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?
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Day Four: Thursday March 28
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 : Inquisition & Mass Effect 4 will be powered by DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine, BioWare has confirmed.
Firefox developer Mozilla and Epic Games have partnered up to bring Unreal Engine 3 to browsers.
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.
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: The Phantom Pain has received a batch of shiny hi-res shots out of GDC. We’ve got them here
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
Here’s a bit of a surprise; The Creative Assembly will unveil a brand-new Total War game at GDC tomorrow.
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.
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
You know the drill, click above to see Snake flopping around like a distressed trout out of water.
Want to see the debut trailer for Metal Gear Solid 5? It’s above.
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 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 has posted its destruction tech demo footage from GDC. It shows an ancient city exploding, sending hundreds of dynamic shards spewing everywhere.
Battlefield 4 was announced last night at GDC, and EA has now confirmed some of the shooter’s pre-order goodies.
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.
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 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.
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 will not be coming to Nintendo’s Wii U console, DICE creative director Lars Gustavsson has confirmed.
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.
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 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 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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?