GDC 2018 PlayStation Related Talks


PlayStation Related Talks

The Magic Behind 'Joshua Bell VR': Immersive Video with Positional Tracking

Speaker: Ian Bickerstaff (Director of Immersive Video Technology, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe)
Location: Room 24, North Hall
Date: Monday, March 19
Time: 1:20pm - 1:50pm
Pass Type: All Access, VRDC@GDC Add On
Topic: Entertainment VR/AR
Format: Session

Synopsis: Many VR videos offer the ability to look around in all directions, but are unable to respond to the subtle changes in the viewer’s position; they only present the view from one single point in space. This presentation tells the story of how the 'Joshua Bell VR Experience' was adapted to overcome this limitation for PlayStation VR, creating the illusion of full volumetric video without the complexity normally associated with the technique. It then shows how this technology can now be used to enhance a wide range of other VR content.

Takeaway: For the seated viewer, positionally tracked VR video is now achievable without requiring complex volumetric video capture systems. This should help to increase the quality and diversity of live action content available in VR.

Player Engagement in VR Cinematics

Speaker: Gabor Soos (Cinematic Animation Lead, Sony London Studio)
Location: Room 3005, West Hall
Date: Thursday, March 22
Time: 3:00pm - 3:30pm
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference
Topic: Visual Arts
Format: Session

Synopsis: Cinematic cut-scenes in traditional games can feel disruptive at times, pulling players out of the experience. In the medium of VR, disrupting player engagement can lead to a total break of immersion. On the other hand, distract the audience too much from the narrative and they'll miss the point of the scene. In this session, Gabor Soos will lead you through PlayStation VR's production examples on how Sony London Studio attempted to strike a balance between player engagement and cinematic cut-scenes.

Takeaway: The audience will gain insight into the cinematic production process on PlayStation: VR WORLDS as the team attempted to re-imagine narrative story telling in VR. They will come away with Sony London Studio's most important learnings, successes and challenges, demonstrated with direct examples from the production. Many of the techniques presented can be applied to other projects for anyone interested in the subject of cinematics in VR Games.

Intended Audience: Cinematic animators, narrative and game designers interested in creating interactive cinematics in VR.

'Horizon Zero Dawn': A QA Open World Case Study

Speaker: Ana Barbuta (QA Manager, Guerrilla Games)
Location: Room 3016, West Hall
Date: Friday, March 23
Time: 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference
Topic: Production & Team Management
Format: Session

Synopsis: A retrospective of how developer (Guerrilla) and publisher QA (SIE) worked together in partnership to help deliver a AAA experience. The presentation will focus on the victories and the challenges a QA team faced as part of testing such an ambitious open-world title, and leveraging automated test solutions and telemetry to inform exploratory test strategy. The presentation will talk about how QA teams were managed over a 21 month testing lifecycle, with a team ranging from small internal test teams, before scaling up to a team of 70+ people across the globe with tens of thousands of test hours invested. The presentation will cover the successes and challenges relating to the people involved, early engagement, communication, trust, agility and collaboration, processes, risk management, test strategy and post launch support, tools, telemetry, risk registers, and worldwide build delivery.

Takeaway: Attendees will learn the methodologies employed as part of AAA QA test strategy design and execution, insights into relationships between Dev QA and Publisher QA, and how to grow as a result of that collaboration, how to fully utilize a global QA team, and tool and test automation in open world games.

Intended Audience: The intended audience should be game developers with an interest in learning about QA teams, tools and testing a AAA game. The talk is also aimed at QA professionals interested in learning about testing at PlayStation.

Cluster Forward Rendering and Anti-Aliasing in 'Detroit: Become Human'

Speaker: Ronan Marchalot (Lead Engine Programmer, Quantic Dream)
Location: Room 2005, West Hall
Date: Thursday, March 22
Time: 10:00am - 11:00am
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference
Topic: Programming
Format: Session
Vault Recording: TBD
Audience Level: Intermediate

Synopsis: Detroit: Become Human' is a Playstation 4 exclusive title currently in development at Quantic Dream. In this talk, Lead Engine Programmer, Ronan Marchalot, will present the evolution of Quantic's engine from Playstation 3 to Playstation 4. He'll cover the switch from deferred lighting to cluster forward lighting, what the benefits are and how his team addressed the issues they met. He'll also take a look into how they implemented temporal anti-aliasing, and how they used it to improve some features such as SSR, SSAO, PCF shadows, skin subsurface scattering and volumetric lighting. 

Takeaway: Attendees will better understand how useful cluster forward rendering and temporal anti-aliasing can be.

Intended Audience: The talk targets graphics programmers and technical artists. 

Character Development in Non-Linear Spaces: 'Uncharted: The Lost Legacy'

Speaker: Josh Scherr (Writer, Naughty Dog Inc.)
Location: Room 3016, West Hall
Date: Tuesday, March 20
Time: 1:20pm - 1:50pm
Pass Type:
All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits
Game Narrative Summit

Synopsis: When Naughty Dog set out to make a huge, open-ended area for 'Uncharted: The Lost Legacy', they had to adapt their usual "wide-linear" narrative techniques to allow for more player choice, while still keeping the development of Chloe and Nadine's relationship consistent and natural. In this talk, co-writer Josh Scherr will provide an overview of Naughty Dog's story development techniques, followed by a detailed look at the writing process for this unique area, including: cutscenes and gameplay dialogue, the choices and compromises they made to make it work, and the mistakes they hope to avoid in the future.

Takeaway: Attendees will come away with a good sense of Naughty Dog's story development process, with both high-level and detail-oriented examples they can use when crafting game narratives of their own, whether their games tell linear or non-linear stories.

Painting and Designing Creatures for 'God of War' Using Substance Painter (Presented by Allegorithmic)

Sponsor Speaker: Glauco Longhi (Senior Character Artist, Santa Monica Studio)
Location: Room 3014, West Hall
Date: Tuesday, March 20
Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference, GDC Summits, Expo Plus, Audio Conference + Tutorial, Educators Summit, Indie Games Summit
Topic: Visual Arts
Format: Sponsored Dev Day

Synopsis: Throughout mixed techniques, Glauco Longhi will show all his methods of painting, designing and finishing one of the Creatures in the upcoming God of War, using Substance Painter as his main tool.

The Lighting Technology of 'Detroit: Become Human'

Speaker: Guillaume Caurant (Graphics Programmer, Quantic Dream)
Location: Room 2002, West Hall
Date: Wednesday, March 21
Time: 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference - Get your pass now!
Topic: Programming
Format: Session

Synopsis: The lighting technology of 'Detroit: Become Human' presents the collaboration between artists and programmers from Quantic Dream to bring cinematic lighting in a physically based environment. Quantic Dream's Graphics Programmer, Guillaume Caurant will show how the Quantic Dream team transitioned their lighting system to only use photometric units based on real life measurements. Guillaume will talk about their calibration and validation tools that help artists stay photoreal, and the complexity of controlling the exposition values of different environments. He will also talk about their indirect lighting system, how they reduced light leaking artifacts, how they managed transitions through portals and how well it interacts with their volumetric lighting.

Takeaway: Attendees will gain an understanding about how to shift their pipeline toward physically based photometry and lighting. They will also learn production-ready tips and tricks for using probe-based Global Illumination.

Intended Audience: This talk targets graphics programmers, lighting artists as well as technical and art directors. Physically based rendering (PBR) notions are a (strong) plus to attend this talk.

Audio Bootcamp XVII: Programming Composers and Composing Programmers

Speakers: Victoria Dorn (Associate Software Engineer, Sony Interactive Entertainment) 
Location: Room 3002, West Hall 
Date: Tuesday, March 20 
Time: 11:20am - 12:20pm 
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits, Audio Conference + Topic: Audio 
Format: Tutorial 

Synopsis: There seems to be more and more job postings for sound designers or composers which require (or would “desire”) applicants to have some sort of programming knowledge. At the same time, there is also a pretty big need for more audio programmers in the game industry. So, what do you do? Learn. Composers and programmers are all here, and maybe have interests in both fields to some extent. So come take advantage of these interests and learn from one another to make game audio the best ever. 

Takeaway: This talk will help sound designers/composers get a jump start on this whole “coding” thing and relate the art of composing and sound designing to the art of programming. Maybe you’re a programmer and you like audio stuff? Or you’re a composer/sound designer who want to increase their job prospects? This session will have stuff for you all! There will be resources, examples, and cake/cat pictures. 

Intended Audience: Sound designers/composers and programmers interested in audio.

Giving a Voice to the Machines of 'Horizon Zero Dawn'

Speaker: Pinar Temiz (Sound Designer, Guerrilla Games) 
Location: Room 3002, West Hall 
Date: Thursday, March 22 
Time: 10:00am - 11:00am 
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference, Audio Conference + Tutorial 
Topic: Audio 
Format: Session 

Synopsis: 'Horizon Zero Dawn' is a game that took over six years to develop. For Guerrilla, moving away from the 'Killzone' franchise meant entering a new world full of different audio challenges. This talk will focus on the sound of "The Machines" (aka Robot Dinosaurs), one of the main pillars of this new world. It will provide insight into the audio design process of these fictional creatures; creating audio to realize a high level of variety, nuance and functionality, while keeping the process manageable and scalable for the breadth of the machine lineup. This session will share some of the valuable lessons the Guerrilla Games team learned while bringing these machines to life. 

Takeaway: Attendees will gain insight into Guerrilla's audio design process and the challenges they faced regarding the scale and complexity of Horizon's machines. They might find inspiration in the production-proven ways of reaching creative goals in a large-scale new IP. 

Intended Audience: This talk is intended for people who are familiar with game audio in general. Material will be accessible enough for beginners but some professional experience in sound design will be helpful.

Audio Bootcamp XVII: Zen and the Art of Game Audio Maintenance

Speaker: Anton Woldhek (Principal Sound Designer, Guerrilla Games) 
Location: Room 3002, West Hall 
Date: Tuesday, March 20 
Time: 5:30pm - 6:00pm 
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits, Audio Conference + Tutorial 
Topic: Audio 
Format: Tutorial 
Vault Recording: Video 

Synopsis: As a sound artist in games, you sometimes end up in situations where your sounds don't behave the way you want them to. This can become overwhelming and can prevent you from being creative. This talk focuses on ways to overcome challenges by first analyzing and re-discovering sound with a fresh look on how game audio works. We’ll walk through the process from creating sounds and putting them in the game, to how they are played back in the engine, then finally pushed to your ears. We’ll also explore several case studies with real world examples. These will be very clear and practical tips that everyone can use straight away. 

Takeaway: You will walk away with practical tips that will help with achieving quality. 

Intended Audience: Sound designers interested in exploring approaches to game development. 

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