Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Down and Out on Market Street

As I alluded to in the Fable 2 post, EA sent me to the Game Developers' Conference (GDC) this year in San Francisco. Unfortunately, I saw far less of it than I would have liked because I was down with the flu. I think I spent more time in bed and at the Walgreens at Market Street & 4th than I did at the conference. That may be an exaggeration, but it was still disappointing. I also ended up getting Colin Campbell (a colleague of mine) all sick, which just sucked doubly.

Networking. No. It's hard to schmooze when you're coughing every 12.2 seconds and trying to keep your nose from dripping on your new friend. So I didn't meet a lot of the people I'd hoped to. Who I did meet, I tried to keep my distance and avoid shaking hands so as not to pass on the scourge. Still, it wasn't a total loss. It was the first time I'd been and it was fascinating. The keynotes were great, including a compelling Ray Kurzweil. I didn't feel well enough to focus enough on the technical sessions to get much out of them. Still, there were a lot of ideas in the air. I also attended several game design and art sessions.

Need Input

The WiiMote and Guitar Hero/Rock Band must have spawned a lot of thought about input devices in the industry. Depth cameras and a bunch of other technologies were on display. We had NeuroSky and Emotiv Systems with their bio-sensor technologies (see the following post on Emotiv Systems).

Physics Engines, UI and Procedural Texture Technologies

A lot of middleware vendors especially surrounding Physics and UI. For physics, we had the Octave Engine and others. For UI - Scaleform, Anark, MenusMaster. Scaleform seems to be quite popular and is a Flash-based UI system. I was taken by Allegorithmic's procedural texture technologies. Oh, and motion capture.


Everyone was talking about BioShock. I've not yet started playing it, although I do own it. I'm still playing Assassin's Creed right now which is phenomenal in its own right. I'm excited to get at it. I attended a session with Ken Levine, BioShock's designer.


PC World Video, Recap
GDC08 Review

I already wrote about Fable 2, though I'll probably amend that (and this) entry as I get more time and reflect a bit more about it.

1 comment:

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