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GDC 2013 recap: all the headlines here

Thursday, 28th March 2013 15:15 GMT By Dave Cook

GDC 2013 is now under-way in San Francisco and it’s already produced some very interesting news, including a heavy focus on next-gen and indie chatter. Dave Cook recaps.

We’ve been watching developments from GDC 2013 with keen interest as much of what we’re seeing will impact not just next-gen console development, but the next tier of PC tech as well. So without further messing about from me, let’s get stuck in shall we?

Click the headlines to read the full article:

Day Four: Thursday March 28

Photo shop: GDC debuts the next generation

GDC 2013 shrugged off the despondency of recent years with the first true next-gen games and glimpses of photo-realism. We have every reason to be excited about the future, says Patrick Garratt.

Dragon Age 3 & Mass Effect 4 will be powered by Frostbite 3

Dragon Age 3 : Inquisition & Mass Effect 4 will be powered by DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine, BioWare has confirmed.

Unreal Engine 3 heading to browsers as Epic and Mozilla team up

Firefox developer Mozilla and Epic Games have partnered up to bring Unreal Engine 3 to browsers.

DayZ creator says complexity and ambiguity are positive

DayZ creator Dean Hall gave a lecture at GDC last night, in which he argued that complexity and a lack of hand-holding is positive. Letting players figure things out for themselves is a cornerstone of the game’s appeal, and will live on in DayZ Standalone he explained.

Home creator wants to make horror-based dating sim

Benjamin Rivers created the eerie pixel art horror game Home, but now he’s looking to create a very different kind of project – a horror-based psychological dating sim.

Metal Gear Solid 5 HD shots escape GDC, see them here

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain has received a batch of shiny hi-res shots out of GDC. We’ve got them here

Molydeux game jam titles Gunhouse and Oh Deer! heading to PS Mobile

Necrosoft CEO Brandon Sheffield confirmed that Gunhouse and Oh Deer! are heading to PS Mobile at GDC last night. Both games borne out of last year’s ‘What would Molydeux?’ game jam. They sound bonkers.

Battlefield 4 dev: we’ve passed the point where Frostbite 3 is impressive

Battlefield 4 developer Patrick Bach has stated that gamers are no longer impressive with raw showings of tech, as seen in the game’s GDC reveal trailer. According to Bach, what’s important now is how DICE uses that tech to further the payer’s experience.

Activision shows off next-gen rendering tech at GDC

Don’t kid yourself; it will be a hell of a long time before we see this kind of thing in a Call of Duty or WarCraft game. Nevertheless, this rendering tech demo from the research and development team at Activision Blizzard is amazing stuff.

Miiverse headed to browser and mobile in May

Nintendo still doesn’t have an ETA on the 3DS version of Miiverse, but you’ll be able to access the service from your phone or browser soon.

GDC 2013 Awards: Journey takes out GotY and five more

Thatgamecompany’s Journey swept the annual Game Developers Choice Awards in San Francisco tonight, taking six gongs from under the noses of its illustrious peers.

Cart Life takes out Independent Games Festival grand prize

Depressingly realistic business sim Cart Life has walked home with three of the Independent Games Festival’s 2013 awards, including the Seumas McNally grand prize.

Spec Ops: The Line writer calls for less violent games

Spec Ops: The Line writer Walt Williams told a GDC audience that violent games are “creatively too easy”, calling on the industry to produce more diverse stories.

Day Three: Wednesday March 27

Total War announce at GDC “like nothing we’ve done before” says dev

Here’s a bit of a surprise; The Creative Assembly will unveil a brand-new Total War game at GDC tomorrow.

Age of Wonders 3 pre-alpha gameplay footage shows off combat

The funded-by-Notch turn-based strategy RPG sequel Age of Wonders III saw the light of day at GDC today in the form of some pre-alpha gameplay footage.

More details on the PlayStation 4′s social aspects and user interface

Today at GDC, Sony gave a presentation on the PlayStation 4, and while most of it was pretty technical they gave out some new info on the system’s social features and UI

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain gets first hospital gameplay footage.

You know the drill, click above to see Snake flopping around like a distressed trout out of water.

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain debut trailer, watch it here

Want to see the debut trailer for Metal Gear Solid 5? It’s above.

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain – Kojima speaks

Hideo Kojima announced Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain during his GDC session today. VG247′s Stephany Nunneley sat in on the reveal as well as the FOX Engine discussion. It’s all above.

Dark gameplay trailer escapes GDC, shows vampire action

Dark developer Realmforge Studios has published a gameplay trailer for its third person – looks like Borderlands – vampire romp. The clip shows stealth, posession powers, executions and more.

Nvidia destruction tech demo hits GDC, shows a whole city exploding

Nvidia has posted its destruction tech demo footage from GDC. It shows an ancient city exploding, sending hundreds of dynamic shards spewing everywhere.

Battlefield 4 pre-order incentives detailed

Battlefield 4 was announced last night at GDC, and EA has now confirmed some of the shooter’s pre-order goodies.

PS4 architecture: Cerny explains “developer-centric approach”

PS4 was designed in collaboration with the wants and needs of Sony’s flagship developers. Lead system architect on PS4 Mark Cerny has shed light on why the company didn’t want the console to be seen as a “puzzle” to studios.

‘Innovation isn’t driven by teraflops alone’: Jade Raymond calls for new concepts

Ubisoft Toronto head Jade Raymond has stressed that visuals and next-gen power alone don’t account for innovation. New concepts are needed, and that is something developers should be thinking about now, regardless of what rig their games are running on.

Metrico gets PS Vita trailer, reminds you of work

Metrico is one of many new indie games heading to PS Vita as part of Sony’s independent push moving forward. Digital Dream’s game stars a businessman climbing over metrics like pie charts, graphs and other things that remind you of work.

Havok announces Project Anarchy 3D mobile engine, free on some platforms

Project Anarchy is the new 3D mobile development engine from Havok. The company announced the tech at GDC and has declared it free to all on some platforms.

Battlefield 4 skipping Wii U to avoid risks, says DICE

Battlefield 4 will not be coming to Nintendo’s Wii U console, DICE creative director Lars Gustavsson has confirmed.

“Women are the new core”: Microsoft exec calls for greater diversity

Microsoft narrative designer Tom Abernathy has discussed diversity in a GDC panel, stressing that games spanning a wide spectrum of ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation is good for business. He has called on the industry to broaden its view.

Sony open to paid alpha games, cites Dust 514 as example

PlayStation 4 is opening up to indies in a big way, and Sony’s VP of publishing Adam Boyes has said at GDC that the company is open to the idea of paid alphas – like Minecraft PC – in future.

Candy Crush Saga gets 50 million players a day, dev announces two new games

Candy Crush Saga developer King.com has rebranded as it announced a string of significant milestones. It seems that 50 million of you are playing its sweet puzzler on a daily basis.

Antichamber: indie smash has made a ton of money

Antichamber developer Alexander Bruce has revealed at GDC 2013 that his indie hit has recouped its development costs and then some, stressing the advantages of working for yourself and keeping production costs low.

Day Two: Tuesday March 26

Battlefield 4′s reveal – a fireworks display gone wrong?

VG247′s Sam Clay got to see Battlefield 4 last night and started to question its awesomeness after dwelling on it a little. Get a second opinion above.

Battlefield 4 gameplay: war never looked so lovely

Steph saw Battlefield 4 unveiled last night with her own eyes at GDC. It featured a lot of guns, shouting, boom and graphics. Check out her full impressions piece above.

Spicy Horse to pitch new Alice game to EA this week

Alice creator American McGee is at GDC this week and is toying with the idea of pitching a third game in the series to EA while there. Check out his ideas above.

Oculus Rift: watch VG247 play Hawken here
VG247′s Sam Clay got to play Adhesive Game’s Hawken using an Oculus Rift VR headset. We’ve capture Sam on camera and a direct feed of what he saw inside the Oculus device. You can see him performing fully head-tracked movements and more above.

ZombiU GDC panel talks perma-death, silent heroes & more

ZombiU developer Ubisoft Montpelier hosted a GDC panel session in which it discussed the studio’s reasons for including perma-death, slow gameplay and voice-less characters. Check it out above.

Battlefield 3: DICE video looks back at development ahead of Battlefield 4 reveal

Ahead of its Battlefield 4 reveal, DICE published a final video look-back at the creation of Battlefield 3, its DLC slate and more. It’s a great reminisci-package that covers the game in great detail.

CryEngine 3: GDC licensee video shows future games

Crytek published a demo reel showing off a wide range of in-development CryEngine 3 titles. There’s a big range of genres in here from shooters and RPGs to combat raally racing. Check it out by clicking above.

Day One: Monday March 25

Unreal Engine 4: GDC trailer gets teaser clip

It may only be 11-seconds long but Epic Games teased its next generation engine yesterday in a clip that shows a soldier being chased in a subway network. This will be an important reveal seeing as how many developers have already signed up to use Epic’s engine on next-gen rigs. Speaking of which.

Oculus Rift CEO: VR is the next-gen gamers actually want

VG247 spoke with Oculus CEO Palmer Luckey about the enthusiasm for VR control among the industry and why it’s the true next-gen evolution, not just increased visuals and processing power. He reckons that Sony has gone downt he wrong path with PS4. Read what he had to say above and judge for yourself.

Sony details major indie push at GDC 2013

Now this is very significant. It’s been said by a few critics and analysts that whichever console format best embraces the indie scene in next-gen will emerge the victor, and yesterday’s list of PS4, PS3, Vita and Mobile indie games was refreshing to see. Blacklight: Retribution and Hotline Miami are among the highlights. Get the full list above.

PS4 – Blacklight: Retribution and Primal Carnage: Genesis confirmed for next-gen

Unreal Engine 4-powered shooter Blacklight: Retribution was one of the big indie reveals for PS4, along with dinosaurs versus humans multiplayer battler Primal Carnage: Genesis. Check both of them out above.

Battlefield 4: GDC gears up for reveal with giant tank artwork

Our very own Sam Clay took a photo of the GDC exhibition hall yesterday, which was emblazoned with new Battlefield 4 art. You might need to squint after you click the link above, as the text is quite small.

Jade Raymond: games industry still has room for “really great triple-A games”

Ubisoft Toronto boss Jade Raymond said that while game prices are dropping on mobile, indie and home computer formats, there is still space for the big budget triple-a experience on consoles. The challenge is how developers charge for content and manufacture their IP to make it appealing enough. Check out what Raymond said above.

Fortnite’s GDC crafting presentation caught on film

Epic Games showcased its Unreal Engine 4-powered sandbox tower defence mash-up Fortnite. The clip shows the game’s crafting mechanics at play, and it seems to be more complex than Minecraft’s block system – a lot more complex. Check it out by clicking above.

Oculus Rift dev kits shipping with free Unreal Development Kit

Oculus and Epic Games announced a deal that will see all buyers of the Oculus Rift dev kit given a free copy of the Unreal Development Kit as well as a free license to make unreal Engine 3 games Oculus-compatible. But that’s not all.

Oculus Rift dev kits contain free, four-month Unity Pro trial

Unity is also offering all buyers of the Oculus Rift dev kit a free four-month trial of Unity Pro. This is a big deal for indies and the Unity platform at large. Also, don’t forget that Wii U and PS4 have pledged support to Unity games as well. This could potentially blow the console indie scene wide open.

Magicka: Wizard Wars announced, gets bizarre live-action trailer

New studio Paradox North announced a multiplayer-focused Magicka title called Magicka: Wizard Wars. It has a very funny live-action trailer too. Watch it by clicking above. We’ve also got the pack-art too.

Puppeteer release date set at GDC

Sony Japan’s equally charming and scary platformer Puppeteer was dated at GDC yesterday. It hits America on September 10, but you can get more details via the link above.

Dishonored dev: single-player games still have an audience

Harvey Smith of Dishonored developer Arkane has said at GDC that the single-player experience still has fans and that everything doesn’t have to go multiplayer to succeed. See what he had to say above.

Star Wars The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel dated

BioWare Austin dated its first full expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic yesterday, at the same time it announced the game’s Asia-Pacific servers were to close. Bad/good times?

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