2K Australia’s Martin Slater: “DirectX 10 Offers Your Gameplay Nothing”

2K Australia’s Martin Slater: “DirectX 10 Offers Your Gameplay Nothing”

bs_helmet.jpgI was fortunate enough to sit in on Martin Slater’s BioShock post-mortem down at Game Connect last weekend.

With hands firmly clenching his speaker podium, Slater held his ground against a steady bombardment of questions on BioShock. I found his experiences working with Microsoft’s DirectX 10 the most interesting, so I’ve replicated them here from data carefully extracted from my voice recorder:

[DirectX 10]offers your gameplay nothing … DirectX 10, probably for the next three, four, five years is not important to you. Microsoft are going to tell you everything under the sun differently. Everybody under the sun is going to tell you differently.

I’m not sure it offers your visuals anything either, judging from Crysis and its configuration file silliness.

DirectX 10 isn’t all bad though – hey, Microsoft didn’t go to all that trouble for nothing:

You’ve got the business side and you’ve got the games side. The games side, you want to minimise the technology because you want to maximise the amount of time you spend interacting with game design. DirectX 10, for all your game programmers, is a beautiful place.

I can’t help but agree with Slater. I also think people need to start understanding that DirectX 10 and Direct3D 10 are two different things – one is a collection of APIs, while the other is one of those APIs.


  • If graphics are done right, it adds a lot to the games atmosphere. Although not directly relevant to gameplay, it sure makes a hell of a difference to the gameplay experienced by the player 🙂

  • DX10 is a failure. The difference in quality between DX9 and DX10 is minimal while the performance hit is huge. To hell with Vista, I have it and I don’t think I’ll ever install it. DX10 is just a tool M$ is using to kind of force gamers to upgrade to Vista. I wish more developers would use OpenGL instead and we wouldn’t have to go through this again.

  • Go through what? I’ve been running Vista Ultimate x64 over six months now, and during that time only game I’ve had any issues with is ArmA. Rest run smoothly without any hickups, slowdows or crashes. 32bit support for games and apps is seamless, and “legacy titles” such as Deus Ex and Baldur’s Gate run just fine. Even the allmighty Crysis yields ~30-45fps on medium-high settings with [email protected]

    What comes to DX10; most “next gen” titles to date, even Crysis, have been build ground up with DX9, albeit Crysis does have it’s own DX10 rendering path as where Bioshock, some minor DX10 gimmickry is just glued upon the rest of the game. Naturally that doesn’t affect the graphical outlook, let alone gameplay all that much.

    And indeed, OpenGL is just a graphics api where DX offers devs a complete solution to implement sound, graphics and i/o under one unified api. If this doesn’t affect gameplay, what does. Rest assured, DX10 benefits are yet to be displayed in the full array, but that day will come sooner than five years form now…

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