The Game Developers Conference will draw more than 20,000 visitors to San Francisco next week, and it will be like dropping another quarter into the vending machine to play games like Platform Wars and Battle of the Game Engines.
With so many The present developers, the platform, tool and engine companies are trying hard to attract attention. They want developers to use their stuff, not the others, because it brings great games and loads of users to their platforms.
This fight for the hearts and minds of the developers is now bigger.
"We have seen a bit of this creep in the last year and we see it in full force this year," said Katie Stern, director of GDC Events, in an interview with me. "It's exciting that they see the GDC as a place to spread their message ̵
The biggest news coming up next week is a sponsored talk by Google's former vice president Phil Harrison and Microsoft and Sony's former Bigwig, about Google's gaming plans. Google has even teased the event on YouTube to make sure developers show up.
Hoping to fend off this, Microsoft demonstrated this week its Project xCloud, which uses Azure Cloud to allow players to run high-end on any device Can play games. At the actual event, Microsoft will host a series of parties and receptions to spread its love of diversity, accessibility through the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and other under-represented communities in game development. Valve also announced a beta version of its Steam Link Anywhere technology next week.
In another sponsored session, Rich Hilleman of Amazon will speak on Monday about the company's vision for games at 10:00 am Monday. Facebook and the Oculus division will push their messages. Tim Sweeney of Epic Games will once again announce the Unreal Engine and its advances in creating digital humans or animated humans so real that they can not be distinguished from real humans.
Unity's John Riccitiello, a cheaper place outside the GDC, will be demonstrating his company's latest Unity engine – competing with Epic. And Herman Narula, CEO of Improbable, maker of SpatialOS, will announce tools that will allow small developers to create huge online worlds. Narula recently had an argument with Unity, but it is reported that things are being packed together.
Nintendo will be showing some indie games, but Sony seems to be particularly quiet in terms of presence at the GDC, apart from a series of solemn God of War talks. Sony may be planning to unveil the PlayStation 5 later this year in another location.
Who can forget that GDC was once the place where Bill Gates revealed the original Xbox design (2000) or former Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed in keynotes about Wii or Brain Games? Now the GDC is having the platform companies talk in sponsored sessions.
"As we see more and more of these great players, they have their own user conferences and things in that direction they are accustomed to having their own handcrafted, curated experiences "It was more meaningful for us as a show to give them a platform that can do this in their own way, so we do not make keynotes and product announcements as part of the show content they can be significantly more meaningful and we can give them the opportunity and space to do so in a way that is unique to their brand and voice and fits in with the broader GDC context. "
In the GDC, the Platforms and Tool Makers Convince the Bonding For game developers, this is not so much a place where the big games of the year are revealed, of course there are some secret B's calling sessions, but the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3, June, Los Angeles) is still the place for big games.
With all the jockeying, press people like me can easily forget the sessions. I had to go through 400 sessions to see which one to attend. But it was a bit pointless, as so much time will be spent from my time on Game Engine Wars, platform wars, interviews, and playing game demos. If you see some great sessions, please indicate them for me.
I'm looking forward to seeing some games for the first time and conducting interviews with some of the industry's most interesting people.
I'm looking forward to it The Game Developers Choice Awards on Wednesday night will tell you who receives special recognition. There we see a repeat of the battle between Red Dead Redemption 2 and God of War Awards.
But in recent years I've always liked the # 1ReasonToBe panel. It began as a women's panel and has become a global diversity meeting where developers pinpoint their existential reasons for developing games. It is always on the move, generating a standing ovation.
Raml Ismail, the co-founder of Vlambeer, re-organized the session this year, but again he had difficulty obtaining visas for his panelists in the United States. This, in turn, is a direct result of President Donald Trump's strict immigration policy. Ismail is so tired of this process that he launched the GameDev.World event this year, an online conference in June where game developer conversations are translated in real time into eight languages.
I'll sit back in Ismail's session, shed some tears and immerse myself in the game culture at GDC 2019. I am sure that one day I will be able to see everything online, but I will not fail to attend this event personally for the world.