Raph Koster explores why ‘life is an MMO’ isn’t a joke anymore at GDC 2017!

Registration is now open for the 2017 Game Developers Conference, the largest event for game industry professionals in the world, and today organizers are proud to highlight another one of the great talks taking place at the show!

Niantic and The Pokemon Company’s augmented-reality mobile phenomenon Pokemon Go had a huge impact on the game industry this year, and veteran online game designer Raph Koster believes it has fundamentally changed the way we understand MMO game design.

In his GDC 2017 Design track talk on “‘Life is an MMO’ Isn’t a Joke Anymore,” Koster will talk about the social and ethical implications of turning the real world into a virtual world, and how the lessons of massively multiplayer virtual worlds are more relevant than ever.

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Get cutting-edge info from Microsoft, Google and Qualcomm at VRDC!

The first-ever standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference is happening next week, so today organizers want to quickly let you know about more of the great sponsored sessions from leading innovators that you should check out at the show.

We’re talking about cutting-edge companies like Google, Qualcomm and Microsoft sponsoring excellent in-depth talks about everything from where VR is now to where it’s going — and how developers can make the most of it.

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Get ready — VRDC is happening next week!

Get ready: The inaugural standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference is one week away!

If you haven’t already, there’s still time to register online for a VRDC pass that grants you access to a wide variety of talks, roundtable discussions, demos and workshops during the show, which is happening November 2nd and 3rd (next Wednesday and Thursday) at the Park Central Hotel in San Francisco.

VRDC attendees are heartily encouraged to plan ahead and bookmark their favorite talks in the online VRDC Session Scheduler. All passholders also have access to the VRDC show floor, which will showcase cutting-edge virtual- and augmented-reality technology from some of the industry’s biggest and most influential companies.

Microsoft, HTC, Google, CCP and ARM are but a few of the notable exhibitors at the show this year — you can visit the official GDC Next website for a dynamic list of the show’s exhibitor lineup. The Expo Floor also provides attendees with numerous opportunities to learn about upcoming products, interact with developers, and establish business relationships with some of the industry’s top professionals.

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Learn to build mixed realities for HoloLens, Tango and beyond at VRDC!

Devices like Microsoft’s HoloLens and Google’s Project Tango provide powerful spatial awareness capabilities that go beyond augmented reality to enable “mixed reality” applications. Leveraging these capabilities requires not just an understanding of these technologies, but new ways of thinking about user interface design and gameplay.

At the first-ever standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference this November, Rabbx chief Aaron Pulkka and Ant Hives Games CTO Cyrus Lum aim to provide you with just that in their presentation on “Creating Mixed Realities with HoloLens, Tango, and Beyond.”

Pulkka and Lum will share their experiences developing apps for spatially aware devices, including the immersive experience “Behemoth” which won “best spatial mapping” at the SFVR HoloLens hackathon and Ghostly Mansion, a game about solving your own murder which won “best entertainment/game app” in Google’s Project Tango development contest.

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Come out to VRDC and get tips on telling great stories in VR

Whether you’re crafting a branded 360 video experience or real-time room-scale immersive fiction, good VR storytelling is hard.

That’s why, at the inaugural standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference this November, Soap Collective creative director Logan Dwight will be presenting an engaging presentation about VR tale-telling titled “From Branded Content to Immersive Fiction: Directing Techniques for Better Storytelling in VR.”

VR is more than games, film, or theater: it’s a convergence medium that requires understanding all of these forms. As storytellers and brand creatives, The Soap Collective have spent years exploring multi-media narrative. Using a technique they call the “Cone of Focus”, the Soap team has developed guidelines that maximize immersion, support user comfort, and can help us all tell better stories in VR.

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Come out to GDC, learn to maximize player engagement and avoid disaster!

Registration is open for the 2017 Game Developers Conference, and we already have some great talks from top minds in the game industry that you should know about!

Live games are a critical part of the modern game industry, and time is the core currency for live games — but humans are notoriously bad at projecting long-term outcomes over time. Thus, MaxPlay creative director Chelsea Howe is coming to GDC next year to deliver a fantastic talk on “The Design of Time: Understanding Human Attention and Economies of Engagement.”

This talk covers patterns of human attention and engagement over time and concrete ways to design for those phases, including how to surface time components, approaching engagement with a relationship lens, transitioning from hand-crafted experiences to procedural and social systems, and balancing permanent progress with maintenance mechanics.

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Learn about the future of VR/AR from HTC, Intel and ARM at VRDC!

The first standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference is happening next month, and today organizers want to quickly let you know about some of the great sponsored sessions from leading innovators that show attendees should check out.

For example, cutting-edge companies like HTC, Microsoft and Intel are sponsoring excellent in-depth talks about everything from where VR is now to where it’s going — and how developers can make the most of it.

Consider the “VR Developer Roundtable: Looking Where We Want to Go” session, presented by HTC Vive, Rikard Steiber (SVP of virtual reality at HTC Vive and president of Viveport, HTC) will guide a panel of leading developers as they share their vision for what the next big thing will be for VR.

Attendees will hear firsthand from creators of popular apps and up-and-coming developers about designing immersive content, personal and social experiences, and the right monetization strategies that are helping grow their audiences and build their VR business.

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Making third-person VR game HUDs is hard — learn to do it right at VRDC!

Designing a great user interface for your game is no easy feat, and it gets even trickier when you decide to embrace virtual reality.

So if you’re making (or thinking about making) a VR game, make sure to come out to the first-ever standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference next month and catch Force Vield VR’s Joost Peters’ talk on “Designing a HUD for a Third Person Game.”

Peters is an experienced UI designer, and his presentation will detail the challenges he and other members of the Force Field VR team ran into while creating a HUD for their third person VR game Landfall. During the session, the challenges they found will be highlighted and their design approach and the solutions they applied will be explained.

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Get VR game dev tips from Ubisoft, Double Fine, CCP and more at VRDC!

Next month the Virtual Reality Developers Conference kicks off in San Francisco, and organizers would like to briefly showcase some of the great talks about VR/AR games and entertainment taking place at the show!

This first-ever standalone VRDC is expanding beyond games to also encompass the use of VR/AR in entertainment, journalism, retail marketing and more — but games are still a critical focus of VRDC, as exemplified by its cutting-edge Games and Entertainment track of talks.

For example, in “Reinventing ‘Psychonauts‘ for VR” project lead Chad Dawson will talk about how the team designed and built a fresh experience from the ground up, one that captures the strengths of the original Psychonauts while embracing the immersion and gameplay that can only be delivered in VR.

His talk promises to be fun and insightful, as it covers the design evolution of the upcoming VR game Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin — including the specific challenges of camera perspectives, control iteration, navigation, and interactive dialog unique to title with a strong focus on stylized characters, story, and humor.

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Reminder: 1 week left to submit your games to the 2017 IGF!

Heads up, devs: Submissions are officially open for the 2017 Independent Games Festival, the signature competition for indie games — and the deadline to submit your entry is next Monday, October 24th!

After submissions close, IGF finalists will be announced in early January 2017. Finalists’ games will once again be playable at the packed IGF Pavilion on the Game Developers Conference 2017 Expo Floor, and will compete for over $50,000 in prizes.

Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with the IGF Pavilion open from March 1st-3rd, and the sister Independent Games Summit event taking place on February 27th and 28th.

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