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Rebuilding Your Engine During Development: Lessons from 'Mafia III'

Speaker:

Jan Kratochvil (Technical Director, Hangar 13 Games)

Location: Room 2010, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 22

Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming, Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Moving from 'Mafia 2' to 'Mafia 3' required major changes to the Hangar 13 Games in-house toolchain and engine to increase its flexibility in order to support the new open world game design. In this talk, the speaker will present a case study of this engine redesign, including a new component-based object model, a new C# WPF-based world editor, and a new asset pipeline. In an overview of "lessons learned" from performing this complex engine and toolchain deployment during production, this session will cover the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Takeaway

Attendees will learn the details of the technical transformations the Hangar 13 Games team made to their engine and toolchain. The session will present the difficult and painful choices they had to make along the way, and how they stuck to their vision and successfully deployed several major new technologies. Making changes like this during production can be challenging, but they will show how they navigated these risks and ultimately shipped a successful game.

Intended Audience

This talk is mainly targeted at engineers who need to make big and scary changes to their technology. It will also be interesting for technical producers and project managers who want to learn how to navigate risky engineering transitions successfully.