NVISION: Day Three

NVISION is over, and it’s been a pretty good ride as far as I can tell. I am sitting in my room drinking some wine and relaxing. (Unfortunately, the wine isn’t something I can expense to my company. It’s a luxury. However, I’m willing to debate if management wants to do so. 🙂 You know … in my imagination.) Regardless, I had a good time today.

I kicked the day off with Corinne Yu’s presentation for integrating physics into Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway. Corinne is opinionated and outspoken, but she’s got some good ideas on what types of physics matter for games. Basically, her argument is that physicis don’t matter if they have a non-deterministic effect on gameplay. I don’t agree with her 100% since I think that “fluff” physics which only add effects and which are rendering-only or client-side physics do matter. They are viscercal, and visceral physics matter from the standpoint of sheer user experience. However, I agree that they don’t impact the core gameplay and game experience.

That concept rolled into our panel on physics in games. We had a great discussion about the nature of physics for games. I drew three main conclusions from the panel.

  • Physics must serve game design,
  • AI, Animation, and Physics must share data.
  • Synchronizing physics from server to client is still not solved.

Those are some big issues, and I think we can continue to discuss them in the future. Independent of us or with us.

Bart Muzzin of Firaxis Games proceeded to talk about how he integrated physics into Civilizations Revolutions. Bart’s talk was great because it was very grounded. He didn’t talk about what he might do. He talked about what he did in a shipping title. It takes a lot of courage to talk about the compromises of a shipping title because they are never as impressive as the promises of technology that doesn’t exist but might be in a future title. Bart’s talk focused on the pipeline of Civ for consoles and some very real issues. I give him my full respect and endorsement for doing a talk about issues that are solved. I look forward to talking with him more in the future. I look forward to how his knowledge can make games and Gamebryo better.. His talk was free of speculation, and it was all about reality. Awesome!

I wrapped the day headed over to NVIDIA’s headquarters to share my thoughts on CUDA. Again, that’s some confidential stuff that I can’t blog about, but I’m excited about what it means for CUDA, the industry, and my colleagues. Things are looking good because it means we’ll be able to leverage CUDA for more exciting computation and more exciting games.

I should drink less wine. It’s Benton-Lane, btw. dba.

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