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Tools and Programs for Game Developers at SIGGRAPH 2011
At SIGGRAPH in years past, I’ve spent most of my time bouncing from session to session, rarely spending much time on the show floor. This year, I spent more time on the floor talking to game developers about the Intel VA app (shameless plug: I developed the app), which meant I was able to meet scores of students and developers as well as explore some new, awesome tools and programs out there for developers. Disclosure: Intel’s Visual Adrenaline magazine is the sponsor of this website.
So without further ado, here are my top highlights from SIGGRAPH:
I saw a new Media SDK this year. The first application of the SDK was to process video from a GoPro 3D camera. The GoPro camera captures two distinct streams of video, which are then merged together using GoPro Cineform Studio. With the SDK, the video is rendered utilizing the GPU, instead of relying solely on the CPU to render the video. This helps compile the video two to three times faster than normal, saving users valuable time and power.
The second use of the SDK was with a video media player. Normal video players use your CPU or your GPU to process the video. By leveraging the SDK and OpenCL, the media player is able to use both processors, which saves power and allows the CPU to work on other tasks concurrently.
As artists and developers continue to push the limits of computing power, multicore processing will play a more important role in industry advancements and innovations. At one station, I learned about a suite of studio tools that seamlessly integrates into popular compilers. One of the key features that I found most interesting was that developers can use those tools to quickly annotate arrays and vectorize code, making parallelization much easier to obtain.
I’m a huge gamer, so talking with students and indie developers about games they are working on was a high point of my week. But as you can imagine, gaining access to leading development tools and marketing resources is quite a stretch on a student budget.
That’s where partner programs come in. Some programs offer developers free access to software SDKs that optimize programs’ current technology, industry research and analysis to help developers make sound business decisions -- and, once their programs are ready for market, help with promoting and selling their programs through a variety of channels. After hearing about some of the awesome games that are in the works, I won’t be surprised if I see some of them working with the partner program in the near future.
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