Pages Navigation Menu

SHOWFUN - Show & Fun & More!

AMD, Firaxis announce joint partnership to bring DirectX 12 to Civilization VI

The Civilization franchise has evolved to encompass new features, units, and scenarios over its twenty-five year life. Now, AMD and Firaxis have jointly announced that the upcoming Civilization VI will be built around DirectX 12, with features like asynchronous compute and explicit multi-adapter GPU support. This is the second major collaboration between the two companies; AMD and Firaxis also worked together to add Mantle support and split-frame rendering to Civilization: Beyond Earth when that game debuted a few years ago.

We haven’t written much about Civilization VI since the game’s announcement and some of the information that’s come out looks quite encouraging. The game will use a brand-new engine rather than relying on a tweaked version of Civilization V’s. It’ll also ship with deep modding support and with a richer set of features at launch than previous Civilization games, which have often been fleshed out with expansion packs that not every player ever sees.

City management and customization are also getting a major overhaul. In the past, each Civilization city, no matter how large, occupied a single map tile and could utilize resources found on surrounding tiles. Now, larger cities will take up more space on the map, which each square representing a different district or specialized area of the city. Each city can have up to 12 districts in total and will receive benefits from nearby terrain — religious and science districts, for example, both benefit from being near mountains. Civilization VI will keep the one military unit per tile rule, but will allow non-combat units to tie themselves to a specific combat unit, making it easier to escort settlers and workers.

Civ6Cities

Another major change rolling out is the way scientific research has been modified. In the past, researching technology was mostly divorced from real-world requirements — you could build the Manhattan Project before even discovering uranium, for example, even though in real life the Manhattan Project required uranium to even begin. In Civilization VI, you’ll need a quarry if you want to learn about stoneworking quickly, while having cities built along a coast will improve sailing research. Want to build the Pyramids? You’ll need a desert hex to do it.

These changes are interesting because they should allow for intrinsic types of specialization that previous Civilization games have lacked. In the real world, Britain’s status as an island nation made a powerful navy critical to its long-term success as a world power. Civilization has never modeled this type of specialization all that robustly — tying research to city location and specialization is a new way to approach the mechanic.

Overall, the new game looks excellent, and robust DX12 and async compute support from AMD should improve it further. Feedback on the new visual style has been mixed — we’re waiting to see how it works in-game before rendering an opinion. It’ll be interesting to see if a game like Civilization benefits significantly from a low-overhead API. Civilization: Beyond Earth didn’t see higher frame rates from using Mantle, but its frame timing was much improved compared with single-GPU D3D or AFR (alternate frame rendering). In theory, using a low-overhead API should help resolve graphics bottlenecks, but games like Civilization usually don’t require cutting-edge GPU firepower in the first place.

Now read: What is DirectX 12?

Leave a Comment

Captcha image