Friday, March 27, 2009

GDC 2009 Thursday

My first session today was on the artistic style of the most recent Prince of Persia game. The dev team chose a stylized direction for the visuals of the game. I really like the look they came up with. I was a little disappointed by the session though since they focused mainly on the progression of the visuals and talked a lot about what inspired them instead of focusing on technical details. I was hoping that they would give more details about how their shader system worked or discuss the collaboration between their tech artists and engine programmers to develop the look. They did show some really beautiful proof-of-concept footage though.

Next I attended Hideo Kojima's keynote address where he detailed his process for creating a game design and went over the whole history of developing the Metal Gear series of games. It was a very inspiring session - and the main take away point was that things are only impossible because we think they are. We can make the impossible possible by reframing the problem. A really interesting fact that Kojima San revealed is that the whole idea of hiding from enemies instead of shooting at them came about because the original hardware he designed his first game for didn't support enough sprites on screen at once to have a player, enemies, and bullets on screen all at the same time. Thus the stealth action game was born!

At lunch time I stopped by the Vicious Engine booth (I used to work there) and my good friend Luke showed me their latest engine demo. They're doing some pretty amazing things with their engine and I was impressed. Kudos to Doug, Luke, Amilcar and the other programmers and artists at Vicious Cycle for building a great engine and making a cool demo!

After enjoying lunch with my good friend Jesse Rapczak, I attended a session on the open level design of Far Cry 2. The speaker said that they designed the game as one giant 50 km square open level. It basically allows you to go anywhere without load times and shifts from day to night and from sunny to stormy. Pretty impressive. They accomplished the level building by dividing the world up into 1x1 km chunks and assigning each chunk to a team of one level designer and one level artist. This team sat together and worked very closely to create and detail their 1x1 km chunk. The speaker talked about their use of Google Earth images of African villages as references and several principles that guided their design and layout.

Next I attended a session my Neil Hazzard from Autodesk on the MetaSL shading language. Neil talked about how he has been working to integrate support for MetaSL into 3ds Max. He demonstrated the work-flow of creating a shader in Mental Mill, saving it, and then bringing it into 3ds Max for use as both a real-time viewport shader and a software shader for use with Mental Ray. Using the shader for software rendering required some special handling in Mental Mill and there seemed to be several gotchas is you wanted to use a shader for both real-time and software rendering. The idea of using one shader for both hardware and software rendering is a good one, and it gave a couple of interesting ideas for how Kees and I can improve ShaderFX.

I ended the day by attending the Polycount get-together. I had a great time getting to know many of the great guys from the Polycount community. Now I'm looking forward to tomorrow - the final day at GDC.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

November 14, 2009 12:13 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home