GIANTS Engine 9: Improvements in FS22
With Farming Simulator 22, you enjoy improved performance and graphics thanks to the latest version of our very own game engine. The GIANTS Engine 9 features DirectX 12, Parallax Occlusion Mapping, and a lot more. Lead Software Engineer Thomas Brunner explains what improvements you can look forward to. Watch his presentation below!
Why do we use our own engine?
Simply put, we need our game engine to do exactly what we need it to do, so you can farm on virtual fields. While other game engines are applicable to multiple games of a genre, like shooters or racing games, and may offer some things or features, ours currently doesn’t include, our in-house built GIANTS Engine has a whole lot of other requirements no other game engine out there can offer out of the box.
An engine is simply not interchangeable without major adjustments. To use another engine for Farming Simulator would require a huge amount of customization. And, in the end, we’d basically have what we’re already using – our own, customized engine. Also, only with our own solution, we can offer the extent of modability, for example. If you want to know more about this, Thomas explains it more in-depth ins his presentation above.
What performance features can you expect?
For the PC version of Farming Simulator 22, you can enjoy the benefits of DirectX 12. In previous versions of Farming Simulator, we used DirectX 11 / OpenGL. Compared to DX11, the latest DX12 gives developers more control of how their game interacts with the CPU and GPU.
That means, the GIANTS Engine 9 can directly manage resources and states, so we can control and manage them more efficiently. As a result, we have less driver overhead and more free CPU resources for other tasks.
On top of that, we added Texture Streaming to the GIANTS Engine. With this, we dynamically load higher or lower resolution versions of the textures based on what is actually visible on screen. This allows us to put even more objects into the world and to reduce the used slots per vehicle since we no longer need to make sure that we can load the full textures of all vehicles. Also, the loading times are reduced, since less texture data needs to be loaded at the start.
Occlusion Culling is another important optimization technique. It allows us to make even more detailed worlds. Occlusion Culling basically prevents the engine from performing any expensive rendering for completely hidden objects. For example, boxes hidden behind a barn are not rendered until you see them – boosting performance by saving resources.
What new graphics features can you expect?
Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA)
Farming Simulator 22 features Temporal Anti-Aliasing. It is an approach to reduce unwanted rendering artifacts such as jagged edges or flickering specular highlights using the information from previous frames. The GIANTS Engine 9 uses a high-quality temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) algorithm by default, but it can also be disabled for performance reasons or if you don’t like the results.
In previous games, we enabled MSAA by default as an Anti Aliasing solution. Compared to MSAA, TAA is faster and usually leads to better results. For example, MSAA only improves the quality of geometric edges, but TAA also reduces other artifacts such as flickering specular highlights.
Parallax Occlusion Mapping
Parallax Occlusion will make the terrain and other surfaces in the game look more detailed and dynamic if the feature is turned on in the settings. The result looks very realistic and adds a depth to the surfaces in the game. Like the tire tracks on your field, for example, trenching in the ground. We covered this in another article. Find out more about Parallax Occlusion Mapping!
We made several shadow rendering improvements in the GIANTS Engine 9. One of the most notable changes is that we are now able to render the shadows much further away. This helps to increase the visual quality in the distance and your farmlands will appear more natural and realistic.