GDC celebrates record-breaking attendance and confirms 2019 dates!

The 2018 Game Developers Conference, the world’s largest and longest-running event serving professionals dedicated to the art and science of making games, concluded Friday after a week of networking, learning and inspiration.

This year, the event saw a record attendance of 28,000 industry professionals at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center from March 19-23. GDC and VRDC will be returning to the Moscone Convention Center on Monday, March 18 to Friday, March 22, 2019. The call for submissions for GDC 2019 will open this summer.

Over the course of the week, the conference hosted a total of more than 750 lectures, panels, tutorials and roundtable discussions, along with more than 550 exhibitors on the GDC Expo Floor. The cutting-edge content of the VRDC@GDC returned this year with sessions highlighting key insights into virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) development.

GDC 2018 also featured the Vision Track, a series of mini-keynotes designed to provoke and inspire, which were presented by Supercell’s CEO Ilkka Paananen, Pixar’s Pol Jeremias-Vila and David G Yu, NYU Game Center Director Frank Lantz and Skydance Interactive’s Laralyn McWilliams.

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Night in the Woods, Baba Is You win big at the 2018 IGF Awards

Infinite Fall’s Night in the Woods took home the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game at the 20th annual Independent Games Festival Awards tonight. The ceremony took place as part of the 2018 Game Developers Conference at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

In addition to the grand prize, Night in the Woods also received top honors for Excellence in Narrative. Night in the Woods is an adventure game that focuses on exploration, story and character development within a lush, vibrant world. The full presentation of the Independent Games Festival Awards (IGF Awards), can be viewed on Twitch.

The night’s other multiple award winner was Baba Is You, a puzzle game created by developer Hempuli that allows players to alter the rules and game logic as a part of solving the puzzles. Baba Is You was recognized for Best Student Game and Excellence in Design.

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Breath of the Wild takes top prize at the 2018 Game Developers Choice Awards!

Today Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was honored with the prize for Game of the Year at tonight’s 18th annual Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony during the 2018 Game Developers Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The game’s expansive sound and deep, open-ended gameplay also earned The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild the awards for Best Audio and Best Design. An archive of the award ceremony, as well as the full presentation of the Independent Games Festival Awards (IGF Awards), can be viewed on Twitch.

Developer Jason Roberts’ visually inventive and contemplative puzzle game, Gorogoa, earned two awards tonight, for Best Mobile Game and the Innovation Award. The game seamlessly blends a unique visual design with engrossing storytelling elements, bending space and reality in the process. Developer Studio MDHR also earned two awards, Best Debut and Best Visual Art, for its work on the retro shooter Cuphead. The game faithfully reproduces the charming cartoon aesthetics and toe-tapping jazz of the 1930s, and adds the tight gameplay mechanics of a sidescrolling shooter to create an experience that is at once playful and familiar, yet fiendishly challenging and novel.

The full slate of winners at the 2018 GDCAs also includes Best Narrative award winner, What Remains of Edith Finch by Giant Sparrow, a title that artfully portrays the sad and joyful stories of multiple generations of the Finch family; Horizon Zero Dawn by Guerilla Games, which earned the award for Best Technology for its visually stunning portrayal of a far-flung sci-fi world filled with lush environments and deadly robotic monsters; and the sharply stylistic VR shooter, SUPERHOT VR by the SUPERHOT Team, which won the award for Best VR/AR Game. In addition, the Audience Award, chosen among the entire selection of GDCA finalists via a public online voting process, was presented to developer PlatinumGames for NieR:Automata, the charmingly offbeat open-world RPG.

The Game Developers Choice Awards honor the very best games of the year, and was created for and voted on by developers. Winners are selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only group comprised of leading game creators from all parts of the industry.

In addition to the best games of the last year, the GDCAs also honor the dedicated individuals who have helped further the art, science and craft of video games with special awards. This year’s Ambassador Award, which recognizes those whose actions have helped video games to “advance to a better place,” went to independent developer and Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail. The award recognizes Ismail’s work helping incubators, local events, universities, community efforts, and games industry policy around the world.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was Double Fine and LucasArts developer Tim Schafer, whose career spans almost three decades of creating iconic adventure games across platforms and generations. Schafer has inspired countless developers around the world with his work on standout titles like Day Of The Tentacle, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango & Brutal Legend, helped advocate for independent game development, and pioneered independent crowdfunding for games like Double Fine’s Psychonauts 2 and Broken Age.

“Every year sees countless amazing games worthy of recognition, but this year in particular has seen some of the strongest titles to arrive this generation. The GDCAs give us an opportunity to reflect on and honor the games that provided us with endless joy,” said Katie Stern, General Manager of the Game Developers Conference. “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild helped us rediscover a childlike sense of adventure and discovery. Titles like Gorogoa and What Remains of Edith Finch offered us distinct creative visions that can only be experienced in games, and games like Cuphead and Horizon Zero Dawn crafted worlds we could lose ourselves in. Congratulations to all of tonight’s nominees and winners and thank you for your creativity and dedication.”

The Game Developers Choice Awards winners are:

Best Audio

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)

Best Debut

Studio MDHR (Cuphead)

Best Design

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)

Best Mobile Game

Gorogoa (Jason Roberts/Buried Signal)

Innovation Award

Gorogoa (Jason Roberts/Buried Signal)

Best Narrative

What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow)

Best Technology

Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games)

Best Visual Art

Cuphead (Studio MDHR)

Best VR/AR Game

SUPERHOT VR (The SUPERHOT Team)

Audience Award

NieR:Automata (PlatinumGames)

Game of the Year

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)

Ambassador Award

Rami Ismail

Lifetime Achievement Award

Tim Schafer

For more information about the 18th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, please visit the official website at http://www.gamechoiceawards.com. For information about the 2018 Game Developers Conference, please visit the official website at http://www.gdconf.com.

Reminder: Know and abide by your GDC Code of Conduct!

[With GDC 2018 kicking off next week, GDC general manager Katie Stern is here to highlight the official code of conduct for GDC and all of its related events!]

The Game Developers Conference is next week. I know – I’m just as shocked as you are that this small, intimate gathering of game & AR/VR industry professionals is at our front door already. We’ve begun painting the town ‘GDC’, devs are making their way to San Francisco, and I’m surrounded by enough cardboard boxes to build a small kingdom (Queendom?).

As we near the event, it is time for our annual “Be a Good Human” PSA and remind you of GDC’s Code of Conduct. Read it, know it, be it – because while there may be a new sheriff in town (“Hi!”), the rules remain the same.

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Don’t miss your opportunities to make new friends and contacts at GDC

The 2018 Game Developers Conference is just days away, and that means now is the right time for attendees to brush up on all the ways you can meet interesting new people at the show!

Most notably, the GDC Connect business matchmaking service allows GDC attendees to identify, contact, and request and receive meetings with GDC exhibitors of all kinds, either in exhibitor booths or the special GDC Connect Lounge.

GDC Connect is available to all pass types except Expo, and Expo pass holders can still upgrade to an Expo Plus pass to secure access to this popular meeting tool!

Also, you can find game companies recruiting during GDC by using the “career” filter on the exhibitor list or checking the “Who’s Hiring” list on-site. Visit the Career Theater during the GDC Expo to network with potential employers, attend career development sessions, and attend GDC Pitch, where game developers get 5 minutes to pitch to an opinionated panel of investors and publishers. Plus, you can attend the Game Career Seminar on Friday for a full day of content and portfolio reviews.

Plus, in the GDC Play area of the GDC expo floor (which is open in the North Hall of the Moscone Convention next Wednesday through Friday) you can visit the GDC Play Networking Lounge. There, you’ll have a chance to meet and chat with representatives of over 20 companies ready to conquer the world with creative, fun, educative, and engaging games. Don’t miss it!

If you’d like to relax and chat with other attendees in a more casual setting, make time to stop by some of the great interactive spaces scattered throughout GDC next week!

For example, the always chill Mild Rumpus is back this year, and if you pay their immaculate astro-turf lawn a visit (on the third floor of Moscone West) you’ll find a cozy selection of the finest alternative video games and playful digital work.

Also on the third floor of Moscone West you’ll find the Shut Up & Sit Down board game lounge, a great place to kick back and relax around a table with your fellow attendees as you play a curated selection of the best board and card games around.

And of course, the most important thing you can do is be friendly, open-minded, and respectful of everyone else at the show!  For more information on GDC 2018, visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

At GDC 2018, get expert insight on how to teach game dev around the world

The 2018 Game Developers Conference is nearly here, and today organizers want to quickly let you know about an especially interesting talk that’s taking place at the show in San Francisco next week.

This session on “Cuba, Nairobi, Borneo, Oh My! Creating Games Education (Very) Abroad“, part of the GDC 2018 Educators Summit, will see educator and American University Game Lab director Lindsay Grace digging into some important questions for game dev educators around the world.

For example, how do you bring the wonders of game design and development across political and national borders? How do you design and develop educational programs not only abroad, but in communities that may offer little or no such education? How do you teach game design and development without the internet?

Drawing from the experience of providing games workshops and programs in Cuba, Nairobi, and Borneo, Grace aims to give you the full process for bringing games education abroad (including examples of student work, templates, processes, and photos) in the course of her talk. Don’t overlook it!

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Hone your game design skills at the GDC 2018 Game Design Workshop

GDC 2018 is right around the corner, and today organizers would like to give you a heads-up about the great sessions taking place during the two-day Game Design Workshop which will help kick off the conference next week!

This is just one of the many Bootcamps and Tutorials scheduled during the first two days of GDC (Monday and Tuesday, March 19th and 20th this year) and offer attendees the chance to study critical components of the game design craft.

GDC 2018 attendees are invited to attend the twoday workshop and take part in hands-on activities, group discussion, analysis and critique. Attendees will immerse themselves in the iterative process of refining a game design and discover design concepts that will help them think more clearly about their designs and make better games.

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Speaker Q&A: Julia Keren-Detar on the intersection of history and game design throughout the years

Alongside the many technical and artistic talks you’ll find at GDC 2018, we’re also lucky to be joined by developers interested in talking about the impact video games have on culture at large. For years, game designer Julia Keren-Detar has been discussing the ways that historical events have influenced game design across the years, and this year she’s back with a session on inequality and player behavior that should be especially worth your time!

To get you ready for Keren-Detar’s talk, we’ve reached out to her for a brief Q&A about her work and philosophy on working in games. You can check it out below!

Don’t miss out! The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next March is going to be full of interesting and informative sessions like Keren-Detar’s. For more visit the show’s official website.

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Learn to better fight toxicity from the new Fair Play Alliance at GDC 2018

Heads up, game makers: the 2018 Game Developers Conference starts Monday, and this year organizers are excited to welcome a lineup of great talks from the folks at the Fair Play Alliance!

Formally unveiled this week, the Fair Play Alliance is intended to be a cross-industry initiative whose mission is to foster fair play in online games, raise awareness of player-behavior-related issues, and share research and best practices that drive lasting change.

Over 30 stakeholders in the game industry are part of the FPA, including Unity, Blizzard, Riot Games, Supercell, Epic Games, Discord, Twitch, and more. Together, they aim to support game developers and foster open collaboration, research, and sharing of best practices for encouraging healthy gaming communities and fair play.

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Supercell, Pixar, and top devs share insights at the GDC 2018 Vision track!

As you gear up for the 2018 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next week, remember that this year marks the return of the Vision Track – a series of mini-keynotes featuring great speakers and forward-thinking companies discussing the future of the game industry!

These talks will give you new opportunities to learn from companies or individuals who are doing amazing work outside game dev that then feeds back into game innovation. You’ll also see talks from leaders in video games that will give you vibrant insight into how to take your work forward in the years ahead.

For example, NYU Game Center director Frank Lantz will deliver “This Is Your Brain On Games“, a session devoted to interrogating whether there’s any evidence that games are having this effect on us. Lantz will look at examples from specific games and extrapolate to a broad vision of how games might have the capacity to increase our collective intelligence.

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