Visualize this! Game Demos - Smoke, Pet Me, Destroy the Castle and Horsepower

Welcome to Episode #4 of Visualize This! where we talk about topics relating to Visual Computing. Our guest today is Scott Crabtree, Engineering manager in the Visual Computing Software Division and will share the game demos developed by his team and discuss tips and techniques on how to use parallel programming techniques combined with the power of multi core processors for enhanced game performance.

Direct download link to the high quality MP4 video file (250 MB)

News :

1. a new whitepaper Multi-Threaded Fluid Simulation for Games was published on the vc site last week. This also includes the Kaboom code and binaries for download.
This paper talks about how game developers can use the full potential of the CPU by proper threading for multi core architectures and is focused on computational fluid dynamics. You can read this whitepaper at /en-us/articles/multi-threaded-fluid-simulation-for-games

2. Thread like wildfire program is running. Turn in your entries by June 30th showing us what you did with the Smoke tech demo and be eligible for the June drawing of 5 Gamestop gift certificates worth $100 each. You can get more details at

3. On May 29, 2009, the judge panel for Level Up 2009, the Intel® Visual Adrenaline game demo challenge, was announced. For the first time, this year’s contestants will be judged by a panel that consists of pioneering game developers (Sid Meier, Will Wright…) who helped shape the industry, as well as a team of experts from Intel.

Level Up invites professional and aspiring game developers to create a game demo in one of three categories: Best Threaded Game, Best Game-On-The-Go and Best Game Optimized for Intel® Graphics. All participants are provided access to Intel tools and development kits for multi-core, mobility and graphics to help along the way. Winners receive prizes ranging from all access Game Developer’s Conference passes to new high-end gaming machines to the chance to present their demo to industry luminaries at an upcoming Visual Computing summit.

Game developers have until July 1, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. US Pacific Daylight Time to submit their concepts at

Show Notes :
1. Your team creates demos, what is the purpose of doing so?
--My team works on evangelizing game development to game developers. developing games can be a time consuming process and we try to show techniques to better utilize the hardware resources that are available to them. we do a variety of demos and recently have focused on how best to use our multi core processors.

2. Destroy the castle - showed clip. When destroy the castle came out, threading was a new concept. performance scales based on the # of threads and # of cores.

3. Pet Me : showed clip and how to use multi core compute power. Used it for cloth effects and created cloth based characters. Targeted specifically towards massively multi player online games. These games are targeted to a mass audience with a wide variety a hardware. game players with more advanced hardware cannot get an advantage so we decided to show we can use that extra compute power and create pets that increase the visual appeal and fun aspect of the game. the cloth effects will look better with the nicer machines. We have a technical article, source code and video at (

3.. Smoke – what was the goal is creating smoke? It is the latest and most popular of the game demos created by your team. Scott shared a clip of this game. Smoke is designed to show effective threading. It was written for the Core I7 architecture, 8 threads. Needed a full game type application to drive all that compute power. Starts with a peaceful farm scene and burning meteor come from the sky. shows trees burning, birds flying, house breaks into pieces (used Havok's physics library). Artificial Inteliigence, Physics, AI all threaded across the cores.

4. We also have an Incentive program around smoke (thread like wildfire) and we are looking for your contributions and ideas on what you have done with it. The code is available as a free download. You can get more details at

5. Horsepower-is a new demo created by your team. Shares a lot of code with Smoke. When you thread your application for multi core processors you can have 2 gains. One is to improve the frame rate of your game and that is shown in Destroy the castle and Smoke. With Pet Me and Horsepower show how you can have a different experience with the extra compute power. In Horsepower, we are controlling a large number of horses and the # corresponds to how much compute power you have. If you use only 1 thread you get only a small herd of horses, and the # increases as you increase the number of threads. The source code will be available on Intel Software Network as soon as it is ready. We encourage our developers to use and tell us what they did with it.

6. Level up 2009 game demo challenge : Scott asked the community to submit their game demos by July 1st to be eligible to compete in this contest. you can find more details are

Give us feedback on what game demos you would like to see from Intel on the Visual computing forums.

7. What new demos are coming from your team: Kaboom talks to computational fluid dynamics. Used for smoke/fog effects. As new ones come they will be available on Stay tuned!

Join me June 30th at 2:30pm PST for an interview with Chris Taylor CEO Gas Powered games. We will discuss Demigod and the use of Intel Graphics Performance Analyzer toolset to enable it for mass PC users running on Intel Integrated Graphics.

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For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.