Umbra Ignite & IGDA Finland September Gathering with Umbra

The September seminar and gathering were sponsored by Umbra, and what a day it was! We had an amazing seminar for the whole day with mind-blowing presentations about some of the latest ideas, trends, research and innovations in the industry. Here we want to share a few moments from that day with you:

It was morning and the seminar space was almost ready.

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Finally the doors were open!

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The seminar space was full and it was time for words of welcome from Umbra.

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The seminar started with a presentation by Rulon Raymond, Sr. Engine Programmer from Infinity Ward.

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Raymond talked about skinning and the evolution of the hardware of consoles, and how skinning should or should not be technically implemented. He identified problems in skinning such as “candy wrapper effect” (means that a joint is bending when animating) and "flat ass syndrome". Raymond then presented different technical solutions for the problem, such as GPU friendly Dual Quaternion Blend skinning. At the end Raymond reminded the audience that “Skinning is not a solved problem”.

Next on stage was Graham Wihlidal, Sr. Rendering Engineer from Frostbite.

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Wihlidal presented Frostbite engine and the challenges that different usage, platforms and genres produce and how the team found solutions. Wihlidal told that at Frostbite each team can decide what features will be implemented and how this customizability keeps the performance good because only important parts are kept. Frostbite’s solution is to have the engine close to the hardware which makes it easier to work with and increases the quality.

Next in the spotlight were Remy Chinchilla and Kevin Cerdà from Tequila Works.

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Chinchilla and Cerdà presented AAA production tips and solutions for indie studios. They talked about combining creativity with business. The freedom of creativity is the most important thing, but the producer has to be able to recognize the important features for the project and prioritize the implementation. Creative chaos in organization doesn’t make a game and Chinchilla and Cerdà told it’s important to move to production and to learn to close things. They talked also about how recognizing the abilities that each member of the team has and how letting them use their skills leads to a better working environment. And they reminded how a studio should always plan ahead their problems.

Then Jérémy Virga from Arkane Studios came on stage.

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Virga presented Dishonored 2 rendering and engine architecture. He told about their rendering pipeline and that they wanted to move towards multithreaded game logic and rendering. Virga explained how pipeline changes to multitasking makes the organizing of the data more difficult, but they found many benefits for the change. They split the render loop which saved duration time and gave good results and they still continue to evolve their engine.

Next up on stage were Thor Gunnarsson and S. Reynir Hardarson from Sólfar studios.

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Gunnarsson and Hardarson presented their virtual reality AAA game studio. They talked about VR challenges and their design principles for a good virtual reality game. Virtual reality performance requirements need resources that will easily lead to major compromises in implementation and that is when a strong artistic and technical knowledge are very necessary skills. Gunnarsson and Hardarson endorsed the future of small agile teams that have no room for egoism, but many responsibilities and strong participation which all creates greater work satisfaction.

Then it was time for the presentation by Balázs Török, Lead Engine Programmer from CDProjekt RED.

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Török talked about memory management in open world games and the challenges and what solutions they found while making Witcher 3. Török talked about GPU pool defragmenting and how they made three iterations to the engine. First they tested CPU memcopy but decided they can do better. The second iteration was a compute shader, but they still weren’t satisfied and made the third iteration: DMA engine.

The last presentation was by Alex Evans from Media Molecule.

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Evans talked about their journey and technical challenges when they were developing a new game engine for their new game Dreams on Sony PlayStation. Media Molecule presented Dreams engine at Siggraph this year. They made four versions that evolved from polygons to voxels and then to froxels and finally to splashes in cooperation with art director and artists to test and find the final visual style. Creative minds put together resulted in an amazing outcome.

After the mind-blowing seminar the attendees got some special treats and drinks before the doors were opened for the monthly gathering. Umbra sponsored also the gathering which continued until the late night...

Thank you Umbra for the exciting day! And thank you Circus for the good service! Stay cool and awesome and see You in October!

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Photos by Janne Karvinen.

IGDA Finland September Gathering with Umbra

As most of the developer scene is undoubtedly aware tomorrow is a big day: at 11:30 we’ll be opening the doors at The Circus for Umbra Ignite. While the seminar, featuring speakers from renowned studios around the world, has long been sold out, everyone is welcome to the September gathering held at the same location from 19:00 onwards.

Umbra will be sponsoring the gathering as well, we have a special drink offer available and a small surprise for all attendees. So even if you missed the registration for the seminar, drop by and enjoy the after party!

IGDA Finland September Gathering with Umbra
Time: 01.09.2015 at 19:00
Place: The Circus, Salomoninkatu 1–3, 00100 Helsinki

Please note that you need to be at least 18 years old to attend. The cloakroom service is offered free of charge.

ARTtech 2012 videos online

This year ARTtech was sponsored and organized together with IGDA Finland. At Assembly 2012 the ARTtech seminars offered jam-packed selection of different topics ranging from 3D printing to next geneneration occlusion culling. If you missed any of the seminars or liked to see them again, here is the link for the videos Assembly 2012 Archives - Seminars.

A big thanks to our honored guests and the awesome crew at Assembly who helped us with the seminars.

P.s. IGDA Finland is slowly waking from its summer slumber and getting ready to host the first IGDA Finland Gathering of fall 2012. We'll start with a bang with Tekes Skene program!

IGDA Finland & Unity special

New year started with a Unity Special on 10th of January. We organized IGDA Finland Presentations event focusing on Unity and IGDA Finland Gathering at Cuba bar was sponsored by Unity and Umbra. We have had more and more people attending both IGDA Finland Gatherings and Presentations events. Thus we are looking for bigger venues for the events. If you attended IGDA Finland Presentations event in January and would like to share your opinion about the venue, we are all ears.

At the IGDA Finland Presentations: Unity Special! we had Unity Evangelist Carl Callewaert & Sales Director Nick Jovic giving a hands on presentation of Unity. Next speakers were Sampo Lappalainen and Thomas Puha from Umbra, Finnish company specializing in rendering optimization middleware. Their presentation discussed what Umbra's technology is and does and what kind benefits it offers. A version of Umbra's technology is integrated into Unity. Thomas and Sampo gave some best practice advice on how to best take advantage of Umbra's occlusion culling in Unity. Arto Koistinen from Dicework Games shared his tips and tricks and Damien Morello (Recoil Games / Colossal Order) shared lessons learned from Rochard project. Fantastic presentations! On top of all we had a special guest star Julie Heyde from Bandello. They focus on assisting independent developers from all corners of the video game industry, providing insight and know-how in the go-to-market process. If you are indie developer and need marketing help, talk to Julie.

Slides from the presentation session & Unity show reel:

Nick from Unity sent the showreel and this message - thanks to all IGDA Volunteers and everyone who attended (over 130 persons attended Presentations event!)!

"Unity would like to say a big thank you to Sonja for organising fantastic event and to everyone who attended the presentations and Cuba Bar! It was a great pleasure to present alongside, Recoil Games, Colossal Order and Dicework Games - thank you for providing such varied and inspiring content. The organisation and popularity of IGDA Finland is certainly impressive. I can't wait for our next visit and to see you all again!"

After Presentations event we headed to Cuba where Unity and Umbra sponsored drinks. Thanks for those 185 who attended, great night!

Other IGDA Finland events in January: