Giant Squid Studios' 2016 underwater exploration game Abzu was, if nothing else, visually resplendent.
At GDC 2017, Giant Squid's Matt Nava gave a behind-the-scenes look at the processes he and the Abzu team developed to create it.
According to Nava, the game's vibrant underwater setting presented many technical and artistic challenges uncommon in most games, such as animating vast amounts of fish, simulating huge dynamic kelp forests, and modeling undersea lighting and atmospherics.
Additionally, the team needed to devise a method of creating artistically authored terrains that were visually integrated with the variety of objects in a given scene, yet pliable enough for near constant large scale revision.
His talk was interesting because he explained the solutions/tricks he and the team devised to tackle these problems, sharing examples of from various stages of development.
In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.
Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.
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