5 Things You Should Know About GAME DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE 2018

When the general public thinks of the ultimate Video Game conference, they usually think E3. While it is true that this is one of the biggest video game conventions in the world, it’s a smaller convention in March called Game Developers Conference in San Francisco that all the movers and the shakers go.


Game Developers Conference started in 1988 in San Jose. Since its inception, many have known GDC as the pre-cursor to E3 and it still continues to live up to its reputation to this day. Many indie game developers found their stride here. Games like Portal, Fez, Papers Please, Cart Life, and Minecraft took off from here.


And this year is no different.


Here’s 5 things you need to know about Game Developers Conference (GDC) that happened just this last week.

1. Crypto-currency is evolving.

While it seems that nowadays, the bitcoin trend is slowly dying down, the notion of “mining” for virtual currency is starting to change. There were several companies present at GDC looking to change blockchain technology for gaming applications which means that some games in the future may have shades of bitcoin but realized as a game.

Even with the bitcoin evolution, many have seen this as an opportunity to mock this trend. Take Dallar (dallar.org). Created by game developers, this crypto-currency has been a huge middle finger to the bitcoin, even going so far as to distribute wristbands and badge ribbons at the convention.

2. Virtual Reality (VR) is STILL here.

After Facebook bought out Oculus, it seemed like the VR trend was starting to show its cracks. Many that backed the Oculus turned their backs, but there were many that believe in the power of VR. Other VR hardware setups rose up…Vive and Playstation VR being the largest competitors. But Oculus is not out of the picture. With Facebook now on their side, they came in with one of the largest booths and it seems like it was pretty busy with appointments and parties.

There were many booths such as Tactical Haptics that continue to show off fresh innovations in VR technology.  Being able to snap two controllers together using magnets into 1 unit changes the item in game into something different, allowing for more versatility.

3. The game industry is as strong as ever.

If anyone thinks that the game industry is waning in its impact, then they are severely wrong. GDC itself boasted a record breaking 28,000 attendees. Everyone from students to industry veterans…even WWE Superstar Xavier Woods spent time combing the exhibit floor. If this is any indication of the industry as a whole, it’s clearly exclaiming that gaming is here to stay.

4. Nintendo had little presence, but it’s presence was felt.

Officially, Nintendo had 2 talks at this year’s GDC. Not only were these panels highly advertised on one of their Nintendo Direct sessions, they gave some really interesting tidbits of information. On their Splatoon 2 panel, Nintendo gave more of a post-mortem of the hit game, revealing things such as early concept art for Splatoon, the idea that Yoshi was originally supposed to be the main character of Splatoon, and that the Octolings will soon join the society of squids in the current game.

Did I mention the amount of Switch consoles I saw in and around the convention?

5. Independent games are still driving the industry

If the last 10 years has taught us anything, it’s that the future of the game industry relies on innovative ideas expressed in innovative gameplay. Alt.Ctrl.GDC in its 5th year, manages to wow the attendees with some pretty wild game schemes. Students showed their stuff as many games I played at the convention felt fresh and new. Some notable ones include Bot Party, where you hold these cube controllers waiting for prompts to touch your fellow players (most likely using a low level electric current to connect the circuits) to score, Disco is Dead, which uses a very interesting slap mechanic to control the player, Lemonade, which uses a series of PVC tubes that controls what happens on screen, and Puppet Pandemonium, which uses a very elaborate puppet-player interaction that I can’t even begin to describe.

This year’s Independent Games Festival (IGF) had a very strong showing this year as well. Winners this year include the cutesy game Chuchel, which won the Excellence in Visual Art, Getting it Over with Bennett Foddy, a weird game about a guy in a cauldron using a sledgehammer to get around (yes, you read that right), which won the Nuovo (Innovation) Award, and Night in the Woods, a 2d paper-like adventure about a cat, which won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.


It’s games like this that push the industry forward and I was glad to be a part of it.



I’ve been a veteran of the Game Industry for over 10 years. I’ve been in and out, QA, Animator, Lead Game Developer, Card Game, Video Game, MMO, you name it. Needless to say I’m a nerd for games 🙂


But this week, Game Developers Conference (GDC) will descend into San Francisco, California for its annual get together of all things game. Technology, indie games, developer talks, awards, parties, networking. If you’re anyone that’s anyone in the video game industry, you’ll either be here next week or you’ll be gnashing your teeth because you were just too busy to make it.


Hailed as the largest gathering of professional game developers, the conference started in San Jose, CA in 1988 and has since grown to a staggering 20,000 attendees. GDC has spawned many other smaller conferences around the world including GDC Next (Los Angeles), GDC China, and GDC Europe.


Check here for more up to date coverage of the convention!

TWITCH…CON? Details Inside!

Many of you know about the streaming service known as Twitch. It’s been really easy to stream yourself playing games from your Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, and PS4 to the whole world by ways of a simple app. Of course you can also stream from your home computer with a some very light computer knowledge as well. Consequently, people have used Twitch to make money…many users take in hundreds of thousands of dollars for just playing games. Some have even quit their full time jobs just to stream full time.


But the phenomenon hasn’t stopped there. The Official Twitch Blog has just announced TwitchCon set for a two day event in San Francisco on September 24-25 at Moscone Center.


From the Twitch Blog:

“Twitch broadcasters have the most passionate fans, so we want to create an amazing experience where they can come together in person,” said Emmett Shear, CEO, Twitch. “TwitchCon will be an opportunity for the entire community – broadcasters, game developers, viewers, and us – to play and learn together.”

Check Out ATTACK ON TITAN’S Live Immersion Game, Coming To LA And San Francisco!


If any of you have seen the anime Attack on Titan, you’ll note that this is a show that is like no other. It’s downright blunt in its brutal drama about a medieval-ish world where humans live in a high wall city to protect them from man-eating giants known as Titans.


But to live in that world would be just…scary. Imagine hiding from Titans, looking around every corner, trying to find a way to safety. Destruction is everywhere and the only humans that can help you are being caught and eaten, one-by-one.


Would you be in that world?


The guys over at Real Escape Game have made a fully immersive puzzle game system that has people bouncing around a stadium trying to find clues to escape. Granted, it’s not large man-eating Titans chasing after you, but it can be a great Attack On Titan-themed day out for a lot of you anime fans.


The great news is that Anime News Network and CBR are both reporting that the traveling puzzle circus is coming to the US! If you’re in San Francisco on Feb 1 or in LA on March 21 (and a tentative New York in April), you too can go out and try and Escape the Walled City!!

(see what I did there?)


It appears as though it’s three separate events, each lasting 1.5 hours long with the solution revealed at the end of the sessions. Games will start at 10:30, 2:30, and 6:30 PST and costs $30 for advanced tickets, $35 at the door.


Note that this isn’t the only event they hold. They have also held many other “escape” themed events featuring Evangelion and Detective Conan.


Get your tickets HERE (go to bottom of page)!