2016 - A Retrospective
In the nearly eight years of Confetti’s existence, this was by far the most exciting, most successful, and most colorful year (I know we said this the last three years, but it is true :-)).This year we grew again out of our office space while still having the challenge to find more space in our Encinitas building. We now occupy the two biggest rooms in the building as well as one of the medium sized rooms. We also started a new office in Castellon, Spain (close to Valencia), to offer even more support for our European customers.
We would like to thank everyone who recommended us to new clients. Your recommendation is our biggest reward!
At the beginning of the year, we helped to create the Samsung S7 Galaxy Launch demo in collaboration with Epic, Samsung, and Qualcomm. Epic hired us to help with the addition of Vulkan support in the Unreal Engine 4. The resulting ProtoStar demo was shown running live on the actual device during the Samsung S7 Galaxy Launch. If you were a member of the development team, you could feel a sense of great relief and excitement when the demo was over. Later on, we developed an even closer relationship with Samsung which allows us to have better technical support for Vulkan implementations in mobile games.
This year’s GDC was one of our most successful ones. We worked on an astonishing amount of demos and games that were shown on the GDC show floor.
We wrote an SDK that would help developers add Dolby Vision support. We added Dolby Vision to Unreal Engine 4 and Amazon Lumberyard, and our SDK was used by Frostbite. Amazon showed the Rin and the Deep Sea Creatures demos. They also demonstrated the iOS / Android support and the Particle Editor improvements we did for the engine. Epic showed the Paragon and the McLaren demos with Dolby Vision as well as the ProtoStar demo from the Samsung S7 Galaxy Launch event.
In the following months, we fine-tuned the Dolby Vision implementation and wrote a Dolby Vision Video player for XBOX One / PS4.From March 2016 to August, we worked on Mafia 3 and optimized the game for the XBOX One.
In August 2016, we presented a new next-gen rendering architecture called “The Filtered and Culled Visibility Buffer” during GDC Europe. This new rendering architecture is mostly based on the idea of checking visibility of triangles shortly after all triangles are cluster culled and filtered. Applying triangle cluster culling and then filtering a whole scene for several rendering views at the same time can generate astonishing performance improvements on XBOX One, PS4, and also on PCs. This new rendering system was well perceived by Insomniac, Microsoft, Activision, and others.
In September / October, we helped Reforged Studios prepare their game demo, working on particles, shadows, and bloom effects for the iOS platforms.In November we finished more than six months of work on Battlefield 1. We mostly worked on DirectX 12 support, Multi-GPU support, and various optimizations.
One of our secret IP projects this year was going through 1500 GPU related patents, categorizing them, and then extrapolating where the future of graphics is heading based on those patents.
In November, Wolfgang gave another one-day Masterclass in Montreal during MIGS16. The topics were triangle cluster culling and filtering, ExecuteIndirect with DirectX 12, Dynamic Global Illumination, and Modern PostFX pipeline.
Since July 2016 we’ve been working on the SDK for StarVR. This SDK will offer an API that allows integrating StarVR support in any custom engine, including Unreal Engine 4 and others. The SDK provides several examples that show how to implement certain techniques and how to drive the StarVR HMD.
Since December 2016 we also have been working with Deutsche Telekom on a secret project that involves real-world drones and AI. Stay tuned for next year to hear more about this exciting endeavor.
As in the previous several years, we’ve spent the whole year working on the Amazon Lumberyard engine, improving the particle system and mobile support.
We also worked on a wide range of new tech that we developed in-house. Our middleware packages Aura, Ephemeris, and PixelPuzzle evolved further and are running even more efficiently on PC, PS4 and XBOX One. Stay tuned for even more exciting stuff! Many of our unannounced projects can’t make it into a retrospective like this. You guys know who you are! Thanks for working with us!