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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view session and speaker details for Game Developers Conference 2024.

You will be able to build your schedule with the GDC Mobile App. The GDC 2024 app will be available for download in Apple Apps and Google Play late February 2024.

Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat.

Automated Testing of Shader Code

Keith Stockdale  (Senior Software Engineer, Rare Ltd)

Location: Room 3014, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 20

Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Rare has a rich culture of writing automated tests for their game and engine code. The 'Sea of Thieves' project has hundreds of thousands of automated tests that exist to validate behaviour and to ensure that bugs are kept to a minimum, as they continually deliver an ever-changing experience to players. Among this large test suite, are tests that validate and verify shader code. This session explores the technologies that Rare currently uses to write tests for their shader code, both on 'Sea of Thieves' and on their upcoming game, 'Everwild'. Throughout this session Rare discusses two forms of testing shader code:

1. Screenshot Comparison
2. Shader unit tests

They go through the pros and cons of both types of tests, as well as delving into the implementation of their shader unit testing framework to discuss the design goals of the system.


Attendees can expect to understand Rare's rationale for testing their shader code using various automation methods, and how it has benefitted them. They will also learn how to construct a simple shader unit testing framework which may provide added value to their projects, in terms of code quality and debuggability.

Intended Audience

Core Tech, Engine and Rendering engineers who wish to gain some insight into setting up a shader unit testing framework and want to learn about the benefits of investing into writing tests for shader code. Having a basic knowledge of DirectX 11/12 or OpenGL/Vulkan is recommended, but not necessary.

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