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Procedural Generation

Registration Closes: May 10, 2017 11:59 PM

Reporting Time: Saturday, May 13, 2017 08:30 AM

Competition Starts: Saturday, May 13, 2017 10:00 AM

Competition Duration: 22 continuous hours

You are invited to roll up your coding sleeves and create a stunning procedural world in 22 hours using the Unity or Unreal Game Engine. Your world will live and breathe, and can be viewed from different perspectives. You will use the power of mathematical and algorithmic pattern generation to make your creation come alive. The secret theme and detailed judging criteria will be revealed at the launch of the Hackathon. So if you love films and games, and wondered how those beautiful worlds come alive, this is your chance to reshape your own world… with code!

Sounds geeky! So what is Procedural Generation exactly?

In computing, procedural generation is a method of creating data algorithmically as opposed to crafting it manually. Usually a lot of manual artistic effort goes behind the creation of environment and prop assets that appear in animated films, VFX sequences and games. However, with the advent of more powerful hardware, generative algorithms are now heavily used to automatically build models, textures, lighting and animation. The advantage of procedural generation is that it affords easy creation a large variety and volume of output that support large open worlds with rich detail. This means hyper-realistic films and highly replayable games. It also means that the artists can stop doing mechanical grunge work and take their creativity to an entirely different level!

Procedurally generated elements have appeared in earlier video games: The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall takes place in a mostly procedurally generated world, giving a world roughly twice the actual size of the British Isles. Soldier of Fortune from Raven Software uses simple routines to detail enemy models, while its sequel featured a randomly-generated level mode. Avalanche Studios employed procedural generation to create a large and varied group of detailed tropical islands for Just Cause. No Man’s Sky, a game developed by games studio Hello Games, features a universe containing 18 quintillion planets, all procedurally generated on the fly as the player encounters them, including their terrain, weather, flora, and fauna, as well as a number of space-faring alien species.

Skills You Need:

  • You should be familiar with either Unreal or Unity.
  • You should have experience with scripting and creating procedural assets with your tool of choice.
  • You should be abreast with mathematical concepts such as voronoi, fractal pattern generation, space partitioning and Euclidean geometry.
  • Specific coding skills in Game Engine:
    • Layout objects in a scene
    • Animate objects and camera
    • Respond to user mouse inputs
    • Simple GUI for showing stats or basic navigation

Judging Criteria:

  1. Speed of generation
  2. Adherence to generation rules
  3. Complexity of patterns
  4. Aesthetic beauty
  5. Smoothness of camera animation
  6. Animation detailing

Learning Resources:

Unreal Resources
Tools Overview

Windows/Interface: link

Programming

Quickstart: link

Objects: link

Game Tutorial: link

Camera Control

Overview: link1 | link2

Movement: link1 | link2 | link3

GUI

Creating UI : link1 | link2

Procedural Creation

Mesh Creation: link1 | link2

Fractals: link

Voxel Terrain Tutorial: link

Level Creation: link

Foliage: link1 | link2

Vehicles: link

 

Unity Resources
Tools Overview

Windows/Interface: link

Objects/Components: link

Programming

Introduction: link

Scripts and Objects: link

Instantiating Prefabs: link1 | link2

Scriptable Objects: link

Game Tutorials: link1

Camera Control

Overview: link1 | link2

Movement: link1 | link2 | link3

GUI

Creating UI : link1 | link2

Procedural Creation

Voronoi: link

Fractals: link

Mesh Creation: link

Level Creation: link1 | link2

Is this Individual or Team-based Hackathon?

Team size is upto 2 members.

Why you should participate?

Not only will you be recognized for your skills, by some of the best in the Coding Industry, exciting prizes await the Grand Winners.

That aside, such events are a great way to network and meet Industry Professionals and more importantly get noticed for your skill-sets at an event supported and attended by top notch  international companies.

What does it take to win the title?

Simple. All contestants will assemble under a common roof on the given day and compete to code the most compelling and efficient implementation of the secret theme. The theme will be revealed prior to the start of the Hackathon.

Contestants will have to bring their own laptops pre-installed with Unity 5.6 or Unreal 4.15 Game Engine, along with associated C++ or C# code code editors/compilers.

The Winners take home exciting prizes and will wear the “Bengaluru GAFX Coding Champion for Procedural Generation” till the next year’s challenge.

The Hackathon starts at 10:00 AM, Saturday, May 13 2017 and wraps by 08:00 AM, Sunday, May 14, 2017. It is advised to arrive one and half hours prior to the start of the Hackathon.

AWESOME! That sounds like a lot of fun! How do I participate?

That’s super simple. Follow these three steps mentioned below.

Also, be sure to read the FAQ thoroughly to be sure you understand everything clearly.

What about hardware and software?

Contestants will have to bring their laptops with these minimum requirements.

  • Laptops(s) Wifi Enabled
  • Decent Graphics Card
  • Unreal Engine 4.15 or Unity Engine 5.6
  • Code editing and compilation tools (Unreal: C++, Unity: C#)

If you have any concerns, click here.

Hackathon FAQs

  • I have a question that I need an answer to. Where can I ask?

Please Click here to send us a message for any query related to Competitions. Consider allowing 2-3 days for your queries to be answered. Also, be sure to go through the FAQ thoroughly, chances are your question has already been answered. Be sure to mention Hackathon in the Subject Line.

  • What is the goal of hackathon?

We want to create an environment that embraces new ideas and technology solutions for the Animation/ VFX /Gaming Industry. We know it may take you less than 22 hours to build a solution to the problem statement, but this is ample time to form teams of competent people, exchange new ideas and complete the problem statement.

  • How do I participate?

You need to Register for the competition and follow all the relevant guidelines, and important dates mentioned on the site here.

  • Is this Hackathon open for Students / Professionals? What if I am part-time studying and part-time working?

The Hackathon has two separate categories – Students and Professionals. Be sure to select the appropriate category while filling the Registration Form. If you are a part-time student and part-time working professional, you will qualify under the Students category. You will be required to show your original student ID.

  • When will the theme of the competition be announced? Will I be intimated by email about the same?

Theme of the Hackathon and other specific details pertaining to this category will be revealed just before the start of the challenge on May 13, 2017. It is advised to arrive one and half hours prior to the start of the challenge.

  • How can I prepare for this hackathon — do you have any tutorials or areas I should focus on?

Learn coding in the Game Engine of your choice (Unity or Unreal) and go through the reference links on pattern generation algorithms and specific control of meshes, animations, camera and GUI in the game engine.
Also, there is a Unity workshop organized on May 12, 2017 which will be conducted by Unity, as part of the conference.
You may attend workshop on May 12, 2017, without having to register for the workshops or having to pay. You are however requested to block a seat for you in advance by sending an email to competition@gafx.in . Schedule of the workshop will be announced on the website soon.

  • What tools are we allowed to use?

You can choose between Unity and Unreal. The core part of the procedural generation needs to be implemented in one of these two platforms. You are welcome to use assets created in other platforms, or download free assets that support your generation algorithm (which will be implemented in Unreal or Unity).

  • Are we allowed to have our Unreal/Unity installation loaded with custom plugins?

You will need your own laptop/PC and your own Unity/Unreal installation. Check online now and download the latest version. You are not allowed to use custom paid plugins, as it renders your suission importable. You are required to submit both your release build and the source (assets, code, free 3rd party plugins/tools if required to build/run your project).

  • What do you mean by “adherence to generation rules”?

The challenge and specific judging details will be announced at the start of the Hackathon, as we do not want to give away the secret challenge now. Please, visit the learning resources section of http://gafx.in/procedural-generation/ for some popular algorithms. You are free to use other algorithms and borrow code resources freely available online. Please, ensure that you clearly acknowledge your sources, otherwise the entries will be disqualified if we find you are unfairly claiming 3rd party code as your own.

  • Would we have internet access provided to us at the venue?

Yes, You will be provided with Wi-Fi Services for access on your laptops.

  • What are the timings for the Hackathon?

The Hackathon starts at 10:00 AM on Saturday, May 13, 2017 and ends at 08:00 AM on Sunday, May 14, 2017. It is advised to arrive one and half hours prior to the start of the Hackathon.

  • What kind of Coding challenge will be given in the Hackathon ?

As this event is Animation / VFX / Gaming industry related, the coding challenge will be related to solving a real-world problem using optimization driven by animation/simulation in a game engine.