Square Enix announced their line-up of talks for the 2016 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco California. In total Square has 9 presentations set across the first four days of the conference. Topics range from the use of interactive story mechanics to handle tough issues like suicide, mental illness and loss in Life Is Strange, to the process of optimization that Just Cause 3 developer Avalanche Studios used in conjunction with Iris graphics to make the world of JC3 explode with such fidelity. In terms of franchises, this year’s session line-up from Square focuses on games that have already been released like the two mentioned above or titles that are on the horizon like the upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Final Fantasy fanatics looking for more information on FFXV will have to look elsewhere – that title will get its own huge event at the end of the month.
Staff from BrokenJoysticks.net will be in SF for a portion of GDC and will bring you every video, podcast and article that we can line-up! In the meantime here is a small selection of Square Enix’s GDC 2016 line-up:
More Explosions, More Chaos, and Definitely More Blowing Stuff Up: Optimizations and New DirectX Features in Just Cause 3 (presented by Intel)
Just Cause 3 is Avalanche Studios’ latest addition to the mind-blowing and stuff-blowing open world action-adventure series: Just Cause. Published by Square Enix, the game released on December 1, 2015 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. During the development of the game, Intel and Avalanche Studios have been working closely together to optimize the game on Iris graphics, but also to make use of DX12 level features to further improve the user experience.
This session will cover the changes Avalanche Studios made to their engine to make the game run faster, better and stronger on PC, as well as how Intel’s tools helped us accomplish this goal. PC exclusive features, such as Ordered Independent Transparency and G-buffer blending using Raster Ordered Views, and light assignment for clustered shading using Conservative Rasterization, will also be presented.
Real-time Procedural Percussion Scoring in Tomb Raider’s Stealth Combat
In Rise of the Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics ® used, for the first time, procedurally generated music: the percussion music during combat scenes is composed and played by a software system in real time. It never loops, adapts dynamically to game action, and is different with every gameplay. Furthermore, the music is based on the game composer’s original music: his original MIDI scores and sample data are analyzed in order to compose new music in his style during the game. In this talk, one of the game’s audio designers discusses in detail the benefits of procedurally generated music, as well as the issues and limitations faced when working with it. Videos from the game will be used as illustration.
A “Life is Strange” Case Study: Using Interactive Storytelling and Game Design
Join the co-directors of the episodic game “Life Is Strange” as they reveal how they approached the inclusion of emotional, often sensitive, and sometimes taboo real-world issues into the core narrative of the game. Examples from the game will illustrate how the interactive nature of video games can be used to tackle difficult subject matters, driving players to reflect upon intense questions and emotional challenges; and how the coordinated development of story, characters and design can be used to achieve these goals.