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GCDC day 1 - talks, talks, talks

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Emmanuel Deloget


Hello Everyone,

So the GCDC in Leipzig has begun, and believe me, it's quite good. Speakers are incredible and I have the feeling that quality is going to improve even more on day 2 and 3.

What did I attended on day 1? Well, because of some issue with the registration process (including the fact that press registration is actually done on the 1st floor while normal attendees are using another entrance), the first keynotes were over when I finally got my badge. But I was able to attend Doug Binks and Leigh Davies's talk about "practical multithreading for game performance". Doug revealed some details about the architecture of Crytek's CryEngine2, while Leigh gave very interesting information about how to design a game with multithreading in mind. "Better games through Usability" by Mario Wynards was about including usability in your game design process. That means a lot of usability testing (is that menu clear enough, and so on).

The "Life after WoW: MMO Games of 2008 and beyond" panel was both entertaining and refreshing. Key players in the field discussed what one should expect in coming MMOGs. We had people from Turbine, ZeniMax Online (I tried to get information about what they are doing right now, but that was not possible; damn... :)).

"Procedural texture generation theory and practice" was a talk by Dierk Chaos Ohlerich - from .theprodukt. .theprodukt initially come from the demo-scene, and several years ago they developped a procedural texture creation system which is quite powerfull (some points of it are similar to Allegorithmics's ProFX, but there are still some differences).

Stromfront and game industry veteran Don Glagow gave a talk about "what makes a game next gen". His huge game industry experience (you were too young when he started to make games) proved to be a key aspect of his talk, as he explained us what next-gen is about - it's not about technology, it's about user experience. That was truely The Talk of the Day.

"Interactive ray tracing in games" was amazing - expecially the real-time we had (not to mention the description of the base algorithm). Seing a Q4 map raytraced at 130 fps in a 800x600 window (maybe more) full with reflection and characters) was quite impressive.

And that was the end of the day for me - more precisely, the end of the talks. At this time I began to wander around, asking questions to exhibitors, getting people interested in gamedev.net and so on, orging contacts and so on. I ended the day by a dinner with Fred Hasson (TIGA, UK), Erik Robertson (Nordic Game Program, Sweden), Malte Berhmann (GAME, Germany), Eamon O'Reilly (EACEA, European Commission) as well as many more key European industry players.

I recorded a lot of talks, and made a lot of photos. Some of them might end up here, so stay tuned!
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There's a great mexican restaurant in Leipzig. I can't for the life of me remember it's name though :(

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