Where are all the Multicore Gaming developers?

Having just returned from Gamefest (Seattle, WA), I can conclude that some of these developers attended this conference.

When I first saw the conference agenda, I noticed the usual talks schedule broken down by conference content: Audio, Casual Games, Compiler & Code Quality, CPU and System Programming, Graphics, etc. Much like other gaming conferences. But I spied a virtual track called Multicore Gaming. The contents of this track included many of the talks from typically the Compiler & Code Quality, CPU and System Programming and Graphics tracks which had some emphasis on parallel computing.

Therefore my focus was to attend the talks from the Multicore Gaming track: Some presentations that I found very appropriate were:

  • Memory Models: Foundation Knowledge for Concurrent Code - walking through the memory model that defines the contract between the programmer and the execution environment - and how the execution environment (CPU, compiler, cache) can reorder code that can sometimes hinder correctness in parallel code paths - A good basic walk through of memory models.

  • Smoke: Architecting an N-Way Threaded Scalable Game Engine - the talk examined a game engine developed by Intel that took full advantage of all available CPU cores.

  • A Glimpse into the Future of Visual Studio - The new features of Visual Studio showcase a tool set that helps developers make use of many cores more efficiently.

  • Multi-Threaded Rendering for Games - when one core is not enough for graphics anymore - rendering tasks often have to run in parallel. This talk included best practices and some pitfalls to avoid.

  • A few other talks particularly focused on multicore gaming development for XBox 360.

All in all I was very surprised to see the interest from the gaming development community to these multicore talks - Many were very well received & attended, with great questions asked by the audience.
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