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GDC Spotlight Interviews - Dec 2016

December 2016 (Back to archive)


In This Issue:


 
John Spitzer
John Spitzer
VP Content and Tech for NVIDIA GeForce
Rev Lebaredian
Rev Lebaredian
VP Content and Technology

NVIDIA is the greatest.


Q: Can you introduce yourselves and your role and NVIDIA?
 
John Spitzer, VP Content and Tech for NVIDIA GeForce: Hi, I'm John Spitzer and I've been working at NVIDIA for what seems like forever, it's only been 17 years. During that time, I founded the NVIDIA office in Moscow which currently has over 150 employees. While in Moscow, I kick-started a project which eventually became GeForce Experience and invented most of the algorithms behind our "Optimal Playable Settings". So if you're unhappy with how we tune game settings for your PC, now you know who to blame! After growing the user base to 25 million, I handed off GFE development to our software team and turned my focus back to my original love -- real-time 3D rendering. I lead a worldwide team of scary-smart graphics engineers who help game developers make the most of our GeForce GPUs, whether that means integrating the coolest visual effects or optimizing performance for silky smooth stutter-free gaming.

Rev Lebaredian, VP Content and Technology: Hi, I'm Rev Lebaredian, Vice President of GameWorks and Lightspeed studios at NVIDIA. In my role, I am responsible for developing and productizing NVIDIA's GameWorks technologies, as well as developing first party games.  GameWorks includes various real-time visual effects modules tailored for video games; NVIDIA Destruction, NVIDIA Clothing, HairWorks, WaveWorks, etc..., as well as the most popular real-time physics middleware for video games, PhysX.
 
Q: I recently saw in the news that NVIDIA is returning to the console market in partnership with Nintendo—can you tell us about NVIDIA’s partnership with the Nintendo Switch, and why they think developers should consider the platform
 
One of them: Working with Nintendo on the Switch has been nothing short of amazing. They have such a unique perspective on gaming and we can't wait to see what developers will do with the world's most capable mobile gaming system. We're certain it will absolutely delight gamers whether they're "on the go" or kicking back on the couch.
 
Q: I was updating my own NVIDIA drivers the other day and found the NVIDIA experience platform installed on my computer—Can you explain why NVIDIA’s entering the platform business, and why developers might want to consider making sure their games can be supported on this platform?
 
One of them: Though you may have just become familiar with GeForce Experience, it celebrated its 4th birthday recently. At its debut, it only supported driver install and game setting optimizations. Since that time, we have constantly strived to add new and exciting features, such as Shadowplay, GameStream, and soon -- Ansel. Most of these features require no action from the game developer, and the ones that do (eg Ansel) offer significant value for the effort needed to integrate them.
 
Q: Switching back to the general video card market, I've noticed that the pricing for video cards has dropped slightly with specialty high-end cards dropping into what would normally have been mid-tier video cards. What forces do you think have driven this drop, and can developers expect a larger audience of players with high-end PCs in the future?
 
One of them: Our recently introduced Pascal generation of GPUs brings nearly a 50% perf increase from our previous Maxwell generation.  As PC gamers around the world buy Pascal-based graphics cards and systems, developers can expect a significantly larger number of PC gamers to be playing on systems that would have been considered high-end a couple of years ago. It's also notable that we completely revamped our product lineup "top to bottom" since announcing GeForce GTX 1080 in May, a feat which had never been accomplished in such a short time.

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