UBM Tech Game Network’s Game Developers Conference (GDC), which becomes more relevant to the Apple community with every passing year (and iOS version), saw a record attendance of 23,000 industry professionals last week in in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. As such, organizers have quickly announced that GDC 2014 will return to the Moscone Monday, March 17 to Friday, March 21, 2014.
GDC 2013 featured two days of tutorials and summits focused on specific emerging platforms and topics, including a newly introduced Free to Play Design & Business Summit, the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, and the Independent Games Summit. Highlights include discussions on morality in gaming, getting lucky at the right time, the 10th edition of the Game Design Challenge, and…well, let’s let the press release tell you about some of what you missed.
Kojima Productions’ Hideo Kojima revealed and shared first looks for Metal Gear Solid 5 during a talk on the Design/Visual Arts Track, and also confirmed plans for a new development office in Los Angeles. The legendary game developer also provided developers with a first look at a new proprietary project called the FOX engine, and described how the technology will provide a platform for further innovation in the game making process.
Creating safe spaces in the game development for everyone has been a hot industry topic of late and GDC made significant efforts to address criticisms head-on with the all new Advocacy Track. A highlight of the track was the #1ReasontoBe session, a panel dedicated to creating an open dialogue about what it means to be a woman in the games industry and what actions are necessary to foster more inclusiveness. Other sessions in the track included an examination of the gaming industry as society’s scapegoat and a lecture that encouraged developers to create more diverse characters and character profiles.
Additionally, several exciting hardware details were shown off at this year’s event for platforms and devices including Oculus Rift, PlayJam’s GameStick, Ouya and Sony’s highly anticipated PlayStation 4 next-gen console.
The popular Classic Game Postmortem series returned this year featuring Franz Lanziger, discussing Crystal Castles, Robyn Miller talking about the creation of, Myst, Bill Budge lecturing about his inspirational Pinball Construction Set and Julian Gollop talking about the origins of X-COM: UFO Defense. The creators of each game took attendees on a trip behind the scenes of some of the most influential games of the industry’s history.
GDC 2013 hosted the 15th annual Independent Games Festival (IGF) and the 13th annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCAs) on the evening of March 27. Cart Life creator Richard Hofmeier won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize award at the IGF and its associated $30,000 grand prize, as well as the award for Narrative and the Nuovo Award for Innovation. At the Game Developers Choice Awards, thatgamecompany’s emotionally-charged Journey won six of the evening’s eleven main awards, including Best Audio, Best Game Design, Best Visual Arts, Best Downloadable Game, the Innovation Award, and the coveted Game of the Year Award.
The GDC Expo floor packed in more than 350 exhibitors, the Independent Games Festival (IGF) Pavilion, a Career Pavilion and Business Center area and the GDC Play showcase.
More information on Game Developers Conference 2014, as well as the other GDC events throughout 2013 – including GDC Europe, GDC China and the new, co-located GDC Next and App Developers Conference (ADC) – is available at www.gdconf.com.