up Video Games
PerfHUD 6, FX Composer 2.5, and Shader Debugger Help Simplify Game Development
SANTA CLARA, CA—JULY 17, 2008—Today’s top video games use complex programming and rendering techniques that can take months to create and tune in order to get the image quality and silky-smooth frame rates that gamers demand. Thousands of developers worldwide including members of Blizzard Entertainment, Crytek, Epic Games, and Rockstar Games rely on NVIDIA development tools to create console and PC video games. Today, NVIDIA has expanded its award-winning development suite with three new tools that vastly speed up this development process, keeping projects on track and costs under control.
The new tools which are available now include:
- PerfHUD 6—a graphics debugging and performance analysis tool for DirectX 9 and 10 applications.
- FX Composer 2.5—an integrated development environment for fast creation of real-time visual effects.
- Shader Debugger—helps debug and optimize shaders written with HLSL, CgFX, and COLLADA FX Cg in DirectX and OpenGL.
“These new tools reinforce our deep and longstanding commitment to help game developers fulfill their vision,” said Tony Tamasi, vice president of technical marketing for NVIDIA. “Creating a state-of-the-art video game is an incredibly challenging task technologically, which is why we invest heavily in creating powerful, easy-to-use video game optimization and debugging tools for creating console and PC games.”
More Details on the New Tools
PerfHUD 6 is a new and improved version of NVIDIA’s graphics debugging and performance analysis tool for DirectX 9 and 10 applications. PerfHUD is widely used by the world’s leading game developers to debug and optimize their games. This new version includes comprehensive support for optimizing games for multiple GPUs using NVIDIA SLI® technology, powerful new texture visualization and override capabilities, an API call list, dependency views, and much more. In a recent survey, more than 300 PerfHUD 5 users reported an average speedup of 37% after using PerfHUD to tune their applications.
“Spore relies on a host of graphical systems that support a complex and evolving universe. NVIDIA PerfHUD provides a unique and essential tool for in-game performance analysis,” said Alec Miller, Graphics Engineer at Maxis. “The ability to overlay live GPU timings and state helps us rapidly diagnose, fix, and then verify optimizations. As a result, we can simulate rich worlds alongside interactive gameplay. I highly recommend PerfHUD because it is so simple to integrate and to use.”
FX Composer 2.5 is an integrated development environment for fast creation of real-time visual effects. FX Composer 2.5 can be used to create shaders for HLSL, CgFX, and COLLADA FX Cg in DirectX and OpenGL. This new release features an improved user interface, DirectX 10 Support, ShaderPerf with GeForce® 8 and 9 Series support, visual models and styles, and particle systems.
As longer, more complex shaders become pervasive, debugging shaders has become more of a challenge for developers. To assist developers with this task, NVIDIA introduces the brand-new NVIDIA Shader Debugger, a plug-in for FX Composer 2.5 that enables developers to inspect their code while seeing shader variables applied in real time on their geometry. The Shader Debuggercan be used to debug HLSL, CgFX, and COLLADA FX Cg shaders in both DirectX and OpenGL.
The NVIDIA Shader Debugger is the first product in the NVIDIA Professional Developer Tools lineup. These are new tools directed at professional developers who need more industrial-strength capabilities and support. For example, the NVIDIA Shader Debugger will run on leading GPUs from all vendors.
In addition to the free versions available for non-commercial use, some of the new tools are subject to a license fee, but are priced to be accessible to developers. Existing free tools (such as FX Composer, PerfHUD, Texture Tools, and SDKs) will not be affected—they will continue to be available to all developers at no cost. Shader Debugger pricing information is available here.