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12th February 2024
GDC 2024's Remedy & Alan Wake 2 Lectures
[San Francisco, California / March 18-22nd 2024] (Updated)

With Spring beginning to return to the Northern Hemisphere, it's time to start talking about upcoming conventions! While the D.I.C.E Summit and game awards are taking place in Las Vegas (USA) this week, there's another industry event on the horizon packed with Remedy and Alan Wake 2 talks.

GDC (Game Developer Conference) is set to take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, on March 18th - 22nd, 2024. 

While the final schedule isn't available, the organisers have a list of the currently planned sessions, including ten lectures from Remedy developers, branching out over four categories; Programming, Audio, Design, and Visual Arts. We'll keep you updated on the plans for the event, but in the meantime, you can check out the details for the upcoming lectures below! 

About GDC. Originally started in April 1988, GDC is a networking event for video game professionals looking to connect and advance their careers and expertise. The event is packed with summits, workshops, roundtables, advocacy sessions, career development, and more.  Prices for attendance start at $249, so if you're working at a studio, you might want to roll for persuasion. If you can't make it, the talks are available to check out via the GDC Vault, with some also making their way to YouTube for everyone to enjoy. (Fingers crossed that as many Alan Wake 2 lectures make it to a public platform.)

GDC Awards. Concluding the event is the Game Developer Awards, with Remedy's latest adventure listed as a finalist in "Best Narrative", "Best Technology", and "Best Visual Art", with an honourable mention for "Game of the Year". You can read more about the finalists HERE


Programming

Alan Wake 2: A Deep Diver Into Path Tracing Technology (Presented by Nvidia)
Speakers: Juha Sjöholm  (Graphics Developer Technology Engineer, NVIDIA), Kiya Kandar  (Graphics Programmer, Remedy)
Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Indie Games Summit Pass

"Alan Wake 2 was released last October with path tracing and DLSS Ray Reconstruction, receiving a lot of attention for the visual experience it offers. This session explains all aspects of the path tracer, including acceleration structure management with large amounts of dynamic content, representation and accessing of material data, light sampling techniques and image upscaling and denoising methods. All key technologies are covered, including using of the opacity micromaps (OMM) with alpha-tested assets such as vegetation and hair, use of the shader execution reordering (SER) in the path tracing shader, how the DLSS Ray Reconstruction is used to produce the final image, and how smooth frame rates are achieved through the DLSS Frame Generation."


Building Game Worlds with OpenUSD
Speaker: Vesa Paakkanen  (Lead Tools Programmer, Remedy)
Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

"The complexity and size of the game worlds is ever-increasing and tools need to meet that demand. At Remedy, we have been working on new tools and tech stack to allow us to build worlds faster and with more detail than ever before. At the core of our solution is Universal Scene Description (OpenUSD) by Pixar, which provides a powerful composition engine as well as a format compatible with the DCCs. In this presentation, we share how we integrated OpenUSD into our tools and engine, what kind of technical and user experience challenges we have faced, and show examples how we have tackled those while having two major game projects using it throughout the development."

ECS In Practice: The Case Board of Alan Wake 2
Speaker: Alexander Balakshin  (Senior Gameplay Programmer, Remedy)
Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

"For Alan Wake 2, Remedy Entertainment is using a new data-oriented ECS gameplay framework instead of the previous object-oriented one. As a result, we have performance gains such as cache coherency and multithreading out of the box. Also, being implemented using some of the latest C++ features, the new framework changes the way gameplay programmers write their code by providing them some extra convenience and productivity.

"We will present how this framework is used for implementing one of the game's features – the Case Board. We will cover how we describe the Case Board objects with components, how we register their systems, and how we interact with other modules (camera, cursor, etc.). Finally, we'll show how the interaction between C++ code and Lua scripts is organized."

Large Scale GPU-Based Skiining for Vegetation in Alan Wake 2
Speaker: Kiyavash (Kiya) Kandar  (Graphics Programmer, Remedy)
Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

"Alan Wake 2's forests and vegetation of the Pacific Northwest carry the atmosphere of the horror survival genre almost like a character on their own.

"This talk showcases Remedy's new GPU-based skinning pipeline, built to handle detailed and dense environments that are mostly comprised of dynamically animated vegetation geometry. To match the team's ambitions in geometric fidelity and complexity of motion, they also developed a new GPU-based animation system that could animate skeleton rigs at runtime via compute shaders."

"The talk provides a look under the hood at the techniques used to hit performance targets, create feature-rich systems for artists, and enable full representation in the Northlight engine's raytracing implementation."

Real-Time World Editing Technology in Northlight

Speaker: Sebastian Eriksson (Lead Core Engine Programmer, Remedy)
Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

"Requirements for game worlds are ever-increasing, being more realistic, more interactive, and larger than ever before. This means that there is a ton of content to be authored, but also large amounts of data to pass through pipelines and workflows to the engine runtime. Remedy has been working on a new data pipeline and technology stack for the Northlight engine that allows us to optimize entity data for authoring at edit time, and performance at runtime, while keeping near-instant iteration times for world editing workflows. The fundamental parts of this technology are OpenUSD for authoring, and Northlight's transformative live-edit pipeline that enables entity modifications to be applied to a running game process on the fly. In this presentation, Sebastian shares how we keep the editor and runtime data representations separated, how the data is transformed, and how the real-time editing between the editor and runtime works in practice."


Audio

In Your Head: Audio-Driven Everything in Alan Wake 2 and its Mind Place
Speaker: Joshua Bell (Lead Sound Designer, Remedy)
Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Audio Pass

"Alan Wake 2's profiling feature allows the player to delve into the minds and motivations of the game's characters, and access their thoughts and glimpses of past/future events. It exists inside the Mind Place, a 3D-space, immersive in-game user-interface, and hub to filter narrative elements and explore the story.

"Navigating the wealth of content, the narrative importance, and the abstract essence of the Mind Place and Profiling module posed challenges for the team. However, it presented a great chance to enhance Alan Wake 2's narrative and collaborate closely with visual disciplines to craft a cohesive audio-visual experience.

"We will go through the audio design for the "Profiling" feature, exploring how we concepted, overcame technical limitations, gave ourselves a framework to execute the large amount of content needed, and utilised an "audio-driven audio" and audio-driven visuals approach to craft a balanced and coherent experience."


Design

Level Design Summit: Layered Design, Developing the Mission Structures for Alan Wake 2
Speaker: Anne-Marie Grönroos (Lead Level Designer, Remedy)
Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

"This session will cover techniques that designers can use to improve how they communicate their designs. The session will begin with a brief introduction to the speaker, a few situations a designer might find themselves in, and a touch on how all design, including level design, is the ability to communicate ideas to an audience. We'll then dive into a short description of how the speaker has developed their own personal list of materials they use to better communicate their ideas. Each material will be presented with a problem space to solve, the visuals and/or text that a designer can utilize to solve it, and applications of said visuals or text. Once all materials are covered, an example level will be shown that was built using the techniques shared."

Making Linear Story Playable: The Narrative Design of Alan Wake 2
Speakers: Simon Wasselin (Associate Game Director, Remedy) and Molly Maloney (Principal Narrative Designer, Remedy)
Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

"Remedy has never shied away from complex stories and characters, and Alan Wake 2 features some of our most ambitious protagonists to date. When it came to putting players in the minds of both a talented FBI detective piecing together a supernatural mystery, and a tortured author attempting to write his way out of a web of darkness, Lead Narrative Designer Simon Wasselin (Quantic Dream) Principal Narrative Designer Molly Maloney (Telltale Games) had to tackle some big questions: How do we give players a satisfying interactive experience within the confines of a linear story that can't budge? How do we allow for player expression when the protagonists are locked into specific roles? How can we leverage interactivity to incept complex, multilayered exposition into the minds of our audience?

"This talk focuses on the design of the narrative mechanics used to convey exposition in Alan Wake 2. Join us as we discuss the challenges of agency vs expression, linear vs branching storytelling, and how by involving Narrative Design in gameplay we can create more powerful story experiences in AAA games."


Visual Arts

The Art of Characters In Alan Wake 2: Character Outfit Creation Process
Speaker: John Crossland (Principal Character Artist, Remedy)
Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

"In this character art session, we explore and dissect how at Remedy we approach the character creation process for outfit modelling. The session is dedicated to looking at the outfit aspects of Saga and Alan, how we approached the designs to create a grounded sense of realism. Then how we captured the outfits to ensure the highest level of realism from scanning, sculpting, modelling, and texturing. Finally, how we review final outfits in engine and calibrate materials for our final asset reviews. This session gives an insight into what goes into making Alan Wake and Saga Anderson's outfits in Alan Wake II."

The Dark Place of Alan Wake 2: Crafting an Evolving Nightmare Dimension
Speaker: Nazareno Urbano  (Principal Environment Artist, Remedy)
Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

"The presentation is a dive into the world-building aspect of The Dark Place of Alan Wake II, we explain how we approach the environment world-building and what tools we use to create an evolving nightmare dimension where the world is shifting, and multiple layers of reality are interconnected in a dream logic structure where the reality is subjective."

-- CONSOLE & PC GAMES --

The Crossfire Series

The Control Series

The Quantum Break Series

The Alan Wake Series

The Max Payne Series

Additional

-- MOBILE GAMES --

-- LIVE ACTION SERIES --

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