Wednesday morning started with a session on how to use a free tool, AMD Perfstudio 2, to debug complicated graphics applications. Examples from Assassins Creed III and Far Cry 3 were used, as well as Valve’s port of Left 4 Dead 2 to show the tool’s OpenGL capabilities.

I’ve tried to use other versions of Perfstudio before, and I’ve struggled to get to grips with it. Hopefully when I find the time to take another look I’ll find it more user friendly, but it was definitely useful to see being used, and has some very cool features.

Next I went to a session on HTML 5 which had a brief update on the what’s new in HTML 5 and then introduced two technologies that were really interesting. The first was called Emscripten, which can port C++ code to javascript to run on the web. The second was ASM.js which optimizes your javascript to run on the web, fast. Typically they were reporting speeds of about half what you would get using native code, but they’d only been working on it for a few months and had lots of other optimizations to implement. Very exciting. To top it all off they demonstrated Unreal Tournament 3 running in a browser. Impressive!

The final session of the morning was presented by Qualcom and turned out to be a bit of a sales pitch trying to get developers to target their snapdragon processors. It was still useful though, as there was some detailed information about developing using OpenGLES 3 features. They were using deferred shading techniques using multiple render targets and instancing geometry from within the shader. They finished with some pointers to the emulators that will let you do it now. Hopefully I’ll find the time to take a good look at this, although I doubt I’ll manage that until summer.