During Develop, RPS sat down with Gearbox frontman Randy Pitchford to discuss Borderlands 2, where it was noted the physics of the moon where rather noticeable when running on PC, and when using the NVIDIA GTX 680, the world of Pandora pops, sparkles and buzzes electric.
According to Pitchford, Gearbox has a "custom version," of the game it's developed with NVIDIA so if you have one of the newer cards, "you can get crazy awesome physics simulations, cloth simulation, fluid dynamics, really cool stuff."
"Mostly cosmetic but still rad to look at nonetheless," said Pitchford. "And [playing the demo] I started looking at other things. I hadn’t looked at the full day/night cycle shading in that corner of that environment yet, so I was watching the moon turn.
"I actually created the physics for the way the planet works, and the planet has this elliptical orbit around its star. The habitable side of the planet actually faces against the star, so you don’t actually see the sun, ever. Meanwhile the moon has this sort of geo-synchronous position in the sky, so it’s always in the same spot in the sky. The moon has a crazy fast rotation, it takes about 20 minutes for it to spin. One side of the moon is a furnace, like a nuclear furnace, where it’s reacting and it’s super-hot, and it splashes a lot of extra light onto the planet. On the other side it’s very cold and dark, and so when the moon spins, when the hot reactive side warms up the atmosphere and it gets hot, it feels lighter outside.
"When you get the cold side it’s not dark, because you’re getting the ambient light from the nearby star, but it gets dim, with a sort of cold feeling, and you can also see these beautiful auroras in the sky. From that particular position I hadn’t actually looked at the light cycle from the moon spinning, and I was checking that out, so that’s what I was doing down there."
However, those who can't afford to drop $500 for the card need not worry: "everyone gets different value out of things," in the game, said Pitchford.
"It doesn’t matter, the core loop is so good," he said. "I like running and looking at rocks for twenty minutes because everything’s hand painted and I like looking at the brushwork, and the little details of thing."
There's a horribly shot video of the Borderlands 2 demo running with the NVIDIA GTX 680 through here. Sorry we can't find one without the crowd running it's mouth the entire time.
Game's out in September.