Friday, May 1st, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Eye candy: Square Enix’s Witch DirectX 12 tech demo

Want to see some gorgeous – and, at present, gorgeously impractical – real-time graphics? Then check out Square Enix’s latest tech demo, which rejoices in the title ‘Witch Chapter 0 [cry]’.

Unveiled at Microsoft’s Build 2015 conference, the 30-second demo shows the main character from 2012’s Agni’s Philosophy demo… um, crying.

It isn’t the most action-packed demo you’ll ever see, particularly compared to its predecessor, but it does leave time to focus on the quality of the facial animation and rendering.

According to Microsoft, the scene contains over 63 million polygons – “about 6 to 12 times more than we could do with DirectX 11” – and uses an unspecified number of 8K texture maps.

It also shows some nice-looking feathers and hair: the latter the product of “over 50 different shaders”.

Still some time away from mainstream gaming
As with the previous demo, the research will be incorporated into Square Enix’s in-house Luminous Studio engine, although it will probably be a while until anyone but hardcore PC gamers see anything comparable.

DirectX 12 itself will arrive this summer, as part of Windows 10.

But the machine on which the demo was running features four Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X GPUs – which, at current recommended pricing, would set you back by just under $4,000. Not exactly a casual gamer’s rig.

Read more about Square Enix’s The Witch demo on the Nvidia blog