Friday, March 27, 2009

Post-GDC Update


Today is my birthday, happy birthday world!

Still working on the next maze article, sorry its taking so long. Code has been done, article is about 30% done. Maybe by Monday, that still keeps me inside March and roughly meeting my timetable.

GDC 2009

GDC was good.

I went down early and partied extra-hearty before the event so I could stay focused and not feel like I was missing anything.

End result - 3 days of meetings after meetings with developers about LRB1-E. Very productive!

3 days of meetings didnt leave much time for fun, but I still managed to see and hang out a bit with "rendering dudes" like Jay Patel(Blizzard), Wolfgang Engel(ShaderX), Brian Jacobsen(Valve), Jon Mavor(Uber), Tim Sweeney(Epic), Loren McQuade(NCSoft), Chas Boyd(Microsoft), and a few others. And saw a bunch of industry bizdev and evangelism folks I know, eg Chris Donahue, Phil Wright, Paul Trowe, Jeff Royle, Brian Bruning, Leslie P, and more.

I started going to GDC in 1994, and have only missed 2 or 3 in the last 15 years. The industry and event have both changed quite a bit over that time, but it is still one of the key events of the year and you can get a lot of good tech information from the sessions, network like hell with all the people you meet, get a good idea of what products are new/hot/cool by walking the expo floor, and get invited to cool parties every evening.

What else could a game developer want? Don Hopkins and his RV outside parked in the parking lot? More beer? Definitely more beer.

Larrabee at GDC

Slides arent up yet, but industry sites with new discussions are

The info on our 2 sessions:

Interestingly enough, the LRB prototype header file is already public at
This will let developers examine the new instruction set in detail, and once the slides to the Abrash and Forsyth talks are up will be a great complementary resource to allow people to fiddle.

Now if we can get Wolfgang to do a shader book about LRB...the only thing is he wants a new name. I think I got lucky last time, its not every time you can come up with such a good name. If this happens, I will have to mention Valve and their champagne party since that is where the idea took form.

More on Ray Tracing

Uber's Jon Mavor has an interesting blog post on ray tracing at:

Uber is definitely one to watch.

Interestingly enough, a while ago I noticed I had appeared again on Eric Haines' Ray Tracing Newsletter in Nov 2008

My first citation was Aug 1995
The two citations are almost 15 years apart, which is a both an indication of how long I have been hanging around in the industry and the fact that occasionally I make a real contribution.

You couldn't ask for much more. Ok, you could, but should you or would you jinx yourself? :-)

Random Programming Tip

check out

this is a great site to bookmark and the doc is chock full of great low-level programming tricks. I suspect some low-level optimizations like these will be important for LRB since the P54C core its based on is an in-order core and avoiding branch costs like some of these tricks show how to do is generally a good thing to get the fastest code.



Congratulations, Phil :)