Tag Archives: GDC

GDC 2018

GDC 2018 Wrap-Up

With the 2018 Game Developers Conference (GDC 2018) a fond but recent memory, it’s time to look back on what happened at this year’s event. From the latest in AR and VR to mobile marketing, there was never a dull moment throughout the week of the conference.

Sessions and Seminars

There were multiple seminars, panels and sessions covering gaming news. One highlight was a look at “The Year in Mobile Games” and best practices for launching games on mobile devices.

Of course, the sessions covered far more than mobile games and delved into a wide range of topics from game animation to AI systems to customer care. The panels covered all aspects of gaming and game creation, from conception to beyond the launch to provide a full understanding of the lifecycle of game creation.


GDC 2018 Expo


There were also multiple halls filled with exhibitors of all types, including big-name studios such as PlayStation and Xbox. These companies gave demos of upcoming games, as well as a live stream of the highly popular game “Fortnite.”

Companies and organizations of all shapes and sizes had a space for themselves at GDC. There were vendors marketing their streaming services, game animation studios, smaller studios looking to make a name for themselves, and so much more. Of course, Gummicube had its own booth, for all those interested in optimizing their app store rankings; after all, mobile games can benefit greatly from strong ASO.

Independent Games Festival

Independent developers were treated well, with a showcase space in the IGF Pavilion. Developers were also able to show off their new and upcoming games with the Day of the Devs showcase. They also displayed historical greats from MAGFest, accompanied by a keyboard rendition of video game tunes.


IGF Pavilion


Developers also showed off their game’s unique mechanics at the alt.ctrl.GDC area. One game, “Wind Golf,” had players blow into a machine to play a game of miniature golf. Another that stood out was “Puppet Pandemonium,” a multi-player game where two players took the role of puppeteers. Players had to use Muppet-style puppets as both characters and controllers and performed their lines as part of the game.

GDC Awards

At the end of the week, the winners of the 18th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) and Independent Games Festival (IGF) awards were announced.

In GDCA, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” took home the Game of the Year award. It also won for Best Design and Best Audio.

“NieR:Automata” won the Audience Award, and was nominated for several others.

“Cuphead” won Best Debut and Best Visual Art, while Gorogoa won Best Mobile Game and the Innovation Award.

For Best Narrative, “What Remains of Edith Finch” beat out several tough competitors. “Horizon Zero Dawn” won Best Technology, and Superhot VR won Best VR/AR Game.

Individuals like Tim Schafer and Rami Ismail were also honored, who earned the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Ambassador Award respectively.




After Hours

Even after the exhibit halls closed, game developers, studios, publishers and more enjoyed after-hour mixers and networking parties to make new connections and meet future talent.

If you attended GDC this year, let us know your thoughts, what you enjoyed and what you learned in the comments below!

If you’re a mobile game developer looking to optimize your game for the app stores, then check out our official Mobile Game hub post for helpful tips and tricks.

what to expect at gdc 2018

What To Expect At GDC 2018

With the 2018 Game Developers Conference approaching, developers and attendees are busy preparing their schedules for a busy week of exploring all the latest developments in games. However, that encompasses a wide range of subjects, and there is quite a lot to do and see. Here are the major things to expect at GDC and look forward to.

1. Game Development

For both professional and aspiring game developers, GDC contains seminars and panels covering all aspects of game development. This includes topics from programming to marketing and everything in-between. Among the wide range of subjects, there are such intriguing gems as Riot’s session on “Understanding the Social Values of Your Players,” Flux Game Studio’s “How to Scale an Indie Game via Outsourcing” and MEGO’s “Cryptocurrency in Games.”

Between panels, there’s an entire exhibition hall filled with the latest in games and innovations. Several large studios will have massive booths displaying their new games and accessories, with lengthy lines of people waiting to try out upcoming games.

2. Mobile Gaming

Of course, mobile apps are an important aspect of today’s game landscape, so there are several sessions dedicated to mobile gaming.

  • King, the studio behind hit games like Candy Crush and Bubble Witch 2 Saga, will be hosting a panel on what does and doesn’t work for design teams.
  • Kongregate will be discussing the making of their “Animation Throwdown” mobile game and the pros/cons of going cross-platform.
  • Scopely will be discussing mobile free-to-play games.

For those who make or are interested in mobile games, they should prove invaluable.

3. AR & VR

In recent years, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been seeing huge upswings in innovation. At GDC, developers creating games using these technologies will have their latest creations on display, showing off the current potential of virtual and augmented reality.

However, the exhibition hall is for more than just demonstrating and selling games. Exhibitors will be displaying products in a wide range of aspects within the gaming industry, including:

  • Ad monetization
  • Funding and venture capitalists
  • Gamification
  • Marketing
  • And many other aspects!

While you’re there, don’t forget to keep an eye out for all sorts of free gifts from the various vendors; anyone leaving GDC without at least a free t-shirt or two must make an active effort to avoid them.

4. Alt.ctrl.GDC

GDC is not only a celebration of what games are but of the innovation behind them. In that spirit, it hosts alt.ctrl.GDC, an interactive space where clever designers have created games with controllers that are anything but traditional. Previous years saw such creative ideas as a game controlled from a cardboard box and colander helmet. Another featured a game with a joystick and a single line of LED lights to represent the gameplay. No doubt there will be a variety of unique and inspired game designs on display.

5. Independent Games Festival & Developers Choice Awards

Additionally, the Independent Games Festival (IGF) Pavilion will honor and display this year’s most well-renowned indie games. These are the products of independent developers pouring their hearts and souls into creating new, unique games, and managing to create something bold and entertaining. There won’t be any large game studios in the Pavilion, but the quality of these indie developers can more than compete with any of them.

Speaking of competing, GDC always wraps up with the annual Game Developers Choice Awards. This is the 18th annual awards show, recognizing the greatest in creativity, technology, and artistry in the past year’s games. There are a wide range of awards, such as the Innovation Award, Best Narrative, Best Mobile Game, Best VR/AR Game, and of course, the coveted Game of the Year.

What to expect at GDC

Looking Forward: Even More To Expect at GDC

When all the gaming is done, and awards are claimed, then it is time to mingle. There are mixers and networking spaces held around the convention center after the floor hours have ended. This is a great time to make new contacts and friends within the gaming industry. Networking is key to any career, so attendees shouldn’t hesitate to reach out and meet new people.

Yet with all that to look forward to, it is but a taste of all that the Game Developers Conference has in store. For those who are involved in the gaming industry or looking to get a foot in the door, it’s an event that should not be missed. It’s only a few weeks away, so the time to start planning your schedule is now.

This post is part of our Blog Series on Gaming and GDC 2018. Click the link to see other posts in the series!


GDC 2016 Highlights

GDC 2016 Highlights for Mobile Apps

There is a lot for mobile marketers and gamers to be excited about as 2016 unfolds!

With a whopping 41% of apps downloaded in 2015 being game apps, mobile marketers wishing to capitalize on the latest trends within the app economy would do well to pay attention to current mobile gaming trends and habits.

Many of these trends were highlighted and discussed at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC), held in San Francisco. The conference was attended by approximately 30,000 persons (including gamers, marketers and hangers on) and was streamed online.

We feature some of the major highlights of GDC 2016 below. GDC 2016 highlights mobile marketers should make note of

Some of the significant emerging ad and mobile technology trends to watch in 2016, as announced at the GDC 2016, include:

1. Virtual Reality (VR) taking center stage

Unsurprisingly, VR was hands down the hottest topic at GDC 2016. VR for mass market consumption has been a development issue on the mobile gaming table seemingly forever.

Well, the wait is finally over, as October 2016 is expected to be the time of unveiling. As far as the practical application of the feature is concerned, the following can be expected:

  • The official bringing to market of Virtual Reality hardware wearables from leading mobile brands PlayStation (unveiled as PSVR at a cost of US399), Oculus, Sony and HTC
  • Entrance of other players into the VR gaming market after PSVR becomes more mainstream
  • Ongoing experiments regarding an all-in-one VR headset unit, fitted with all the best hardware trimmings

2. New features in Google Play designed to benefit independent game developers

One of the GDC’s most talked about announcement was that of an Indie Corner coming to the Google Play Store.

The Indie Corner is a curated list that features the top independent games, and the feature provides yet another avenue for independent mobile game developers to extend their reach and attract more players.

Criteria that will be used to decide which games make the cut are:

  • Whether or not the game is interesting
  • Stability
  • Originality
  • Good utilization of Google Play Games Service
  • Small team size, not exceeding 15 people
  • Overall high game quality

3. Mobile game marketing insights from leading industry players

Leading mobile game developers such as Uken Games, EA Games and Spry Fox dropped a lot of unconventional mobile gaming marketing wisdom on the GDC attendees on the very first day of the conference.

The same included:

  • The development of an automated analytics system designed to detect click-based fraud and prevent ‘visible cheating’ (Uken Games)
  • The introduction of rare events and collectibles with in-game functions that are tangible, and “bear speak” mechanic, geared at increasing active users and increasing retention rates — both of which jumped (Spry Fox)
  • How to turn established game property into an F2P mobile game hit (EA)

4. Unity Technology’s impressive figures and other updates

Game development software giant, Unity Technology, made public some stunning figures during the company’s updates at GDC 2016.

Unity Technology revealed that it now enjoys unique monthly users in excess of 1.1 million — a figure that surpasses the total number of employees who work for publicly owned gaming companies across the entire globe.

Other impressive Unity figures included:

  • Building approximately 300 of the 1000 (30%) highest grossing mobile games in Q4 2015
  • Advertising growing by more than fivefold since GDC 2015

Other Unity Technology updates included the availability of Unity 5.4 and 5.3.4, with Unity 5.4 being poised to improve flat 2D rendering and pave the way for virtual reality (see highlight number 1 above).

There was also the announcement of:

  • A Unity certificate program that is “hard” and “definitely not an easy beginner level.”
  • An innovative new way to control multi-developer projects by new users being easily added to project files, quick project adaptation and cloud saves. A beta program for the same is now available at unity3d.com/collaborate
  • A one-click, no SDK, integration, with three times as many platforms being supported and easier to create and launch IAP