Developers in an unnatural habitat, or how UNIGINE Open Air 2022 went. Photo report

Summer 2022. Flash, idea, Open Air! It’s time to stretch the bones, we decided, and crawled out from behind the monitors. After all, the last time we gathered in the open air was 9 years ago, and by the standards of game development, this is an eternity. I had to think quickly: the event was scheduled in 6 weeks. A meeting of game development, VR and 3D graphics professionals has been scheduled for July 23-24.

The event promised to be bright, but the weather forecast was not encouraging: it rained all week. On Friday, until late in the evening, it poured and blew so much that our party threatened to turn into a massive swim. It is not known what was more dull – the faces of the organizers or the landscape outside the window. Building up the base in such weather looked more like masochism than preparation for a long-awaited event. Some locations had to be moved right on the spot, which is why we were left without a map of the area, which we had to proudly hoist on a stump. At night, unfortunately, banners are not printed, and the changes were reflected only on the site. Although we managed to do it, thanks to the time difference and the designer, who moved lectures on the layout at night.

Day 1, 07/23/22

In the morning, a gift of fate awaited us, not otherwise: the sun warmed, and the sky was cloudless.

We promise to take you to UNIGINE Open Air 2022
We promise to take you to UNIGINE Open Air 2022

Inspired by the suddenly good weather, we were waiting for the guests to be transferred to the recreation center “Zorka”, which is 5 km from Tomsk. We loaded into three buses and went to meet the registration fairies who were already waiting for us.

The process is simple: scan the QR code from the ticket, put on the control bracelet, hand over the shopper with merchandise, repeat 200 times.

The first paid participants were already there at 10 am, two hours left before the lectures. There was no need to be bored – there were kites, soap bubbles, balls and badminton. A great Saturday morning in the fresh air: someone sets up tents, someone has already spontaneously recruited a team and plays volleyball, and someone just chills in the hay, enjoying the weather and watching the clouds.

At 11:45 @binstreamDen Shergin, director of UNIGINE, gave a short speech and announced the start of Open Air 2022.

The lecture program was opened by Alexander Panichev, UNIGINE Logic Lead Programmer, with the report “Game Camera: Collection of Techniques”. During the report, Sasha wondered if it was possible to call those who invert the axes of cameras in games people with a non-traditional orientation, but basically he talked about what the focal length of the lens is, what it is for, and what angle of view should be done for the cameras in order to the monitor looked like a window into a virtual world.

From 13:00 the lectures went on in two tracks: Vadim Lisiev from Knife Entertainment spoke about the experience of switching from Unity to UNIGINE, and Alexey Dmitrov, QA engineer from UNIGINE, about graphics autotests. According to Vitali, QA team lead, this lecture is a top one, and everyone who missed it should definitely watch it on our website. YouTube channelwhen she gets there.

At 14:00 we took a break. Satisfied people are satisfied people, we decided, and treated the guests not only with concentrated knowledge, but also with a nutritious dinner.

Lunch on the hay is doubly delicious :)
Lunch on the hay is doubly delicious 🙂

After lunch, the lectures continued: speakers from the UNIGINE team talked about how simulators are made, how not to drown while making Water System, how to switch to DirectX12/Vulkan, about the long-awaited launch of the Asset Store and plans to develop the UNIGINE SDK.

The lecture part of the first day came to an end, there was plenty of food for thought. It was quite hard for those who listened to Denis Shergin’s report on the plans to develop the engine – Uzbek pilaf was already being prepared right outside the lecture hall door, and the smell of fried meat and oriental spices wafted the audience’s appetite in earnest.

Cause of excessive salivation
Cause of excessive salivation

Having refreshed themselves, the participants dispersed in all directions:

The organizers quietly rejoiced – there was a full house at all locations with activities.

The demo area in the round tent was not empty for a minute, both retro games (Duke Nukem 3D) and modern ones fell in love: controllers from PlayStation 4 and VR roamed from hand to hand, and people who wanted to see demos and games made on UNIGINE Engine. At the other end of the field, the chill zone beckoned with soft bean bags and tabletops. Every now and then laughter came from there – they were playing Explosive Kittens.

In the dining tent, everyone was given face painting and glitter tattoos, and the girls asked for make-up, like the heroines of the Euphoria series. By five o’clock everyone shone like mermaids.

The volleyball court didn’t seem to be empty for a minute. Some of the players took a break for chess.

All this surprised the guards very much – by nightfall they were already frankly bored without the adrenaline inherent in their work.

The hookah area was also a success. Companies formed spontaneously, united by one hookah. They shared their innermost things, talked about the background, and chatted about the day-to-day.

Everyone found something to their liking on that truly summer day.

Group "Dumb"
Group “Mute”

The evening was slowly creeping up, the stage was alive with the sounds of jazz. Those sitting with their backs to the stage praised the music and asked when there would be a live performance – the sound of the Mute group was so good.

Free-bar opened at 19:00. We seem to have bought Bacardi, Capitan Morgan, Jim Beam and William Lawsons from every store in town. 45 liters of strong rum and whiskey and 200 liters of cola promised a good evening.

Light bulbs were lit in the hookah and soft areas, the sun began to go down.

A rock band took the stage and the crowd roared: every song hit right on target, and the words were familiar. Echo Slam’s covers of Linkin Park, Cranberries, Three Days Grace, Rihanna, Adele, Billie Eilish sounded particularly good.

Warmed up by the sun and cocktails, they jumped like clockwork. Someone said: “A little more, and I would have died, I haven’t jumped like that for a long time!” That evening, it was not necessary to say anything – the faces burned eloquently in the beams of spotlights and the setting sun.

At 22:00 the genre changed, Drum’n’bass started playing from Misha Kondratiev – DJ Paralyzah, UNIGINE QA engineer, composer who wrote music for our benchmarks and Oil Rush game. It has become a kind of tradition – Misha played at the previous Open Airs in 2012 and 2013 and invariably got a standing ovation. Open Air 2022 was no exception.

Then the action on the stage changed: the light show “Pompeii” began, introducing a pinch of neon cyberpunk into our lamp-filled Open Air.

Since the recreation center “Zorka” is located within the boundaries of the settlement, the noise had to be stopped at 23:00. For those who did not get enough dancing and fun, the party was transferred to headphones and the Silent Party started. Not everyone wanted to continue – some of the participants moved to the fire to warm their souls with fire and songs to the guitar.

Heartfelt conversations ended by 5 am, and 6 o’clock, as scheduled, it began to rain.

Day 2, 07/24/22

The next morning, the survivors went to warm up for yoga, and the rest tried to sleep.

At 09:30 a hearty breakfast of syrniki, porridge and scramble with sausages was waiting for everyone.

Lectures on the second day of Open Air opened with reports on hardware ray tracing and documentation automation. Further, the speakers discussed UX in UNIGINE, common and unusual bugs in C ++, API design, procedural content generation in the editor, and how to make 3D clouds. A little wrinkled after Saturday, everyone was ready for a new portion of useful content.

Aleksey Shushanikov, Leading Technical Writer, with the report “Documentation Automation”
Andrey Viktorov, indie programmer, “Hardware ray tracing”
Andrey Viktorov, indie programmer, “Hardware ray tracing”
Davyd Vidiger, Lead Technical Artist, “UX in UNIGINE”
Davyd Vidiger, Lead Technical Artist, “UX in UNIGINE”
Random fact: raincoats are warmer
Random fact: raincoats are warmer

After a parting word from Denis, a two-day meeting of professionals in game development, VR and 3D graphics ended. The participants made their way home.

Weekend quotes:

  • All programmers, of course, squeak with delight.

  • Ready to come again, even if I’m somewhere abroad.

  • Everything was top. Lectures, program, company, nature, VR and dos games. Until now, I have a show must go.

  • Got it thanks to the younger generation and felt like a character in the movie “Blast from the Past”.

  • Open Air is a tower, lectures are top!

  • It was interesting, fun and emotional.

  • You can write nicknames from the discord on the badges next time.

  • Top event, my 2013 was returned to me, special thanks to the permanent Paralyza!

A short video about how we hosted UNIGINE Open Air 2022:

A 10 minute movie about how cool it was:

Instead of a postscript:

For us, UNIGINE Open Air 2022 is not just two days of lectures for people from the industry. Each of the organizers put a piece of their soul into the event: we arranged brainstorming sessions, discussed, searched, brought together. Six weeks of our life passed like a moment – after all, when you burn with something, time flies unnoticed. Everyone who was there is bound by these warm memories of the weekend spent with benefit and fun somewhere in the Siberian forest.

Well, we don’t say goodbye. You can view all photos (and add your own!) in the event groupand very soon on our YouTube channel lecture notes will appear.

And in general, we are preparing a lot of interesting things for you.

See you at UNIGINE Open Air 2023!

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