At XRDC, learn how (and why) to effectively simulate stress in VR!

Back in 2016, longtime BioWare dev Jonathan Perry (who, as cinematics director, worked on the interactive cinematics of games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age) started his own VR studio Ractive.

This October, he’s coming to XRDC in San Francisco to share what he’s learned about simulating affecting, stressful situations in VR.

His presentation, appropriately titled “Performance Under Pressure: Simulating Stress in VR Training,” is a promising part of XRDC’s cutting-edge Education & Training track of talks.

You’ll want to make time for this if you’re at all curious about the power of VR experiences to transport people into new places and scenarios, as the Ractive CEO will showcase how VR training is being used to train folks for complex and dangerous tasks in a safe space.

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Come to XRDC and learn firsthand how VR is best used in education!

As this year’s XRDC event in San Franciso draws ever nearer, organizers are excited to announce another great talk that’s taking place at the premier conference for virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality creators!

It’s a great and exceedingly timely presentation (part of XRDC’s cutting-edge Education & Training track of talks) from the folks at unconventional educational startup Foundry10 (backed by Valve’s Gabe Newell) that’s all about “Designing VR Content with Students in Mind.”

Presented by Foundry10 cofounder Lisa Castaneda & researcher Anna Cechony, this talk walks you through findings from applied studies conducted with over 3,000 adolescents using VR in educational settings.

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Come out to XRDC and get expert advice on designing games for VR arcades!

As you get ready for XRDC in San Francisco later this year, organizers want to make sure you know about all the great stuff that awaits you at the premier AR/VR/MR dev conference — especially with the great talks!

Today they’re proud to begin highlighting great XRDC content, starting with a timely session on XRDC’s Games & Entertainment track called “Designing Content for VR Arcades: Lessons Learned.”

Location-based entertainment is a significant driver of both innovation and success in the growing AR/VR/MR industry, so this talk from Beast, Inc. cofounder Vivian Tan and VR product designer Katie Hughes promises to be both fascinating and deeply relevant.

Together, the pair will share lessons learned from creating and distributing VR content (like their VR game Beast Pets, ​pictured above) to more than 100 arcades around the world. They’ll cover the business, technical, and design challenges unique to VR arcade experiences, and show you the solutions they developed over many iterations.

It promises to be fascinating, especially if you’re interested in the end-to-end pipeline of doing business with and optimizing content for VR arcades, so don’t miss it!

XRDC is happening October 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Now that registration is open, you’ll want to look over XRDC passes and prices and register early to get the best deal! Use the promo code B600 by June 13 to save an additional $200 (a total savings of $600)!

For more information about XRDC, which is produced by organizers of the Game Developers Conference, check out the official XRDC website. You can also subscribe to regular XRDC updates via emailTwitter and Facebook.

New XRDC Healthcare Report offers expert insight into how AR/VR/MR is shaping medicine

Today the UBM Game Network, organizer of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) and XRDC, is proud to present a very special AR/VR Healthcare Report!

It’s completely free to download and designed to give you a concise overview of how leading experts believe virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality technologies are shaping the state and future of healthcare.

You can expect insight from luminaries like CheckPoint director Dr. Jennifer Hazel, veteran game developer and former Chief Game Designer at Google Noah Falstein, and Merck innovation specialist Zach Pinner on cutting-edge topics like how VR is being used in exposure therapy, drug discovery, and neuroscience.

For more information and to access the full report, download it for free here!

This topic is important enough that at XRDC 2018 there will be an entire track of talks dedicated to how these technologies are revolutionizing healthcare by opening up new avenues of healing, improving the quality of care and reducing the risks and costs of treatment.

Analysts expect the market for VR, AR, and MR in healthcare to grow rapidly, with an estimated market value ranging from $3 to $10 billion by 2023. With that in mind, XRDC organizers surveyed some top minds in healthcare, technology, game development, and academia about how they’re seeing these technologies used to improve treatments, foster pharmaceutical discoveries, and more.

To give you a taste of what’s in store when you download the full (free!) report, here’s an excerpt featuring the insight of veteran game developer and former Google Chief Game Designer Noah Falstein.

Tell us about yourself and your work in VR/AR

FalsteinI’ve been in the game industry since 1980, working on hundreds of titles over the years. Like many others, I was exposed to VR early on (got a demo of VPL from Jaron Lanier himself in 1985) and was disappointed at how slowly it advanced – and then was turned from skeptic to believer by the latest round of VR systems a few years ago. Until just recently I was Chief Game Designer at Google, where I worked closely with both the Tango AR and Daydream VR teams. I left Google in April of this year because I wanted to work on development of VR titles – specifically in the areas of VR storytelling, and in Neurogaming/games for health.

How can neuroscience help to create a better VR/AR experience?

FalsteinBy giving us a better understanding of how the brain works in concert with our visual perception and inner-ear vestibular system to create the experiences we have in VR/AR. For example, visual system researchers have learned that we process foveal vision (the actually small area directly in our field of view) differently from our peripheral vision. Peripheral vision does a lot to help orient us in 3D space, and if the information in our peripheral view is out of sync with how our inner ear tells us our body is moving, it can be disturbing – but we’ve learned that graying-out just the peripheral view when you’re moving the player in VR, while keeping a small circle of foveal view can convey the sense of movement without causing distress. That’s just one example.

Register for XRDC 2018 early at a discounted rate!

XRDC is happening October 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Now that registration is open, you’ll want to look over XRDC passes and prices and register early to get the best deal! Use the promo code B600 by June 13 to save an additional $200 (a total savings of $600)!

For more details about XRDC, which is produced by organizers of the Game Developers Conference, check out the official XRDC website. You can also subscribe to regular XRDC updates via emailTwitter and Facebook.

Registration is now open for XRDC, the premier event for AR/VR/MR devs

Heads up, innovation enthusiasts: XRDC, formerly the Virtual Reality Developers Conference, is now open for registration!

This is a big deal because XRDC is an improved version of VRDC that aims to encompass the rich and growing diversity of immersive experiences, from virtual reality to augmented reality and mixed reality technologies.

XRDC is happening October 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Now that registration is open, you’ll want to look over XRDC passes and prices and register early to get the best deal! Use the promo code B600 by June 13 to save an additional $200 (a total savings of $600)!

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VRDC returns in October as XRDC, so pitch your talks now!

Organizers of the Game Developers Conference and the Virtual Reality Developers Conference, the premier event for creators of immersive VR (and AR) experiences, are excited to announce that VRDC is evolving to become XRDC, a new event encompassing the rich diversity of immersive experiences.

This is exciting because XRDC promises to be the premier conference for virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality innovation. The event is taking place October 29th and 30th at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, and now is the time to submit your pitches for talks!

Specifically, the XRDC Advisory Board is accepting submissions exploring virtual, augmented and mixed reality pertaining to healthcare, education, and training applications as well as both game and non-game entertainment-immersive development.

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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


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 For information about the 2018 Game Developers Conference, please visit the official website at

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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