Will this asset creation method from Halo 5 help improve your next game?

If you're a triple-A graphics programmer looking for new tools to help your development team, Ben Laidlaw might have the answer for you at GDC 2017.

“The great thing about GDC of course is that you go to share all this information, and we thought we had this backlog of information that no one really knows how to do at this point in time, so we wanted to share it.”

Halo 5: Guardians technical artist Ben Laidlaw

GDC 2017 is upon us, which means we at Gamasutra are kicking off a new set of streams where we interview GDC speakers about their work to get you ready for their talk at the show. And today, we sat down with 343 Industries technical artist Ben Laidlaw to ask why he was so interested in telling the world about geometry caching. 

For those who have no idea what that phrase means, geometry caching is a technique used by 343 Industries to create some of the explosions and dynamic environment in a way that’s comparable to motion capture animation. That may seem extremely specific, but as Laidlaw explained in the stream above, it’s a technique that could also be used for generating jungle environments, in-game crowds, and more. 

“I went to GDC last year and thought someone else would steal our thunder already [on geometry caching]. The more I researched it, we were one of the few people who went down this road,” Laidlaw explained. While Laidlaw says he and his co-speaker Zabir Hoque can’t go into the full specifics of Halo’s engine, he hopes to present the full process of geometry caching in as agnostic a way as possible to be useful to technical artists of all backgrounds. 

Be sure to watch the full chat with Laidlaw above, which also includes some interesting information about what it takes to be a technical artist at a place like 343. And while you’re at it, subscribe to the Gamasutra Twitch channel for more developer interviews, editor roundtables, and gameplay commentary. 

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas

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