Pass It Along

Volition employees have given many presentations over the past decade. Whether it’s at the annual Game Developers Conference, SIGGRAPH, IGDA events, or many others, our aim is to share our knowledge and expertise to not only other game developers, but to the general public. Below, you will find an archive of slides and other files from past Volition lectures and roundtables, all for the purpose of creating better games and experiences.

March 26, 2018

Rendering Technology in Agents of Mayhem

This talk, presented at GDC 2018, covers some of the main rendering technologies used on Volition’s ‘Agents of Mayhem’. The presentation includes Volition’s adaptation of Weighted Blended Order-Independent Transparency for use with additive as well… Read more…

March 21, 2018

Spline Based Procedural Modeling in “Agents of Mayhem”

Presented at GDC 2018

Volition has created a new and powerful spline-based modeling system. This system has enabled their developers to build a city with unprecedented speed. The vast majority of environment geometry of the… Read more…

August 18, 2014

Volition sponsors the GAAM 2014 Charity Auction

Volition is proud to have sponsored the 2014 GAAM  Summer Invitational Charity Auction last month which raised over $3000 for First Coast No More Homeless Pets  and the Wounded Warrior Project . We also donated a unique piece of Saints Row IV concept art that had never been seen outside the… Read more…

May 27, 2014

Color Management 101

Lecture by Alex Mejia

Alex Mejia, Senior Video Editor and Producer at Volition, gives an introductory overview about color management geared towards video game artists.  Key take away: Color management is so that two artists can… Read more…

May 27, 2014

Physics of Fun

Lecture by Dave Bianchi at GDC 2014.

One designer, 90+ vehicles, and only 6 months to go: that was the scenario David Bianchi, Designer at Volition, had coming onto Saints Row: The Third.  This talk is about… Read more…

May 27, 2014

Free Range AI

Lecture by Aaron Canary at GDC 2014.

When game worlds were simply linear presentations of rooms and corridors, it was acceptable to create AI that existed solely in those confined spaces.  As the industry moved to more… Read more…

May 27, 2014

Defining a Project Vision

Lecture by Greg Donovan at GDC 2014.

Volition has experienced challenges when it comes to establishing a strong and clear project vision. Greg Donovan, Senior Producer, uses specific examples from the Saints Row franchise as well as… Read more…

July 12, 2012

Audio Trip: Discovering Dolby ATMOS Theatre

Monday, July 2, the audio department went on a field trip to hear the launch of the new Dolby ATMOS theatre in Chicago.  Here is how this sound compares to other surround sound… Read more…

March 8, 2012

“Playtesting and Metrics: Getting the Most Out of Your Usability Testing”

Lecture by Jordan Lynn at GDC 2012.

This talk discusses how to integrate back-end datalogging into an existing playtest program to create more satisfying user experiences. Specific examples, drawn from AAA titles Red Faction Armageddon and Saints… Read more…

March 8, 2012

“Using Studio Design Groups to Build a More Cohesive Culture and Strategy”

Lecture by Jason Scott at GDC 2012.

Building a cohesive culture across multiple projects, teams, and disciplines is a challenge for any studio. Without a common space for regular interaction and exchange, developers can easily feel isolated… Read more…

March 8, 2012

“The Art Direction of Saints Row: The Third”

Lecture by Frank Marquart at GDC 2012.

It all started with an internal joke and a word that inexplicably caught on…Exaggereal.

Exaggereal became the internal name and catchword of the new art style for Saints Row: The… Read more…

March 7, 2012

“Unusual UVs: Illuminating Night Windows in Saints Row: The Third”

Lecture by Will Smith at GDC 2012.

This session presents a holistic case study involving HLSL shader development. Included is not only the problem and its resolution, but perhaps more importantly, an insight into the… Read more…

March 7, 2012

“Saints Row: The Third’s Real Time Capture Tools”

Lecture by Alexander Mejia at GDC 2012.

In the past, we had several outsource partners that worked with us to help create marketing videos for Saints Row 2. Every cut we got back had bad footage because… Read more…

March 7, 2012

“Lighting and Simplifying Saints Row: The Third”

Lecture by Scott Kircher at GDC 2012.

Describes some of the key rendering technologies behind Saints Row: The Third. Main topics will be an update on Volition’s inferred lighting technology and our new automated LOD generation system…. Read more…

March 7, 2012

“80,000 Lines: Three Lessons Learned

Lecture by Ariel Gross at GDC 2012.

There were over 80,000 lines of dialogue in Saints Row: The Third. Managing that many lines can be a daunting task for any audio team. Ariel Gross, senior audio designer… Read more…

February 28, 2011

“Living in a Stressful World: Real-time Stress Calculation”

Lecture by Eric Arnold at GDC 2011.

With the rise of destruction and environmental interaction in games, the need to simulate stress is becoming more apparent.  Without the ability to tower should topple you are limited to… Read more…

April 6, 2010

“Embracing the Chaos: Freedom as the Cornerstone for Open World Mission Design”

Article by James Hague for Gamasutra.

The design director of Volition/THQ’s expansive open world action title Red Faction: Guerrilla talks about the transition from being scared of player freedom to truly embracing it, including several case studies… Read more…

March 9, 2010

“Designing for Co-Operative Play in an Open World”

Lecture by David Bowring at GDC 2010.

Engaging cooperative play in an open world is a growing challenge designers have to face. More games are allowing players to join up with friends to enjoy sandbox… Read more…

August 3, 2009

Lecture by Scott Kircher and Alan Lawrence at SIGGRAPH 2009.

This paper presents a three phase pipeline for real-time rendering that provides fast dynamic light calculations while enabling greater material flexibility than deferred shading. This method, called inferred lighting,… Read more…

March 29, 2009

“Breathing Life into an Open World”

Lecture by Scott Phillips at GDC 2009.

Examine the history of populating open worlds and a detailed description and post-mortem of the LIFE system developed by Volition for SAINTS ROW 2. Attendees will learn about the inspiration,… Read more…

March 23, 2009

“Blowing Up the Outside World: Destruction Done the Next Gen Way”

Lecture by Jeff Hanna and Eric Arnold at GDC 2009.

This session presents an in-depth look at the tools and technologies used to make a truly destructible world for RED FACTION: GUERRILLA. The presenters will share the lessons they… Read more…

March 19, 2008

“Python for Technical Artists”

Lecture by Adam Pletcher at GDC 2008.

Technical Artists must constantly expand their skillsets to efficiently meet new challenges. Python is an interpreted scripting language uniquely suited to meet the increasing demands of technical art.  Python provides… Read more…

March 1, 2008

“Internal & Outsourcer Management Of Tools & Pipelines”

Lecture by Brendan Hanna Holloway and Adam Pletcher at GDC 2008.

The amount and variety of custom tools and pipelines is skyrocketing. How can a game studio efficiently deploy, update and manage them all? Outsourcers using those pipelines complicates things… Read more…

March 5, 2007

“Tech-Art Driven Shader Pipelines in 3DSMax”

Lecture by Raymond Stewart at GDC 2007.

High level shader development languages have drastically altered the role of the art department in defining the final appearance of next-gen games. With this new level of control comes new… Read more…

March 5, 2007

“The Creation of Saints Row’s Open World Cityscape: Stilwater”

Lecture by Jason Hayes and Kenny Thompson at GDC 2007.

As games continue to evolve so does gameplay. With the incredible success of open world sandbox games, Saints Row is one of many that will surely follow…. Read more…

March 5, 2007

“Saints Row Scheduler”

Lecture by Randall Turner at GDC 2007.

Making optimal use of all available CPU resources on a next generation platform can be challenging. This treatment of the approach taken by the Saints Row team illustrates some of… Read more…

January 1, 2005

“Strategies & Techniques for Real-Time Shaders”

Master Class by Neil Hazzard (Autodesk) and Adam Pletcher at GDC 2005.

This two hour master class is focused on best work practices when building and editing real-time shaders using 3ds max 7 software. Shaders are tackled… Read more…

January 1, 2001

“Art Creation for a PlayStation 2 Launch Title – The Ups and Downs of Summoner”

Lecture by Adam Pletcher at GDC 2001.

A post-mortem style rundown of the various art-related challenges we faced on the Playstation 2 RPG title Summoner.