Category Archives: GDC 2008
Tue, Sep 09, 2008 | 13:00 BST
Speaking to MCV and Games Convention, SCEE president David Reeves said the firm is “comfortable” with PSP as it stands and doesn’t believe the handheld’s success is being overshadowed by DS.
“I don’t think we’re necessarily in the shadow of DS – they have different types of games and we have a different positioning for PSP which is not just about gaming, but Go Explore and everything else that comes with it,” he said.
Reeves added: “I think you can also see the smile on our faces when we talk about what we’re offering at this price and the games that are available. We’re very, very happy and comfortable with our PSP business.”
Tons more through there.
Fri, Aug 22, 2008 | 21:30 BST
PS3F has learned that Sony shooter, Killzone 2, will have bots in multiplayer. Also, currently there are no vehicles online but Guerilla will be realising a post-release that will allow you to run each other over.
Here‘s some new, great looking footage from Games Convention this week.
By Mike Bowden
Thu, Aug 21, 2008 | 04:42 BST
According to this 1UP report, GDC executive director Jamil Moledina has resigned to “pursue other interests.”
CMP’s Meggan Scavio will continue on in the role of event director, GDC.
Moledina has been the public face of GDC for several years. CMP put out a statement yesterday thanks him for “significant contributions” to the show.
His last day will be August 28.
More through the link.
Wed, Aug 20, 2008 | 11:48 BST
We’ve just had word from Sony PR that we’ve got front row seats for the Sony Games Convention press conference at 5pm CET today, so we’ll be bringing you all the news as it happens, live from Leipzig.
The site’s getting really battered, as you’re probably aware, and the tech chaps are sorting it so things’ll be smoother for the SCEE demo.
We should also be bringing you a live blog from the Activision conference at 2.00pm.
Just interviewed the Lich King guys – super cool people. Got some really good stuff. Will have all the news from that for you tomorrow.
Wed, Jul 30, 2008 | 16:09 BST
This is the worst one yet. Following Rob Bowling and Aaron Greenberg getting into bed with Penthouse models and talking about videogames at GDC this year, DasGamer’s released footage of Denis Dyack doing the same.
The Silicon Knights boss opens with, “Too Human is a game where you play cybernetic god Baldur in the defence of mankind.” Hot. Watch the woman’s face: like smelling vomit.
Fair play to Denis, he does look remotely phased by any of it, unlike Bowling and Greenburg who seemed as though they were struggling not to stain their pants.
Watch it. If you can.
Fri, Jul 18, 2008 | 06:37 BST
Wed, Jul 16, 2008 | 16:42 BST
Games Convention Global has announced that Frank Sliwka is its new strategy director.
“Frank Sliwka takes on the newly created position as of 15 July 2008 and with it, responsibility for the global expansion of fairs and conferences as part of the Games Convention brand,” said the release.
“Peggy Schönbeck, project director of the GC – Games Convention Leipzig continues her work in the team of Frank Sliwka.”
Sliwka was formally in charge of the GCDC trade event which traditionally occurs before Games Convention every year.
By Mike Bowden
Wed, Mar 26, 2008 | 19:21 GMT
Wed, Mar 26, 2008 | 12:44 GMT
Microsoft just announced that Gears of War 2 videos from GDC are now up on Live Marketplace.
In the videos, Epic Games President Mike Capps and Lead Designer Cliff Bleszinski reveal the nerves and excitement involved in making a major game announcement, and provide backstage messages to fans before and after the official reveal of “Gears of War 2” at the Game Developers Conference earlier this month.
Additionally, the GDC Unreal Engine 3 technology demo video is now available, which shows off the impressive features of the updated Unreal Engine 3 via an on-stage demonstration during the Microsoft keynote at GDC by Epic Games CEO and Technical Director Tim Sweeney.
Full thing after the link.
Wed, Mar 12, 2008 | 16:07 GMT
Tons of good stuff here. All of Valve’s GDC presentations are on that page in PDF form, including Kim Swift and Erik Wolpaw’s “Integrating Narrative and Design: A Portal Post-Mortem” at a mighty 60 slides long. Enjoy.
Thu, Mar 06, 2008 | 12:28 GMT
Dan Boutros won the first ever North American Street Fighter IV championship at GDC last month. Here, Dan gives VG247 his exclusive thoughts on the game and its characters. Must read.
Here’s my thoughts on SF4 based on several hours play across two GDC days.
Presently, I love it. If you can’t be arsed reading all the details I’m about to lay before you, know that it’s very close in spirit to the ORIGINAL version of Street Fighter 2. Not Hyper, Turbo, Champion, Super or Super Turbo. The ORIGINAL. The pace is slower, the move-sets are simplified and in turn, the action seems more focused towards simpler play and classic rock-paper-scissors strategy. It’s still being balanced but right now it plays and looks like a dream.
First, I’ll detail the systems.
1 – The Revenge Meter
It’s a circular bar next to the main energy bar. It fills as you get twatted. It has two parts to it. When one or both are filled, you can unleash a super move exclusive to that bar. For example, Dhalsim has a very slow moving Super Fireball (like Oro’s super in Street Fighter 3) and Ken has a ‘kick the shit out of you’ super combo on the end of a Super Dragon Punch. But they can only activate those supers with THIS bar. I’m guessing it’s because these supers are very powerful, easy to combo and easy to perform and are thus perfect comeback maneuvers. To perform them, you simply do your character’s super move motion and press two buttons instead of one.
2 – Throws
As in Street Fighter 3, you press two (light attack) buttons together to perform a throw. Not like the cheap throwing in other Street Fighters.
3 – Focus Attacks
The full potential of these attacks are not entirely revealed yet. Every character has one. You press both medium attacks to perform the move. However, hold them down for a short while and you can absorb an attack before you unleash your move. For some characters, this works as a great anti-air. Otherwise, you can hold the buttons down to their chargeable limit and the character will unleash an unblockable attack that knocks off a tasty amount of energy. I can’t remember how much exactly (it was a few weeks back) but it was substantial. Again, the unblockable attack can also absorb one hit. Supposedly you can cancel out of this move by inputting the command to dash. You can also be thrown out of the move.
4 – Ultra Combo
A shitty name for what is a combination of having your super move bar and your revenge meter completely filled up and unleashing a super with two buttons instead of one. A very powerful move that’s also impressive to behold.
5 – Camera angles
A lot of the more dramatic moves have custom camera cuts that make the process a lot more watchable and exciting for onlookers as well as players. When I first read up about this, I thought it would be annoying, but it doesn’t obstruct play in the slightest. It’s been handled beautifully.
And now, the other shit that’s not so new.
1 – Super Moves
You have one super bar. It can hold one super. For now, characters only have one super move attack each.
2 – EX Moves
These are special moves that have a ‘super’ quality about them. For example, Ryu’s EX fireball hits you three times, Blanka’s EX cannonball goes through fireballs and Zangief’s EX banishing flat (that glowing hand thing) stops dragon punches launching. You simply perform a special move with two buttons, though it does drain resource from your super move bar.
3 – Taunts
Don’t seem to do shit for now. Taunts have always had very random and bizarre effects in Street Fighter games – Chun Li would hit you with hers in Street Fighter Alpha, Q would power himself up in Street Fighter 3, Dan would just roll and pose in Street Fighter Alpha, etc. Press two hard attacks together.
And now, the characters.
1 – Ryu
Plays like Ryu from Street Fighter 3.
2 – Ken
Plays like Ken from Street Fighter 3.
3 – Chun Li
Plays like the festering shit of her SF3, Alpha and SF2 Turbo mothers. She has a worthless fireball that fades out after a few seconds traveling, her spinning bird kick (still a crap move after all these years) and her lightning kick (the one where you press the button very quick). Her non-special moves are rubbish too. Her super move however is retardedly unstoppable. I felt violated every time it got me.
4 – Zangief
Plays like Street Fighter Alpha series Zangief. A tough bastard. Has better combo potential now too.
5 – Blanka
Super Turbo meets Alpha series Blanka. VERY powerful. They need to tone him way down. His electric storm is obscene and catches almost every move. A Dhalsim player burned me while I was in the move, he got shocked, I got burned, and I was still in the move!
6 – Dhalsim
Alpha series Dhalsim. Awesome. Probably my new favourite character. His teleport is almost instant now. A lot of fun to play with. His Revenge move is a lot of fun too. Great for combo potential.
7 – Guile
Rubbish. The delay on his flash kick and the delay after his sonic boom makes him worthless. I guess they tried to tune him down as he’s always been really powerful and probably a nightmare for them to balance.
8 – E Honda
Pretty boring to play I thought. Seems like Alpha series Honda. His special throw is now done with a full circle. His new super’s pretty cool though.
9 – Crimson Viper
Very weird. She’s clearly influenced by the super-bizarre SNK characters. If you play their games, she’s a mix of K’ and Benimaru from King of Fighters. If you don’t, she has a flaming kick she can do in mid-air, she has a range of charging punches and a ground pound that shoots damage underneath the opponent from far, though it isn’t very effective. Supposedly, Capcom’s having the most balancing issues with her at present.
10 – Abel
Again, very SNK-influenced. And he’ll probably end up a favourite. If you like the SNK stuff, I’d say he’s a mix of Maxima and Goro from the KOF series. If you don’t know what that means, he has a one of those combo-sequence special move strings (where you do motion after motion for multiple successive attacks), a special throw, an anti-air grab, an over-arching fly-kick and a roll. Powerful, great combo potential and strong all-round ability against all types of player. May struggle with super fast Chun Li players, assuming Capcom fixes Chun Li.
Loved it. Can’t wait to play the full balanced character roster (Balrog and Sagat were recently revealed in the Japanese beta tests).
Capcom does admittedly have a lot of move-set choices (Chun Li) and balancing issues to tune out. For one, projectiles tend to have longer recovery times, meaning if you hit someone, you’re vulnerable to attack if they’re close enough to you. Guile and Dhalsim suffer from this the most, but hopefully that’ll get fixed when it hits Japanese arcades in the Summer.
Fri, Feb 29, 2008 | 20:04 GMT
It’s DICE day. We got to see EA’s Battlefield Heroes at GDC as well as next-gen first-person game Mirror’s Edge, and it’s all sounding promising. Great news arrives in these impressions that there won’t be any in-game ads at all. The shooter will be funded purely from ads on the game’s website, where you create your character and launch the game. Read below.
DICE has revealed their free-to-play PC shooter for the first time. The demo, fronted by producer Ben Cousins, revealed the latest Battlefield game to have a comedic take on combat, set in a cartoon World War. The concept is a kind of design caricature of the original Battlefield games: all the elements are there, but simplified. The point-capturing dynamic is the same, and the vehicles are still there. This time, however, it’s all a little more approachable and accessible.
Cousins explained that the game would run on a 1Ghz chip and integrated graphics – ie your crappy laptop. The game would also track player skill and select exactly the right instant game for you to play in. Heroes’ level of accessibility means that you won’t even have to use a server browser to get into the game. “We use a bunch of methods to match up players,” explained Cousins. “You won’t get your arse kicked by a fourteen year old.”
“The character creation is all done on the website,” said Cousins, as he demonstrated the MMO-style character creation process. “Then the game is launched via the website.” The war between the “Royal Army” and the “National Army” looks a lot like a cuddly World War II. Cousins explains that the two empires are at war over the results of a sporting competition. It’s all incredibly friendly and not – as some people have speculated – much like a rip-off of Team Fortress 2. Cartoony it might be, but Battlefield Heroes has its own style. In fact, it’s rather more like World Of Warcraft: the game is played in third person. Again, explains Cousins, it’s about accessibility.
The live demo shows us the game in action, with the three character classes showing off quite different skills and abilities. A light class enables stealth and sneak attacks, the medium is your average machine gun soldier, and the slow moving heavy racks up lots of firepower. Each of the character classes is able to pick up a number of powers, including group-heals, grenades and wall-hacks that allow them to spot (or set up) ambushes.
All this, for free. Cousins explained that the game would depend entirely on the website adverts that players saw when launching the game, and during loading. “We won’t be putting billboards in the game,” he said, as the team wanted to preserve the clean, cartoonish world they’ve created. The crowd murmured as the game loaded and we were stuck looking at an advert for Crysis. “We’ve been known for our long loading times,” Cousins jested. “Don’t worry, we’re going to optimise.”
“Don’t forget, it’s completely free,” Cousins told us, just to be sure.
Battlefield Heroes releases this summer.
Mon, Mar 03, 2008 | 07:43 GMT
Our man at GDC was granted a viewing if DICE’s “revolutionary” first-person action game Mirror’s Edge at GDC last week. As you’ll see, his mind was well and truly blown.
The behind-closed-doors unveiling of Mirror’s Edge was one of the most impressive events of last week’s Game Developers Conference. Presented by producer Owen O’Brien, the free-running sci-fi game had some of the crowd suffering vertigo.
“Red is a very important colour in the game,” O’Brien explains, as the first-person demo sees us leaping from a rooftop onto the arm of a crane. “The player should be able to see the route forward in any situation.”
Momentum, explains the bearded Irishman, is everything in this game. Red, which seldom looks out of place in the clean, Utopian cityscape, allows gamers to instantly calculate the best possible angle of travel. When you’re leaping across rooftops under fire from half a dozen hi-tech security guards, thinking has to be quick.
What DICE has realised – seemingly in parallel with Radical’s Prototype game – is that no one has really tried to simulate real movement in videogames. The first-person free-running of the female protagonist is astounding to behold, and we watch as the entire crowd wobbles and leans in response to the running and leaping on-screen. With just a press of a button the demo-player is able to skid underneath pipes, or vault over them. He can vault fences and can flow leap across rooftops into a run with a single crash roll. Never has an FPS tracked inertia and human movement in this way.
Combat, meanwhile, focuses on hand to hand melee. Enemies get close and it’s time for kung fu. Arms are twisted and necks are stamped on: “Guns will be just a temporary power-up, lasting until the end of the clip,” said O’Brien. “The focus is on the person.”
The session shows our hero travelling across a series of rooftops to hand-off a valuable piece of information to another runner. At one point she’s trapped inside and must vault up inside a corridor to reach an escape hatch (again, highlighted in red). O’Brien explains that because of the nature of the game, these physical, spatial puzzles will be routine, throughout the game. Finally our runner is trapped on a rooftop, under a hail of bullets, unable to escape. She leaps, risking death, to catch hold of the landing gear of a news helicopter that has been trailing her. The sessions closes with the player looking into a mirror skyscraper, and seeing our hero hanging from the helicopter. It’s an awesome piece of visual design.
This game, you could say, will do for movement and inertia what Thief did for stealth and sneaking. It’s a paradigm shift, and gaming might never be the same again.
Mirror’s Edge is slated for a calendar 2008 release for PC, PS3 and 360.
Thu, Feb 28, 2008 | 21:59 GMT
“This year’s conference not only exceeded our historical attendance record, but also surpassed expectations in terms of content quality and deal-making productivity,” said GDC boss, Jamil Moledina.
Thu, Feb 28, 2008 | 21:00 GMT
Crysis has beaten Halo 3, Call of Duty 4, Portal and Assassin’s Creed to win the 2008 Best Technology Award at GDC, according to this. Hopefully this is the last piece of GDC news we have to post until next year, because we’re getting really sick of putting “GDC” in headlines.
Thu, Feb 28, 2008 | 15:39 GMT
Uh oh. According to this, GDC organiser CMP has revealed potential plans to move the show to an invite-only model for press, news that will scare the living shit out of journalists that went through the nightmare that was E3 attendance last year.
“We don’t have it nailed down, but we are looking at moving to an invite model for press access at GDC,” said GDC boss Jamil Moledina. “It’s meant to be a networking event for people who make games, but more and more we are seeing a lot of individuals who are obtaining press credentials who aren’t full-time press. It’s kind of open to being spoofed, in a way.”
Concerns have been raised in the last couple of years about the popularity of the event, with developers complaining in private that the show’s atmosphere was being shot by an abundance of quote-seekers.
“Making sure the Game Developers Conference fits its core goals is the main thing we concern ourselves with,” said Moledina. “As long as it remains predominantly about learning, thats what we are concerned with.”
He added, “I am concerned that if we don’t focus on what makes GDC work we will face some complications down the road.”
Do read this. E3 faced exactly the same problem before publishers called the shots in 2006 and effectively shut the show down, and what GDC does now on this issue will mark the US tradeshow roadmap forever. For press to get into E3 now, they have to be invited on a basis of publisher “scores”, so unless you’re named in person by enough publishers to the E3 organisers, you simply don’t get in. GDC is the major business hub not only for development for every games media company in the world, so the ramifications of putting restrictions on press for the media industry itself could be hard felt.
The smell? The stench of fear.
Tue, Feb 26, 2008 | 11:52 GMT
Speaking at GDC last week, Neil Young – the EA guy heading up new initiative Blueprint – said that the main reasoning behind the project is to find games that don’t cost the earth to produce.
“We want to find a new way to make games with smaller teams,” he said, adding, “We focus on creating IP in new ways for our media and finding smart ways to spread it across the media landscape.”
Blueprint was confirmed just before GDC, and aims to fund and support tiny developers creating apps for social networking solutions like Facebook.
According to that Variety report, “While Blueprint projects could start as games, Young said they could begin in other forms as well, citing examples such as the Internet, live events and even clothing.”
Give us some EA “sneakers” right now, Neil. We’re hot for that shit, yo.
Tue, Feb 26, 2008 | 11:04 GMT
Here. Looks like an exclusive quote from Dave Perry’s lunch in SF last week.
“That’s an upheaval because right now retail PC [gaming] is in dire straits,” said Raph Koster, designer of Ultima Online and Star Wars: Galaxies. “There are some exceptions but overall you look at audience reach, quantity of games made and creativity of games, and the web is kicking the console industry’s ass.”
He added: “I actually think Flash is the next-gen console in a lot of ways. It’s pointing the way to the future more-so than the current generations of hardware, precisely because it is well on its way to becoming completely ubiquitous.”
Hit this for a full report from the event.
Tue, Feb 26, 2008 | 10:27 GMT
Funny. Epic head Mark Rein can seriously talk. Like, really. Eurogamer’s Tom Bramwell can do the same. See what happens when they’re put in the same room. Taste:
Eurogamer: So apart from that, how’s the 360 build going?
Mark Rein: Great. I don’t have a release date for it if that was your next question.
Eurogamer: If you had to pluck -
Mark Rein: I don’t pluck. I’m pluckless. Pluck off.
Eurogamer: So what, this year? Next year?
Mark Rein: Oh, this year of course.
Eurogamer: Can you actually say anything about Gears of War 2?
Mark Rein: We’re doing it. It’s going to be a really good game.
Eurogamer: I liked it when you said it was going to be “more badass”, because I was concerned that it might not be more badass.
Mark Rein: [Laughs] We had an executive review the other day and I can tell you it is definitely more badass. It’s really good. One thing I can say is that compared to where we were in the February before we shipped the last Gears, the game is in phenomenal shape. There are some good surprises for people. We’ll start talking about it over the next few months.
Eurogamer: You said November. Do you think you’ll go for the same Emergence Day?
Mark Rein: I have no idea. I don’t think anyone’s put a day in the sand.
Eurogamer: Does Microsoft decide that?
Mark Rein: We figure it out based on when we think we’ll ship it. Right now they said November. I see nothing that leads me to believe it won’t be November. It’s in great shape.
Eurogamer: Does it have four-player co-op?
Mark Rein: It is a game. You will like it.
Eurogamer: Let’s talk about features in games that you like. Do you like four-player co-op?
Mark Rein: [Very long pause.] So what else is up? I’m not telling you anything more about Gears of War 2.
Eurogamer: We can say things like Marcus Fenix is back, right, because that’s in your press release. What about Dom? What about Cole Train?
Mark Rein: [No response.]
Eurogamer: You talked earlier about how the tech demos weren’t Gears of War 2 -
Mark Rein: Yeah, those were just test environments to show off the technology.
Eurogamer: You said yourself though that you rarely put something in the engine unless you plan to use it yourself.
Mark Rein: Yep. Those are features that will be in our upcoming games.
Eurogamer: So: destructible environments. If those were in Gears of War, that would make quite a difference.
Mark Rein: You never quit! I love you guys.
We reckon Mark said that last bit through clenched teeth with blood dripping out of his eyes. Go read the rest.
Tue, Feb 26, 2008 | 13:10 GMT
While catching up with the entire games community at GDC ’08, we took some time out to talk about where Philips have now got to with their amBX lighting and multimedia feedback technologies, first revealed to the public in April 2005. The amBX stand dominated the main show floor at GDC ’08, and was showing off a number of the games now enabled with the tech, each one providing a contrasting visual and tactile experience.
We spent some time playing Quake 4, which was backed up with four ambient lighting units (one of which doubled up as speakers) four fans for “blast” type feedback, and a rumbling keyboard wrist pad. Looking at all this from a distance, it’s easy to dismiss until you have a play with the tech itself. After a few minutes the ambient effects do seem to tune you into the game, and the various feedback pulses seem quite natural. Philips are doing something quite unusual with this project, and it soon becomes clear that this testbed of technologies for PC gamers is actually part of a much bigger picture for what the tech giant want to achieve. We talked to Philips amBX’s chief marketing officer Jo Cooke, and asked her what the company that invented the lightbulb was up to in the gaming space.
Full interview after the link.