GDC and Beyond

I am now back from GDC.  I have a quiz in my data mining course in a few hours.  I am recuperating from a cold I caught during the week of GDC.  I will detail GDC week and then my plans moving forward with the rest of the semester.

GDC week was entertaining.  My wife and I left for San Francisco early Sunday.  We walked to the bridge and to fisherman’s wharf.  It was nice to spend some time together.

Monday I attended the math tutorials.  My favorite math tutorial was the homogeneous coordinate lecture by Squirrel Eiserloh.  I feel like the W coordinate was not explained well enough in the graphics lectures.  Having worked in projected space with elliptic curves I had a rough understanding of the space occupied by (X, Y, Z, W) in R^3.  Squirrel’s lecture justified that homogeneous coordinates create a projected space.

Tuesday I attended the physics tutorials.  My favorite physics tutorial was “Physics Optimization Strategies” by Sergiy Migdalskiy.  The tutorial addressed cache misses as a large loss of performance in game physics.  Suggestions to fix the issue were data packing, specialized pointers and generalizations for taking advantage of parallelism.  I noticed business people in the room and watched their eyes glaze over when assembly code was presented.  That made me smile.  He also had animations to help break the concept down for non-technical people.  Some people were only there because they thought Half-Life 3 might be announced due to a coincidence of being at 3 PM on March 3….

On Wednesday I helped Topher with Hostile Territory at the EAE booth from 10:00 AM to Noon.   We met some interesting people.   There was more interest in Hostile Territory when it was moving, so I was messing around in the game.  My messing around however caused me to miss talking to someone that was standing behind me.  Corrinne told me I was bad at this and shouldn’t be playing my game, so I stopped.  Interest waned.  Topher came back and we pretended to play and interest rose again.  Overall the experience wasn’t terrible and we met some people.

Also on Wednesday I explored the expo floor and found it similar to last years expo floor.  I went to the career area.  That area seemed the same which means I am likely crazy expecting different results from the expo floor and career area.  I left the area and attended Microsoft talks for the rest of the day.

The rest of the week was largely uneventful.  I had caught a cold and was coughing frequently.  I went to the Intel event.  It was great to see 404sight compete.  I was also impressed by the diversity of the winners from the Intel event.  Otherwise I avoided most contact with the conference since I didn’t want to spread the cold.  The sessions I could have went to were sponsored events and if I were at the conference I would have spent more time with Microsoft.  I did meet David Setser at one of the Microsoft events.  He is an alum of the EAE program that is working at Microsoft.

Moving forward I am going to take my quiz today in data mining.  I am then going to devote all my time to catching up in game engineering.  Unfortunately I have ended up behind in game engineering.  With GDC behind me I have more time to spend with game engineering.  I am looking forward to working hard to finish my studies over the next two months.

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