Good news, everyone: XRDC early reg deadline extended to Friday!

Good news, everyone: XRDC‘s discounted early registration period has been extended to this Friday, September 8th at 11:59 PM Pacific, so don’t miss this fresh opportunity to register now at a discounted rate!

This period was scheduled to close Wednesday, but in recognition of the long holiday weekend here in the U.S., we thought it would be nice to extend the deadline until Friday so that everyone has a bit more time to claim that early registration discount.

It’s worth claiming, too, because you can save hundreds of dollars while also gaining access to a premier two-day event that unites AR/VR/MR experts from multiple industries to share best practices, demo new technology, create new business partnerships, and exchange ideas with innovators shaping the industry.

This premium event for industry professionals and innovators of virtual-, augmented-, and mixed-reality experiences will be held October 29th and 30th in San Francisco, at the iconic Westin St. Francis Hotel. There’s going to be a ton of great opportunities to meet interesting people and see intriguing talks, so don’t miss it!

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See how XR and 3D scanning is improving home improvement at XRDC!

With just over a month to go, XRDC officials want to take a moment today to let you know about a really interesting talk at the October event that dives into what the folk at home improvement retailer Lowe’s have learned about how to best use XR technology on the store floor.

This special XRDC Enterprise Training & Education track talk, “3D Scanning and XR Powered Home Improvement: A Lowe’s Case Study“, will be presented by Mason Sheffield, director of lab technology at Lowe’s Innovation Labs in Seattle.

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XRDC speaker Q&A: Tony Aube on making VR/AR software for kids

At Osmo, designer Tony Aube isn’t just thinking about the future of virtual and augmented reality, he’s thinking about how that technology works best for users who happen to be kids.

At XRDC 2018, Aube will be presenting a talk on designing these kinds of experiences, and how drilling down on how the company moved past its early failed prototypes to make better AR and VR games. To get you ready for Aube’s talk, we reached out for a quick Q&A about his work, which you can now read below.

Attend XRDC 2018 to learn about immersive games & entertainment, brand experiences, and innovative use cases across industries.

Tell us about yourself and your work in VR/AR/MR.
I joined Osmo as a UI/UX designer back in 2014. At that time, we had just launched our first three games: Words, Tangram and Newton. I was hired to help to design our 4th game, Masterpiece. Jerome, one of the co-founder, had done most of the early design work. But with his CTO position, he was getting really overwhelmed, so I took over.

Coming from a web design background, I had never worked in MR before. I had to adapt quickly.

Ultimately, working in MR brought me a much broader perspective on design. I’m very grateful for it. It made me understand that UX goes far beyond the screen. So many things shape the player’s experience, and as a designer, it is essential to understand and be intentional about these.

Since I’ve joined, we’ve grown from 10 to over 70 employees. We’ve successfully shipped 12 mixed-reality games, and we’ve won several design and technology awards. I must say it’s been quite the ride!

Without spoiling it too much, tell us what you’ll be talking about at XRDC.
The talk is about the early days of Osmo. I’ll share some of the first hardware and games prototypes and talk about why they didn’t work. I’ll also cover the thought process behind the big early design decisions and why they led to Osmo’s success.

What excites you most about AR/VR/MR?

I love the fact that the field is still brand new. There is so much room to grow. Almost every day brings a new design problem that I’ve never faced before. It’s a constant reminder that there is so much left to figure. It also means there are countless opportunities to be creative in solving those problems. That’s the most exciting for me.

Who would you like to meet at XRDC?
While AR, VR, and MR are different fields, they are similar in that they are very technically challenging. They force us to think beyond traditional UI design. I love how this brings people with very different, sometimes unusual backgrounds. It’s always a blast to meet these people, hear their stories and learn how they solve problems in their own, unique creative ways.

What are special considerations developers need to keep in mind when making a product for children?

There is so much I could say about this. I think designing for children is exponentially harder than for adults. For instance, some of our users haven’t even learned how to read yet.

Focus on design. Try creating a UI that leverage visuals (e.g., icons) over words. Children have a shorter attention span and get easily distracted. Use contrast, motion, and size to drive attention towards where their focus should be. Make everything needs to be bigger, straightforward and explicit.

But at the same time, don’t go overboard. I see a lot of children’s product go for overly simple, almost cartoonish interfaces. That’s not required. Notice how children have no problem using IOS even though it has a very refined, adult-looking UI. They are very intelligent and can handle quite complex UIs, as long as they are well designed.

Finally, and most importantly, creating products for children means greater ethical concerns. I see so many applications and games for kids that use dark and addicting design patterns. The same patterns that are used in casino games. Children aren’t allowed in casinos, and they should not be using those games either. Don’t create a product you wouldn’t want your own children to use.

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!

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.

Now’s the time to pitch your talk for the GDC 2019 Narrative Summit!

As we begin preparations for next year’s Game Developers Conference (returning to the Moscone Center in San Francisco March 18-22, 2019!) organizers are eagerly accepting pitches for Summit sessions!

Specifically, they’re accepting pitches for talks that would be a good fit for the Virtual Reality Developers Conference (or VRDC), the GDC Summits, and the Game Career Seminar through Friday, October 5th at 11:59 pm Pacific Time! 

With that in mind we want to make sure you know about the GDC Game Narrative Summit, a set of sessions that aims to address interactive narrative in all its forms, from triple-A blockbusters to indie games to mobile/social projects. The summit regularly features an all-star lineup of speakers from every corner of the discipline.

Session content ranges from the advanced and theoretical to practical case studies and advocacy for writers, designers, producers, and others seeking to expand their understanding of game narrative. The Game Narrative Summit attracts attendees from all over the world with a passionate interest in the ongoing evolution of interactive storytelling as a driving force in the future of entertainment.

The summit’s preferred submission format is 30-minute lectures, though we may consider longer talks for subjects that warrant more in-depth approaches. The board reserves the right to suggest changes in any submissions. We welcome proposals addressing all aspects of game narrative, including (but not limited to!):

  • Case studies of recent projects that demonstrate exemplary game writing
  • Fresh takes on traditional narrative techniques as adapted for interactive storytelling
  • Theoretical and conceptual advances that drive change in game narrative
  • New insights into the role of the interactive writer in franchise development
  • Analyses of timely issues in the game narrative field, e.g. inclusivity, ethical dilemmas, etc.
  • Spotlighting best practices within specific areas of interactive writing, including:
  • Narrative and emergent game technologies, e.g. VR, AR
  • Narrative in mobile, social, and casual games
  • The writing of specific game genres, e.g. FPS, RPG, MMO, MOBA, etc.
  • Resonating with specific target audiences, e.g. children, international markets, etc.
  • Advancing specific objectives, e.g. awareness, change
  • Navigating the challenges inherent to certain types of game projects
  • Focused insights on any specific elements of game narrative, e.g. character, dialogue
  • Lessons drawn from games that go beyond dialogue and focus on non-verbal narrative
  • Adapting narrative constructs from other media to games, e.g. film, comics, literature
  • Inspirational demonstrations in emotive game content
  • Business and career advice to help game writers succeed professionally
  • Verifiable evidence of the positive effects interactive storytelling can have
  • Experts debating opposing points of view on any of these topics

So if you want to speak at GDC 2019, submit your talk now! For more details on the submission process or GDC 2019 in general visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

GDC 2019 is looking for great AI talks, so submit yours today!

The Game Developers Conference is returning to the Moscone Center in San Francisco next year (March 18-22, specifically) and conference organizers are currently accepting great talk submissions!

Specifically, officials are open to pitches for talks that would be a good fit for the Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC), GDC Summits, and the Game Career Seminar through Friday, October 5th at 11:59 pm Pacific Time! 

In the past you’ve asked for more warning about when submissions are open, so today we want to quickly highlight the GDC AI Summit, which encompasses panels and lectures from top game AI programmers, designers, researchers, and AI enthusiasts in the industry.

This event promises to give you an inside look at key architectures, techniques, and issues within successful commercial games, as well as let you eavesdrop on conversations, debates, and rants on how game AI can move forward. This summit is targeted toward the intermediate to advanced programmer who wants deeper insight into the world of game AI. Additionally, designers, animators, and other content creators whose work touches AI systems of all types will find invaluable insights and lessons from the speakers.

The GDC 2019 AI Summit is currently welcoming submissions on AI-related topics such as:

  • Postmortems of the AI in recently released (or soon to be released) games – especially with a focus of “challenges faced… and overcome!”
  • Advancements and improvements in AI architectures (e.g. behavior trees, planners, utility systems, MCTS, etc.)
  • New architectures and approaches for AI-related problems (e.g. data-driven, modular systems, etc.)
  • AI authoring tools
  • Improvements in navigation and avoidance algorithms
  • Animation control through AI systems
  • Multi-agent coordination in tactical, strategic, or social situations
  • Use of AI for content generation in games
  • Use of AI for gameplay management, pacing, etc.
  • Non-traditional uses of AI in game development applications (e.g. tools, debugging, etc.)
  • AI for narrative generation and chatbots
  • AI in VR, mixed reality, and AR
  • Experimental AI designs

Note that this is not an exhaustive list of suggestions; all submissions of presentations that involve the use of AI techniques in games will be entertained!

Of course, the AI Summit, all other GDC Summits, and VRDC will be held March 18-19, 2019 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. The Game Career Seminar takes place in the same location on Friday, March 22, 2019.

So if you want to speak at GDC 2019, submit your talk now! (For VRDC, click here.) For more details on the submission process or GDC 2019 in general visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

Come to XRDC and learn all about how to better use haptics in your work!

We’re just a month away from XRDC, the premier AR/VR/MR innovation event, and today organizers are excited to debut a special talk taking place at the October conference that’s all about how you can better use haptic technology in your projects!

This special XRDC Enterprise Training & Education track talk, titled “Haptics for XR“, will see Sense Glove (pictured) chief Gijs den Butter bringing you up to speed on the different types of haptics and how to implement them into XR projects, using real examples from Sense Glove’s training and process analysis.

It promises to be a great talk, as den Butter aims to deliver an in-depth look at using haptic technology for training purposes and provide a demo to illustrate the importance of incorporating touch into XR experiences. Plan to walk out of this session inspired by what haptic technology could mean for the future of XR — and for your own virtual- or augmented-reality projects!

XRDC takes place this 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!

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.

IGF 2019 Inspirations: 2018 Grand Prize winner Night In The Woods

Hey game makers, don’t forget: Game Developers Conference organizers are currently accepting submissions for the 21st annual Independent Games Festival (IGF), the longest running festival, summit and showcase of independent games!

Entries for all IGF categories are being accepted through October 1, 2018, with finalists announced in early January 2019. Whether you end up winning or not, participating in the IGF is a great way to bring some attention to your work, build camaraderie with your fellow indie devs, and partake in a major celebration of the best in indie games.

To help inspire you, we thought it might be nice to highlight some past IGF winners and showcase what makes them so special. Today we’re kicking things off with a brief look at Infinite Fall’s Night in the Woods, which debuted early in 2017 and went on to pick up multiple award nominations in last year’s IGF, ultimately winning both Excellence in Narrative and the Seamus McNally Grand Prize!

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GDC 2019 welcomes a wonderful group of new Summit advisors!

Now that the call for submissions for the GDC 2019 Summits (as well as the Virtual Reality Developers Conference [VRDC] and Game Career Seminar) has gone out, we’re excited to tell you more about some of the new additions to the advisory teams who help shape these programs.

As a reminder, VRDC and the GDC Summits take place the first two days of GDC 2019 (March 18th and 19th), kicking off the weeklong event at San Franciso’s Moscone Convention Center, and the Game Career Seminar helps close it out on Friday, March 22nd.

Each program has its own special advisory board which evaluates submissions, and this year we’re excited to welcome the following industry leaders who are joining these efforts for the first time. We also have one returning advisor, whom we’re very pleased to have back:

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Submissions for GDC 2019 Summits are now open!

The wait is over: Game Developers Conference organizers are excited to announce that the call for submissions is now open for GDC 2019’s Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC), GDC Summits, and Game Career Seminar through Friday, October 5th at 11:59 pm Pacific Time!

VRDC and the GDC Summits take place the first two days of GDC 2019 (March 18th and 19th), helping to kick off the weeklong event at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, while the Game Career Seminar helps close it out on Friday, March 22nd.

Each offers you the opportunity to share your learnings with colleagues in a setting conducive to focused, in-depth discussion of the finer points of game development.

As always, please review the submission guidelines and topics before submitting. Each program has its own special advisory board which evaluates submissions, and this year we’re excited to welcome a few new faces (and one familiar one!) to the advisory team: Emily Short (AI Summit), Grace Carroll (Community Management Summit), Miguel Sicart (Educators Summit), Tanya X. Short (Indie Summit), Katrina Wolfe (Mobile Summit), and returning advisor Steve Swink (Indie Games Summit)!

Here’s the list of GDC 2019 Summits you can submit talks for:

  • AI Summit
  • Community Management Summit
  • UX Summit
  • Game Narrative Summit
  • Educators Summit
  • GDC Mobile Summit
  • Independent Games Summit
  • UX Summit

Meanwhile, VRDC advisors are accepting submissions for talks which explore virtual reality and augmented reality spaces, and they may pertain to both game and non-game experience development.

Organizers of the ever-popular Game Career Seminar at GDC – a low-cost program for those new to the industry – are also looking for great GCS talks focused on building great careers in the game industry! If you’ve got one in mind, make sure to submit it now for the GDC 2019 Game Career Seminar.

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XRDC speaker Q&A: Douglas North Cook explores the boundaries of VR

At XRDC 2018, attendees will have the opportunity to interact not only with expert VR technicians, but also designers working to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the virtual world.

One of those designers, Doug North Cook, will be joining a panel of expert designers from Microsoft, Unity, and more to talk about his virtual reality design process. To introduce you to North Cook and the great work he’s done, we reached out to him for a quick Q&A that you can now read below!

Tell us about yourself and your work in VR.

I have been working for the last few years developing games and narrative experiences for a variety of platforms. Most recently I worked on a short conceptual piece with artist Liz Edwards called Writing the End. Apart from my development work I have been spending a lot of my time working to help others learn and advance in this space. I am on faculty at Chatham University where I am starting up a dedicated 4-year Bachelor of Arts in Immersive Media. I also work with the Fallingwater Institute where I run a week long design residency for immersive professionals.

Without spoiling it too much, tell us what you’ll be talking about at XRDC.

Our panel will focus on looking deep down into the design process of several important and influential voices in immersive technology. We hope to be able to provide insight that will give creators new ways of approaching problems.

What excites you most about AR/VR/MR?

What excites me most is the potentials that immersive technologies have to re-humanize our experience of technology. It is an opportunity to be active, social, creative, and empowered in a way that other technologies do not allow.

Who would you like to meet at XRDC?

Hmmmmm. I hope that the lead designer on the Nintendo Virtual Boy is slinking around so I can shake their hand.

What are some of the unique experiments out of Chatham that your students have been working on?

While we gear up for the 2019 launch of our immersive media program we have been running VR design courses with a group or art and design students. The work they have produced is incredible. In one semester, with no prior experience, they all produce a room scale experience. We saw demolition rooms, short narrative oddities, job interview simulator, pumpkin carving, gardening with bugs, and more. I am really excited to see what they decide to work on this semester.
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!

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.

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