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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.

How We Got 10,000 Players into a Level (The Tech Behind the Aurora Concert in 'Sky: Children of the Light')

Sam McGrath  (CTO, Thatgamecompany Inc)

Location: Room 3014, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 21

Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

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

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

In December of 2022, thatgamecompany hosted a concert for the artist AURORA inside its game Sky: Children of the Light. For this event, Sam McGrath (CTO) and his engineering team developed technology running in TGC's custom engine that was capable of rendering and networking an unprecedented 4000 simultaneous players together in a single arena. In August of 2023, a revamped version of the concert was hosted, this time supporting over 10,000 simultaneous players. In this talk, McGrath tells the story of the development of Festival Tech, and describes some of the techniques and algorithms employed for rendering and networking thousands of players at once. He tells the story of how the tech was developed, highlighting some engineering insights that transformed a seemingly impossible task into an awe-inspiring experience for Sky's players.


Attendees will gain insight into how simple ideas can be applied and combined to overcome seemingly impossible engineering challenges. Networking, graphics, and gameplay engineers alike should learn useful techniques from this talk that they can apply to their own games.

Intended Audience

This talk is primarily targeted towards graphics, gameplay, and networking engineers who may be curious about how we achieved the feat of 10,000 simultaneous players in one arena. Knowledge of graphics rendering techniques and networking architecture is helpful but not required.

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