Welcoming our (standalone) VR Developers Conference

[Vvrdcirtual reality still has a (long?) way to come before becoming a truly mainstream technology. But there’s a lot of fascinating innovations – and problems to solve.

Which is why I’m delighted that myself and my colleagues are starting a standalone VRDC – spanning all types of VR, beyond just games & entertainment in SF this Nov. Info below!]

Great news, VR enthusiasts: GDC organizers are proud to announce that the first ever standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference, the premier event for creators of immersive VR (and AR) experiences, will be held this November 2-3 in San Francisco.

This will be the second edition of VRDC, following the strikingly successful debut of VRDC as a sibling conference to GDC 2016 earlier this year.

Bringing an expanded focus overseen by a new advisory board, the two‐day event will bring together VR/AR experts from multiple industries to share best practices, demo new technology, create new business partnerships, and exchange ideas with innovators shaping the industry. Continue reading

Six Key Takeaways On Where E3 Is Headed

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I had a chance to check out the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) trade show – http://www.e3expo.com – in Los Angeles this week, alongside some of its related press events.

I thought it might be useful to write something up for those who didn’t attend – or are intrigued about where the show, which is the dominant ‘consumer-centric video game show’ in North America, is going.

And actually, I don’t think ‘E3 week’ is going anywhere right now – but some of the physical constituent parts of it may be shifting around.

Here’s the six key takeaways, from my view: Continue reading

MobyGames – adding promo images & concept art, with your help!

282-skullgirls-concept-artAs many of you know, I’ve – as a spare-time project – been involved in helping to run veteran game database website MobyGames for a couple of years now – there’s more about this on my ‘You Might Know Me From…’ page.

But the latest thing we’ve done, just announced by Tracy Poff on the MobyGames news page, is adding the ability to contribute watermark-free, hi-res promotional images of all kinds to the website – including official screenshots, wallpaper, concept art, & other images. Continue reading

Game Developers Conference 2016 – turned out nice again?

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Following on from my last post – yes, GDC 2016 ended up being – in my obviously biased opinion – an amazing celebration of the state of video games.

We had over 27,000 attendees this year in San Francisco (dodging some stormy weather that quit the day before the show), and people seemed super-energized by the week as a whole!

Rather than go on at length about this year’s GDC in the abstract, let me just refer you to the following: Continue reading

Game Developers Conference 2016 – Reasons To Be Cheerful

gdc30thSo, it’s 2016 already, and the 30th (how did that happen?!) edition of Game Developers Conference is almost upon us, rolling towards us pleasantly, imposingly, but inexorably.

GDC 2016, which I help to organize, takes place in San Francisco next week (March 14th-18th). It features dedicated Summits and Bootcamps on Monday and Tuesday, with the Expo running Wednesday to Friday alongside the Main Conference, as per usual.

You’ve probably already had plenty of people (maybe including us!) social media-ing or emailing you with a whole BUNCH of things to see and do at the show. I wanted to take some time to highlight some of the things I’m excited to see at this year’s GDC, as follows: Continue reading

Welcoming The Mega Game Storybundle

bundle_93_cover-d296f9f2d548de05576fceaae6d0cabc [The first Storybundle I curated for 2016 is a special one – definitely my favorite for a while, and featuring some killer books – from the awesome Second Quest graphic novel through Nick Suttner’s lyrical Shadow Of The Colossus book and even two books made _just_ for this bundle. Go grab it! See below for announce, also my ‘curator comments’ on each book.]

Continuing its popular “pay what you want” ebook bundles, StoryBundle is very proud to present the Mega Game StoryBundle – the latest in the series of its acclaimed ebook bundles. This specially picked set of 9 fascinating game culture & history books once again features a multitude of great titles for a fraction of their retail price.

Continue reading

My Top 5 ‘Underappreciated’ Games Of 2015

Following my top 5 games of the year list, and in the vast expense of holiday 2015 time with room to chill out and actually _think_, I had the opportunity to explore some video games released this year that – maybe – didn’t get the kudos that they deserved.

What does ‘underappreciated’ mean here, in context of the title of this post? For the purposes of this (highly subjective) list, let’s just say: ‘doesn’t appear on a majority of the other Top 10/20 lists, and you might have missed it or just not got around to playing it’.

So, without further ado, here’s the games that I think everyone should have cared a bit more about this year (alphabetical order): Continue reading

Best Of 2015: My Top 5 Games

smmOnce again, my colleagues at Gamasutra are rolling out their personal Top 5 video games of the year over the next few days. While I don’t write day to day, I still hang out in the site’s Slack channel, play games, and HAVE OPINIONS. So whether you like it or not, I’ll be imposing these ideas on you, re: my favorite games of 2015 – a remarkably fertile year for gaming.

As per usual, I freely admit that I don’t play a lot of longform games – titles that take >20 hours to play through. With my relatively short attention span – and plenty to do at work and elsewhere – I tend to favor shorter, sharper repeatable experiences. (Of course, I end up playing them for >20 hours, in many cases! There-in lies the irony…)

So, here we go (picks in alphabetical order): Continue reading

The Magnificent Seventh Video Game Storybundle Debuts!

bundle_80_cover-59ae5b5c14b57dc81d76e57c9bb735d2[We’re back again with another super-cool PWYW video game eBook Storybundle – one that has been percolating for the last four months or so! This particular one – the seventh in the series so far – includes a bunch of gems I’m super happy to be bundling up for your reading pleasure. See below for announce, also my ‘curator comments’ on each book.]

Continuing its popular “pay what you want” ebook bundles, StoryBundle is very proud to present the Video Game StoryBundle 7.0 – the latest in the series of its acclaimed ebook bundles. Curated over the past 4 months, this specially picked set of 8 fascinating game culture & history books once again features a multitude of great titles for a fraction of their retail price. Continue reading

F2P $ Minus The Mechanics – Is There A Way?

highscorezSomething I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is how game creators get paid for their work, particularly on mobile. Specifically, I’m wondering whether there’s any middle ground between the minority of devs who rake in the vast majority of revenues, largely through higher-paying ‘whales’, and the rest of us.

Firstly, let’s lay out the ‘problem’. Obviously we’ve seen that certain F2P games are commanding large swathes of market share on mobile – Supercell‘s trio of titles – Clash Of Clans, Hay Day, Boom Beachgrossed $1.6 billion and had a $500 million profit in 2014 – crazy.

Besides the obvious ‘stickiness’ and quality of the games, these folks are making off with the lion’s share of the dollars because well-constructed IAP (in app purchase)-based  ‘games as a service’ are a sweet spot for today’s digital game biz, and have two major advantages.

Continue reading