Writing your own shaders is interesting to many developers because it endows you with complete control over how you game can look. Once you can write your own shaders, you are no longer bounded by what your game engine provides you. However, most developers also find shaders to be scary. Shaders are unfamiliar with their weird terminology, seemingly complex math, and the fact that they run on the GPU, which most developers don’t know much about.
Breaking your fear of learning something new can be difficult but this is exactly what I set out to do for the audience of my UNITE Boston talk in September. Based on the responses I got in the feedback form for the talk, I believe it was a success.
Incredible session. I never thought I could program shaders and this talk changed my mind.
A good balance of tech detail and implementation. He was able to boil a complex subject down so it was digestible for the attendees.
Writing original shaders during the talk were a nice touch and helped explain shader syntax more clearly.
Very good entry into shaders. This will stick!
That was fun! TOTALLY outside my comfort zone, and shaders have been a black-box mystery to me until now. After one session, nobody is an expert, but I am no longer intimidated to try my hand at creating a simple shader.
They did a good job making shaders less scary, so if I have a need to write one, I can figure out how to do it.
If you are interested in shaders but haven’t had a chance to learn them yet, set aside an hour of your time and watch the video at the top of this post. I guarantee you won’t regret it.
All the code, assets, and resources mentioned during the talk can be found at this GitHub page.
Yilmaz Kiymaz is a Software Development Engineer at Nordeus. Nordeus is a leading and award-winning European games and technology company and publisher of Top Eleven, the most popular social sports video game in the world.