So, with Game Developers Conference 2019 rapidly approaching (it’s March 18th to 22nd, date fans!), I thought it would be good to highlight some of the interesting new conference content we’ve rolled out this year.
I’m not the person who runs the show (that’s Katie Stern, the GM, fact fans!) But I lurk in the management marshland, helping out & contributing elements to the conference, and the program in general.
In this particular blog, I wanted to highlight some of the content that I think is particularly interesting this year (some of which I was involved with a lot, and some only in passing!):
- Game Discoverability Day: brand new, & like the description says: “One of the trickiest things about the video game industry in 2019 is simply – you’ve made your game, and it may be great, but is anybody going to notice?” Lots of smart folks (from Boyfriend Dungeon, Radiangames, Neo Cab & more) pitch in with practical case studies and strategies for PC, console and mobile game developers.
- Machine Learning Tutorial: how are large-scale devs using machine learning/AI to improve their games? This new tutorial day shows a bunch of practical examples – finding ‘wallhacks’ in an FPS, going beyond motion matching in animation to ‘motion synthesis’. Definitely hardcore technical content, but definitely interesting.
- Vision Track: we’ve been compiling these special featured talks that go ‘beyond’ the normal GDC technical talk for a couple of years now. This year, the 6 lectures span the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Niantic on AR gaming, the Harvard Desirability Lab (!), Disney Imagineering, Valve on brain-computer interfaces, experiential design lessons from HBO x SXSW’s Westworld installation.
- Classic Game Postmortems: you know these are a perennial favorite, and we’re delighted with this year’s talks, featuring an original creator talking about the making of a seminal game. This time out: Atari arcade classic Paperboy, quirky puzzler Lemmings, seminal RTS Command & Conquer, Sega’s wonderful Panzer Dragoon series, and ‘swinging with Spider-Man’ – on the design of traversal mechanics from 2004’s Spider-Man 2!
- The other tutorials/bootcamps on the Monday and Tuesday of GDC are getting better and better! In addition to Game Discoverability/Machine Learning, particularly wanted to highlight the Visual Effects Bootcamp, the Level Design Workshop, the Tools Tutorial Day, the Animation Bootcamp and the Producer Bootcamp. (But honestly, they’re all great. And the Summits, unchanged from last year in structure, are also hotstuff.)
- And there’s just a ton of good material in the Wednesday to Friday Main Conference tracks, of course. There’s an *insert very large amount here* of God Of War & Marvel’s Spider-Man talks, for starters. And great contributions from Supercell, the Tetris Effect developers, a billion neat things in the Advocacy Track (which is also free to Expo attendees!), and… I could go on. A lot.
Finally, if you check out the GDC 2019 news page you’ll see a whole bunch more recommendations for talks of all shapes and sizes – as well as for the community spaces with lots of playable games, the awards, and plenty of other fun stuff.
Hope to see you in San Francisco next month to watch ALL of the above!