Train2Game News GDC Awards 2017

Blizzard Entertainment’s popular and stylish multiplayer shooter, Overwatch, was honored with the prize for Game of the Year at tonight’s 17th annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) ceremony during the 2017 Game Developers Conference (GDC) at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Overwatch’s carefully calibrated balance and polished gameplay mechanics also earned the game the award for Best Design. An archive of the award ceremony, as well as the full presentation of the Independent Games Festival Awards (IGF Awards), can be viewed at http://twitch.tv/gdc.

Developer Playdead’s beautifully macabre and engrossing platformer, Inside, also earned two awards in total, for Best Audio and Best Visual Art. The awards reflect the strong artistry of the title, which depicts a dark conspiracy using a stark visual motif with foreboding lighting and haunting animation. Developer Campo Santo’s compelling first-person adventure game, Firewatch, was the final double award-winner of the night, earning the team the awards for Best Debut and Best Narrative. The game, which features the voice talent of Mad Men’s Rich Sommer, portrays a deeply engrossing tale that enwraps the player in a branching script filled with mystery, suspense, humor and longing.
The full slate of winners at tonight’s ceremony also includes the augmented reality (AR) game Pokemon Go by Niantic, which became a worldwide sensation and earned the award for Best Mobile/Handheld Game. The massively ambitious, procedurally-generated universe of No Man’s Sky earned developer Hello Games the Innovation Award, while the grandiose production and graphics in Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End earned that title the award for Best Technology. The charmingly off-kilter virtual reality (VR) game, Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives, received the award for Best VR/AR Game. The Audience Award is chosen among the entire selection of GDCA finalists using a public online voting process, and was presented to developer EA DICE for Battlefield 1.
The Game Developers Choice Awards honor the very best games of the year, and was created for and voted on by developers. Winners are selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only group comprised of leading game creators from all parts of the industry.
Every year, the Game Developers Choice Awards also recognize developers who have made significant contributions to the art, science and craft of video games with three special awards. This year, the Pioneer Award was given to Jordan Mechner, the game designer, programmer and screenwriter best known for creating the landmark series, Prince of Persia.
The Ambassador Award, which recognizes those whose actions have helped video games to “advance to a better place,” went to Mark DeLoura, for dedicating his life to the education and the productive use of technology within academia, the media and videogames, holding roles that include Senior Advisor for Digital Media during the Obama administration.
The Lifetime Achievement award was given to Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games, and the creator of seminal game/creation tool ZZT and the influential Unreal Engine. Following the 1998 PC game Unreal, which Sweeney co-created, the game’s engine became the underpinning for a slew of acclaimed games, including Epic’s own Gears of War and Unreal franchises, as well as the BioShock series, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, and the Batman: Arkham series of games.
“This year’s amazing slate of winners is a testament to the diversity of experiences in games. Pokemon Go took gaming outdoors using AR, while Job Simulator showed how lo-fi aesthetics could meet cutting edge tech for a winning VR experience. Overwatch once again proved Blizzard’s uncanny ability to make a perfectly balanced multiplayer game, and Inside delved deep into our dark psyches to unearth our scariest nightmares,” said Meggan Scavio, General Manager of the Game Developers Conference. “These nominees speak to the strength of games as a medium, but also show the various textures and possible creative outlets that interactive entertainment can provide. Congrats to all of the winners and nominees for following their visions and thanks to all developers who strive to make amazing games for us day in and day out.”
The Game Developers Choice Awards winners are:

Best Audio

Inside (Playdead)

Best Debut

Campo Santo (Firewatch)

Best Design

Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)

Best Mobile/Handheld Game

Pokemon Go (Niantic)

Innovation Award

No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)

Best Narrative

Firewatch (Campo Santo)

Best Technology

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog)

Best Visual Art

Inside (Playdead)

Best VR/AR Game

Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives (Owlchemy Labs)

Audience Award

Battlefield 1 (EA DICE)

Game of the Year
Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)

Pioneer Award
Jordan Mechner

Ambassador Award

Mark DeLoura

Lifetime Achievement Award

Tim Sweeney
For more information about the 17th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, please visit the official website at http://www.gamechoiceawards.com . For information about the 2017 Game Developep official website at http://www.gdconf.com.

Train2Game News Global Game Jam partnered with GDC

​Global Game Jam® (GGJ), the world’s largest game jam event taking place in physical locations across the globe, announced today that it has partnered with the Game Developers Conference® to offer 25 Global Game Jam volunteers an all-access pass to GDC 2017 in San Francisco, CA on March 1-3, 2017.
For three years in a row, the Global Game Jam and Game Developers Conference have offered scholarships to GGJ organizers, regional organizers or other volunteer affiliates with a goal of reward those participants from underrepresented regions of the world and countries where none or few GGJ sites normally participate. The scholarships give participants an opportunity to further their career development through networking and on-site learning at GDC, the world’s largest forum for the game development community to come together and share ideas.

“Last year, we we’re able to offer scholars from Cuba, Zambia, Pakistan and a number of other areas the opportunity to attend GDC” said Gorm Lai, president and founder of the Global Game Jam. “By offering these scholarships, we hope that our volunteers are able to bring the information that they learn from the conference to grow their local game development communities and further their own careers.”

Interested parties can apply for a scholarship by filling out a short application and survey. The deadline to apply is December 1, 2016 and decisions will be made by the GGJ scholarship community as early as January 1, 2017.

Train2game News GDC 2016 Record Attendance

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UBM Game Network’s 2016 Game Developers Conference (GDC), the world’s largest and longest-running event serving professionals dedicated to the art and science of making games has set a record for event attendance, with more than 27,000 game industry professionals at last week’s conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

This year, UBM Game Network also debuted the 2016 Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC), an event dedicated to the creation of new video games, entertainment and technology around virtual and augmented reality (AR), which was held alongside GDC. The organizers have announced that GDC will return to the Moscone Center in San Francisco from Monday, February 27 to Friday, March 3, 2017, and will see the return of VRDC. Call for submissions for both GDC and VRDC to open this summer.

GDC 2016, through its introduction of the VRDC, has helped bring greater focus to the nascent field of Virtual Reality (VR) development, with two days of dedicated talks and sessions surrounding challenges and opportunities tied to the rapidly-maturing field of VR and AR.  The event and its resulting buzz helped to set the stage for Sony Computer Entertainment’s announcement of the price point of $399.99 in the United States and October 2016 release date for their upcoming PlayStation VR headset, which was first unveiled (under the project name Morpheus) at GDC 2014.

GDC 2016 marked the 30th edition of the event, and to celebrate the history and legacy of the conference, the organizers hosted a comprehensive retrospective talk on the history of GDC. On Wednesday, March 16, the main conference opened with the “Flash Backward: 30 Years of Making Games,” a session that brought together industry luminaries from GDC’s history. From conference founder Chris Crawford’s talk on the first GDC hosted at his house, to Lori Cole’s experiences crafting pioneering PC adventure games, to speakers including Phil Harrison, Ken Lobb, Tim Schafer, Palmer Luckey and others, the session covered insights into the history of game consoles, the birth of digital game distribution and the promising future of VR. 

The annual Independent Games Festival (IGF) and Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) ceremonies took place on Wednesday evening.  Developer Sam Barlow’s Her Story won the IGF Seumas McNally Grand Prize award of $30,000, as well as the IGF award for Excellence in Narrative. The IGF ceremony also played host to the ID@Xbox Rising Star Award, that went to Girls Make Games, which is a series of international summer camps, workshops and game jams designed to inspire the next generation of female designers, creators, and engineers. Sam Barlow made a reappearance on the Awards Show stage, as Her Story also went on to win the Game Developers Choice Awards for Innovation, Best Narrative and Best Handheld/Mobile Game during the ceremony that immediately followed the IGF Awards.

The GDCA Game of the Year went to CD Projekt Red for their game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

The bustling Expo Floors in the Moscone North and South Halls exhibited some of the most notable names in the tech and games industry, including Amazon, Epic Games, Google, Microsoft, Oculus, Sony, Unity and more than 550 other companies who offered product and tech demonstrations, networking and recruitment opportunities. The Moscone North Hall housed the IGF Pavilion which featured all the award finalists’ games, as well as the GDC Play area. Inspired by the success of the IGF Pavilion, GDC Play similarly offered a dedicated space where developers could show off their playable games and conduct meaningful business at GDC.

In addition to the Expo Floors, GDC hosted a variety of Interactive Spaces throughout the week. Independent developers and some of the latest indie games were featured in the GDC Train Jam, alt.ctrl.GDC and Mild Rumpus areas, a special edition of Double Fine’s “Day of the Devs” and the Indie MEGABOOTH showcase. The GDC VR Lounge featured a range of VR and AR demos across all the upcoming VR platforms. For fans of tabletop board games, ”Shut Up and Sit Down” hosted a selection of the best board games of the year for all attendees to enjoy. iam8bit returned to GDC this year with a 1980’s living room where attendees could pose for pictures and pay homage to the very first Game Developers Conference, which was held in the living room of GDC founder and developer Chris Crawford’s house in the 1980’s.

“This year’s GDC, paired with the inaugural VRDC, allows us to look both backwards at the legacy and lessons of previous years, and forward to the future of games and VR experiences. Even in its 30th edition, GDC continues to evolve and grow to encompass all of the key lessons, advancements and artistic strides that the industry makes. Once again, the staff, volunteers, speakers, students and attendees have made GDC 2016 an amazing, fun and safe show all around,” said Meggan Scavio, general manager of the Game Developers Conference. “As technologies mature and tastes in games change, we’re happy have a place for all of our friends, colleagues and soon-to-be-friends to meet about, learn about and discuss the games and VR experiences that we love. Games are becoming the most popular form of entertainment in the modern world, so it’s only appropriate that GDC carry with it the same spirit of fun, adventure and discovery as the games themselves, just as it has since its beginning.”

For additional information about GDC and VRDC, visit www.gdconf.com .

Train2game News GDC Awards

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the mature and expansive open-world fantasy role-playing game from developer CD Projekt RED, was honored with the Game of the Year award at tonight’s 16th annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) ceremony during the 2016 Game Developers Conference (GDC) at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The acclaimed title also received the award for Best Technology for its complex game engine that combines brilliant visuals with a huge game world. An archive of the award ceremony, as well as the full presentation of the Independent Games Festival Awards (IGF Awards), can be viewed at http://twitch.tv/gdc

Her Story, the interactive crime fiction game from independent game developer Sam Barlow, earned the most awards of any nominee tonight, taking home the awards for Innovation, Best Narrative and Best Handheld/Mobile Game. Starring actress/musician Viva Seifert, the game cleverly combines taped confessions and a simple computer interface to engage players in a compelling murder investigation. Earlier this evening, the game also received the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Excellence in Narrative awards at the 18th Annual IGF Awards, the sister event that celebrates the best independent game development, which immediately preceded the GDCA ceremony.

Ori and the Blind Forest by developer Moon Studios earned two Choice Awards, for Best Debut and Best Visual Art. Ori and the Blind Forest is an action platformer set against a visually stunning hand-painted world and offers players a deeply emotional story about love, sacrifice and hope.

Other winners tonight included Rocket League, the wildly fun and deeply competitive soccer-meets-rocket cars title, which earned developer Psyonix the award for Best Design. The Audience Award, which is chosen from among all of the GDCA finalists through a public online voting process, was presented to developer DONTNOD Entertainment for Life is Strange, the captivating coming-of-age tale told in five episodic installments. The title puts players in control of Maxine Caulfield, a teenage girl with mysterious powers, and forces them to make and reckon with moral decisions and their sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrible consequences. The honor of Best Audio was earned by the Crypt of the NecroDancer from developer Brace Yourself Games, which uniquely blends action, role-playing, and rhythm games, challenging players to explore dungeons and battle monsters to the bumping rhythms of Danny Baranowsky’s eclectic metal/electro/dance soundtrack.

The Game Developers Choice Awards honor the very best games of the year, and was created for and voted on by developers. Winners are selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only group comprised of leading game creators from all parts of the industry.

Every year, the Game Developers Choice Awards also recognize developers who have made significant contributions to the art, science and craft of video games with three special awards. This year, the Pioneer Award was given to Markus “Notch” Persson, the famed creator of the multiple GDCA and IGF Award-winning indie sandbox title, Minecraft. The game, which has sold more than 70 million copies over multiple platforms, has revolutionized the sandbox game genre and helped cement the role of video games in stimulating creativity and ingenuity as well as rewarding skill.

The Ambassador Award, which recognizes those whose actions have helped video games to “advance to a better place,” went to Tracy Fullerton, professor and director of the University of Southern California (USC) Games program, and leader of the Game Innovation Lab. Fullerton has been instrumental in the creation of influential independent games that include Cloud, fl0w, Darfur is Dying, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom and The Night Journey, with artist Bill Viola.

The Lifetime Achievement award was bestowed upon Todd Howard, the distinguished creative director, designer and executive producer at Bethesda Game Studios. Todd Howard’s work on the acclaimed Fallout and Elder Scrolls series of open-world games has helped define an entire genre of games with deeply enthralling worlds with virtually endless opportunities for adventure and discovery.

“The world of video games can include every imaginable and unimaginable experience, from the vast world of The Witcher 3, to the intimate interrogations in Her Story, and the Choice Awards have evolved to honor this diversity of titles,” said Meggan Scavio, General Manager of the Game Developers Conference. “All of these winning and nominated titles have expanded what we think what games can be, how to maturely handle story, and how to make games that are ridiculously fun. I’m excited to see all of these wonderful developers recognized for their amazing contributions, and I congratulate all of this year’s winners and nominees.”

The Game Developers Choice Awards winners are:

Best Debut
Moon Studios (Ori and the Blind Forest)

Best Audio
Crypt of the NecroDancer (Brace Yourself Games)

Innovation Award
Her Story (Sam Barlow)

Best Technology
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED)

Best Visual Art
Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios)

Best Narrative
Her Story (Sam Barlow)

Best Design
Rocket League (Psyonix)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game
Her Story (Sam Barlow)

Audience Award
Life is Strange (DONTNOD Entertainment)

Game of the Year
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED)

Pioneer Award
Markus “Notch” Persson

Ambassador Award
Tracy Fullerton

Lifetime Achievement Award
Todd Howard

For more information about the 16th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, please visit the official website at http://www.gamechoiceawards.com . For information about the 2016 Game Developers Conference, please visit the official website at http://www.gdconf.com .

Train2game News Marmalade at GDC

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Marmalade is at GDC 2016, showcasing Marmalade 2D Kit, available as part of the award-winning Marmalade Platform.

Marmalade 2D Kit offers a set of tools and APIs to make creating 2D content easier than ever before.

With a focus on user interfaces, Marmalade 2D Kit, can dramatically reduce the time and cost of producing a rich, dynamic and engaging UI experience for your game.

“Marmalade 2D Kit combines an editor and runtime that are purpose-built to cater for 2D content and offers a great alternative to Flash,” says Daniel Hall, Technical Marketing Manager at Marmalade. “It allows content creators to iterate fast and often, which is of high value in the mobile gaming market.”

A good in-game UI is crucial to the overall player experience and with built-in support for UI widgets and a powerful keyframe based animation system, Marmalade 2D Kit lets you take full advantage of this key factor.

By supplying a dedicated runtime as part of Marmalade 2D Kit, integrating the content you create with your existing pipeline and game code is quick and straightforward.

“We provide a lightweight playback component as part of Marmalade 2D Kit,” continues Hall. “This runtime can easily be integrated into any existing rendering pipelines, allowing you to create compelling UI experiences by combining both 2D and 3D content with the UI layout created using the editor.”

“Also, our solution has no Flash runtime overhead and the associated performance impact that often affects VM-based solutions, particularly on mobile.”

Marmalade 2D Kit uses an open format for content, allowing the possibility of integration into any codebase in whatever way you want.

Marmalade 2D Kit is available now as part of the latest Marmalade Platform release.

Train2game News Global game industry rapidly growing

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The Open Gaming Alliance (OGA), a non-profit trade association focused on the games industry business, will be presenting new research during this week’s Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) that forecast the global game software market to pass $100 billion in 2019.

An overview of these forecasts will be presented by DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole at a seminar on Monday, March 14th, at 3 PM at the OGA Networking Lounge located at SF Green Space at eefg.

DFC Intelligence is forecasting that in 2019 PC games will be the single largest platform at $36 billion. This is up 35% from the $28 billion generated in 2015.

“A major driver of industry growth is not just software but hardware,” said DFC analyst David Cole. “The emergence of eSports and virtual reality is driving consumers to buy high end PC systems to not only play games, but watch others playing games.”

OGA board of director member Matt Ployhar (Intel Corp) is also remaining very bullish on PC gaming:

“I’m very optimistic that 2016 will be the year that PC gaming finally breaks the $30 billion milestone in software revenues,” said Ployhar. “Not only was there a bumper crop of new PC game releases such as Fallout 4, Grand Theft Auto V, & Metal Gear Solid V performing really well on PC for 2015, but this year another incredible lineup of games is on deck with World of Warcraft Legion, Civilization VI, Doom 4, and Dishonored 2. Strong release schedules like this also tend to bode well for vendors on the hardware side of the business, too.”

DFC has been providing research reports to OGA members since 2008. The OGA will release its full market report this spring, free to all OGA members. Currently OGA members are eligible to download the new Game Market Analyzer app for iPad at no cost. The Game Market Analyzer is designed to allow developers to identify key markets for their products so they can better focus their efforts. The app was developed by LAI Global Game Services in conjunction with market research firm DFC Intelligence.

“We designed the Game Market Analyzer app with indie game developers in mind. Our objective was to create an easy-to-use tool that would help developers find the best opportunities for their games worldwide.” said David Lakritz, LAI’s president & CEO.

The research panel will take place Monday, March 14th from 3-4 pm at the OGA Networking Lounge at SF Green Space and is open to all journalists and attendees of the conference.

Train2game News UK Games Industry at GDC

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Biggest ever UK Industry contingent flies out to leading games developer conference

·         Ukie hosts the largest ever UK industry stand at GDC, with 40 UK games businesses exhibiting on their managed stand
·         2016 will see a new UK Growth and International Trade seminar, chaired by Ukie CEO
·         UK Industry Drinks reception returns, sponsored by Games London, UKTI, Wells Fargo and BAFTA

The world’s leading games developer conference, GDC, is set to feature the largest ever UK industry stand this year, managed and organised by games trade body, Ukie. Exhibiting businesses will demo new game releases and products on the official UK stand, as well as hosting meetings with international business partners.

The UK industry stand will host over 40 of the top UK games companies, including delegations from Wales, Northern Ireland and the Northern Powerhouse.

On Wednesday 16 March, Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist, will also be chairing a seminar at the British Consulate in San Francisco. The seminar, ‘UK Growth and International Trade’, will cover opportunities for international trade from the innovative games sector. The seminar will also include case studies of the financial incentives of developing games in the UK, such as the highly successful Video Games Tax Relief, which supported the development of 237 games in 2015. Companies speaking include transatlantic business experts Fitzgerald & Law and EKS&H, as well as a panel discussion with Edge Case Games and Silicon Valley Venture Capital.

Ukie will also host the annual UK Industry Drinks Reception on Wednesday 16 March, an evening of international networking, in partnership with Games London, Wells Fargo, BAFTA and UKTI.

Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, said, “It’s important that we continue to inform the global marketplace why the UK is such an attractive and important location for games businesses. GDC gives the UK industry a vital platform on which to showcase world-leading content and services to a global audience, attracting important investment and generating business with the brand new London Games Festival launching in April this year, part of Games London, we hope to see even more international attention to the sector in the UK.”

For more information on Games London visit www.games.london

Train2Game News GDC Industry Survey Results

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The Game Developers Conference® (GDC) has released the fourth annual State of the Industry Survey, revealing trends in the games industry based on the feedback of more than 2,000 North American game developers ahead of GDC 2016 in March.

The survey has revealed that development of Virtual Reality (VR) titles has more than doubled among participating developers with 16 percent currently developing for VR, up from the 7 percent of developers were working on VR projects in last year’s survey.

The 2016 State of the Industry Survey marks the fourth entry in the ongoing series of yearly reports and serves as a snapshot of the games industry and illustrates industry trends ahead of GDC 2016 in San Francisco. Organized by the UBM Tech Game Network, GDC 2016 takes place March 14th-18th at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

VR’s popularity is growing fast, but PC and mobile are still the top platforms among developers

The emergence of upcoming Virtual Reality (VR) devices like Oculus Rift, Sony’s PlayStation VR and Samsung’s Gear VR, among others, has proven to be alluring for developers on the bleeding edge, with the survey revealing that development of VR titles has more than doubled among participating developers. This year’s survey has shown that 16 percent of developers are currently creating titles for VR, up from the 7 percent of developers who replied in the affirmative in last year’s survey. Projecting further into the future, 15 percent of participating developers have affirmed that their next game will incorporate VR, up from the 6 percent who affirmed their VR ambitions last year.

The platform wars continue unabated, with 52 percent of developers currently working on a game for PC, down from 56 percent from last year. 44 percent of developers are currently working on smartphone and tablet games, down from the 50 percent of developers working on these titles last year.

The consoles continue to be popular platforms for developers, with 27 percent of respondents affirming ongoing work on a title for PlayStation 4, compared to 26 percent last year. The Xbox One has revealed a similarly consistent level of development, with 23 percent of developers working on Xbox One, up from 22 percent last year.  Developer interest in Nintendo platforms have dipped slightly since last year, with 5 percent of respondents affirming that they are working on Wii U projects, down from 6 percent last year. 2 percent of developers have stated that they are working on titles for 3DS, compared to 3 percent in the previous year.

Most game makers believe VR/AR is a sustainable business, but 27 percent don’t believe VR/AR device adoption will ever match current console install-base

Still in its infancy, the current generation of VR/AR platforms has garnered strong developer confidence, with 75% of respondents agreeing that VR/AR is a long-term sustainable business to be in.

Despite this growing confidence, developers disagree on the future sales rates for these devices. When asked when they believe VR/AR devices will exceed the adoption rate (roughly 40 percent) of game consoles in the U.S. in 2015, 27 percent of respondents said they didn’t believe VR/AR hardware would ever surpass that level of adoption. Just 1 percent of those surveyed said they expected it to happen by 2018, the earliest time period available for selection. 44 percent of respondents expected it to happen by 2026, and a total of 54 percent believed it would happen by 2030.

In a separate, more conservative VR/AR install base question, 38 percent of respondents predicted that VR/AR hardware would be in 10 percent of U.S. households by 2020. 86 percent figure it’ll happen by 2030, and roughly 9 percent figure it will never happen.
       
Nearly 90 percent of developers believe that eSports is a sustainable, long-term business

As competitive gaming enters the mainstream consciousness, the developer survey reflects a growing confidence in eSports. 88 percent of developer respondents have affirmed their confidence in the sustainability of long-term business of eSports. This represents an 8 percent jump from the 79 percent of respondents who affirmed the same position last year.

The full survey results also reflected developer confidence in VR/AR, with 75 percent of respondents agreeing that the emerging technologies represented a sustainable business to be in. On the mobile front, Android and iOS are now neck and neck in ongoing app development, with 55 percent of respondents making Android games and 56 percent saying they are making games for the iOS. For the survey participants, self-publishing was still the predominant means of distributing titles, with 57 percent of responding developers working without a publisher, versus 24 percent who are (20 percent said they work at a publisher).

A more detailed analysis of the survey can be found at http://www.gdconf.com/news/ . For more information about the 2016 Game Developers Conference or to register online, visit www.gdconf.com

Train2Game News GDC 2015

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UBM Tech Game Network’s 2015 Game Developers Conference (GDC), the world’s largest and longest-running event serving professionals dedicated to the art and science of making games, has set a record for event attendance, with more than 26,000 game industry professionals at last week’s conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

In 2016, the Game Developers Conference will be celebrating a major milestone with the 30th anniversary of the event. The organizers of the event have announced that GDC 2016 will return to the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco from Monday, March 14 to Friday, March 18, 2016, with a call for submissions to open this summer.

GDC 2015 saw a huge surge of interest and developer engagement with Virtual Reality (VR) devices and platforms, with huge tech and game industry players including Sony, Oculus, Valve and HTC showcasing new technology months, even years before the products hit retail shelves. Following its debut at GDC 2014, Sony again showcased its Project Morpheus VR headset, while Valve and HTC partnered to show off their new co-developed Vive Virtual reality system, which uses new tracking hardware to offer 3D positioning, allowing users to be fully immersed in a 3D virtual world.

GDC 2015 once again reflected the changing shape of the videogame industry, with a dedicated summit track for the rapidly expanding field of eSports with talks from Riot Games, Blizzard Entertainment, MIT Game Lab and many others. Tied to the theme of videogame spectatorship, GDC has also expanded its focus on Community Management, with a dedicated summit that included talks on building, supporting and maintaining an engaged and respectful online community for gamers.

The Classic Games Postmortems shined a light on the development and inspiration for some of gaming’s most groundbreaking classics, including the seminal Star Control, Yars’ Revenge, Adventure and Loom. The dedicated Advocacy Track of GDC once again shined a light on the need for civil dialogue and engagement, and how developers can deal with issues of harassment in their field. A talk titled “Game Developer Harassment: How to Get Through,” presented by Elizabeth Sampat, Zoe Quinn, Neha Nair and Donna Prior, offered first-hand accounts of online and real-world harassment, invasions of privacy, and described personal experiences coping with hostile threats. The provocative and emotionally cathartic #1Reasontobe session returned to present a powerful panel on what it means to be a woman working in the video game medium and industry, interrupted throughout by thunderous applause.

The Expo Floor in the Moscone South Hall exhibited some of the biggest names in the tech and games industry, including Sony, Google, Qualcomm, Oculus, Valve, Microsoft and nearly 350 other top companies offering product demonstrations, networking and recruitment opportunities. The Moscone North Hall, across from the Expo Floor, housed the GDC Play floor, with additional exhibitors and sponsors showcasing playable games and apps from emerging developers in a low-cost venue. These exhibitors will show off their games to key distributors, potential business partners and investors. GDC Play was inspired by the success of the Independent Games Festival Pavilion, and similarly offers a dedicated space where developers can conduct meaningful business at GDC.

Beyond the business of games, GDC once again offered entertaining spaces for attendees looking to loosen up and have fun. These spaces included the Videogame History Museum, which presented “The History of Atari,” alt.ctrl.GDC explored cool and unusual control methods in games (i.e. foot pedals, briefcases and telephone receivers). The Indie MEGABOOTH Showcase featured a curated selection of the best and brightest indie games of the past year. iam8bit Productions hosted the “Wheel of Whimsy,” a collection of four unique games played by one lucky attendee each hour –PIXLatr, Cheat Code, Videogame Bingo or Name That Chiptune, and GDC hosted “Shut Up & Sit Down: A Lovely Tabletop Lounge,” a dedicated space for participants to try out some of the most fun tabletop games of the year together.

On Wednesday evening, GDC 2015 hosted the 17th annual Independent Games Festival (IGF) Awards and the 15th annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCAs) on Wednesday night, March 4. Outer Wilds from Team Outer Wilds won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize award of $30,000, as well as the award for Excellence in Design.  The Game Developers Choice Awards immediately followed the IGF Awards, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s epic open-world action title, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, took home the prize for Game of the Year, alongside the night’s other big winners, Monument Valley (winner for Innovation Award, Best Visual Art and Best Handheld/Mobile Game Awards), Destiny (winner of Best Technology) and HearthStone (winner of Best Design).

“As with every year, GDC offered a glimpse into the future of gaming, but still honored the history of the industry. This year’s success is a testament to the hard work of the staff, volunteers, speakers, indies and students who maintained a fun and safe environment for everyone at the show. As the conference enters its 30th year, we reflect on the tremendous growth in the medium of video games, and we’re thankful for the friendly faces, engrossing debates and friendly discussions we’ve had along the way,” said Meggan Scavio, general manager of the Game Developers Conference. “After all the software and hardware demos, networking over drinks, and lively sessions, it’s good to meet with the people who bring life to the most popular form of entertainment in the 21st century, and to discuss how to make these amazing games even better in the years to come.”

More information on Game Developers Conference 2015, as well as the other GDC events throughout 2015 – including GDC Europe and GDC China – will be available at www.gdconf.com

Train2Game News Infinario Funding

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Aspiring game studios now have the opportunity to set themselves apart from the crowd and get funding for their game from INFINARIO, the first player analytics platform for game designers.

More than 100,000 EUR is waiting to be awarded to the most promising games in early stages of development from all around the world. All eligible projects can win either (or both!) of the two prizes – one picked by a jury of experts and the other one awarded in a public voting.

All that’s needed is to start tracking the game in INFIARIO by the end of April and get crazy with dashboards, segmentations, funnels and other useful analyses for 30 days. Moreover, developers who register and start to track their games early, INFINARIO will provide valuable feedback to boost their chances to secure the funding.

Using INFINARIO during the Get Funded campaign is absolutely free for all, with no strings attached and definitely no credit card needed. Find out more at http://infinario.com/getfunded

The grand launch of INFINARIO is going to take place at this year’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Don’t miss the chance to meet INFINARIO’s team of game experts, learn why you need player analytics and get in touch with the latest trends in game design.

To learn more visit www.infinario.com , check out the blog and follow INFINARIO on Facebook and Twitter.