AMD Ryzen Game Patch Optimizations Show Significant Gains On Zen Architecture

MojoKid writes: AMD got the attention of PC performance enthusiasts everywhere with the recent launch of its Ryzen 7 series processors. The trio of 8-core chips competitively take on Intel’s Core i7 series at the high-end of its product stack. However, with the extra attention AMD garnered, came significant scrutiny as well. With any entirely new platform architecture, there are bound to be a few performance anomalies — as was the case with the now infamous lower performance “1080p gaming” situation with Ryzen. In a recent status update, AMD noted they were already working with developers to help implement “simple changes” that can help a game engine’s understanding of the AMD Zen core topology that would likely provide an additional performance uplift with Ryzen. Today, we have some early proof-positive of that, as Oxide Games, in concert with AMD, released a patch for its game title Ashes Of The Singularity. Ashes has been a “poster child” game engine of sorts for AMD Radeon graphics over the years (especially with respect to DX12) and it was one that ironically showed some of the worst variations in Ryzen CPU performance versus Intel. With this new patch that is now public for the game, however, AMD claims to have regained significant ground in benchmark results at all resolutions. In the 1080p benchmarks with powerful GPUs, a Ryzen 7 1800X shows an approximate 20% performance improvement with the latest version of the Ashes, closing the gap significantly versus Intel. This appears to be at least an early sign that AMD can indeed work with game and other app developers to tune for the Ryzen architecture and wring out additional performance.

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Finally Calculated: All the Legal Positions In a 19×19 Game of Go

Reader John Tromp points to an explanation posted at GitHub of a computational challenge Tromp coordinated that makes a nice companion to the recent discovery of a 22 million-digit Mersenne prime. A distributed effort using pooled computers from two centers at Princeton, and more contributed from the HP Helion cloud, after “many hiccups and a few catastrophes” calculated the number of legal positions in a 19×19 game of Go. Simple as Go board layout is, the permutations allowed by the rules are anything but simple to calculate: “For running an L19 job, a beefy server with 15TB of fast scratch diskspace, 8 to 16 cores, and 192GB of RAM, is recommended. Expect a few months of running time.” More: Large numbers have a way of popping up in the game of Go. Few people believe that a tiny 2×2 Go board allows for more than a few hundred games. Yet 2×2 games number not in the hundreds, nor in the thousands, nor even in the millions. They number in the hundreds of billions! 386356909593 to be precise. Things only get crazier as you go up in boardsize. A lower bound of 10^{10^48} on the number of 19×19 games, as proved in our paper, was recently improved to a googolplex.
(For anyone who wants to double check his work, Tromp has posted as open source the software used.)

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Star Wars Fans and Video Game Geeks ‘More Likely To Be Narcissists,’ Study Finds

schwit1 writes: Those who take part in “geeky events” are more likely to have an “elevated grandiose” level of narcissism, according to a study conducted by the University of Georgia. Psychologists examined the personality traits of those who turn to “geek culture,” developing a Geek Culture Engagement Scale and a Geek Identity Scale to help quantify the figures. It was found that those who scored highly on both scales were more likely to narcissists. Subjects are scored on a scale of one to five, depending on how often they take part in activities such as live action role playing games, Dungeons and Dragons, cosplaying, puppetry, robotics — and enjoying things such as video games and Star Wars.

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An Algorithm To Randomly Generate Game Dungeons

An anonymous reader writes: Game developers frequently turn to procedural algorithms to generate some of their game’s content. Sometimes it’s to give the game more diverse environments, or to keep things fresh upon subsequent playthroughs, or simply just to save precious development time. If you’ve played a game that had an unpredictable layout of connected rooms, you may have wondered how it was built. No longer; a post at Gamasutra walks through a procedural generation algorithm, showing how random and unique layouts can be created with some clever code. The article is filled with animated pictures demonstrating how rooms pop into existence, spread themselves out to prevent overlap, finds a sensible series of connections, and then fill in the gaps with doors and hallways.

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Unearthed E.T. Atari Game Cartridges Score $108K At Auction

MojoKid writes: Hundreds of Atari 2600 cartridges of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial that were excavated last year from a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico collectively raked in nearly $ 108,000 through eBay auctions. Some $ 65,000 of that will go to the city of Alamogordo, while the Tularosa Basin Historical Society will receive over $ 16,000. Over $ 26,600 went to shipping fees and other expenses. A team of excavators led by operational consultant Joe Lewandowski unearthed the E.T. cartridges in front of a film crew. The high profile (among gaming historians) dig was the basis a documentary called Atari: Game Over, which is available for free through the Microsoft Store.

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Cliff Bleszinski’s Boss Key Productions Unveils LawBreakers Game Trailer

MojoKid writes: Boss Key Productions has posted its first trailer of LawBreakers (formerly Project Bluestreak), a futuristic game title that’s set to release on multiple platforms in 2016. The trailer shows off some of the characters and classes that you’ll have access to on both sides of the law — yes, you’ll have to decide whether you’re fighting for the law or the lawbreakers. The game’s setting is Earth, though not as you know it now. This is a future version of Earth where gravity is busted. The government, in its infinite wisdom, screwed up some testing on the moon and managed to split its surface, an event that came to be known as “The Shattering.” Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski is one of the co-founders of Boss Key Productions, the other of which is Arjan Brussee, the main coder behind Jazz Jackrabbit games and a co-founder Guerrilla Games.

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“Sensationalized Cruelty”: FCC Complaints Regarding Game of Thrones

v3rgEz writes: As a cable channel, the FCC has little to no jurisdiction over HBO’s content. That doesn’t stop people from complaining to them about them, however, and after a FOIA request, the FCC released numerous complaints regarding the network’s Game of Thrones. While there were the usual and expected lamentations about ‘open homosexual sex acts,’ other users saw Game of Thrones as a flashpoint in the war of Net Neutrality.

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How Poly Bridge’s GIF Generator Turned an Indie Game Into a Reddit Sensation

An anonymous reader writes: The creator of bridge physics phenomenon Poly Bridge discusses the rise of the bridge physics phenomenon in a new interview this week. Patrick Corrieri of New Zealand’s Dry Cactus studio reveals the Reddit hit has sold at least 48,000 copies so far, but that its smartest feature, a GIF generator to capture all your successful crosses and crashes, only came about by accident: “Ultimately it was another independent developer, Zach Barth from Zachotronics, who pushed me to integrate the feature. Not only that, but he also gave me the source code to his GIF encoding routine so I could hit the ground running. That’s what is so awesome about the indie dev community: a willingness to share and learn from each other, as growing together is much better than competing with one another.”

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The Most Satisfying 5 Minutes Of Video Game Driving You Will Ever Watch

Imagine hitting 18 holes-in-one in a row in mini golf. Imagine playing skee-ball and nailing 100 point shots each time. This car driving is just like that, only smoother and more graceful and perfect.
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