On one hand, researchers are primarily motivated by the novelty of a technology or a concept for the future. New ideas must be rigorously proven before gaining acceptance from the scientific community. On the other hand, video game productions are primarily motivated by the delivery of entertaining products to the public, within schedules that are so limited that thorough experimentation is not always an option. In such an environment novelty for its own sake can be seen as holding additional risk and cost. While the cultures and motivations of the two communities are almost opposite, we can see the distance between the worlds of academia and industry is progressively shrinking.

In places of higher learning, video games are gaining more acceptance as "serious subjects" to support or motivate academic research. In video game companies, where hardware and software evolve ever faster into more complex systems, staff with highly specialized research backgrounds are increasingly needed to support productions. As people, knowledge and methodologies are more vigorously shared between academia and industry, we are seeing more and more fruitful collaborations.

The presentations of this workshop will aim at giving a representative view of the current status of research in the field of video games. We will discuss the challenges and benefits of pursuing R&D within the constraints of game productions. Through the sharing of experience, we hope this workshop will be able to help further foster the ties between the worlds of research and industry.


Monday, 2 November 9:00 - 12:10, Room 401 Level 4


09:00 - 09:10

Just Keep Digging, and Other Principles for Videogame R&D

My learnings from over 18 years of seeking out, implementing, teaching, extending, and sometimes (in a small way) creating research for use in videogames - as well as plans for the future. I’ve boiled my experience down to several key principles, dedicating a section of the talk to each one.

Presenter: Naty Hoffman, 2K

Naty Hoffman is Vice President of Technology at 2K. Previously he was employed at Activision (doing graphics R&D for various titles, including the Call of Duty series), SCEA Santa Monica (doing graphics R&D for God of War III), Naughty Dog (developing Playstation 3 first-party libraries), Westwood Studios (leading graphics development on Earth and Beyond) and Intel (architecting CPU execution pipeline improvements and SSE instruction set extensions).

09:10 - 09:50

Master Thesis Students in the Video Game Industry

EA DICE has a long, successful history of offering master thesis positions, and in this presentation we want to share what we've learned over the years. We'll be giving advice both to companies considering offering thesis positions, as well as lecturers on how to make students appealing for companies.

Presenter: Jan Schmid, EA DICE

Jan is a Swiss native who's moved to Sweden to fulfill his passion of developing games. After a brief stint in the local independent games scene in Stockholm he completed a master thesis at DICE. For the last two years he has been working as a Software engineer on Engine components for all DICE game teams while supervising Master Thesis students.

09:50 - 10:30


10:30 - 10:45

Doing R&D for Open Worlds (Canceled)

In this talk Avalanche Studios will discuss why research is important to them and provide examples of how their research has enabled them to create some of the most impressive open world games.

Presenter: Emil Persson, Avalanche Studios

Physics Simulation R&D at Square Enix

In this talk, we share our R&D experiences in developing simulation systems for games. We have developed systems for cloth, hair, fur and grass simulations as well as their interactions with dynamically changing weather such as wind and rain.

Presenter: Witawat Rungjiratananon, Square Enix Co., Ltd.

Witawat Rungjiratananon is an animation R&D Engineer in Square Enix, Japan. He has been working on physics simulation systems for Final Fantasy XV and other AAA title games of the company since he joined in 2012. He also had been doing research on physics simulation in the University of Tokyo, where he received his MS and PhD.

10:45 - 11:25

Shader Development at OLM

Recently our studio started using Arnold renderer to create cinematics for games. It was not an easy task for artists to optimize shader parameters for a modern physically-based renderer because they were not familiar with it. In this paper we describe the challenges we had and how our shaders were developed to tackle this situation.

Presenter: Shinji Ogaki, OLM Digital, Inc.

Shinji Ogaki received a master degree in computer science from Hokkaido University and in statistics from Nottingham University. He joined OLM two years ago and is currently developing plugins for Maya and Nuke, and shaders for Arnold renderer.

11:25 - 12:05


12:05 - 12:10

Important Dates

3 July 2015 23:59 UTC/GMT (The deadline has been extended)
Workshop Papers Submission Deadline
Early August 2015
Workshop Papers Acceptance Notification
25 August 2015 23:59 UTC/GMT
Paper Camera Ready Due
Before End August
Authors of each Accepted Workshops Paper is to Register for Full Conference Pass
2 - 5 November 2015
SIGGRAPH Asia 2015

Call for Participants

Download call for participants (PDF)


We would like to invite presentations (about 30 min) on the topic of research in the video game industry.

While practical results of research projects can support the discussion, the presentations are recommended to be slightly more abstract or analytical about the research process itself. Ideally, we would like the presentations to emphasize the challenges and solutions that arose during the research. In that regard, non-technical considerations would be appreciated, such as cost/time constraints, management/communication issues, culture gap, etc. Of course, success stories or examples of fruitful collaboration between industry and academia are welcome.

Since we are mostly concerned about the R&D process, subjects used for illustration can encompass all technical fields that undergird video game development: rendering, animation, simulation, artificial intelligence, sound, virtual reality, etc. More production-related subjects, such as workflow, tools or game design can be great subjects too. While our main focus is the field of video games, we are ready to consider applications on neighboring subjects such as CG movies.


The submission deadline has been extended to 3 July, 2015, 23:59 UTC/GMT. In order to submit a presentation, please use the SIGGRAPH Information System (SIS) according to the SIGGRAPH Asia website.

Submission materials
  • Submitters must provide a one- or two-page abstract in the PDF final format using the ACM SIGGRAPH proceedings style.
  • Names of all collaborators on the work and their affiliations must be included in the document, since the reviewing process is not double-blind.
  • Supplementary videos and images are strongly recommended.


Workshop Organizers
  • Remi Driancourt (Square Enix Co., Ltd.)
  • Sharif Elcott (Square Enix Co., Ltd.)
  • Yusuke Tokuyoshi (Square Enix Co., Ltd.)
Program Committee
  • Iñigo Quilez (Oculus Story Studio)
  • Jorge Jimenez (Activision Blizzard, Inc.)
  • Jun Saito (Marza Animation Planet, Inc.)
  • Ola Olsson (Chalmers University of Technology)
  • Takahiro Harada (Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.)
  • Takashi Imagire (SEGA Games Co., Ltd.)
  • Takeo Igarashi (The University of Tokyo)
  • Tatsuo Yotsukura (OLM Digital, Inc.)
  • Tomohiko Mukai (Tokai University)
  • Yoshiharu Gotanda (tri-Ace, Inc.)

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