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AMD Gaming Evolved Interview: Technical Aspects of Development

Posted by Christophor Rick (TheSuperGuido), Oct 13, 2011 12:47

Wrapping up our series of interviews with AMD Gaming Evolved that demonstrate AMD’s commitment to PC gaming and how it benefits everyone from the gamer all the way through to the developer, we take a final, technical turn to see how they interact with those developers.AMD Gaming evolved technical points

When a new developer wants to interface with AMD on a new project what are the first steps?

After initial contact is established, AMD and the engineers assigned to the project are in constant communication with the game studio.

Our Developer Relations team is located all around the globe. We have the ability to support studios based in nearly all geographical areas and usually match the studio with a local team, since this allows us to optimize logistics for arranging visits and supplying equipment. We make sure that the studio has a suitable selection of the best AMD hardware, ranging from AMD GPUs, AMD Fusion APUs or other suitable equipment (e.g. AMD HD3D and Eyefinity configurations) they will need for development.

It is important to discuss the main technical aspects of the project fairly early on in order to avoid issues in development later. At the outset, we discuss details of the graphic engine used and inquire about the design of intended features so that they don’t clash with GPU hardware principles like Crossfire-friendly behavior, for example. Similarly, we advise on performance from day one to prevent major optimization issues later on. We usually take this opportunity to present any performance tools that will help the graphics programmer in their tasks, like GPUPerfStudio 2 and GPUShaderAnalyzer.

Once this initial meeting has taken place, we arrange for regular builds to be sent to us so we can provide the ISV with technical reports and regular feedback, hopefully culminating in a graphically beautiful and cleanly-designed title.

What determines the level of support that AMD can give to a developer?AMD DiRT3

We will always support every professional game developer requesting our support – there’s just no question about that. Of course, we tend to put more resources into the big games that are pushing graphics technology forward as these are the titles that make our graphics technologies shine, like DiRT 3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the upcoming Battlefield 3.

If a developer is building a game but the tech spec requirements are rather high, how can AMD help them to widen those allowing more people to potentially get into a game?

Every member of our engineering team is an expert in real-time computer graphics and performance optimizations. They are able to provide advice and recommendations on scaling down selected graphic features in order to allow a wide range of GPUs to run the game at good performance.

As an example, we always try to ensure games are able to run on our AMD Fusion APU offerings at maximum performance while maintaining the bulk of the graphic features. AMD has worked very hard to ensure our integrated graphics are a compelling option for gaming purposes, and going forward we’re going to see even more goodness coming from this area where gamers will be able to enjoy the full gaming experience on our AMD Fusion APUs without compromising on quality.

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