Initially, Nvidia has presented the new GameWorks Flow tech around 12 months ago, in parallel with GameWorks SDK 3.1. When it was presented, it was regarded as an experimental feature that was still in the works. However, it has been later released during the year as version 1.0, with a direct integration in Unreal Engine 4 to be expected in the 2nd quarter of 2017.
What Flow tech does
What this new technology seeks to achieve is to make the effects of smoke, fire and combustible fluids appear more realistic. This is obviously targeted for game development and there has been a video demonstration of the GameWorks Flow tech used with DX12. Nvidia apparently seeks to implement Flow as soon as possible, especially with its integration with Unreal Engine 4.
In the tech demo presented, you can see how Flow being implemented using DX12. It showcases a sort of industrial manufacturing line where blasts of fire, gas and smoke are rendered with the new tech. Afterwards, a metallic object is suspended on this hellish production line and receives constant bursts of fire, not dissimilar to a flamethrower’s effect, while it rotates above the point of exist for the flames. Besides the flames and smoke, the metallic box also features various surface effects that reflect and react based on the fire.
This new technology by Nvidia is said to have implementations for both DX11 and DX12, and will be capable of running on all modern DX11 and DX12 graphical processing units. It will be interested to see which game will be implementing this technology first and to what extent. This will also beg the question as to how much it will hog a gaming system. A simple flame here and there might not do much to affect FPS.