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Weekly review #10

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Revue de la semaine #10
Image Written by Nicolas Gauville on 03/31/2023

Co-founder of VirtualSociety - PhD in Computer Science
Founder of the VirtualSociety project, and is in charge of the development and communication of VirtualSociety
After a PhD in autonomous robotics at Safran Electronics & Defense, Nicolas started the video game studio Cats & Foxes.

Weekly review #10

Hi folks! This week, we tried out the Unreal Engine 5.2 preview with its even prettier rendering engine and met with some local game industry actors including Pandor Concept and Mist Studio !

 UnrealEngine 5.2

Last week, Epic offered a first glimpse of Unreal Engine 5.2, which brings many improvements. These include better global illumination with Lumen, and more detailed reflections and shadows, various optimizations for control rigs (used for character animation), and more.

We tested VirtualSociety on UE5.2 (although we won't switch versions until it's finished). The transition required several changes in the code, especially for character control where the Unreal code has changed a lot. Currently, Lumen no longer works on macOS (for Apple processors, with Unreal 5.1), but seems to be working again on version 5.2, which is good news.

Unreal
Unreal
Unreal

You can see above the same scene in three cases:

  • On the left, Lumen with UE5.1 on macOS. We can see that there are many lighting and shadow errors, which have made us stop using Lumen on macOS until now.
  • In the center, the same scene without Lumen (with ray tracing on the processor). We can see that reflections are calculated for the elements present on the screen (such as the ground), which works quite well for ground reflections, but very poorly for reflections on walls.
  • On the right, Lumen with Unreal 5.2, capable of generating reflections of buildings behind the camera, even on a computer that does not have a graphics card capable of ray tracing.  

It's exciting to see the advancements being made in game development technology and we can't wait to see what new possibilities Unreal Engine 5.2 will bring. Despite some challenges with the transition, we're confident that VirtualSociety will continue to thrive on this powerful game engine.

Meeting with Pandor Concept

On Monday morning, we met with one of the managers of Pandor Concept, who co-organizes the "Vandoeuvre in Games" event that takes place every year on the first weekend of September in Vandoeuvre. We were introduced to them by the communication team at Inria (thanks again to them, we have lost count of the opportunities they have given us since we joined the ISS!), and we will be able to participate as exhibitors at this trade show!

The idea will be, as at the "Féru des Sciences" event, to have participants try out VirtualSociety, as well as to lead several workshops on the game design, coding, etc. Our contact at Pandor Concept, Guillaume, presented our game to the Vandoeuvre town hall, and received very positive feedback, especially regarding the values we promote! The event will take place in September, and we will definitely tell you more about it before then!

Meeting with Mist Studio

On Thursday, the Lorraine Incubator offered us the opportunity to meet with the director of Mist Studio, which is actively working on "serious games" that address various health problems, such as relieving pain caused by burns during bandage replacement. Since the ethical and health dimensions of our games are central to us, it's a huge asset to be able to discuss these issues with other local studios! The meeting was very enjoyable, and Matthieu and Bryan have a very similar background to ours (we have some of our studies in common) and a vision of the industry that is quite similar to ours. We were therefore very happy to meet another independent studio that shares our values.

Finally, as every Saturday, you will have a new preview of our editor tomorrow on social media, so be sure to tune in!

Thank you for your support, and see you next week!

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Image Written by Nicolas Gauville on 03/31/2023

Co-founder of VirtualSociety - PhD in Computer Science
Founder of the VirtualSociety project, and is in charge of the development and communication of VirtualSociety
After a PhD in autonomous robotics at Safran Electronics & Defense, Nicolas started the video game studio Cats & Foxes.

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