Jason Gregory (Lead Programmer @ Naughty Dog)
Jason Gregory has worked as a professional software engineer since 1994. He got his start in game programming in 1999 at Midway Home Entertainment in San Diego, where he wrote tools and engine code, including the Playstation 2/Xbox animation system for Freaky Flyers, Hydro Thunder 2 and Crank the Weasel. In 2003, Jason moved to Electronic Arts Los Angeles, where he worked on engine and game play technology for Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault and served as a lead engineer during the Medal of Honor: Airborne project. Jason is currently a lead programmer at Naughty Dog Inc., where he most recently completed work on The Last of Us. He also developed engine and gameplay technology for Naughty Dog's Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, and taught courses in game technology at the University of Southern California.
Dogged Determination: Insights Into the Development Process and Key Technologies Used by Naughty Dog
Talk, 14h00 to 15h20, February 24, 2014
Speaker: Jason Gregory
The talk will attempt to reveal some of the "secrets" of Naughty Dog's success as a game developer. I'll cover the high-level structure of the company, our overall development process and "best practices" that enable us to produce award-winning games. I'll also explore some of our keystone technologies -- the foundations upon which our game engine is built. These include optimization techniques for modern superscalar CPU architectures, best practices in memory allocation, empowering content creators through script and data-driven systems, and taking advantage of parallel hardware via concurrent jobs.
The goal of the talk is to provide your students with a high-level picture of how we make games. But more importantly, I want to provide attendees with some solid advice that they can apply to their own endeavors, as they graduate and move on the start their own software companies or join existing ones. While Naughty Dog is a game development studio, most of the ideas I'll cover are applicable to any small- to mid-sized software development operation. So my hope is that attendees who are targeting a career in non-games software production will also find the talk interesting and relevant.