NetEase Hosted A Series Of Talks At GDC 2022, Discussing The Use Of AI Technology In Video Game Development

2022-03-29
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NetEase hosted a record-breaking number of talks at GDC 2022, sharing a wealth of knowledge about the video game development process with people from all over the world.

GUANGZHOU, China – (Insert Date) – NetEase, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES and HKEX: 9999, "NetEase" or the "Company"), one of China’s leading internet and online game services providers, hosted a record-breaking number of talks at the 2022 Game Developers Conference (GDC) event. Representatives from NetEase Games hosted 26 talks at GDC 2022, on topics ranging from the depictions of the Wuxia genre in video games, the use of AI to make video game development easier, and NetEase’s approach to accessibility design in its games.

A summary of some of the biggest presentations is listed below:

Oriental Narrative: How to Understand “SWORDSMEN (WUXIA)” in Chinese Games

Oriental Narrative: How to Understand “SWORDSMEN (WUXIA)” in Chinese Games was presented by Zhipeng Hu, Vice President of NetEase, and Yongcheng Liu, a veteran user experience expert. Wuxia has many distinct elements that separate it from martial arts, Chinese mythology or supernatural genres that might seem similar on the surface. There is more to Wuxia than sword fighting, martial arts, and a Chinese setting, as there are important elements that need to be placed in order for it to feel authentic to the genre, such as in the appearance of its protagonists, the nature of their combat abilities, and their relationship to the people and the world around them. This talk discusses the growth of the Wuxia genre in the gaming world, how to recognize the most important elements of the genre, how to avoid including elements from other genres that don’t fit with Wuxia, and how to create a genuine Wuxia narrative in games.

The presentation can be seen in full here: Oriental Narrative: How to Understand “SWORDSMEN (WUXIA)” in Chinese Games

‘Naraka: Bladepoint’ – From Prototype to Release: Melee Combat and Battle Royale Games

‘Naraka: Bladepoint’ – From Prototype to Release: Melee Combat and Battle Royale Games was hosted by NetEase UI & UX Designers Zhigang Zang and Jinghan Lin. Naraka: Bladepoint is a 60 player battle royale game that has taken the world by storm, thanks to its use of martial arts combat and parkour. The term ‘Unchained’ was used by the developers of Naraka: Bladepoint during the creation of the game, to describe the result of having players fight without restraint. The developers faced issues with balancing melee and ranged weapons, keeping the game fresh for repeated play sessions, and making sure the death/resurrection mechanics didn’t detract from player enjoyment. This talk goes into detail about the trials and tribulations the team went through in order to implement melee-focused combat into a genre that is dominated by ranged weapons. The ‘Unchained’ method is what allowed them to solve these issues and turn Naraka: Bladepoint into a beloved title that is played by gamers all over the world.

The presentation can be seen in full here: 'Naraka: Bladepoint' -- From Prototype to Release: Melee Combat and Battle Royale Games

Minority Care: Make Color No Longer a Cognitive Disability

Minority Care: Make Color No Longer a Cognitive Disability was hosted by NetEase UI & UX Designer Shengli Pang. Color is an important aspect in many video games, as it’s often used as a signifier for different states, such as determining a character’s health, or the rarity of an item. This can cause issues for players with color vision deficiencies, as it can make it difficult for them to tell the difference between items and states. This talk discusses the Accessibility Design features that were implemented into Naraka: Bladepoint, in order to give players different visibility options that suit their needs, as well as rethinking design elements for future projects in order to alleviate these issues.

The presentation can be seen in full here: Minority Care: Make Color No Longer a Cognitive Disability

Reinforcement Learning for Efficient Cars and Tracks Design in Racing Games

Reinforcement Learning for Efficient Cars and Tracks Design in Racing Games was hosted by NetEase Games AI Lab Senior AI Engineer Minggao Wei. The presentation discussed the AI-based Reinforcement Learning solution for resolving the problem of testing race tracks in a driving game with lots of vehicles, in this case, Racing Master for PC and mobile devices. Using this system, it’s possible for Reinforcement Learning to test fifty cars on a single track in an hour, considerably cutting down on the need for manual testing. This is achieved through an AI testing of both the vehicle and model course files together, with the vehicle trying to complete the track in the fastest possible time using different variables. The developer can then see the results and work out the optimal time for each track, as well as determining if corners are too easy or too severe, so that they can be improved before they’re included in the game.

The presentation can be seen in full here: Reinforcement Learning for Efficient Cars and Tracks Design in Racing Games

AI Animator: A Real Time Motion Completion System

AI Animator: A Real Time Motion Completion System was hosted by NetEase Games AI Lab Senior AI Engineer Yinglin Duan. The presentation discussed a new method of creating character animations in games using AI technology, rather than individually building each frame and needing to maintain a huge library of animations. This new method is one that is accessible to both professional animators and casual enthusiast, making the process of creating seamless animations easier. The technology on offer allows the computer to extrapolate what is needed between keyframes, significantly cutting down on animation time. With the aid of a Maya plugin, it’s possible to further polish and refine animation strings that have been created. This talk outlines NetEase’s advances in using AI for creating smooth animations in a shorter period of time.

The presentation can be seen in full here: AI Animator: A Real Time Motion Completion System:

An Easy-to-Use Cutscenes Preview Tool with Low Resources

An Easy-to-Use Cutscenes Preview Tool with Low Resources was hosted by NetEase Games AI Lab AI Engineer Wenjie Ou. Designing cutscenes in video games can be a lengthy process, as it requires a lot of back and forth between the Director with artists and programmers, in order to make sure that a scene conveys the correct meaning to the audience. If the Director needs something to be changed, then it will take time for the other team members to implement the changes, which could potentially need to be changed again in the future. The purpose of this talk was to introduce a Cutscenes Preview Tool with five plugins, making it easy for developers to create mock-ups of cutscenes in a short period of time. These include Story to Script Technology, Script Emotion Analysis, Emotional Speech Synthesis, Speech Animation Generation, and Emotional Action Mapping. These combined tools can implement the script into sections, create voice tracks with different emotional ranges, and apply them to body and facial movements that are relevant for the scene. A development team can use these tools to quickly create cutscene prototypes, in order to ensure that everything is correct, and it can enter production without the need for further changes down the road.

The presentation can be seen in full here: An Easy-to-Use Cutscenes Preview Tool with Low Resources

NetEase Games’ Commitment to Cutting Edge Research & Development

One of the main focuses of NetEase Games’ appearance at GDC 2022 was discussing the merits of the technology the company has created for the video game development process. The AI and deep learning methods on offer can cut down on production time, which is something all studios can take advantage of. NetEase Games has designed many methods for easing the burden of game development and those in the industry would benefit from seeing our presentations and implementing these idea into their own projects.

All these advanced technologies and powerful insights are generated by NetEase Games’ young and dynamic workforce. The company cherishes every employee’s voice and it’s for this reason that the company has multiple channels for staff members to communicate with each other and keep everyone informed about corporate goals and strategies.

NetEase Games’ foundation is built on diversity and inclusivity. This has become more important over time, as the company’s reach extends internationally, and more employees are hired from around the globe. The company encourages all employees to be innovators and come up with unique solutions to existing problems. MINI Training Program, for example, is set for stimulating fresh graduates R&D skills and given the chance to develop their own projects, some of which are expanded into full titles, such as Identity V.

With constant efforts demonstrated on maximizing the potential of employees, through investing in talent development and performance initiatives, NetEase Games has been honoured the BEST 2022 Award for Talent & Development from ATD (Association for Talent Development).

GDC 2022 has now concluded and its individual presentations are now available online. We hope that viewers find NetEase’s contributions to the event to be enlightening and the technology we have created to be helpful in their future projects.

To learn more about NetEase Games, visit:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/NetEaseOfficial

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NetEaseGames_EN

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7fPAi77lcCWFUc94UHyfGg

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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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