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. 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. 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.
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. [gallery columns="4" link="file" ids="2286,2284,2282,2291"]
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.