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See all Sessions of the " Tech Summit" at QUO VADIS 2017

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Applications of Eye Tracking in Virtual Reality

Tom Sengelaub (SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI))
Eye tracking is a hot topic in VR, but what is all the fuzz about? Tom will present how eye tracking can be used to personalize the 3D experience and how the point of gaze revolutionizes interaction with a virtual world. The power of eye tracking is not limited to interaction alone. In the long run, eye tracking can make logins obsolete, and using foveated rendering, make high resolution displays possible in HMDs. Social interaction is considered one of the killer applications and critical for mass adoption of Virtual Reality. A key component for that is a natural representation of eye movements in avatars. Tom will outline how this can be done and present both the state-of-the-art and a leap into the future of eye tracking in VR.
Tech Talk

Asset-Importer-Lib: History, Architecture and Use-Cases

Kim Kulling (SLM-Solutions Group AG ( Lübeck ))
The Asset-Importer-Lib makes it easy for Game-Developer to import and export various asset formats like Blender or Collada. In this talk I will give you an overview about its history, the base-concepts and typical use cases for it. We will also discuss about future improvements at the end.
Tech Talk

Drone Swarm – The Tech Behind 32,000 Simulated Space-Drones

Julian Mautner (stillalive studios GmbH)
Drone Swarm is a Sci-Fi RTT (real time tactics games) set in space, in which you control a swarm of 32,000 drones at once! Every single drone is simulated and rendered individually in a 3D space and consists of several polygons. In this talk I’ll show how we managed to get this to run in real-time. Drone Swarm is made in Unity, but the general principles involved apply to all game engines. On our way to make this core-tech work we faced several major challenges we had to overcome: 1. How to render that many entities at once? (Hardware-instancing without actual hardware instancing) 2. How to simulate every single one of them? (Compute Shader vs. Pixel Shader) 3. What rules and behaviors make the drones move to look like a swarm, but still be somewhat controllable? (Swarm behaviors, fluid dynamics?) 4. How to write a shader of such complexity that still performs well? (or: "Thou shan’t use IF!") 5. How to actually get gameplay strapped onto them? How can we interact with the drones? How does the CPU even know about them? I’ll talk about all of these challenges and how we tackled them. Summing up the talk, I’ll show a brief video of the resulting swarm dynamics in our current game-prototype.
Tech Talk

Every Millisecond Counts: How to Render Faster for Virtual Reality

Dominic Eskofier (Nvidia)
Developement for Virtual Reality is a hunt for each millisecond of latency – it’s the one metric that needs to be perfect for an immersive and comfortable experience. In Dominic Eskofier’s talk, you’ll learn how to maximize both framerate and visual quality of your Virtual Reality app by using sophisticated rendering techniques built into popular game engines, NVIDIA’s SDKs and modern GPUs.
other Talk

From Engine to Game - Shaping Our Unity Toy Box

David Kuri (Three Eyed Games / Volkswagen AG)
Florian Uhde (Volkswagen AG / Three Eyed Games)
Since its creation, Unity strived to make game developers' lives easier. The current state of the engine enables you to push out small prototypes within hours, and work towards complex titles with a team. There are some limits though, as we found out during the development of Three Eyed Games' first title SWARMED. This session is about pitfalls and limitations we found and how we broke and rearranged the Unity toolbox to fit our needs. Expect workflows, tooling and graphical magic.
Tech Talk

Interaction Design in Virtual Reality - Input Methods

Thomas Bedenk (Exozet Berlin GmbH)
Interaction design for virtual reality is far from being standardized. Thomas will give an overview of the current input options out there in this talk. These devices demand nontraditional approaches to human-computer interaction. He will also touch on topics like making it work cross platform, the psychology of the user in VR and different use scenarios for VR demanding different kinds of interaction design. Thomas will show many examples of enterprise use as well as games.
Tech Talk

Perception: The Most Technical Issue of VR

Eike Langbehn (Human-Computer Interaction, University of Hamburg)
Fifty years of virtual reality research resulted in a lot of findings that are interesting for game development. Especially, perception is a very important factor for VR, since it is connected to immersion, presence, and motion sickness. Perception might also be different from the real world and can even be manipulated. In this talk, I want to highlight some of the research results we and others found.
Science Talk

Rapid UI Creation using Data Binding in Unity

Stephan Dilly (InnoGames)
Modern application development architectures often use user interface patterns like Model-View-Controller and Model-View-ViewModel, which provide a clear structure for both developer and artist workflows, and direct support in the IDE. However, the current status quo in mobile game development utilizes engines like Unity3D which do not have native support for similar workflows. This results in a more error-prone and redundant user interface development workflow, where artists create a user interface remotely and developers have to mimic it in the engine. This talk shows how to apply modern development architectures to Unity3D, allowing developers and artists to focus each on their expertise and still have the results align in harmony. By applying proven concepts, these modern developments allow each party to work independently while still being able to test their own work at all times.
Tech Talk

The Disruptive Potential of Applied Interactive Technologies (APITs)

Martin Steinicke (University of Applied Sciences HTW Berlin, Creative Media Group)
The games industry has ever been a driver of innovation. But applying today’s game hard- & software technologies holds a huge potential for classical industries & businesses. Concurrently a glut of new games, growing steam libraries, keyselling & increasing Costs per Install make for dark clouds at the horizon of game studios. APITs might be the salvation to both classical businesses (innovation) & game companies (second source of income). But how to start and where to meet? Come in and find out!
Business Talk

The Future of Virtual Reality Video

Frederik Maucksch (xymatic GmbH)
Besides gaming, Virtual Reality video is currently one of the most researched topics in the Virtual Reality community. There is a wide variety of possible formats ranging from standard monoscopic 360° equirectangular to future volumetric video approaches e.g. using depth maps or light fields. This talk will give a short introduction to the current state from production to playout and its limitations. Further the talk will go into detail on future advanced methods that improve the current state, such as foveated streaming, spatial audio and volumetric video.
Tech Talk

Towards More Adaptive and Creative Artificial Intelligence in Games

Dr. Sebastian Risi (Center for Computer Games Research, IT University of Copenhagen)
This talk reviews recent advances in neuroevolution (i.e. evolving artificial neural networks through evolutionary algorithms) and procedural content generation that are especially relevant for creative domains like games. Evolutionary computation offers unique affordances for game design that enables creating entirely new type of games. Examples of such games we developed include Petalz, in which users can evolve an unlimited amount of artificial flowers and then transfer them to the real world via 3D printing, and Artefacts, which is similar to Minecraft but allows players to evolve arbitrary 3D buildings blocks together with others. Given their explorative nature, evolutionary algorithms also enable new ways for humans and machines to collaborate to easily create NPC behaviours. I will show how casual users can create NPC controllers for the Super Mario Game without any domain or programming knowledge.
Science Talk

Version Management for Games Developers. Practical considerations and Codeline Management

Sven Erik Knop (Perforce Software UK Ltd)
Version control is an essential tool for any kind of software development and increasingly hardware development as well. But video game development is different compared to most other software projects. The majority of files involved are binary files that cannot be merged - and these files tend to be very large as well. Many game development projects grow to Terabytes, and the upcoming 4K games for consoles and PC will quadruple the amount of assets again. On the other hand there is a strong tendency by the technical leads and QA team to demand a single repository for all files that go into a game - a Single Source of Truth. A Single Source of Truth avoids the pitfalls of mismatched check-ins from different silos of data. Such a repository also simplifies the inevitable search for the one check-in that broke the latest build. Ideally such a repository should also be distributed to allow multiple development sites to work on the same project if required - according to large games developers like EA it is not possible anymore to find all the talent required in a single place. This presentation introduces same basic concepts of version management, some specific requirements for game development and some techniques taken from real development on how these requirements are met.
Tech Talk

VR Netcode is Harder! VR + Multiplayer Challenges and Solutions

Christof Wegmann (Exit Games GmbH)
Oliver Eberlei (Holocafé)
Putting two of the most challenging game experiences together is no easy task. As development for VR matures, real time feedback and other constraints becomes central, which also impacts the design and implementation of a suitable network synchronisation mechanism. In this talk we'll briefly discuss our experiences with netcode implementation strategies for VR, focusing on lessons learned, and highlighting what works and what doesn't.
Tech Talk

Why You Should Care About Tool Design

Robin-Yann Storm (Io-Interactive)
In the industry we use all kinds of tools: Level editors, narrative tools, shader editors, etc. We use them daily, yet they can become unwieldy and annoying to use. For many tools this annoyance is taken for granted, but it doesn't have to be. Tool design can help here, improving both your tools, and your final product.
Tech Talk

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