Steam Controller Set for a Hardware Upgrade

Valve’s Steam Controller, the gamepad designed to bridge the gap between regular controllers and mouse and keyboard gamers, is set to receive a hardware revision in the future, despite around 400,000 units already being sold since its release in October, 2015.

During a GDC presentation, Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais revealed that the company is looking at upgrading the design of the Steam Controller, suggesting that the team behind the gamepad have taken some the criticisms levelled that the pad to heart.

“In the future, we are working on a hardware revision to the controller to improve look and feel,” Griffais said. “But we’re pretty happy with the feature set we have now and do not intend to drastically change it, or even change it at all.

“Maybe we’ll throw extra features in here or there, but the controller’s not gonna grow a new touchpad, or a new set of buttons, or a new major feature,” he added.

Since Valve released the CAD files for the Steam Controller – in a .zip file that contains “several eDrawings viewer files: from Creo Express and native Modeling, to neutral exchange and 3D print files – for compatibility with a wide variety of your design tools” – under the Creative Commons licence last month, it will be taking design suggestions from the Steam community when implementing any hardware revisions.

Sony Details PlayStation VR Launch Titles

For a new piece of technology to pick up traction, it’s important to have a decent amount of launch content available. The same is true for VR, especially given the hefty cost of most of the headsets releasing this year. Oculus was the first to detail their launch lineup with a slew of VR ready titles for launch. Not getting left behind, Sony has made known a number of titles which will be launching with PlayStation VR, with 50 more to come between launch and the end of the year as well.

The first up is a series of 5 VR minigames made by Sony in-house as a part of PlayStation VR Worlds. These are The London Heist, Into the Deep, VR Luge, Danger Ball and Scavenger’s Odyssey. One may well expect that these titles may be bundled with the VR headset for sale.

Other titles include Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and Tumble VR from Supermassive Games. Sony Japan Studios will be making The Playroom VR while Guerrilla Cambridge is releasing Rigs. Of these, Rigs is my favourite as who wouldn’t want to battle it out in mech suits in VR? Given the VR requirements though, don’t expect any of these titles to have superb graphics or physics. Even with PlayStation 3/3.5 like graphics, these titles should still be enough to entice earlier VR users to pick up a headset.

 

52% of Developers Are Working on a PC Game

Consumers tend to be quite vocal about their chosen platform and demonstrate a great deal of brand loyalty. It makes sense though as investing into one platform and swapping to another is a costly endeavour. During the last few years, developers have gauged the popularity of each system, to try to maximize sales. While consoles are still selling extraordinarily well, it’s difficult to dismiss the rise of mobile gaming and PC. According to the Game Developer’s Conference State of the Industry Report, 52% of developers are currently making a PC game.  This is a slight drop from last year’s figure of 56%, but doesn’t really indicate a noticeable shift towards other platforms. In second place was mobile, with 44% of those surveyed outlining their mobile development plans. In a similar vein to PC, this is a drop of 6% from last year.

Rather unsurprisingly, the PlayStation 4 attained third position with 27%, while the Xbox One managed to achieve a very respectable 23%. Towards the lower end of the spectrum, Nintendo’s Wii U only has 5% of developers creating something for the platform. This is shocking and emphasizes how quickly support is dwindling for the Wii U. Furthermore, only 2% of developers are working on 3DS titles, which is down from 3% last year.  Clearly, Nintendo is still relying on their exclusive line-up and developers might be working on launch games for the upcoming NX console.

It’s great to see the PC platform having so much support from developers and this isn’t surprising due to the open access model. While digital distribution is still fairly new on consoles, it’s incredibly popular among PC consumers. This provides lower development costs, and there’s greater competition via Steam, GOG and other services. Although, Steam really does have a monopoly on the mainstream market. Hopefully, this trend continues and developers produce a whole host of unique titles on the PC platform.

 

Valve Is Going to Give Half-Life 2: Update for Free on Steam

The Half-Life 2: Update is a Valve-endorsed and fan-created mod which will be available shortly on Steam. Romanian modder, Filip Victor, has been a key asset in the mod’s creation, having stepped in to release the last version of graphics update for the game.

The update is said to weigh in at 7GB and comes with a few visual improvements, including enhanced lighting effects, better detailed environmental textures, while also fixing a lot of bugs present in the original PC release.

Valve has also stated at GDC that it was experimenting with Half-Life in virtual reality. It would be nice to see the feature come in another update (or at least another sequel), but don’t get your hopes up just yet. Valve has yet to make any official statement on whether it will add official support for VR technology in any Half-Life title.

Half-Life 2: Update is said to arrive on Steam on March 27th, so if it’s still not available, it will be shortly.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

Autodesk Game Development Suite Gets More Tools for Devs to Play With

Autodesk has apparently launched its new 3D animation and modelling software for professional indie game developers, the Autodesk Maya LT 2016. This comes as a result of the company previewing their new Stingray Game Engine at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Stingray was build using Bitsquid technology and received an amazing demo at GDC, demonstrating a lot of features that lend it more power and give creators access to mode flexible tools.

“Bitsquid has been a part of the Autodesk family since the acquisition last summer and both teams have been hard at work to update, improve and add features to the engine,” said Martin Wahlund, CEO, Fatshark. “We are excited to announce that we are actually using the new Stingray engine to build our upcoming ‘Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide game.'”

The major highlights of Autodesk’s new software are:

  • Simultaneous Platform Deployment:
    • A live link between Stingray and multiple target devices allows game designers to evaluate their game simultaneously on multiple platforms
  • Integrated Workflow:
    • A more efficient pipeline to export 3D content
  • Modern Data-Driven Architecture and Powerful Rendering Capabilities:
    • A data-driven core architecture makes it easier for a user to change the look of a game without having to rewrite and re-compile the engine

Valve Shows Its SteamVR Development Timeline at GDC

GDC had its fair share of announcements in the virtual reality sphere, having Oculus talking more about its focus on mobile VR. However, while they were keen on talking about that, Valve was keen on showing people its development stages of the SteamVR through a prototype timeline.

Some of Valve’s SteamVR prototype really do seem a bit ‘over the edge’, however they all tell the story of SteamVR and how it was shaped into what it is today.

Thank you PCGamesN for providing us with this information

GDC 2015: NVIDIA Announces GeForce GTX Titan X with 12GB of VRAM

NVIDIA has just moments ago announced their next-generation GeForce GTX Titan X. They made the big reveal at Epic Games’ GDC event.

The new model doubles the current model’s 6GB, to a 12GB framebuffer, alongside an incredible 8 billion transistors. Details are scarce at the moment, but stay tuned as we’ll have everything you need to know as it comes.

Source: TweakTown

Valve Wants to Make Your House ‘Steam-Ready’ with Steam Link

GDC bring a lot of announcements, one of them being from Valve. The company has announced its new Steam Link, which is a gadget that will “extend your Steam experience to any room in the house”.

Steam Link is said to work by streaming content from Steam, providing that both Steam Link and the streaming source are on the same network. The device is said to be compatible with the PC, Steam Machines, Mac and Linux.

Judging from what steam has made here, we can safely say it is a receiving device for its In-Home technology, which lets you stream and play on your low-end notebook, for example, all your games straight from your high-spec PC. The only difference is that Valve wants you to hook up its new Steam Controller, which was also advertised at the event, and your TV to it.

In terms of hardware specs, Steam Link comes with three USB ports and a HDMI output. It is able to output video at a resolution of 1080p and 60Hz with “low latency” and will be available in November for a price tag of $49.99 .

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information

NVIDIA Shows Its 4K Android TV Game Console, 35 Times More Powerful than Apple TV

After releasing their Android-powered handheld and tablet SHIELD devices, NVIDIA appears to be moving into the console market. The company just announced its new tech, the Android TV Console, at GDC.

CEO Jen-Hsun Huang stated that the Android TV is the world’s first 4K-capable Android set-top-box. The console is controlled via a very small micro-USB bidirectional Bluetooth remote, but that’s not what makes the Android TV so remarkable.

What makes this console so special is found under the hood, where an NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor chip lies. It was previously showcased at CES, where it was running a “mobile cockpit computer” for cars and the Unreal Engine Elemental demo. Huang states that together with NVIDIA’s Shield, it can push 4K content from any tiny device and makes it 35 times more powerful than the Apple TV.

The console is indeed powerful, however there is a matter of what it can effectively run. This is where Huang showcased a few titles, namely Resident Evil 5, Tales from the Borderlands, Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel, Doom 3 BFG Edition, Metal Gear Rising; Revengance. However, NVIDIA Shield Hub is said to be full of top-tier Android ports of PC games.

However, the key aspect and probably the most amazing part of the presentation is when Huang ran Crysis 3. This is where the Android TV showed its true power and Gizmodo stated that it ran the title “well enough to support online multiplayer”.

There have also been changes in NVIDIA’s Grid. Huang states that the changes were made so that the new Android TV could be perfectly used with the Grid, having it been made officially a service users can subscribe to. It is said that subscriptions for Grid will come in two tiers. A premium subscription level that streams games in 1080p at 60 frames per second, and a cheaper model limited to 30fps and 720p, both having access to a lot of game titles to stream.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information

Either Brad Wardell Is Full of #$£% or We Should Be Very Excited about DX12

I’m really eager to see what Stardock are working on, not only because they’re utilising DirectX 12, but because their claims are endlessly incredible. Their CEO Brad Wardell is one of the most outspoken developers, at least on the subject of DirectX 12. However, the truth behind his claims remains to be seen. Their new game is to be showcased at many booths at GDC, including those of both Microsoft and AMD.

He’s said that Stardock’s partners have insisted the demo they’ve seen must not be live and that it’s pre-rendered. We’ve no idea what the game is about, only that it’ll support 4K resolutions, will initially launch on PC and will follow on Xbox One at a later date. We’ve been told that the demo will be running on current generation PC hardware, not future GPU’s with DX12 support. Many recent GPUs have been confirmed to be forward-compatible with DX12, at least to a certain extent; we can only assume it’s still very high-end hardware, likely the new range of 8GB cards, being used for this demo.

From what we’ve heard so far, it’s the general graphics fidelity and the fact that DirectX 12 is capable of running it smoothly at 4K resolutions that is so amazing, but again, this remains to be seen.

As I said before, Brad Wardell has been very outspoken about DirectX 12, claiming 100fps difference between the DX11 and DX12 API, as well as 600% performance increase on AMD graphics hardware. My instincts are telling me he’s talking rubbish to a certain degree, but I’m very eager to be proven wrong. What are you throughs? Do you think DX12 is going to deliver on these incredible claims?

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Sony Plans a ‘4 Hour’ Project Morpheus Showcase at GDC

Sony will begin a concentrated publicity campaign for its Morpheus VR headset with a “four-hour” showcase at the Game Developers Conference in March. Weeks ahead of its E3 media conference, Sony will send representatives to the Games Developers Conference in San Francisco to brief attendees on the prospects and challenges of developing virtual reality content for PlayStation 4.

Confirmed already is a one-hour speaker session, hosted on Wednesday March 4, entitled Beyond Immersion – Project Morpheus and PlayStation. Then on Thursday, a PlayStation US representative will discuss various insights into rendering for virtual reality. Sony has also booked seats on two public developer roundtables which will discuss VR. For now, the 4 hour session has not been listed on the official GDC schedule. Sony has been contacted for confirmation on this.

For our previous coverage of the Morpheus VR set, please see our other news articles here.

Thanks to GameSpot for this information

Nvidia Pushing Huge Range of AAA Titles To GRID

Nvidia has been working tirelessly to develop their GRID gaming service. GRID is a cloud-based gaming service, which renders the games on Nvidia servers, streams the video output to your device, such as the Nvidia Shield Tablet. You don’t need to install the games and the graphics are what you would expect from a high-end desktop PC, not a tablet device. The whole thing works much in the same way as NetFlix; with the addition that you’re actually playing the game that’s streaming.

Nvidia is pre-announcing three new titles as they lead up to 40 titles on the GRID service. With GDC 2015 just around the corner, we can no doubt expect even more incredible announcements from the green team.

  • As of Feb. 17 Saints Row IV is available on NVIDIA SHIELD from the cloud-based NVIDIA GRID.
  • Feb. 24 Alan Wake will be available.
  • March 3 Metro Last Light Redux will be available.

“We started our push to 40 titles last week with indie smash Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, winner of multiple game of the year awards in 2013.  This week Saints Row IV and its 9.5 out of 10 rating on Destructoid joins Saints Row: The Third on SHIELD.    Title 39 will be Alan Wake, which was Time Magazine’s Game of the Year for 2010.  40 will be Metro Last Light Redux, which GameSpot gave a ‘superb’  9 out of 10Saints Row IV, Alan Wake, and Metro Last Light Redux will round out 40 titles on NVIDIA GRID leading up to GDC.” – Said Nvidia in a recent statement.

It’s great to see so many incredible games coming to the service, given that it launched with just 20 titles in November; the service is about to hit 40 titles! Remember, if you have a Shield or are planning to buy one, the GRID service is currently free! Giving everyone a great opportunity to try it out while Nvidia develop and grow GRID.

Sony’s New Morpheus 3D VR Headset Revealed For PlayStation 4

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. have announced the development of their new VR headset system called “Project Morpheus” (Morpheus). The new VR headset will no doubt remind many of you of devices such as the Oculus Rift, but with the Rift and many other devices still seemingly a long way from retail, there is still plenty of room on the market for competition, especially in the world of games consoles.

“At SCE we view innovation as an opportunity to build on our mission to push the boundaries of play,” said Shuhei Yoshida, President of SCE Worldwide Studios. “Project Morpheus is the latest example of innovation from SCE, and we’re looking forward to its continued development and the games that will be created as development kits get into the hands of content creators.”

Morpheus will enable games developers to create experiences that deliver a sense of presence, and anyone that has tried the development kit of the Oculus Rift or any of the rival products will know that the overall sensation and effect these headsets can provide is nothing short of mind blowing.

The visor headset style head-mounted display works in conjunction with the PlayStation Camera and some inertial sensors that give accurate 360 degree head tracking, while a 1080 display gives a 90-degree field of view through high frame rate displays right in front of your eyes, effectively giving you full immersion to look around your surrounding and be more involved with the game environment like never before. Furthermore, in supporting games, the player can use a PlayStation Move Controller as an object, such as a sword. Morpheus will reproduce the player’s hands and sword within the game so the player feels like they are physically fighting off enemies with their sword in the virtual world.

Morpheus adopts 3D audio technology uniquely developed by SCE. In addition to sounds coming from front, behind, left and right, Morpheus re-creates stereoscopic sounds heard from below and above the players, such as footsteps climbing up stairs below them, or engine noises of helicopters flying overhead. Sounds that players hear change in real-time depending on their head orientation, creating a highly realistic audio environment within an immersive 360-degree virtual world. Simulating 60 speakers around the user, or of course you can also use your own headphones with this device, if that is what you prefer.

“Developers will be able to create Morpheus content for PS4, a platform which has sold over 6 million units only after 3 months and a half of its launch, and is continuing to show strong momentum. The Morpheus dedicated SDK is currently under development and will become available when ready.” Said Sony in a recent press release.

During the Game Developers Conference 2014 held in San Francisco from March 19 through March 21, attendees can visit the Sony Computer Entertainment America booth to have a hands-on experience with Morpheus, which will be exhibited for reference. Attendees can enjoy exclusive technology demo such as EVE Valkyrie (CCP), a multiplayer dogfighting shooter that uses virtual reality to give the player the sense of being a real pilot in an EVE Online spaceship, Thief, which allows players to explore the dark shadowy world of the stealth action title, “The Castle” that shows various VR interactions utilizing PS Move, and “The Deep”, where players can observe the waters from inside a shark proof cage.

At the moment, this device is a proof of concept, with lots of development ahead of it. Sony have given a release date of “as soon as possible”, but as we’ve seen with other VR devices it’s not going to be quick, I’d put a safe bet at another 2 years before this is on the retail market.

Excited? I know I am, personally I’m still holding out for the Oculus, but that doesn’t mean someone like Sony might not be able to do a better job, only time will tell.

Thank you Sony for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Sony.

DirectX 12 TO Be Unveiled At GDC 2014

Rumours have been floating around that Microsoft will be taking a shot at knocking AMD down a few pegs after the release of their Mantle API, and it looks like that was indeed true as it has now been confirmed that the DirectX: Evolving Microsoft’s Graphics Platform talk will indeed be about DirectX 12.

At the moment we do not know what DirectX 12 will contain, although improved performance and more features is a safe bet. As an outside bet we can hope to see more low-level features that allow developers more direct control over graphics hardware, much in the same way AMD have implemented with their Mantle API.

It’s been a long time since DirectX got a new release, we’ve seen plenty of revisions and improvements in terms of how DirectX 11 is used, but it was five years ago since that was released and DirectX 10 came out back in 2006! So we’re certainly long overdue an update.

AMD, Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm will be there too and it only adds fuel that this will be a pretty epic reveal. Expect more details on the 20th when Microsoft make their formal presentation at GDC.

Thank you Microsoft for providing us with this information.

GDC Europe Adds Wii U, Hitman: Absolution, DeNA Talks To An Already Packed Schedule

As Thursday’s early registration deadline looms, new GDC Europe talks include Hitman: Absolution’s AI/animation; Scattered Entertainment’s Senta Jakobsen (The Drowning) on distributed work environments; and Nintendo on using Unity, HTML, and JavaScript on the Wii U.

The event itself will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 19th-21st at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany – just ahead of (and co-located with) the massive 275,000 person Gamescom event, with all GDC Europe passes also guaranteeing entrance to Gamescom.

In the first of Nintendo of Europe’s (NOE) two vendor-presented sessions, ‘Nintendo Wii U Application Development with HTML and JavaScript,’ NOE’s own Svyetoslav Pidgornyy and Martin Buchholz “will introduce a new way of rapidly developing Wii U applications that takes full advantage of unique Wii U features while reducing development times significantly.”

The second vendor session, ‘Unity, Wii U and You,’ will feature NOE senior software engineer James Steele and Unity core team developer Wayne Johnson, presenting “everything from technical advantages of using Unity to develop your Wii U titles, to the process of getting your title published on the Wii U.”

Elsewhere, in ‘Creating the AI for the Living, Breathing World of Hitman: Absolution,’ IO Interactive senior AI programmer Mika Vehkala will discuss how the Danish firm created believable AI that adapts to the player’s different actions in a game that is equal parts action and stealth. Accompanying IO’s rationale behind design choices, Vehkala will provide “detailed information about the implementation of the multiple software layers driving NPC animation and AI.”

Lastly, in ‘Reflections on a Distributed and Manager-Less Work Environment’ Senta Jakobsen, senior development director from Swedish studio Scattered Entertainment (a DeNA company), will follow up her GDC 2012 talk ‘Changing How Games are Made – Building and Working in a Distributed Team,’ covered by Gamasutra. She will review how the first year of distributed and manager-less work has progressed, sharing what has worked and what has not.

The vast majority of the talks for GDC Europe have now been revealed on the event’s live schedule builder, with over 75 lectures already available to view, and the official event schedule arriving in the near future.

Early bird registration for GDC Europe 2013 lasts only until this Thursday, July 18th, with discounts up to 20% off admission. Group admission discounts are also available. For all the latest news on GDC Europe, subscribe for updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

Thank you GDC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of GDC.

Google Dev Day, Nintendo & Project Anarchy Sessions Added To GDC Europe 2013

These special sessions are accessible to VIP and All Access Pass holders during GDC Europe 2013. The three-day conference will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 19th-21st at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany – just ahead of (and co-located with) the massive 275,000 person Gamescom event.

On Tuesday, August 20th, the first-come, first-served Google Developer Day will begin with learning how to use Google’s monetization and promotion tools to support and grow your game company, followed by a discussion of how to support multi-platform gaming with Google Cloud.

Continuing the day will be ‘Acquiring the Most Valuable Users for Your Game,’ which will include Google staffers covering how to focus on the lifetime value of users and how to implement a data-driven advertising strategy to retain them. Additionally, ‘Measuring and Optimizing Games using Google Mobile App Analytics’ will explain how this tool can help developers iterate on gameplay experiences and establish new monetization models.

The full schedule of the Google Developer Day is available here.

Elsewhere, platform company Havok will host two vendor sessions during the week. On Monday, August 19th will be a ‘Project Anarchy Introduction’, covering the free mobile game engine which launched last month for iOS, Android and Tizen developers. This session will be an hour packed with how to make exciting, graphically rich mobile games easily and review available toolsets such as the asset management system, LUA scripting, remote input system, and file serving.

Additionally, on Wednesday the 21st, Neowiz CRS development director Jason Park will share his experience in ‘Redefining the MMO’ using his upcoming Project Black Sheep as a case study on how to get the most from next-gen technology and Havok tools while developing his MMORPG.

Lastly, Nintendo has just added two special vendor sessions to GDC Europe, the first time the storied firm has participated at the show, and the details of those talks will be announced in the near future.

Thank you GDC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of GDC.

Quantic Dream’s David Cage To Discuss The Dark Sorceror At GDC Europe 2013

GDC Europe 2013 organizers have announced new talks for the August event, including Quantic Dream’s David Cage (Beyond: Two Souls) on their virtual actor capturing techniques for next-gen, Ubisoft on User Experience development methods, and Nevosoft on tapping into the burgeoning German mobile market.

These sessions will be part of the Production and Visual Arts tracks and the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, accessible to VIP and All Access Pass holders for GDC Europe 2013. The event will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 19th-21st at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany – just ahead of (and co-located with) the massive 275,000 person Gamescom event.

Multiple award-winning Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream CEO David Cage will cover the visual arts techniques from his latest two projects in ‘The Dark Sorcerer and Beyond: Shooting, Directing and Filming Virtual Actors.’ These techniques will cover everything needed for using virtual actors (Beyond’s William Dafoe pictured) in next-gen titles, and will be demonstrated with exclusive footage from The Dark Sorcerer.

Julia Lebedeva, business development director of English and Russian casual games publisher Nevosoft, will uncover the value in the emerging ‘Russian Mobile Game Market: Not Easy but Worth It.’ Her talk will cover the market’s volume and peculiarities, tips for breaking into it, and how to avoid common pitfalls.

Lastly, Settlers 7 lead level designer and games lab manager at Ubisoft Blue Byte Jochen Peketz will offer user experience design techniques for each stage of creation in ‘Developing Better Games by Optimizing the User Experience.’ He believes a well designed user experience is what makes a game sell well, and in this session he will demonstrate different techniques devs can use to build a better UX, including heuristics, paper prototyping, card sorting, user tests, eye tracking and diary studies.

Thank you GDC for providing us with this information

 

GDC Europe’s Indie Games Summit Adds Indie Megabooth, Canabalt C64 Talks

Organizers have announced several notable new talks for next month’s Independent Games Summit at GDC Europe in Cologne, including creating the text-based hit, Steve Jackson’s Sorcery!; building the Indie Megabooth’s presence at PAX and in the press; and porting Canabalt and Super Crate Box to the Commodore 64 – also revealing a new extra with the reduced-price Indie Games Summit Pass.

These talks are part of GDC Europe 2013’s Independent Games Summit, which will take place Tuesday, August 20th, during the three-day conference at Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany – just ahead of (and co-located with) the massive 275,000 person Gamescom event. These likely to be popular talks are accessible via the reduced-price Independent Games Summit pass for the show, but are also available for all GDC Europe passholders. Organizers are also announcing that the Indie Games Summit Pass will now include a two-day pass to the Gamescom event itself, including attendance during the business day on Wednesday, August 21st – a significant additional perk.

The breakdown of the newly added talks, part of an extensive line-up for the day, are as follows:

  • inkle co-founder Jon Ingold’s ‘A World from Words: Highly Interactive Stories with Text’ is a narrative design-focused talk that will explain how inkle made their recent iOS port of 1980s interactive fiction classic Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! a commercial success that reached the top 20 iPad app chart in both the US and the UK.
  • Kelly Wallick’s ‘Building the Indie MEGABOOTH: Showcasing Indies Above the Noise’ talk will discuss how a coalition of 16 indies initially banded together to stand out on the PAX show floor and expanded to 30 and 50 devs at subsequent shows, with an eye towards helping other independent developers organize their own communities.
  • Gamasutra UK editor and Pocket Gamer contributor Mike Rose’s ‘Getting Your Independent Game Noticed in 2013′ talk will offer marketing tips for and analysis of how independent developers can improve their games’ chances of receiving mainstream press coverage.
  • Paul Koller’s ‘Porting Contemporary Games to a Vintage Platform’ will cover the unique story of how he ported indie blockbusters Canabalt and Super Crate Box to the distinctly retro Commodore 64 computer.

These talks join previously-announced postmortems at GDC Europe 2013, featuring Apple Design Awards winners Vlambeer on Ridiculous Fishing and Frogmind on Badland, along with Wii U developer Broken Rules on Chasing Aurora. More talks will be revealed throughout the weeks leading up to GDC Europe in August. The schedule builder is live with a rapidly increasing list of talks already available.

Early bird registration for GDC Europe 2013 is also live, with discounts up to 20% off admission only until Thursday, July 18th. Group admission discounts are also available. For all the latest news on GDC Europe, subscribe for updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

Thankyou GDC for providing us with this information.

GDC Europe 2013’s first talks feature Broken Age, Remember Me

Organizers of  GDC Europe have announced their first set of selected talks, which include lectures on Capcom & Dontnod’s Remember Me (pictured), scalability for Double Fine’s upcoming  Broken Age, and insight from streaming game video provider Twitch.tv.

These talks are part of the  programming and  business tracks in GDC Europe 2013, which will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 19th-21st at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany – just ahead of (and co-located with) the massive 275,000 person  Gamescom event.

First revealed is Oliver Franzke of Double Fine Productions’ talk, ‘Broken Age‘s Approach to Scalability.’ It will focus on authoring and rendering techniques for characters and environments used to target five platforms simultaneously, including PC and mobile.

The talk about the much-anticipated, multi-million dollar funded Kickstarter project will also cover run-time techniques such as rendering tricks and fast deployment for rapid iteration and debugging.

In ‘The Art and Rendering of  Remember Me,’ senior 3D/engine programmer Sebastien Lagarde will show how Dontnod constructed a plausible sci-fi city of Paris for the  intriguing cyberpunk game – including looks at the rendering workflow, new dynamic reflection techniques, and image enhancement techniques.

Lastly, Twitch VP Matthew DiPietro will present case studies on how EA, Activision, SOE, and more are approaching online video in his talk, ‘The Revolution will be Streamed: How Video is Transforming Video Games.’ DiPietro will also explain the effects streaming has on game design, game marketing, PR, business development and beyond.

More talks will be revealed throughout the months leading up to GDC Europe in August. The  GDC Europe advisory board met this week in The Netherlands to choose from more than 275 submitted talks, which was up 25% from last year’s total. A host of invited lectures and even European-specific Classic Game Postmortems (following last year’s  GoldenEye 007 postmortem) are also being prepared, based on extensive Advisory Board comments.

Early bird registration for GDC Europe 2013 is now available, with discounts up to 20% off admission. Group admission discounts are also available.

GameStick Announces First Round of Content Partnerships and Pre-Install Titles at GDC

During an exclusive event at GDC yesterday, Playjam unveiled the GameStick Storefront running on dev units due to ship out shortly to its Kickstarter backers and content partners. To support this demonstration, which will be replicated for GDC attendees on the ARMbooth at the exhibition today and tomorrow, Playjam showcased a number of launch titles and announced exciting deals with Madfinger and Hutch that will see both Shadowgun and Smash Cops pre-installed on the device ensuring GameStick users have free, quality content ready to go out of the box.

“GameStick offers a direct route to TV for our games”, says MarekRabas, CEO at Madfinger. “The format lends itself perfectly to carrying many of our hit mobile titles, marrying portability with truly big screen entertainment. The prospect of this micro-console bringing a wide genre of games to TV is extremely exciting and one which we are keen to support fully.”

“It’s not often that we see new products emerge around games hardware capable of disrupting what has up until now been a relatively closed space”, says Shaun Rutland, CEO at Hutch Games. “GameStick is one such product and we’re excited at the opportunity to work with the PlayJam team in bringing our titles such as Smash Cops to their platform.”

Support for GameStick is quickly gaining momentum from the developer community with open recognition that the micro-console represents a significant opportunity to widen distribution of their content via a medium that until now had been closed to many – TV.

Says NiqueFajors, Co-founder at One Spear Entertainment, “What’s more exciting than industry disruption and delivering exceptional customer value? Nothing! And GameStick is nailing both”

Games will be available for purchase and download from within the GameStick UI via a dedicated store. The GameStick Developer program has over 500 participants from a broad cross-section of the developer community that will see games such as Riptide, R-Type, Another World, Raiden Legacy, Ski Safari, Meganoid, Ground Effect, CatchaCatcha Aliens, Gunslugs, AfterMath, Shaqdown, Towelfight 2, and Reckless Getaway feature at launch.

“We are thrilled to have some phenomenal titles to showcase what GameStick is all about – amazing games“ says Charles Tigges, CCO at PlayJam. “I am delighted to see many of the top selling iOS and Android titles now finding their natural home on the big screen through GameStick. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements of new games coming to the platform ”

Additionally, at the opening of GDC this week, PlayJam announced a partnership with Pivos to bring official support for XBMC to GameStick thereby adding media services to the content mix.

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