Ship Faster, Crash Less, and Retain Players

Notes on a talk by Dallas Dickinson of QC Games (Developers of Breach) and Abel Matthew, CEO of Backtrace, from GDC 2019 When you build new stuff, it crashesWant to prioritize crashesTracking crashes both in their own stack and in UnrealProcess (unidirectional flow here)Trunk development (70% of dev time spent here)New system devMain dev branch—nightly … Continue reading Ship Faster, Crash Less, and Retain Players

“Marvel’s Spider-Man”: A Technical Postmortem

Notes on a talk by Elan Ruskin of Insomniac Slides (PDF)Engine began life in FuseMuch more open world than they've used before (5 km across)154MB of source code (.h and .cpp)Frame breakdown33 ms/frameGPU renders 1.3333 frames behind the CPUPost-processing happens at the start of a frameMain thread3 ms streaming asset setup/teardown, initialize/destroy actor10ms update gameplay … Continue reading “Marvel’s Spider-Man”: A Technical Postmortem

Automated Testing Implementation Roundtable

Notes on a roundtable talk at GDC 2019 Again, see autotestingroundtable.comHow do you define a sufficient level of test coverage?Aim to cover 95% of the weight of the code based on what gets run/used the mostCover the hotspots/inner loopsAdd tests as a part of every refactoring, bug fixBest place to start is to figure out … Continue reading Automated Testing Implementation Roundtable

App Store Optimization (ASO) for Great Developers

Notes on a talk by Enric Pedro of Lab Cave and Joyce Zhou Joyce Zhou of IGG ("I Got Games"), developer of Lords Mobile ($50M/month)Enric Pedro (@enricpedro), Chief Marketing Officer of Lab Cave (ASO company)—hola@labcavegames.comASO is the process of getting more users by improving visibility within the app store and optimizing the app profile visit-to-install … Continue reading App Store Optimization (ASO) for Great Developers

Bridging the Open Source and Game Industries

Notes from a roundtable session at GDC 2019 Linux Foundation provides a safe third party ("neutral home") to hold all the rights to software so that competitors can collaborate and not worry about getting screwed Game industry has lots of semi-open licenses (e.g., VR headsets, Khronos, etc.) Academy Software Foundation: Wanted to standardize tools across … Continue reading Bridging the Open Source and Game Industries

Understanding & Tracing Numerical Errors in C++

Notes on a talk by Gino van den Bergen (@dtecta) Fixed point numbers snap to a regular grid; in floating point numbers, the rounding error increases the farther you get from zero IEEE 754 single-precision (32-bit) float is: 1 bit for sign 8 bits for the exponent 23 bits for the fraction (-1)^sign * 1.fraction … Continue reading Understanding & Tracing Numerical Errors in C++

Design by the Numbers: Using Data for Good

Notes on a talk by Evan Losi, lead game designer at Scopely Play tests only take you so far Capturing analytics Track everything—every time a player does anything Everything a person interacts with Which screens they open What activities people take Resources (what players earn and spend) Look at the aggregated data Key metrics/KPIs End … Continue reading Design by the Numbers: Using Data for Good

Tech Toolbox

Notes on a series of micro-talks Tools for voice tech—Nicole He (@nicolehe) Enhance.computer built using this Appropriating business voice tech for games Cutting edge tech here are in areas where mega corps can make money, like customer service chat bots DialogFlow from Google is an example of this; aimed at finding conversational intent without rigid … Continue reading Tech Toolbox

Perfecting Workflows: Tool Development to Empower Designers

Notes on a talk by Linda Kruse of The Good Evil (@ldacruz_) Need a flexible and maintainable system that enables efficient workflow and teamwork Independent of specific game mechanics Pipeline: artist to programmer to game designer (scripting/logic) to build process Problems with third party tools like Unity Designed for beginners Tedious setup  Not flexible enough … Continue reading Perfecting Workflows: Tool Development to Empower Designers

Analyzing for Workflow Reductions

Notes on a talk from Philip Bloom Are the tasks in your team’s workflow things that are essential to their creative process, or are they “boilerplate” that they have to get through to get to the real work? Reduce configuration, or at least Allow saving options or sharing them Simple tools and processes Best case: … Continue reading Analyzing for Workflow Reductions