Monday, November 19, 2012

INFR 3110 - Engines at MIGS

So I went to MIGS this week. For those of you that don't know, MIGS is the Montreal International Game Summit, and it's a yearly game developers conference in Montreal where industry professionals give talks, business have booths, and so on.

It was my first time going to MIGS, and it was pretty awesome. Learned a bunch of cool things and had fun as well, which is great. This post is going to be focused on some of the engines and tech stuff I experienced at MIGS, whereas this post will focus on more of the design elements I learned.

Possibly the first time I ever felt like I should've paid more attention in French class.

Aside from the keynote presentations, there were five talk sessions in each day. There were about five talks to choose from in each session, and so you had to pick and choose which one you wanted to go to. Being a programmer myself, I was really interested in the tech talks, so 8/10 of my talks were actually under the "Technology" labels.

The first talk I went to was the Building Better Tools talk by some guy from Google. This was a pretty awesome talk since I thought the presenter did a pretty good job, and it was on a topic I was pretty interested in. He talked about performance measuring tools, and how a web browser can be used as a platform.

I decided to take pictures of all the talks I went to, but realized quickly these pictures were meh.

Ever since my internship in Hong Kong, I've been really interested in browser based applications and tools, so when he started talking about that, I was instantly hooked. Some of the stuff he talked about I already knew, but other things like streaming "videos" and such was new to me, and was pretty cool.

The next tech talk I went to was the GPGPU talk, where some guy talked about compute shaders. I was pretty excited for this talk, but was quickly disappointed when I got there. It was pretty much the same talk Dr. Hogue gave us for this stuff, but minus pictures, videos and numbers. So it was really dry.

Wish it had more mind blowing pictures and videos.

Following that I went into the Glaicer2 talk by a guy with the most epic name ever, Kasper Storm Engelstoft. He worked for Square Enix and talked about the new engine they were using for some of their games like Hitman. I was pretty excited about this talk, since I'm not only a big Square Enix fanboy, but I was hoping to see learn about some awesome engine stuff.

I was not disappointed  In probably my favorite talk of the day, we had a glimpse of how their engine was built, as well as some of the tools that were built on top of it to make using their engine easier. I'm a pretty big fan of cool engines and awesome tools, so the entire talk was really interesting to me.

Like I said, taking pictures of like the intro of a talk is not that awesome. Although dat bloom effect.

Afterwards in the same room they had a talk about Full Performance Capture from the Farcry series. That as a pretty cool talk too, but it focused more on the way they used to record the motion capture animations, and as well as some of the tools they developed to streamline the process.

The guy also showed a bunch of Farcry trailers, and now I kinda want to buy Farcry.

Advertising during a tech talk. That's the way to do it. (Wikipedia)

The next day the first talk I went to was called Anatomy of a Transmedia Social Game Engine. That was somewhat interesting, but was essentially a talk about how some social game company decided to use Flash to make a game that was cross-platform compatible. It was interesting, but I didn't really take anything of note from that presentation.

Then, I went to a talk called "Procedural: a Realty?", but in reality it should've been called "Procedural: a Dictionary", since he pretty much talked about only definitions, and again didn't have any numbers, videos, pictures or anything cool. Very dry, very definition heavy. I wanted more, but he was on an NDA, which made me sad.

NDAs are ruining eSports talks.

Afterwards I went to my last tech labelled talk of the conference, a next gen development talk from some guys at Ubisoft. That was a pretty interesting talk too, since they talked about some of the potential issues that will be arising in the next gen in terms of what players wanted, and what developers can deliver.

They also used a lot of Assassin's Creed footage, and it made me want to play Assassin's Creed even more. I really need to play more video games.

They both drank from the same glass of water.

Overall, I learned a lot from the talks, and had an overall good time. I wish some of the talks were less dry though, and had more oomph to the presentations.

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