With the 2018 Game Developers Conference approaching, developers and attendees are busy preparing their schedules for a busy week of exploring all the latest developments in games. However, that encompasses a wide range of subjects, and there is quite a lot to do and see. Here are the major things to expect at GDC and look forward to.
1. Game Development
For both professional and aspiring game developers, GDC contains seminars and panels covering all aspects of game development. This includes topics from programming to marketing and everything in-between. Among the wide range of subjects, there are such intriguing gems as Riot’s session on “Understanding the Social Values of Your Players,” Flux Game Studio’s “How to Scale an Indie Game via Outsourcing” and MEGO’s “Cryptocurrency in Games.”
Between panels, there’s an entire exhibition hall filled with the latest in games and innovations. Several large studios will have massive booths displaying their new games and accessories, with lengthy lines of people waiting to try out upcoming games.
2. Mobile Gaming
Of course, mobile apps are an important aspect of today’s game landscape, so there are several sessions dedicated to mobile gaming.
- King, the studio behind hit games like Candy Crush and Bubble Witch 2 Saga, will be hosting a panel on what does and doesn’t work for design teams.
- Kongregate will be discussing the making of their “Animation Throwdown” mobile game and the pros/cons of going cross-platform.
- Scopely will be discussing mobile free-to-play games.
For those who make or are interested in mobile games, they should prove invaluable.
3. AR & VR
In recent years, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been seeing huge upswings in innovation. At GDC, developers creating games using these technologies will have their latest creations on display, showing off the current potential of virtual and augmented reality.
However, the exhibition hall is for more than just demonstrating and selling games. Exhibitors will be displaying products in a wide range of aspects within the gaming industry, including:
- Ad monetization
- Funding and venture capitalists
- And many other aspects!
While you’re there, don’t forget to keep an eye out for all sorts of free gifts from the various vendors; anyone leaving GDC without at least a free t-shirt or two must make an active effort to avoid them.
GDC is not only a celebration of what games are but of the innovation behind them. In that spirit, it hosts alt.ctrl.GDC, an interactive space where clever designers have created games with controllers that are anything but traditional. Previous years saw such creative ideas as a game controlled from a cardboard box and colander helmet. Another featured a game with a joystick and a single line of LED lights to represent the gameplay. No doubt there will be a variety of unique and inspired game designs on display.
5. Independent Games Festival & Developers Choice Awards
Additionally, the Independent Games Festival (IGF) Pavilion will honor and display this year’s most well-renowned indie games. These are the products of independent developers pouring their hearts and souls into creating new, unique games, and managing to create something bold and entertaining. There won’t be any large game studios in the Pavilion, but the quality of these indie developers can more than compete with any of them.
Speaking of competing, GDC always wraps up with the annual Game Developers Choice Awards. This is the 18th annual awards show, recognizing the greatest in creativity, technology, and artistry in the past year’s games. There are a wide range of awards, such as the Innovation Award, Best Narrative, Best Mobile Game, Best VR/AR Game, and of course, the coveted Game of the Year.
Looking Forward: Even More To Expect at GDC
When all the gaming is done, and awards are claimed, then it is time to mingle. There are mixers and networking spaces held around the convention center after the floor hours have ended. This is a great time to make new contacts and friends within the gaming industry. Networking is key to any career, so attendees shouldn’t hesitate to reach out and meet new people.
Yet with all that to look forward to, it is but a taste of all that the Game Developers Conference has in store. For those who are involved in the gaming industry or looking to get a foot in the door, it’s an event that should not be missed. It’s only a few weeks away, so the time to start planning your schedule is now.
This post is part of our Blog Series on Gaming and GDC 2018. Click the link to see other posts in the series!