In today’s computer gaming news, learn more about Blizzard confirming to PC Gamer that the primary hero designer responsible for creating Overwatch’s massive cast of characters, as well as those that will appear in the planned sequel, has departed the business. Meanwhile, NVIDIA has introduced the GeForce RTX® 40 Series of graphics processing units (GPUs), which are designed to bring breakthrough performance for gamers and creators. The new flagship GPU for this series is the RTX 4090 GPU, which offers up to four times the performance of its predecessor. Lastly, a fantasy role-playing game is currently being developed by Jeff Gardiner (Skyrim, Fallout 4), Charles Staples (Fallout: New Vegas), and their newly founded company called Something Wicked Games.
Overwatch’s Top Hero Designer Leaves
Original Source: Overwatch 2 loses its lead hero designer
Blizzard revealed to PC Gamer that Overwatch’s senior hero designer has left.
Geoff Goodman “left Blizzard this year,” a spokeswoman confirmed. In June, Goodman gave a press interview, his last public appearance.
Blizzard’s announcement on Goodman’s departure:
“We congratulate Geoff for his time at Blizzard and wish him well. His ability to bring Overwatch’s varied hero roster to life through gameplay will be felt for years to come.”
Goodman’s history with Overwatch extends back to project Titan, before it was called Overwatch. Titan was scrapped and relaunched as a hero shooter in 2016. Outside of the game’s former director Jeff Kaplan, who left Blizzard in 2021, Goodman was one of the few faces of Overwatch, often asked to discuss balancing tweaks and new characters.
Goodman designed huge reworks for Doomfist and Orisa, new heroes Sojourn and Junker Queen, and possibly numerous more characters, including new support hero Kiriko (opens in new tab).
No reason was given for Goodman’s departure, but it follows a string of high-profile Blizzard exits in the buildup and aftermath of a harassment and discrimination complaint filed last year by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Overwatch producer Tracy Kennedy and executive producer Chacko Sonny quit in September (opens in new tab).
In April, Goodman told PC Gamer that the team made sure everyone was “secure” before returning to work on the game. “It looks like everyone’s happier and things are moving forward. But I think it lingers on. Morale is up.”
Overwatch 2’s October free-to-play debut is near, but some fans are disappointed by changes. The game recently unveiled its seasonal battle pass mechanism, which locks each new hero at tier 55 (out of 80) of the free track. Overwatch GM Walter Kong told PC Gamer last week that “heroes are the single most entertaining element in the game” and that “it seems like a good fit to incorporate them in our new engagement systems.”
Overwatch 2 replaces the first game on Oct. 4.
Nvidia’s Geforce Rtx 40 Series Introduces a New Era of Neural Rendering
NVIDIA launched the GeForce RTX® 40 Series of GPUs, designed to deliver groundbreaking performance for gamers and creators. The RTX 4090 GPU has up to 4x the performance of its predecessor.
The world’s first GPUs based on the new NVIDIA® Ada Lovelace architecture, the RTX 40 Series delivers enormous generational jumps in performance and efficiency and ushers in a new age of real-time ray tracing and AI-powered neural rendering.
Jensen Huang, NVIDIA’s founder and CEO, revealed at GTC that RTX ray tracing and neural rendering are in full swing and that Ada Lovelace architecture takes them to the next level.
Ada makes it possible to create fully realistic worlds for gaming. Ada’s performance is 4x that of the previous generation, he noted.
DLSS 3 generates frames for faster gameplay
Huang also revealed NVIDIA DLSS 3, the company’s latest neural-graphics technology for gaming and creative apps. The AI-powered technology can produce full game frames. It allows the GPU to generate whole game frames independently, overcoming CPU constraints.
More than 35 games and apps will soon use the technology, which is coming to Unity and Unreal Engine.
The RTX 40 Series GPUs offer several new technologies, including:
Streaming multiprocessors with up to 83 teraflops of shader power.
Third-generation RT Cores with up to 191 effective ray-tracing teraflops.
Fourth-generation Tensor Cores with up to 1.32 Tensor petaflops (FP8).
SER reschedules shading jobs on the fly to better utilize the GPU’s resources, improving execution efficiency. SER boosts ray-tracing performance by 3x and in-game frame rates by 25%.
DLSS 3’s 2x faster Ada Optical Flow Accelerator predicts scene movement, boosting frame rates while maintaining image quality.
Architectural enhancements and TSMC 4N manufacturing technology double power efficiency.
Dual NVIDIA Encoders (NVENC) halve export times and support AV1. OBS, DaVinci Resolve, Discord, and others use NVENC AV1.
Ray-tracing for more immersive games
Real-time ray-traced sceneries with physically accurate lighting have been the holy grail of graphics for decades. Geometric complexity of locations and objects has increased as 3D games and graphics seek for realism.
Physically accurate visuals require powerful computers. Modern ray-traced games like Cyberpunk 2077 run 600 ray-tracing calculations every pixel to establish illumination, a 16x increase from four years ago.
The third-generation RT Cores are 2x faster and incorporate two new hardware modules. A Micro-Mesh Engine develops micro-meshes on the fly to generate more geometry. An Opacity Micromap Engine speeds up ray tracing of alpha-test geometry by 2x. The Micro-Mesh Engine increases geometric complexity without the usual performance and storage overhead.
Redefining Creativity RTX Remix Encoders
NVIDIA Studio creators benefit from RTX 40 Series GPUs and DLSS 3. 3D artists may render fully ray-traced environments in real time without proxies.
Improved GPU performance and twin eighth-generation AV1 encoders enable video editing and live broadcasting. Face Expression Estimation, Eye Contact, and Virtual Background quality have been updated in the NVIDIA Broadcast SDK.
NVIDIA OmniverseTM will soon integrate NVIDIA RTX Remix, a modding platform for creating RTX remasters of old games. RTX Remix lets modders capture game assets, modify materials with AI tools, and instantly enable ray tracing and DLSS.
NVIDIA Lightspeed Studios used RTX Remix to reinvent Valve’s Portal, a classic game. Full ray tracing and DLSS 3 improve the game’s graphics. Portal with RTX will be published in November, just in time for Portal’s 15th anniversary.
New GeForce RTX 4090 and 4080 GPUs
The RTX 4090 is the fastest gaming GPU with amazing power, noise, and temperature. The RTX 4090 with DLSS 3 is 4x quicker than the RTX 3090 Ti with DLSS 2. It’s 2x faster in games while still using 450W. It has 76 billion transistors, 16,384 CUDA® cores, and 24GB of high-speed Micron GDDR6X memory and offers over 100 FPS at 4K resolution. The RTX 4090 starts at $1,599 on Wednesday, Oct. 12.
RTX 4080 comes in two variants. The RTX 4080 16GB boasts 9,728 CUDA cores and 16GB of high-speed Micron GDDR6X memory. With DLSS 3, it’s 2x as fast as the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and more powerful than the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti at lower power. The RTX 4080 12GB features 7,680 CUDA cores and 12GB of Micron GDDR6X memory and is faster with DLSS 3 than the RTX 3090 Ti.
The RTX 4080 will be available in November for $1,199 and $899.
Fallout 4 and New Vegas Currently Building a Open-world RPG Wyrdsong
Fans have waited years for Bethesda and Obsidian to create a new Fallout game. Even though Microsoft owns both companies, an announcement at Gamescom’s Opening Night Live may be the next best thing.
Jeff Gardiner, producer of Skyrim, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76, has established Something Wicked Games. Joining Gardiner is Charles Staples, design director on The Outer Worlds and lead level designer on Fallout: New Vegas. So much Fallout in one studio!
With the announcement came a teaser trailer for the new studio’s first game, and it’s not a Fallout-like shooter. Wyrdsong is a “dark supernatural, semi-historical open world RPG set in Middle Ages Portugal,” Gardiner said last week.
Details about Wyrdsong (pronounced weerd-song) are few. The game is in “early pre-production,” so Gardiner can’t say more. It’s being constructed in Unreal Engine 5, but he won’t say if it’s singleplayer. However, he did discuss the setting.
“My last trip before Covid was Portugal,” Gardiner recalled. As everyone knows, in Covid you recall your previous trip.
The history of Portugal inspired Gardiner’s Wyrdsong. “I’ve been reading an alternate history book on the Templars that says they helped build Portugal,” he added. “As I read this book, I discovered many of these spots are in Portugal, so there’s synchronicity and serendipity.”
Gardiner praises Elden Ring as a “big inspiration” for the Wyrdsong team, noting he first avoided the Dark Souls series before understanding it rewarded patience. Even if Wyrdsong doesn’t look like Fallout, the post-apocalyptic RPG will nevertheless inspire it.
“Focus is on the teachings, not the location and subject of Fallout, but the RPG element of those games. Choice and consequences is easy to say. But we want the player to feel the lessons we learned from those games, in terms of how to construct an extraordinary story and allow the player the flexibility to make their own decisions in it “- Gardiner
“Charlie and I believe in giving players tools and letting them play their own. If they want to finish the primary quest and go, fine. if they never want to touch the main goal and just want to find caps and screws. Also good.”
Something Wicked now employs 15 people, but Gardiner intends to have 30 in a few years and 70 when Wyrdsong is released. NetEase gave Gardiner’s company $13.2 million in startup capital.
No release date or year has been set for Wyrdsong.
Summary of Today’s Computer Gaming News
Overall, Blizzard revealed to PC Gamer that Overwatch’s senior hero designer has left. Goodman has been involved with Overwatch since before it was called Overwatch. No reason was given for Goodman’s departure, but it follows a string of high-profile Blizzard exits in the buildup and aftermath of a harassment and discrimination complaint filed last year by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
On the other hand, NVIDIA released the GeForce RTX® 40 Series of GPUs today. These GPUs are designed to give gamers and creators a new level of performance. The RTX 4090 GPU, which is the new flagship, can do up to four times as much as its predecessor. The age of RTX ray tracing and neural rendering is in full swing, and our new Ada Lovelace architecture takes it to the next level, stated NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang at GTC.
Finally, Jeff Gardiner, producer of Skyrim, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76, has established a new studio called Something Wicked Games. Joining Gardiner is Charles Staples, design director on The Outer Worlds and lead level designer on Fallout: New Vegas. Along with the announcement of the new studio, they released a teaser trailer for the new studio’s first game, which isn’t a Fallout-like shooter. Something Wicked is producing a gothic RPG called Wyrdsong, set in Middle Ages Portugal. There’s no release date or even a release year announced for Wyrdsong yet.