Confetti Interactive, Inc. is an international consulting think-tank focused on advanced real-time graphics research for the entertainment industry (video game and movies), as well as a programming services company and a provider of tools and asset pipelines.
GBR had a chance to sit down with Confetti’s CEO, Wolfgang Engel and Jason Jurecka, Confetti’s Tools Lead to get a little more insight into what projects the company is currently working on.
Engel explains, “Confetti is currently working with a number of interesting companies at the moment including Supergiant Games, Super Evil Mega Corp, Amazon Game Studio, Dolby, Google R&D, Undead Labs and Intel on various projects ranging from porting work, adding graphics features to an engine, adding support for hardware features, engine/game optimizations, and development tools for asset pipelines and productivity.”
According to Wolfgang Engel, “One of our first customers was Qualcomm, whom we have continued to work with for over five years,” notes Wolfgang. “We are very proud of that relationship. This year we spent some time in the Qualcomm offices in San Diego and India helping them .”
“Another Confetti client is Super Evil Mega Corp, they have a winner in their hands with Vainglory. We supported their Android port, are proud to add new features to this game and enjoy working with them,” continues Engel.
“In the nearly six years of Confetti’s existence, this was by far the most exciting, most successful and most colorful year. This year we got the chance to work with many AAA teams and help them fulfill their vision of a great game,” he adds.
Here’s a short review of some of Confetti’s many success stories….
- After more than a year of working on Star Citizen, Confetti finished their tasks in the second half of 2014. They worked on a wide range of rendering challenges like Nebula particles and distribution, Volumetric Explosions, Order-Independent Transparency and on the Capital Ship Damage system.
- At the beginning of the year the Confetti team worked on Square Enix’s Murdered – Soul Suspect on a wide range of visual effects and engine optimizations.
- For Supergiant Games, Transistor has one of the best user review scores on Steam, and according to Engel, “We feel honored to have been asked to help bringing the game to new platforms.”
- Amazon Game Studios is becoming a technology powerhouse. Confetti helped by adding features to their engine.
- Confetti had and still have a great time on working with Dolby on future monitor technologies. Extending Unreal Engine 4 to run a wider range of color and brightness values is a challenge just right up the alley for them.
- And for AMD Confetti contributed CPU optimizations for the new Futuremark Benchmark. AMD involved Confetti with optimizing the GPU usage of Dirt 4 (from Codemasters). According to Engel, “Like its predecessors the game looks super awesome and now runs a bit faster. We also worked on a wide range of new tech that we developed in-house, like for example, Volumetric Explosions, new PostFX and others. Our middleware packages Aura, Ephemeris and PixelPuzzle evolved in the process and are now running efficiently on PC, PS4 and XBOX One.”
Confetti is neither a single solution company, nor strictly a middleware tools company, hence the term “think tank” best fits this international company. They work with companies to develop some of the most stunning graphics for games, solving deep technical problems along the way, either with their own tools, or by crafting specific solutions created as needed on a per customer basis. Customers generally come to Confetti through recommendations and word of mouth for their leading knowledge in advanced real-time graphics as well as their great track record of delivering customer requests on budget and on time.
Based on Confetti’s consulting work, the company has built several key technologies stemming from their highly experienced background in graphics technology. They offer three industry leading middleware packages for licensing:
Confetti’s own middleware tools include:
- Aura – dynamic global illumination system
- Ephemeris – dynamic skybox/skydome system
- PixelPuzzle – Post FX pipeline system
Confetti also offers real-time graphics, asset pipeline, and tools related consulting and programming services. Confetti’s Tool Lead, Jason Jurecka provides some insight into current what the company is seeing in graphics trends.
GBR: Where do you see the quality of graphics going in terms of mobile devices?
With the continued rising power of mobile devices and their GPUs we have found that it is possible for titles like Transistor (SuperGiant) and VainGlory (SuperEvilMegaCorp) to push the graphical quality and deliver great experiences for their players. Also, tablets like the NVidia Shield are now making it possible for us to port any Xbox 360 or PS3 game to that device allowing for new life for “last gen” console titles that some players may not yet have experienced.
GBR: What opportunities do you see for game developers today?
With the proliferation of more powerful Mobile devices (iOS and Android), Tablets (MS Surface, Nvidia Shield, and others), platforms like Steam and Origin, the next gen consoles (XB1 and PS4), and continued traditional PC development Confetti is committed to enabling developers to deliver great player experiences to the largest user base the industry has ever seen.
GBR: In terms of technology, what trends are you seeing in the market?
Through our work with companies like Dolby and AMD we have seen some of the future technology that will drive content realism further. Working with mobile developers like SuperGiant and SuperEvilMegaCorp we see exciting opportunities for mobile development that continues to integrate into our daily lives.
How would you best describe Confetti?
With the increase in today’s graphics processing availability we see ourselves uniquely positioned to offer our customers help bringing high quality rendering techniques and features to their products ranging from mobile and tablet devices, next gen consoles, or to high-end PCs. We also know that empowering our customer’s employees through development tools and pipelines can add tremendous value and quality to the final product, by keeping workflows quick and broken build downtime to a minimum. We feel our experience in these areas offer great value to our customers.
Wolfgang Engel is the CEO of Confetti. Before co-founding Confetti, Wolfgang worked as the lead graphics programmer in Rockstar’s core technology group RAGE for more than four years. He is the founder and editor of the ShaderX and GPU Pro books series, a Microsoft MVP, the author of several books and articles on real-time rendering and a regular contributor to websites and the GDC. One of the books he edited – ShaderX4 – won the Game developer Front line award in 2006. Wolfgang is in the advisory boards of several companies. He is an active contributor to several future standards that drive the game Industry.
Jason Jurecka, Confetti’s Tools Lead has over 10 years of game industry experience. In the past he has worked for Big Huge Games, Rockstar Games, and Visceral Games on titles ranging from Xbox Live to AAA releases. Some of the game he has worked on are Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends(PC), Catan(XBLA), Red Dead Redemption(360, PS3), Max Payne 3 (PC, 360, PS3), GTA5 (360, PS3), and Battlefield 4(PC, 360, PS3, XB1, PS4). His experience ranges from basic render programming, to resource management, to art tools, to in-game tools, to content pipeline tasks, and many other generalist programming tasks as needed. He is also active on the advisory board for Texas State Technical College in Waco Texas.
Company Background: Confetti Interactive, Inc.
Number of employees: 12
Year founded: 2009
Location: Headquarters – Encinitas California USA
Confetti’s Website http://www.confettispecialfx.com