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Keynote: Building Scalable Games in 2021: Critical Steps, Priority Tools, and Technology Considerations

2020 was an unprecedented year for growth in gaming. What were the lessons learned? What are the critical steps developers and studios of all sizes need to consider moving forward? Unity and Backtrace discuss the behind-the-scenes needs in-game infrastructure and operations that are table stakes in making highly engaging performant content in 2021 and beyond.

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Cryptic Studios Highlights

Managing Crashes All Along the Development Flow

Backtrace is a powerful system. But it’s somewhat one-size-fits-all. In our experience, how we want crash-reporting to look and feel is very different for an end user, vs a programmer, vs an artist’s desktop, vs a live backend server in a data center. In this talk, I’ll discuss how Cryptic Studios treats each of these cases differently. I’ll also discuss the custom “submission bucket” technology that Backtrace developed for us, and how it solved our “full dump vs micro dump” problem.

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Breakpoint:  Our Journey Making Debugging Billions of Errors Feasible

Our Journey Making Debugging Billions of Errors Feasible

In this technical talk, we will talk about the evolution of Backtrace as a product and technology. Backtrace helps customers debug billions of errors a month across terabytes of memory dumps, log files and other error context across all major platforms including Windows, Linux, Xbox, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch and more. In this talk, we will share our journey in designing and building a system that manages to cope with the scaling challenges and ever changing user requirements. We will share our lessons learned over the years both from a product design and engineering perspective. War stories will be shared involving debug formats, memory dumps, compiler optimizations, API integrations, databases, developer workflows and more. Attendees should walk away entertained and with an improved understanding of the sorts of challenges to expect if building such a solution in-house and the typical challenges studios encounter when revamping their pipeline for improved game stability.

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Breakpoint: Gamedriver

Automated QA/Testing in Gaming

Successful test automation in gaming depends on good planning, a decent understanding of how the game works, and the ability to control and interrogate the game engine level during replay. Most testing solutions on the market today focus on interacting with the screen to simulate the eyes of a user, and providing a naive input mechanism to drive the workload. This approach can only provide basic validation for video games, AR and VR which are immersive and dynamic by nature. Automated testing in gaming and other immersive experiences requires a deep introspection of the game environment to be able and adjust and respond to changes during testing with precision. In this talk we will cover some of the concepts of test automation for gaming, including object identification techniques, test planning, and execution strategies, to help you get the highest return on your automation investment.

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Breakpoint: Unity

Automate Your QA Test Plan & Game Balance Testing with Unity

The Unity Automated Testing package enables developers to automate tests from a QA Test Plan and run those tests in the Unity editor, on a local device, or on a device farm, while Unity Game Simulation enables developers to automate Game Balance testing over millions of automated game playthroughs of their actual games.

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Breakpoint: Epic Games

Unreal Engine Profiling and Optimization

In this talk, we’ll go over high-level profiling and optimization tools and procedures in Unreal Engine, with a special focus on the new Unreal Insights and Niagara features.

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Breakpoint: Forging a Path: How to use Nvidia graphics tools to accelerate your game's development

Forging a Path: How to Use Nvidia Tools to Accelerate your Game Development

In this session, we’ll explore the different caveats you may encounter as you develop your game and encounter some common graphics programming problems. We’ll write and debug some shader code, investigate a GPU crash and profile a performance critical workload. In the end, you should have a better understanding of which tools you have at your disposal and how to make sure that your application is running best on NVIDIA GPUs.

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Breakpoint: Superluminal

Profiling Reinvented — Building a Scalable Profiler

In this talk, Ritesh will look back on the development of Superluminal. He’ll shed some light on the unexpected challenges they faced while making a profiler
that can deal with multi-hour performance captures on 64 core machines at high sampling frequencies, with hundreds of millions of profiling events. All while keeping low memory overhead, high framerates and near-instant lookup times.

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Breakpoint: IGDA

The Lag that Broke the User's Backing

With so much information and entertainment available instantly, gone are the days of people tolerant of JPGs loading line by line. Video games have load times, download times, LOD rendering, and countless other performance marks that are considered, often subconsciously, by their audience. This talk will cover how game performance affects the success of games on release and how to mitigate the greatest pitfalls.

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Breakpoint - Panel Discussion: Future of Game Tech Innovations and Gaps

Panel Discussion: Future of Game Tech: Innovation and Gaps

Join as we talk to folks at the helm of game-tech creation and adoption about the future of game technology. Topics covered will include: What areas of current game-technology are studios using today? Where might game-tech be going with the introduction of cross-platform gaming and the cloud? What are some of the gaps that are ripe for effort in the game-technology space?

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