In what may be the most technically exciting physics demonstrations I’ve ever seen, and perhaps the most jarring that will ever hit my stomach, Nvidia showed off their new ocean simulation at the ongoing GPU Technology Conference. At this point, I’m not sure why Nvidia doesn’t just co-opt the whole event considering their dominance, but I’ll just let things play out. I’ve included a video below courtesy of The Verge and it is frightening to think that a game would dare to set a first-person shooter on a vessel in the rocky waters they’re generating here.
As the demo begins, they show a ship on an ocean plane as we’d see it today: flat with undulating waves that have no interaction with the vessel while generating no foam or spray as this happens. For years, games have generated wakes around their ships and that’s been a fine, if mostly cosmetic approach. Does anyone else remember Blood Wake, that early amphibious combat game on the original Xbox? The game was terrible, but the physics weren’t, and it seems that Nvidia wanted to take that to an extreme as they ramped up the simulation. I won’t spoil the ending (no one dies!), but it’s a fascinating look at what technology is doing these days. Just don’t ever put me in a game with it.