Mateusz is a graduate of the Warsaw University of Technology and since childhood he knew that he would work on computer games in the future. For 7 years he has been programming in 11 bit studios, where he was dealing with artificial intelligence to the biggest company title – Frostpunk. Currently he is a programmer of the engine with a special focus on computer graphics.
I believe that by sharing the knowledge gamedev as a whole can develop – so that its achievements will be increasingly recognized as an integral part of culture, and among the released games there will be more and more treasures that will influence how we see the world and ourselves. The festival is a good opportunity to make a contribution to this venture.
Because of my interest in computer graphics in particular, I don’t think I have one definite authority – I admire many people who develop clever and efficient solutions to create beautiful and convincing virtual worlds – whether it’s a new way of global illumination, shadow rendering or better use of the power of a graphics card.
There were some of them (you always hack a little bit closer to the game’s release date :)), but I can admit to one thing without any shame – when we ported one of our games – Frostpunk – from PC to console, we encountered an obstacle in form of too low performance. We were optimizing what we could, trying not to make the game worse. As Frostpunk was able to build quite large cities and each building could have many lights, one of the ideas for optimization was to reduce the number of lights visible on the screen – lighting the game by hundreds or even thousands of lights, but it has its cost on the graphics card. We couldn’t just turn off some of the lights, as we were not satisfied with the fact that part of the city was under-lighted, or the lights suddenly disappeared or appeared. So a system was created that, when it detected that there were too many lights on the screen, it gently extinguished some of the lights, to brighten them up again after a while, and then extinguished the others. In this way, when the player looked at the whole city while the game world was at night – he saw the city’s lights shimmering, which gave both a visually pleasing effect and some performance optimization. To paraphrase a well-known saying, one could say: “it’s not a hack, it’s a feature!”.