Ex Firaxis and Microsoft staff create new studio and 64-bit engine


Staff that cut their teeth at Civ and XCOM studio Firaxis and at PC and Xbox behemoth Microsoft have come together to create Oxide Games, a new company with an aim jump into the future of gaming by working with their own proprietary 64-bit multicore engine.

Oxide’s new engine goes by the name Nitrous, and supports Simultaneous Work and Rendering Model. The essence of this system is drawing rendering power from the most available processing core, which allows games to depict a much higher number of high-fidelity 3D objects.

“In most modern games, players may see a handful of unique, high-fidelity 3D models on the screen at the same time,” explained Oxide Games co-founder Tim Kipp on the studio’s new website. “That’s because current 3D engines are 32-bit and rely on a ‘main thread’ to talk to the GPU. Nitrous, by contrast, was designed from scratch to be a 64-bit, multicore engine. Nitrous will render epic numbers of units and light sources on a screen at any given time.”

It seems like Nvidia are already impressed with the engine’s capabilities, with VP of Game Content and Technology Ashutosh Rege commenting: “Our existing and upcoming GPU architectures, such as Maxwell, fully leverage the memory capabilities of today’s PCs. Nitrous, having been designed with 64-bit gaming in mind from the start, should be able to deliver games with an amazing level of detail across entire scenes of incredible scale.”

Oxide were able to form and develop Nitrous thanks to the Stardock Strategic Investment Fund, which offered them a cash injection to get started. The fund is a wing of Stardock Entertainment, best known for Sins of a Solar Empire and Fallen Enchantress, and the developer will be using Nitrous in future projects. Hopefully this will mean an exquisite-looking 4X space RTS sometime in the future.

Thanks, Polygon.