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Entries for tag "events", ordered from most recent. Entry count: 123.
I just came back from Revision - world's biggest pure demoscene party. It was held in Saarbrücken, Germany. That was first time I attended a demoparty abroad, as I've been going only to the ones in Poland so far, like RiverWash, WeCan, Silly Venture, or AmiWaWa.
I don't like the fact that it happens during Easter, when I usually go visit my parents, but I wanted to see it at least once. Revision was big, with around 700 participants, according to the page with non-mandatory registration - Visitors. There were various kinds of activities - from Seminars to techno party, and of course most importantly - competitions. Revision is a multiplatform demoparty, so there were compo categories dedicated to retro platforms (like Amiga, pixel art or tracker music), as well as modern PCs (like modern graphics, streaming music, PC 4K/8K/64K intro and demo). Entries can be found here: Revision 2017 @ pouet.net.
Many people said that PC 4K Intro category had best quality this year, so it's worth checking. Other than that, productions that I remembered the most are:
Most exciting for me was watching Shader Showdown - a competition where two programmers had to write a pixel shader live on stage, without any documentation or other help, in a time frame of 25 minutes per round. Winner moved on to semifinals and then the final. During each round a DJ was playing some music and its live FFT was available as one of the inputs to the shader. It's amazing to see how good knowledge of programming, graphics and math allows to develop some nice looking visualizations in such a short period of time. I've also heard opinions that watching it gave a good glimpse of how graphics programming looks like and what does it take to make a demo, even for non-technical people.
Here is a gallery of my photos from the event:
First Time on GDC
I came back from my first GDC. I've been dreaming about going there since my university years. My first impression? It's huge! It runs for so many days (Monday to Friday). There are so many talks, more than a dozen at same time, that you really need to choose carefully what is most interesting to you (and stand in a queue before the room, because if you come too late and the talk is very popular, there may be no free seats left).
As the world's largest event of this kind in the industry, it attracts best professionals and offers quality talks. This time there were sponsored talks from Amazon (about their engine Lumberyard), Facebook, Khronos, Google, NVIDIA, Unity, Intel, Microsoft, Oculus, AMD, Epic, ARM, Sony and others - basically every big company that deals with graphics, plus many other talks presented by individual developers. I was interested mostly in graphics programming, but of course there were many other topics covered, like artistic or business aspect of game development.
Expo was also big, with over 100 companies presenting their products, services and technologies. Big difference from Polish Poznań Game Arena is that GDC is targeted to professionals only, which means there aren't such big crowds of people standing in long queues to be able to play any game. I've never played so much VR as on this expo :)
There were other attractions too, like indie game developers presenting their productions or retro zone with working computers from previous decades. So many things to do there! In addition to that, I've met many friends there, who either live in US or came from Poland just like me.
Entrance fee is high, with pass for main conference starting at $1000 up to $2400 (on-site for all access), aside from plane ticket to San Franscisco and hotel there, so it's hard to go there on your own, unless your company pays for it. But if only you have the opportunity, I think GDC is definitely worth visiting.
By the way, gamedev conferences planned for this year in Poland are:
I hope to visit them all :)
Gallery of my photos (mostly from San Francisco):
Pitfalls of Floating-Point Numbers - Slides
Here you can find slides from my presentation, in Polish. It's called "Pułapki liczb zmiennoprzecinkowych" ("Pitfalls of floating-point numbers").
Here are links to the Floating-Point Formats Cheatsheet (in English) that I mentioned in my presentation:
Pitfalls of Floating-Point Numbers - My Lecture on CareerCon
CareerCon is an event organized in various cities in Poland, dedicated to IT jobs, e.g. for programmers. You can find there many companies advertising their job offers. Entrance is free, but requires previous registration on their website. There are also some presentations every time.
24 September 2016 the event will take place in Sopot, where I will give a lecture "Pułapki liczb zmiennoprzecinkowych" ("Pitfalls of floating-point numbers"). I will talk about properties of floating-point data types, which are the same regardless of the programming language you use. I will show their limitations, common mistakes to avoid and some good practices. If you are a professional programmer or a student interested in career in IT, I'd like to invite you to come and listen.
Pixel Heaven and Bajtek Special Issue
Do you remember "Bajtek" magazine? I don't, because I was a little kid back then, but older colleagues told me that in 80's and 90's it was a popular Polish magazine about computers (like Atari, Commodore or Amiga - platforms that were in use at that time). Archival issues can be downloaded for free from atarionline.pl.
Now, 20 years after last one, a new issue has been released. It's a single, special issue - Wydanie specjalne: Bajtek. There is my article inside - "Programowanie grafiki dzi¶" ("Graphics Programming Today"). The article describes briefly a history of graphics cards (from first 3D games, through 3Dfx Voodoo and S3 ViRGE, cards from NVIDIA and ATI/AMD, appearance of OpenGL and DirectX, to invention of shaders), shows graphics pipeline of modern GPU-s and mentions the new generation of graphics API-s (Direct3D 12 and Vulkan).
Many people who were interested in graphics programming, games or demoscene at the time of Bajtek magazine, now have a more "serious" job, whether in software development or something completely different, and they no longer have time for this hobby, so they are not up-to-date with advancements in this technology. So I thought they may like a short update on this subject.
The new issue of Bajtek was first shown on Pixel Heaven - a party that took place 3-5 June 2016 in Warsaw. I've been there and I had a great time. There were many different activities, like indie games exhibition, retro gaming zone, lectures and discussion panels.
Sztukato 2016 - Festival of Arts and Fashion
18-20 March 2016 in Protokultura club in Gdańsk, Poland, an interesting event took place: Sztukato - festival of arts and fashion (Website, Facebook Event). It involved arts gallery, fair of handmade clothes and accessories, fashion shows, concerts and many other activities. I was doing visualizations during the whole event. It was new and interesting experience for me, as I learned a lot during the event, as well as while preparing for it. I especially gained lots of experience in video editing, as I prepared some prerendered video footage. Depending on the circumstances sometimes I played these videos in a loop, sometimes just showed logos of organizers and sponsors and sometimes launched the abstract/psychedelic visuals generated procedurally by my program.
Here is full gallery of my photos from the festival: SZTUKATO 2016 Festiwal Sztuki i Mody @ Facebook.
I can see many VJ-s use Resolume, but for simple displaying images or videos I used Screen Monkey. It's a free program that I came across when browsing VJ Forums. It has some problems (GUI has some minor bugs and it even stops playing videos sometimes), but it also has many useful features (layers, fade in/out, linking clips in a sequence, Schedule and many more).
The biggest problem I had with Screen Monkey is that it didn't want to play any videos after installation. (My environment was: Windows 7 x64 with latest updates, K-Lite Codec Pack Full in latest version, Screen Monkey version 3.7, video files format: MP4 container + MPEG4 Video (H264) video stream) Solution to this turned out to be:
After going back to my work, I had a thought that there is one big difference between creative work and doing software engineering. When creating something, whether it's an art, writing a book or even coding a small program, you can always come up with SOMETHING even if you lack knowledge, experience or time and the deadline is close. It may be better or worse, client may like it or not, but at least you have SOMETHING and the rest is just a matter of negotiation. When working in software, it's more binary - all-or-nothing. You either meet the specification or not, pass all unit tests or not, you fixed the bug or not. Sure you can also write better or worse code, your solution can be more robust, efficient or better architected, but this has its own problem: Writing bad code increases technical debt, which makes it harder to work with the code in the future while being quite invisible to the client and your manager. On the other hand, when assigned some creative task, you probably launch your editor and start from a blank document every time.
Poznań Game Arena + Game Industry Conference 2015
Last weekend Poznań Game Arena together with Game Industry Conference (former ZTG - Zjazd Twórców Gier) took place in Poznań, Poland. I have been there, just like in previous years and I liked it a lot. PGA is advertised as "biggest multimedia and entertainment event in this region of Europe." There were multiple halls filled with exhibitors of various kinds, of course all related to gaming. Lots of gaming hardware have been shown, as well as T-shirts and other fan accessories. I had an opportunity to try Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. Samsung's product seems to have higher resolution, but bigger lag between accelerometer and displayed image. Unfortunately I didn't try HTC Vive (the queue was too long), while they say it is the best of all virtual reality solutions. There was also one hall dedicated to indie games, with lots of productions available to play and discuss with their creators.
While PGA was targeted mostly to gaming fans, game developers gathered in the same time and place for GIC, which consisted of almost 100 talks, panels, workshops and other activities. Industry professionals talked about their games, academics showed their research, enthusiasts discussed their ideas and prototypes... Traditionally, most of the topics were not technical, but rather related to game design or business. Well, most games are made in Unity these days anyway, so probably there is not need to discuss quirks of DirectX or OpenGL for an average game developer. But I still believe that the opportunity for expanding knowledge beyond everyday work, for networking, catching new ideas and getting motivation boost make such events worth attending.
Music Visualizations - Plans for the Future
Last weekend I was showing my music visualizations on two parties. First one was in a club, projected on flat screen, while the second one was an open-air party (my 7th and last one in this summer season :) with the image projected on trees. For this one I had to prepare something different - simple, contrast shapes and single color only, so it could be clearly visible. Here is a small video:
It doesn't look like this because I wanted it exactly this way or because that was my "artistic vision", but just because showing some rotating images downloaded from the Internet and blending transformed feedback from previous frame was the easiest way to start with something interestingly looking.
Now I have tons of ideas to improve this program as soon as I find some free time. Next to some small technical tasks like refactoring code or simply adding new graphical effects, I plan following big TODO-s (with no particular order decided yet):