There really were a load of excellent talks, so I want to make sure I highlight a few that I particularly enjoyed.
Writing In Ink - A Custom Scripting Language for Narrative Design
Tom Kail from Inkle gave an overview of their recently released scripting language, ink. ink is a language designed specifically for building interactive, narrative-based games, and has recently been released as a free, open source Unity plugin. The language has been used on all of Inkle’s games, including the brilliant 80 Days and Sorcery!, so it’s got great credentials. Tom’s a great speaker and gave a really nice introduction to the tool, so if you’re interested definitely check out his talk.
Gearboxes and Gas Pedals - Vehicle Physics in Unity
Joe Bain, a London-based indie dev, spoke in depth about designing physics-based vehicle control systems in Unity, covering topics such as traction control, simulating gearboxes, and Unity’s wheel colliders. It’s all backed up with some legit science and practical advice, and it was really nice to see a deep-dive into such a specific topic.
Generating Layered Materials with Substance Painter, an artist-centric approach to shaders
We used Substance Designer quite a lot in our pre-Graham, early prototyping phase. Designer is a material authoring tool built around a node-based procedural workflow. Even non-artists like myself can get some pretty amazing results with practice. This talk was fairly quick intro to a specific Substance Painter approach, but it was a good example of just how powerful the Substance suite is, and showed just how advanced tools are becoming.
Roomscale VR Discussion Panel
This panel on roomscale VR was great. Lead by Valve’s Chet Faliszek (one of the writers behind Half-Life, Portal and Left 4 Dead), and featuring a handful of devs working at the very cutting edge of VR games, this was a really enjoyable discussion. It’s always interesting to hear personal insight and anecdotes about working with and dealing with the quirks of new technology, and there was plenty of useful information to be gleaned from the chat.
Next Generation AI for Unity
This talk on AI by Jakob Rasmussen from Apex Game Tools was fascinating, though admittedly a little over my head! There was some interesting AI theory explained very clearly, and a glimpse at the direction game AI is heading. Well worth a watch.
Monetize Your Games in China's Market
The sheer size and scope of the game’s market in China is unbelievable. This talk gave a rather detailed look into the state of the Chinese market for downloadable games, with some advice on how to break into the market, with information on distribution channels, localisation etc.