We were recently alerted to a forum post
by an employee from Supreme Commander
developer Gas Powered Games, which stated that it had decided to abandon development of a DirectX 10 patch. The reason for this was that GPG had a very narrow window of opportunity and the availability of DX10 hardware, final releases of Vista and solid drivers unfortunately didn’t line up with the developer’s development cycle.
This was a game that Nvidia was pushing quite heavily when the GeForce 8800-series launched, so we asked Roy what happened from his perspective.
Roy wouldn’t give us a specific answer because of the great relationship he has with Chris Taylor and the rest of the Gas Powered Games team. However, he did give us a fairly generalised answer to help explain why this would happen.
“When an opportunity like this comes up during the development process, the developer will sit down with us and look at what they can achieve without breaking the DirectX 9.0 version of the game. At the same time, the developer will look at the things it can’t do in DX10 because it’s originally a DX9 game.
Supreme Commander unfortunately won't get the DX10 treatment we were hoping for...
“At this point, the developer has to make a decision between spending, say, ten thousand hours developing a patch that isn’t everything they want it to be, or spending that same amount of time on developing a new game that is really compelling. It’s also worth remembering that patching is free for the end user, but not for the developer, so one option is to spin an expansion pack off with DirectX 10 support – at least then there is some recuperation for the development time.”
However, he then dropped quite a big hint about a title that we knew he was dying to tell us about... “The problem that developers have at the moment is that the playing field is going to change quite dramatically when a certain game is released later this year – they’re going to be judged on that and many of them feel that anything less than that is going to be insignificant.”