GUANGZHOU, China – (April 22nd, 2022) – NetEase Games is proud to announce that the N.GAME NetEase Games Developer Summit 2022 has drawn to a close, with some highlighted content of its events available for everyone to view online. N.Game is an annual industry event organized by NetEase Games. There have been seven N.Game events in the past, featuring over 50 domestic and foreign speakers. The N.GAME 2022 event brought together 20 honoured industry guests from around the world and professors from China, to give speeches on a variety of topics, ranging from the use of motion capture in games, to the future possibilities of the Metaverse. Over 600,000 people participated in the livestreamed four-day summit.
The Highlights Of N.Game 2022
Now that N.Game 2022 has concluded, some highlighted speeches are finally available for viewing on the official NetEase Games YouTube channel. The theme of N.Game 2022 is “The Future is Now”, with topics covering industrialization, stylization, AI, reinforcement learning, the Metaverse, and more. The three themes of the event were Game Design, Programming, and Art, with speakers that included Benjamin Diebling (Motion Capture Director of Quantic Dream), Daniel (Lead Artist for Harry Potter: Magic Awakened), Filip Coulianos (Game Designer of It Takes Two), Goichi Suda (Founder of Grasshopper Manufacture Inc.), Shen Yang (Professor and Doctoral Advisor of Tsinghua University), Toshihiro Nagoshi (President of Nagoshi Studio, Chief producer of the Yakuza and Judgment series) and Zeng Guangjun (Technical Director at NetEase IEG AI Lab). Here are some of the highlights of the event, coupled with key quotes from the esteemed speakers.
Benjamin Diebling: Quantic Dream Motion Capture Director
Benjamin Diebling helped provide the stunning motion capture in games like Detroit: Become Human and Beyond: Two Souls. In his “An Introduction to Quantic Dream's Mocap Technology” talk, he discussed the merits of using motion capture over keyframe animations, the entire process of filming a scene using real actors in motion capture, and the technology’s use outside of the world of gaming.
“Motion capture and performance capture are the best way to give life to what the game designers have in mind, adding an extra spark of soul with the actors' performance. This is how we can convey a human and natural feel to our games.”
Chen Kang: Technical Manager, NetEase IEG AI Lab
Chen Kang graduated with a PhD from the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Science at Tsinghua University in 2017, and joined NetEase in the same year. Dr. Chen focuses on research in computer graphics, and is currently overseeing technical R&D and implementation efforts by the NetEase AI Lab Shanghai-Hangzhou team. In his “When Tech Meets Art: AI-based Art Asset Production” talk, he discussed the range of AI solutions in the fields of creating realistic facial models for characters, seamless animations for body and facial movements, and assisting in recording accurate motion capture.
“We all know that data is the foundational element that makes AI so powerful. The capability of AI models actually depends on how much training data they get. And data for game assets is not easy to obtain.”
Chen Baihan: Game Sound Designer, NetEase Games
Chen Baihan is an industry veteran who has created music for games such as Harry Potter: Magic Awakened and Onmyoji. In his “Creating 3A Sound Experiences for Mobile Games” talk, he discussed the unique challenges of creating music and sound effects for mobile titles. This talk takes a deep dive into the production process and decision making behind the music choices used in Harry Potter: Magic Awakened and Onmyoji two games with drastically different aesthetics, which evoke different feelings from the player.
“We integrated traditional music sound effects and tones into the sound design, and also to the background music. In this way, it will make the whole game sounds more integrated, which is consistent with its stylized art style.”
Daniel: Lead Artist for Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
Daniel joined NetEase in 2017 and he is currently serving as the Lead Artist on Harry Potter: Magic Awakened. In his “Exploring Stylized Art for a Global IP: Art Production for Harry Potter: Magic Awakened” talk, he discussed the artistic choices made when adapting such a massive franchise to mobile devices. This involves the challenge of creating a stylized look that is aesthetically pleasing, instantly recognizable, and still matches the look of the IP that fans are familiar with.
“We need to make sure that our game art matches this IP. That is the reason why we chose the artistically stylized route. Secondly, the game is a global IP, so its art should fit the taste of international players. Thirdly, we want our style could be distinctive and highly recognizable”
Filip Coulianos: Founder and Game Director of Keepsake Games
Filip Coulianos was the Lead Level Designer for the multi-award winning It Takes Two, which was one of the most highly-acclaimed games of 2021. In the “Designing & Building It Takes Two: How to Make Ten Games in One” talk, he discussed the secret to designing a co-op game, the design challenges that came up when creating both A Way Out and It Takes Two, and the technical solutions used for giving the entire team ways to be able to contribute to the project, in order to ensure a smooth development.
“The absolute key for designing successful co-op game, kind of comes with the word cooperation or collaboration I think it's incredibly important that the players and they need to have abilities or there needs to be a space for the players to collaborate, and give them tools that require them to work together, to achieve a certain goal.”
Jiang Yuyuan: Producer of Ace Racer & NetEase Games Design Expert
Jiang Yuyuan helped to create Ace Racer, the first racing game developed in-house at NetEase Games. In his “Making a Racing Game From Scratch” talk, he discussed the task of designing a racing game for players of different skill levels, while still making an experience that feels unique and stands out from the competition.
“As a designer myself, my job is to have a thorough understanding of the underlying experience of racing and analyse it. The first part is that the designer has to play the game as a common player for an in-depth experience of racing and racing games. The second part is that, as a designer, I ought to deconstruct the rules of the game and sort out them from the perspective of a designer. And I should try to discover the needs of players from a user-oriented perspective.”
Shen Yang: Professor and Doctoral Advisor, School of Journalism, Tsinghua University
Professor Shen is a cross-disciplines professor of journalism communication, information management and computer science. In the “Research on the Development of Metaverses” talk, he discussed the possibilities of the Metaverse, from the incredible applications it has to the world of gaming, as well its uses in the economic sector, such as in the training of prospective employees in safe environments.
“Overall, the current development strategy for Metaverse can be summarized in 5 points: encourage technology advancements, manage risks, create inclusive concepts, support content explorations, and curb hype bubbles.”
Xu Fei: Technical Expert for NetEase’s IEG Engine Department
Xu Fei joined NeEase in 2012 and is currently working as a technical expert in NetEase IEG Engine Research Team. In his “How to Create Fair Multiplayer Environments: Optimizing Animation Performance for Servers” talk, he discussed the challenges in running animations on servers in order to prevent cheating, and the need for optimization to ensure an environment is as fair as it can be without crashing the server or affecting game performance.
“Although only a few games are actually running server-side animations, the industry trends show that it is a really promising direction. Because it will provide us with a fairer online gaming environment. It also makes more detailed interactions possible.”
Zeng Guangjun: Technical Director at NetEase IEG AI Lab
Zeng Guangjun joined NetEase in 2018 and he is currently overseeing the R&D and implementation of game AI projects at NetEase IEG. In his “Making Games Smarter - Implementing Reinforcement Learning for IEG Games” talk, he discussed the methods for using reinforcement learning to better train AIs in games. This is done through a reward structure, where the AI is incentivized to learn the best methods for completing actions. The AI can then be used to balance a game before launch, by alerting the developers of potential balance issues brought around by certain gameplay methods being too effective against others.
“So, RL needs a lot of time to allow the AI to explore. And our efforts are concentrated on narrowing the exploration space as well as improving the utilization of training samples to improve the results of RL.”
Zhao Zhentao: Lead Designer for Infinite Lagrange & NetEase Games UX Expert
Zhao Zhentao joined NetEase in 2018, and is currently responsible for the UX design of Infinite Lagrange. In his “See the World in a Grain of Sand: the Digital Cartography of Infinite Lagrange's Map Viewer Design” talk, he discussed using new methods for creating and improving maps in games. Using Infinite Lagrange as an example, this talk shows the different processes used for creating maps in simulation games.
“And unlike the traditional way of doing maps in SLGs, our vario-scale zoom maps are seamlessly integrated with high-level strategic maps. This greatly improves the gaming experience.”
Zhou Jiake: Senior Art Manager at NetEase Art Design Center
Zhou Jiake is a former semi-professional StarCraft player, who joined NetEase in 2006 and has produced art for Ace Racer, Tianxia, WildFire Online, and other titles. In his “Driving Art Production Through Player Experience” talk, he discussed the entire creative process for Ace Racer, from its initial planning phase, through the challenges of merging realistic and arcade-style racing experiences, and balancing the sense of speed with actual movement speed.
“In a racing game, I think that the improvement of game experience means the sense of speed should be stimulating, the physics feedback is realistic, and the gameplay is smooth. And our audio-visual experience is also realistic and immersive.”
Zhou Qian: Senior Technical Manager of NetEase Dahua (Studio) Business Division
Zhou Qian joined NetEase in 2016 and is currently the technical lead for Racing Master. In his “Faster Than Light - Exploring Lighting and Shadows in Racing” talk, he discussed the methods for creating different lightning types in Racing Master, a racing game on mobile devices. The lighting and reflections on the vehicles are an important part of the experience, and the solution that was used to solve the issue, with a method of creating real-time global lighting and multi-lights, to make the game look as realistic as possible.
“The car is also influenced by indirect lights reflected from the track and surrounding objects. To achieve realistic lighting and shadows, we need to conduct real-time environment capture.”
The Evolution of N.Game over the Years
N.Game 2021 was a huge step forward for the event, as it marked the first time that the summit was broadcast in English and Japanese. This is part of NetEase Game’s continued push to reach a global audience, as seen with the recent additions to the company, as well as our expanded presence at GDC 2022 earlier in the year. N.Game 2022’s theme around the future of gaming is apt, as it perfectly encapsulated the leaps in technology that NetEase Game’s R&D teams have accomplished, especially in the use of AI to help cut down on the cost and time of video game development. It’s through events like N.Game 2022 that NetEase Games can share our contributions to video game production with the world, and help promote the industry as a whole, through the participation of guests from around the globe. N.Game 2022 was a huge success and we can’t wait to show you what we have in store for next year’s event.
The highlighted content of the talks that take place during the 2022 NetEase Games Developer Summit are available for free on the official NetEase Games YouTube channel. To learn more about the 2022 NetEase Games Developer Summit, please visit:
- Official Website: https://www.neteasegames.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NetEaseOfficial
- Twitter EN: https://twitter.com/NetEaseGames_EN
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7fPAi77lcCWFUc94UHyfGg
About NetEase Games
NetEase Games is the online games division of NetEase, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES and HKEX: 9999), developing and operating some of the most popular mobile and PC games in markets including China and Japan. As one of the world's largest incubators of quality online game content, NetEase Games is dedicated to supporting the growth of innovative studios around the globe and growing an international presence along the way. To complement its self-developed games and world-class R&D capabilities, NetEase Games also partners with other industry leaders including Blizzard Entertainment, Mojang AB (a Microsoft subsidiary) and other global game developers to operate some of the most popular international online games in China. For more information, please visit neteasegames.com.
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