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24 May 2016

Digitial Dragons 2016 day 2

Digitial Dragons 2016 Conference Logo
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Please read about the first day here. Let’s see what happened in the second, final day. For sure, the whether was worse than on Monday.


Unity: AAA Graphics and VR

Valentin Simonov, Unity

The presentation mostly discussed the changes in Unity since version 5.0.

Enhanced visuals, better performance, and more: the Unity 5.4 public beta is ready for you to download

  • Last month there were something like 1.1 mln active users of Unity. This is a huuuge number! BTW: as Michał Staniszewski mentioned in his presentation on the first day - game-developers seems to be now a interesting target audience for games.
  • Unity 5.4 gets a set of cinematic effects. You can see some of the effects in the Blacksmith movie or Adam movie.
    • One of the effect is SSRR (Screen Space Raytraced Reflections), or Temporal AA.
  • Enlighten usage is optimized so your lightmaps will be recomputed smarter and faster.
  • For AAA games you get even more control over the native renderer: with Command Buffers, Multithreaded engine, there will be a support for terrain.
  • For VR: most of the games for VR are created in Unity! They are working on VR editor so you can quickly jump into your game.

Lightsaber Escape - Technology

Maciej Zasada (@MaciejZasada), UNIT9

See the experiment’s main page:

There is a whole article about this demo: Creating a Lightsaber with Polymer

Creating Diablo: 20th anniversary

David Brevik (@davidbrevik), Graybeard Games

David is a legend in Gamedev. For many years he had had an idea about creating a RPG game called Diablo (name from Mount Diablo, near SF). Unfortunately at that time no one played RPG as he was told… so his drafts were disapproved.

Here’s the original draft:

And a reddit discussion:

Some crazy stories:

  • They were all bad businessmen: if I understand correctly, they got a contract of 3k$ for 10+ people for year to create Diablo. But they was able to create a dream game… right?
  • David used inspirations from other games and improved the feeling of RPG: you could immediately start the game (without heavy and long process of creating a character), menu was simple,
  • When Microsoft released DirectX they quickly reimplemented the game engine with this. Thanks to the massive marketing campaign for DX they were able to ship a demo with DirectX Demo CD. 1mln discs were distributed!
  • David mentioned that for the last 9months he was crunching all the time, 16h per day. Crazy! And he’s child was born just after the game release!

WebGL and Unity - Best Practices

Vincent Vergonjeanne (@vvergon), EVERYDAYiPLAY

It was a talk not about rendering techniques behind WebGL and Unity, but actually what are the challenges when you use WebGL target from Unity - in terms of all the systems: gfx, sound, system, experience.

It seems that you can now create a fully featured game with WebGL and it should work! The technology is still it’s early days, but looks promising and there is probably no other choice.

Coding and culture - panel discussion

  • Host: Leszek Godlewski
  • Łukasz Hacura - Anshar Studio
  • Diego de Palacio - Playsoft
  • Michał Staniszewski - Plastic
  • Bartłomiej Waszak - Ubisoft Quebec

Discussion about creating a good team of developers. How to still have fun while coding and deliver best results, best games. There was a long thread about doing code reviews: if they should be simple or detailed (every commit). One of the guests even said that his company has a chance to do a full-detailed review after the game is finished, so they could start from clean start doing a next game (they do smaller reviews during the game development).

Physically based effects

Andrzej Uszakow, Plastic

Short presentation about effects in studio’s new game Bound. They used a custom solution based on position based dynamics. It’s an advanced implementation with several constraints that can be applied: distance, bending, follow the leader, close range attachment. Developers could create all sorts of effects using composition of the core algorithm and selected constraints: ribbons, grass, cloth around main character, etc.


At the end of the day one, there was Digital Dragons Awards Gala and after-party. Congratulations to the winners:

Digital Dragons 2016 winners:

Best Polish Game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED)

Best Mobile Game: This War of Mine (11 bit studios)

Best Game Design: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED)

Best Game Art: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED)

Best Game Audio: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED)

Best Foreign Game: Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment)

Małopolska Game Award - Bloober Team

Special Recognition Award – Michał Madej


Those were really good days for all people interested in game development. The industry is strong and the conference boosts opportunities around Polish Gamedev. Although it’s not a GDC you could learn a lot of interesting topics and be inspired by so many rockstars of games. You could hear John Romero, David Brevik, Chris Avellone and many more industry veterans.

The numbers are also for the conference: last year it was 1100 people, this year that grew into 1300 people. For sure the event is and continues to be an important part of Polish Gamedev.

Still, for me I - a person a bit of outside the gamedev at the moment - it wasn’t that super awesome conference. I’d like to hear more deep programming presentations, especially about the graphics (OpenGL, Vulkan, physics). This is unfortunately not the main aim of the conference. So I might be a bit unsatisfied. Hmmm… maybe I need to finally go to Meeting C++? :)

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