Taking a look back at last month's Game Developers Conference, last week Gamasutra asked our professional audience, “What were the most interesting announcements or sessions/events at this year's Game Developers Conference?"
The responses we received showed great variation, with few to none mentioning the same session, and each taking away something different from this year's conference. Without further ado, here's the responses - feel free to cross-reference the lectures on the master list of content or at GDC Radio:
Blow's experimental gameplay session is always a favorite, and this
year didn't disappoint. I added the "Game Developers Rant" session to
my favorites last year, and was pleased that this year most rants were
peppered with a positive call to action for the audience (Crawford's
being the exception). The quantity and quality of stuff being shown at
the IGF year to year is astounding. I spent a lot of time there this
-Kim Pallister, Microsoft Corp
Keynote: Disrupting Development by Satoru Iwata, Cracking the XX files:
How Devs Can Turn Women Players into Buyers , and the Secret Level
I found one session particularly inspiring. It was refreshing to hear
the speaker talk about the inspirations behind his product. Most
inspiring, though, was the way he talked about the ideological goals he
specifically wanted to express with it, that he had something larger
about the world he wanted to show through his entertainment.
Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, that speaker had nothing to do with
the game industry - it was Ron Moore at his Battlestar Galactica keynote.
-Borut Pfeifer, Sony Online Entertainment
Wright's talk was great, of course. NaturalMotion seemed to be the buzz
of the show. Keep an eye out for some new products coming out by them.
And AGEIA PhysX demoed a prototype game using their engine that looked
like a blast. I think RunTime Physics proved to be the revolutionary
feature that next-gen consoles can offer.
-Jason Parks, SCEA
Gym: Where The Incredible Hulk Goes To Train [A session that focused on
code techniques used for implementation of the Gym, GUI-based decision
tree and state machine editor, as well as the workflow issues arising
from integration of the Gym into the production pipeline.]
-Arien Yuhn, VirtualDigm. Inc.
most interesting sessions by far formed a trifecta of rapid
prototyping: Kyle Gabler and Kyle Gray's "Build a Game in Seven Days",
Chris Hecker and Chaim Gingold on advanced prototyping, and Eric Todd's
talk on rapid prototyping in pre-production. It was a great glimpse at
the way things ought to be done.
-Darius Kazemi, Turbine Inc.
most interesting session at GDC was definitely Evan Skolnick's "...And
Make It Snappy!" presentation on writing concise dialog. I found it
A) it dealt with the day-to-day, micro-level details of game development, rather than the theoretical ones and
B) it was a session on the technical elements of writing, a rarity at GDC and other conferences. Oh and the return of Suite Night was certainly bearable as well!
-Coray Seifert, THQ, Kaos Studios
the most interesting sessions for me this year were postmortem-oriented
ones where the presenter described how they actually built and finished
their game: Civilization 4, God of War, Ghost Recon. The rights, the wrongs, the problems and the solutions.
-Javier Arevalo, Pyro Studios
|Firaxis' Civilization IV|
display of the new SpeedTreeRT Technology, the Endorphin 6.4
presentation, Nvidia's Art Contest, HDR Brightside, and the new
kick-ass VIRE GL V7350 Accelerator. Not to forget Alienbrain, and last
but not least, information about the next PlayStation by Harrison.
Actually one pice of software caught my attention, and that is SketchUP
recently bought by Google. @Last software truly invented an impressive
piece of code, that actually lets you create some stunning 3D geometry,
and simply enjoy it. Overall, the whole experience was a blast... Take
that for the first time attendee. Looking forward to next year.
-Aleksandar Dragosavljevic, 2Wire
Sony and Nintendo keynotes were revealing. I realized that if Phil
Harrison and Satoru Iwata got in a fight, Harrison would bore the Iwata
to sleep by talking about e-commerce on the PSP.
Evan Skolnick (of Vicarious Visions)' talk about writing for games. He quickly got to the heart of the issue, discussing how to write effective dialog for games, without coming off too cursory or specific. Let's face it—a good percentage of new releases are still lacking in the written word department. Hopefully with increased industry-wide recognition, game writing will continue to improve as writers learn to explore the unique opportunities and possibilities exclusive to games as vehicles for storytelling.
-Ben Serviss, Creo Ludus Entertainment
a casual games developer, I found Min Kim's talk "Casual Games: Lost In
Translation", an interesting outlook on how the Asian idea of a casual
game is completely different than the North American (and to an extent,
European) take on what a casual game is. This was one of the most
insightful small sessions of the conference, with some of the most
valuable take away.
-Mike Sweeney, Slingo Inc.
|Kart Rider, as discussed by Min Kim|
MMO Economies [ A follow-up discussion from last year's MMO economics
round table. The round table defines some classic definitions of
economic elements and challenges the participants to think about how
these can be built into a game effectively. Additional topics include
the design impact of real world player-to-player sales.]
-Eric Ye, IBM
[Please note that the opinions of individual employees responding to the Question Of The Week may not represent those of their company.]