Where To Discuss Game Tech

QT3 is a great game forum. No complaints. But I’ve been catching some of the recent info about the new Nitrous game engine by Oxide, and I’m really interested in the details of the underlying multithreading approach (principally because it’s in the wheelhouse of what I do daily, albeit in a completely different context). As such, I’ve been looking for people discussing things at a very technical detail (multithread synchronization models, thread management paradigms, feeding that into DX, etc…). And that’s just not the type of discussion that tends to happen in these forums, or any of the other consumer related gaming forums I’ve run across.

So the question is, does anyone frequent other forums which talk a lot more about the technical details of such things? (Other examples would include strong tech discussions on UE4 features such as implementation details and/or links to scientific papers and info about things like Crysis’ GI modeling tech.) Surely heavily involved CS geeks out there discuss such things?

This short article says Stardock is using it

And there are definitely Stardock types around.

You might find shades of this at hackernews or certain subreddits (/r/programming occasionally, but there are probably more specialized ones), but blogs of current or past developers might even be a better resource. I was reading one recently by one of the guys behind the Starcraft 1 engine that was just utterly fascinating, but obviously mostly concerned with older game tech.

Problem is that blogs aren’t exactly easy to track down for specific topics. I’m interested in whether or not there’s a centralized forum type location where people tend to delve into the specifics of the tech side of things. Maybe there aren’t; in my area (academia) there are specific communities designed for sharing information. Perhaps such don’t exist because of the competitive nature of games businesses. (Though clearly the conferences tend to exist to disseminate such info.)

I have heard talk of not-public developer forums where this type of conversation takes place. With so many NDAs and whatnot on platforms / tools / games it doesn’t happen too often in public.

Random relevent interesting link from Valve on optimization of L4d: http://www.valvesoftware.com/publications/2010/GDC10_ShaderTechniquesL4D2.pdf

Occasionally Gamasutra has articles like that (although not as much as in olden days). GameDev.net may, but they are geared towards beginners (although they do have a forum for advanced topics). StackOverflow is a decent programming resource, but it is Q&A format. There are specific forums for most any engine or middleware out there (too many for me to list, and many (most) require purchase of the relevant product).

I like http://www.altdevblogaday.com/ as it often has interesting articles, but the topics can be random.

If you haven’t seen this yet, it may tide you over http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIWyf8Hyjbg

(for non-technical types you can skip to 26:00 mark)

Yeah, that’s actually what started me off (along with Brad’s posts on GalCiv’s forum). His bit discussing a true MT engine got me curious, since he talks about running MT without a single governing thread. I’m currently working on petascale applications and facing related questions (although the folks at Oxide in some ways have it easier, since their comm cost is all on-chip whereas we have to worry about network comms). Nonetheless, the similarity between the questions is why I was curious. I suppose it’s possible that there’s just enough of a gap between consumer facing tech and academic questions of interest that anyone working near the bleeding edge in a commercial context is always going to have to refrain from discussing things, which leaves off to doing things like reading the above about optimization of L4D.

What about stackexchange?

Look for open source game engines, those usually have a discussion board attached. As far as I’m aware the internals of proprietary closed source engines are never discussed in public, unless a developer chooses to offer a glimpse on a blog post or conference presentation.

I’ll check those. I don’t so much expect Devs to talk (though I miss the days of nifty info in Carmack’s .plan), but was looking more for knowledgeable dabblers who could make reasonable speculation/observation about what Devs might be doing/what tech they were using (with pointers to the appropriate papers when reasonable). For example, back when the Fire/Ice demo for Unreal came out there was some decent discussion from folks including links to SigGraph paper for some of the lighting techniques employed (which were, IIRC, actually developed at and published from Epic).

IMO, stackexchange is a horrible, horrible site for perusing. (It’s pretty lousy for searching too, in my experience…) Maybe I missed something about a forum-like interface rather than trying to search on specific topics, but the whole Q&A format was something Wumpus seems to have specifically chosen to curtail long meandering discussions in lieu of an attempt to get questions answered quickly and succinctly.

QT3 Wumpus is responsible for stackexhange? Huh, learn something new everyday!

Beyond3D used to be a good place to talk about this stuff.

edit: not much on there about Nitrous

Polycount maybe?


I’ve had it bookmarked for over a year and on the odd occasion i had a look around i found lots of technical discussions on game engines etc. It might be worth a look around?

Two relevant links on lighting in recent games:


Where indeed?

The SIGGRAPH 2017 trailer is awesome:

Though this isn’t just game tech, much of it does makes it’s way into them eventually. :)