GDC is one of those dates gaming pros are likely to have marked in their diary.
It’s a great opportunity for programmers, artists, producers, game designers – anyone involved in interactive games – to get together, share ideas and air problems. And to know that we are not all alone in this world.
So there’s no way a crack team of Social Pointers was going to miss out on the action in Cologne at GDC 2013.
And when Javi and Kaspar rolled into Social Point HQ this morning with smiles as wide as the Ramblas are long, we wanted to hear aaaaaalll about it.
So here you are. Without further ado.
THE BEST BITS OF GAME DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE 2013. (According to Javi and Kaspar.)
Kaspar: GDC is like a checklist – it’s a way of seeing if your studio is doing the stuff it should be doing. So I ticked off all the development methods discussed by speakers, and yes, Social Point is doing what it should be.
Personally, I loved two amazing sessions.
“Designing Games with Procedural Content and Mechanics” was an awesome session given by Joris Dormans from Ludomotion. He gave us a deep dive into procedural content, which is a way of creating content using algorithms instead of manually. This was a pretty techie session, as he went into real detail on the techniques he uses based on gameplay design, and practical examples of how to overcome problems.
PCG is an interesting area to me. It has the potential to develop content faster than more traditional methods and keep it fresh for replay. I think anyone working in gaming needs to keep this on the radar, and Joris’s session was a really useful, hands-on presentation of the area.
I was also blown away by a session called “Getting Physical with Tablet Multiplayer” with Alistair Aitcheson, who runs his own studio in the UK. I like the idea of introducing relationship elements from real life (touching, throwing a pillow, whatever) to the core of gameplay, whilst playing with other people. He gave us a few examples like Greedy Bankers, Chicanery and Slamjet Stadium, which are games exploring this space. Interesting stuff.
Javi: Two major things to say about GDC this year: I came away with a reaffirmation that the problems and issues faced by console games are very similar to those in social gaming. And I was also pleased to see that indie developers are really beginning to occupy airtime in our sector.
So, the session that stood out for me most was “Broken Age’s Approach to Scalability“. The speaker, Oliver Franzke, is a techie genius. A lot of the problems he described are problems we’ve encountered at Social Point with cross-platform. His solutions were just brilliant eye-openers.
Of course, these are just our best bits. For a cool round up of what went down at GDC this year, head to Gamasutra for Five Takeaways from GDC Europe 2013.