Three ways to show off your game at SIGGRAPH 2010

I recently spent a weekend in downtown LA helping the SIGGRAPH 2010 committee put together the conference schedule.  Looking at the end result from a game developer’s perspective, this is going to be a great conference! More details will be published in early May, but you can see the emphasis on games already; of the current (partial) list of courses, over half have high relevance to games.

If you are a game developer, we need your participation to help make this the biggest game SIGGRAPH ever! A few months ago I posted about the February 18th deadline. That deadline is long gone, but several venues are still open. This is your chance to show off not just in front of your fellow game developers, but also before the leading film graphics professionals and researchers. The most relevant venues for game developers are:

  1. Live Real-Time Demos. The Electronic Theater, a nightly showcase of the best computer graphics clips of the year, has long been a SIGGRAPH highlight and the tentpole event of the Computer Animation Festival (which is an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards). The Electronic Theater is shown on a giant screen in the largest convention center hall, before an audience packed with the world’s top computer graphics professionals and researchers. Last year SIGGRAPH introduced a new event before the Electronic Theater to showcase the best real-time graphics of the year. The submission deadline for Live Real-Time Demos is April 28th (a week and a half away), so time is short! Submitting your game to Live Real-Time Demos is as simple as uploading about 5 minutes of captured game footage (all submitted materials are held in strict confidentiality) and filling out a short online form. If you want your game submitted, please let your producer know about this ASAP; it will likely take some time to get approval.
  2. SIGGRAPH Dailies! (new for 2010) is where the artists get to shine; details here, including cool example presentations from Pixar. Other SIGGRAPH programs present graphics techniques; ‘SIGGRAPH Dailies!’ showcases the craft and artistry with which these techniques are applied. All excellent production art is welcome: characters, animations, level lighting, particle effects, etc. Each artist whose work is selected will get two minutes at SIGGRAPH to show a video clip of their work and tell an interesting story about creating it. The submission deadline for ‘SIGGRAPH Dailies!’ is May 6th. Submitting art to Dailies is just a matter of uploading 60-90 seconds of video and filling out an online form. If your studio is planning to submit more than one or two Dailies, you should use the batch submission process: designate a representative (like an art director or lead) to recruit presentations and get producer approval. Once the representative has a tentative list of submissions, they should contact SIGGRAPH (click this link and select ‘SIGGRAPH Dailies’ from the drop down menu) to give advance warning of the expected submission count. After all entries have video clips and backstory text files, the studio representative contacts SIGGRAPH again to coordinate a batch submission.
  3. Late-Breaking Talks. Although the initial talk deadline is past, there is one more chance to submit talks: the late-breaking deadline on May 6th. SIGGRAPH talks are 20-minute presentations, typically about practical, down-to-earth film or game production techniques. If you are a graphics programmer or technical artist, you must have developed several such techniques while working on your last game. If there is one you are especially proud of, consider submitting a Talk about it; this only requires a one-page abstract (if you happen to have video or additional documentation you can add them as supplementary material). To show the detail expected in the abstract and the variety of possible talks here are five abstracts from 2009: a game production technique, a game system/API, a game rendering technique, a film effects shot, and a film character.

Presenting at one of these forums is a professional opportunity well worth the small amount of work involved. Forward this post to other people on your team so they can get in on the fun!