Holistic Video Game Optimization


November 20, 2008


Eric Preisz


Full Sail University


A holistic approach to detecting bottlenecks and hotspots is necessary when optimizing games that run on modern hardware. Moore’s law no longer predicts transistor count in single-core processor performance; processors now focus on multi-core and throughput architectures such as the GPU. Our processors are evolving -so have our techniques for optimizing software.

We can decompose potential optimizations into three levels: system, application, and micro. Defining these categories and their attributes facilitates the development of optimization strategies for different platforms such as consoles and PCs. The attributes of the optimization levels, such as granularity and reliability, help ensure that our optimization efforts are efficient.

This presentation explains holistic detection of hotspots and bottlenecks, categorizes optimization opportunities, and presents system, application, and micro, performance solutions for each game pipeline kernel.


Eric Preisz

Eric Preisz is the department chair for architectures at Full Sail University and the course director for Optimization. He began his career developing serious games in Washington, D.C. for clients including the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, U.S. Army, NASA, and others. While in Orlando, Eric formed C2C Simulation, a company whose clients include Walt Disney Imagineering and commercial training companies and government organizations. Eric received a bachelors degree in Mathematics and Computer Science at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in the year 2000.