Monday, 17 August 2015


So... I applied for Ubisoft's Graduate Program a while back. App was accepted, got the test... then probably proceeded to fail it pretty badly. I'm not sure if I really want to try again next year. Seeing those questions, because I don't have a CS degree and didn't take certain courses because they weren't offered at the time (and probably weren't offered for a little while after I had graduated), I have a lot of holes in my knowledge base. Still, slowly working on learning other things.

Then recently applied to another posting. Development Tester. I'm liking that job's description a lot more, especially with the whole tester-programmer pairing thing. I don't think the questions they asked were too hard... Except that I don't think I interact with my supervisors enough to really know what they would tell me to improve. They mostly just assign a task, I do it. And that 5-year question... Answering honestly here shouldn't be a detriment. I do want to be writing code, or even doing research within that time period. I think it's reasonable.

So... Just waiting to see what happens. I'm really hoping that I get the Dev Tester position. It'd be a great way to get a feel of the dev process first hand while also learning on the job. Besides, don't people learn more about the job while actually doing their job~?

In the meantime, learning about some raytracing. SIGGRAPH finished not too long ago, and was attempting to keep up with my twitter feed.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Been kinda quiet

Been working through the Unity tutorials for the past little while. It's actually not that bad once you get to the scripting, although I'm still not exactly sold on using C#. It's easy enough to use though, which is nice.

Although considering that Epic just made UE4 free, I don't see much of a point to go back to Unity right now. Except for the part where the engine makes my laptop cry. Trying to run that Elemental demo? Dips all the way to the low teens. Going to keep at it though. There are tutorials to go through, forum posts to be read, and source code to understand! ...And maybe waiting on DX12 and Vulkan support as well. GDC is on, so time to check out their presentations! Interesting that Unity 5 has a "Personal Edition"... More stuff to check out.

Interestingly, Autodesk is showing off their game engine. Stingray.

ETA: No noise concerning Autodesk... Wonder what's up. In other news... HOLY HELL SOURCE 2.

Saturday, 6 December 2014


So... I was at Ubisoft Toronto all of last week... Gotta say, I like it there. Definitely going to keep trying to get a job in the studio~ Maybe I'll update this post later with a few pics I took of their holiday decorations. The Rabbids are pretty cute and they're hand-painted when you look at them close up.

As for why I was there? I can't say for the next 15 years~

Those 12-core Xeons @ 3.2GHz, 32GB of RAM, 670s... I'd love to have an overkill system, even if that 670 is damn outdated by now.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Interrupt the hiatus

The Disrupt engine is pretty interesting. It's a combination of new tech, whatever Ubi Reflections was working on, AnvilNext (open world), and Dunia (vegetation, AI). I've really only seen PS4 and PC screens floating about. Practically nothing from last gen and the X1, which might be either a little odd or that I've been hanging around the wrong places (pretty sure it's the latter). Because of that, can't really comment too much about the cross-generational issues. Wouldn't mind grabbing a last-gen copy to play around with. It'd probably run smoother than my PC copy. Hell, might even look better, even though there won't be any cockpit driving (I suck at it, so it wouldn't matter anyways).

One of the things I really disliked about Watch_Dogs was the inconsistency of the character models. You have Aiden, who looks awesome due to all the detail, and then you look at the various NPCs and see something that could probably be rendered in the late PS2 era. Even other key characters like Nicky and Jackson suffer from this, which is really too bad since you see them alongside Aiden up close a fair number of times. The quality difference is jarring. You can also sort of come across this if you've been doing some model swapping. Saw a few pics of Aiden's casual wear during from one of the flashback scenes, and his hair rendering is pretty terrible. It looks rather plastic and layered instead of being a bit more hair-like and curly. The light bouncing off the strands was off as well. The textures on the inner layer of his jacket is quite low-res when compared to the leather texture on the outside. I get that it was part of the flashback scene where there's a lot of filtering involved, but it does make it look bad if that texture was used elsewhere.

Another thing that bothered me while playing: eyes. The pupils don't dilate or contract based on how much light is present in the area. Aiden's green looks somewhat unnatural. Not sure if that was intentional though. It's almost like we take him and dunk him in some mako. It's pretty, but strange... The way light bounces off them, it's just odd. Ah well. Graphical calculations and whatnot can always be tweaked with iterations. I'm not going to worry about it too much.

But hey! At least the water is amazing, minus it not reacting to gunshots. I think I already see some of the cloth physics in Assassin's Creed Unity. It's probably going to be shifted back to the next Watch_Dogs. And IIRC, animating women shouldn't be hard with this engine either, considering that someone on the Watch_Dogs team called out the ACU on that (internal drama! And to think I want to work for them).

I think they have a good engine on hand. Now if only the PC iteration didn't suck so badly when it's the lead platform. And everyone not being afraid of hair? That might have been more of a cross-generation issue. Not really sure. Even inFAMOUS Second Son tried to keep everyone's head either shaved, tied up, or otherwise hidden. I have high hopes of refinement, but not high hopes of execution. We'll see.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Lots of graphics~

Looks like I still have a lot to learn about graphics. Different hosting sites seem to have varying levels of extra compression added to images, which may not be easily noticeable at first glance. Been looking at the hosts that the screenshot threads have been using, and they generally don't like using Twitter and Facebook because it just kills everything. It's mostly evident when looking at gradients. Most people probably wouldn't care about it, but sometimes the artifacts really hurt the presentation when you're looking closely enough.

Learned about chromatic aberration while poking at the new Arkham Knight game. Honestly, that's really not a good "technique", if you can even call it that, to showcase how your game looks. Also, that moon? Seriously? Are you trying to invoke Majora's Mask here? Also learned the term "bokeh". Something about focus differences based on distance. Has something to do with depth...? Either way, it can be pleasing or completely disastrous.

The new Mario Kart game seems to be lacking AA, but it'll probably look fine while in motion. It's almost kinda funny... PS4 games seem to be pushing 1080/30 mostly OK (2 games that I know of so far have patches for a 30fps cap), X1 seems to be struggling to get 1080/30 (some games have weird resolutions like Titanfall's 792p), and Wii U is minding its own business while trying to push out 60fps. All sorts of priorities here, but it's still early in the generation. I'd honestly take performance over IQ when forced.

Also, normal mapping is hard. I'll learn it right someday. Maybe even soon.

Saturday, 29 March 2014


I think I have to write about 15 programs in the next 2 weeks. Almost double that if you want to think about porting the code from GLSL to HLSL... which is funny because the labs are mostly done in HLSL first before porting to GLSL. For the project, it's the opposite since all the tutorials I've found are for GLSL instead of HLSL. At least I have a lot of resources to draw from, including from my own games! Because the developers were "kind" enough to leave the shader code alone while also having their binaries/compiled versions in the same directory.

I have a lot of reading ahead of me to do. Not that I mind. The topic is rather fascinating (normal mapping, practically essentially to games nowadays), although I'd much rather be reading about anti-aliasing techniques right about now. You can blame the screenshot thread on neoGAF for that. And inFAMOUS Second Son. My god that game looks nice... Can't wait to see what new techniques are developed this generation.

And someone should really remind me that oolong tea expands like nothing is their business. Some of the leaves have reached the top of my teapot's lid. Whoops.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Been reading

Kinda noticed that a lot of things are happening in Seattle and San Fran this year. Kinda makes me wish I would be in the city for a good chunk of the year, but I doubt I'll even get near it. Most notably the GDC, which is coming up pretty fast. About 2 weeks from now. One of the bigger talks that I just caught wind of was about DirectX 12. Just a brief look at the comments over at Kotaku, and there seems to be someone that's really for it. At Polygon, it's quite the opposite. They like OpenGL/OpenCL more. No word on Mantle that I can see so far. There's very likely going to be a talk about that since AMD is going to be there (the list is quite long, and I don't really want to sift though it).

I don't really have a preference at the moment. There are some things in terms of syntax that I think Direct3D does better, and there are things that OpenGL does better. Both have pretty funny quirks to deal with. But Microsoft being Microsoft, they're probably going to be pushing for DX12 on their next Windows iteration. Maybe 2015? Either way, it's going to be interesting to see what happens with 3 major APIs in the mix. Kinda rooting for OpenGL because it's x-platform.

It's also really funny. My sister thinks there's nothing to do in Seattle other than to check out the original Starbucks location. Whereas I would love to visit because of all those software related ventures hiding around, and some marine based research if I'm not mistaken (there was something about starfish tearing themselves apart).