Highlights from GDC 2017

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For what seems like forever, GDC has acted as the worlds largest video games industry event for everyone!

It’s a jam-packed 5 days of watching talks, navigating the show floor and meeting up with people in the indsutry from all over the world.

This year we too ventured out to San Francisco talking to developers from all walks of life, finding out what they most enjoyed, and their highlights of GDC 2017.

  Whilst there we also met up with DC to talk about Injustice 2

The Exhibition floor

Navigating the show floors of GDC can sometimes seem like a daunting mission, especially with over 570 different companies exhibiting across multiple halls and buildings.

The show is absolutely massive, so much so if you don’t go for the full 5 days you might end up missing something important.

Here’s what was most notable on the show floor:

  • Qualcomm showing off their hand tracking stand-alone headset
  • G’Audio lab showcasing sensor built headphones that integrate spatial audio, along with Ultrahaptics integrating “Virtual touch”
  • Alt.Ctrl.GDC showing off all the cool alternative ways to interact with games
  • The Indie MEgabooth also had so many well thought out games it was unreal (You can see some of the games in this video below)

When we weren’t on the show floor we ended up listening to the awe-aspiring talks from industry leaders in the community…

Our Highlighted talks

The talks at GDC are a perfect way to gain insider knowledge into how a game was made, new techniques people are employing daily and at the end of the day make you leave more pumped than ever.

Here’s just a selection of the best talks:

It’s not all DOOM and gloom

If you’ve ever played  Bethesda’s DOOM you’ll know how intense the gameplay can get and that’s thanks in part to the incredibly intricate composition put together by Mick Gordon.

During his talk, he takes a complete deep dive into the making of the Doom soundtrack.

The Antidotes of Zelda

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Nintendo’s recent release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is so good it deserves to win multiple awards and accolades.

But to get there Nintendo had to completely rethink how they should approach the series to live up to the hype its player base expects.

This talk explores exactly how they did that.

Lifting the lid on mobile AR

Pokémon GO: it’s a game that truly took the world by storm, at some points you would look around and it would seem like everyone was throwing down Pokeballs in an attempt to catch anything other than a Pidgey.

We particularly like this talk as Niantic pull back the curtain and give us a sneak peek into the making of Pokémon GO.

Despite the world’s lust for the game, read our 7 reasons why we hate Pokemon Go!

An unexpected appearance

It was a game that was highly anticipated from its conception. It made bold statements of what could be achieved in an open world environment and ultimately a game that has left many players wondering where on earth their money went.

In a rather unexpected appearance to keep this talk saw Sean Murray talk about the making of No Man’s Sky.

A new frontier for GPU’s

Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti

When Nvidia announced the GTX 1080 back in May, 2016, many including ourselves were hugely impressed with its performance vs price. So, when Nvidia dropped the mic on its new crazily high powered GPU the 1080 TI that was both more powerful than its predecessor and over $400 cheaper, we couldn’t help but crack a smile.

This new graphics card which could change the way future games are made features a whopping 3,584 CUDA cores with 11GB of GDDR5X.

AMD Ryzen

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All though not part of the main show, AMD also hosted a separate launch of their AMD Ryzen CPU’s through their much-anticipated Capsaicin & Cream event.

Unfortunately, though the event fell flat of having any real evidence-based substance for most game developers unlike Nvidia’s announcement of the GTX 1080 Ti. It was, however, an announcement that will spur on increased competition and therefore innovation in the CPU market space.

Lots of new VR content

VR in full force at GDC 2017

By far Virtual Reality was the most popular exhibiting piece at GDC this year. From Facebook’s HUGE 2-floor exhibition stand to an exclusive world demo of Sprint Vector, VR was everywhere. Here are a few of our VR highlights from the show:

Exploring new VR movement options

For a while, Developers have been struggling to get people moving in VR without making them want to throw up.

As a result, a few innovative game studios began to explore different movement types including Sprint Vector‘s interesting Wii sports style, arm running movement and Brass Tactics table top wristwatch controllers.

The beginning of Eye Tracking?

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For a while now the eye-tracking specialist, Tobii has been integrating its tech into laptops, external cameras and working with games to add interesting movement options that follow the eyes.

Interestingly for us though, Tobii have started to shift their attention on to Virtual Reality, and more importantly, have begun integrating their technology into the HTC Vive.

This means for the first time ever were able to get a glimpse into the future and what all VR headsets should eventually be like outside of the Fove. In the taster demo that Tobii showed us, we were able to see the difference between focus pane and the ability to better control movement.

Awards

As has become an annual tradition at GDC, the Game Developer’s choice awards took place again with a bunch of new and worthy contenders in the ring. Most notably Blizzard’s overwatch took home the Game of the Year title and even went as far to receive an additional award for Best Design.

In addition to this AR game, Pokémon GO was awarded Mobile Game of the Year after it took the world by storm earlier this year.

The Game Develop’s choice awards most coveted award, the Lifetime Achievement Award went to the creator of Unreal Engine and Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney

Game Developers Choice Awards. Pokémon GO was awarded mobile game of the year & Unreal engine creator and Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Outside of the choice awards, the 19th Annual Independent Games Festival Awards awarded Quadrilateral Cowboy, the retro-tech 80s computer coding puzzle game from developer Blendo Games its grand prize.

Looking forward to next year?

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If the growth of 2017 is anything to go by, 2018 looks to be another epic year. In lieu of this GDC have already released that the next conference and exhibition is to be held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center from March 19 – 23, 2018.

 



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