Make sure to take advantage of Business Matchmaking at GDC 2018!

You may have heard that the 2018 Game Developers Conference is just two months away, and that means now is a great time for attendees and exhibitors to start arranging onsite meetings with each other using GDC Connect business matchmaking!

This popular online tool allows the majority of 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 passholders can still upgrade to an Expo Plus pass to secure access to this popular meeting tool.

Once you’ve registered for GDC, your profile will be automatically created. Simply login, update your profile and start searching for meeting opportunities immediately. This personalized, easy-to-use tool allows you to search for connections by their job and company focus, and geographic location. Send meeting requests to create an on-site schedule that fits your objectives, and connect with potential partners!

Attendees seeking more information on the show’s session lineup should check out GDC 2018’s official Schedule Builder, which continues to add new talks every week.

And if you haven’t already done so, don’t miss your opportunity to save money by registering early — the deadline to register for passes at a discounted rate is next week — January 31, 2018!

For more information on GDC 2018, visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

Come see GDC Play devs hone their pitching skills at GDC Pitch 2018!

Heads up, GDC attendees: 2018 Game Developers Conference organizers want you to know that the popular GDC Pitch event will once again be a part of the GDC Play emerging/independent developer showcase at the conference this March!

GDC Pitch is a special event designed to help select participants practice their pitching skills — in front of a live audience of GDC attendees! It’s significant because a great pitch can secure the future of your studio, or ensure your game has the resources to reach the players who will appreciate it most.

Here’s how GDC Pitch works: Game developers that register to exhibit their game in GDC Play 2018 by February 16th may be selected to receive pitching advice and coaching, then pitch their game an opinionated panel of investors and publishers in front of an audience. No pressure!

GDC Pitch will once again be hosted by Jason Della Rocca of investment platform Execution Labs and take place Wednesday and Thursday, March 21st and 22nd, during GDC 2018 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

10 selected teams will each be offered pitch prep and training, then get 5 minutes to pitch, followed by questions, advice, and feedback from the judges. The judges will declare a “Best Pitch” on each day, and award each a complimentary All Access pass to GDC 2019.

The list of GDC Pitch judges is still coming together — here’s who’s onboard so far:

  • Ben Andac (Good Shepherd)
  • Jonas Antonsson (Raw Fury)
  • Sunny Dhillon (Signia Venture Partners)
  • Guzman Diaz (Index Ventures)
  • David Gardner (London Venture Partners)
  • Rebekah Saltsman (Finji)

GDC Play, which is still open to potential exhibitors, is a special area of the San Francisco show that showcases emerging and independent developers with a series of tables and meeting rooms. It will take place from Wednesday, March 19th through Friday, March 23rd at GDC 2018.

Once again, as part of the ‘Best in Play’ awards program all GDC Play exhibitors will be judged on their in-development or complete games by a panel of veteran GDC organizers and Gamasutra editors. The top 8 will be named ‘Best in Play’ winners, and all 8 winners will receive 2 All Access Passes to Game Developers Conference 2019.

Special ‘Best in Play’ designations will be attached to the honorees’ GDC Play tables at GDC 2018, where their games will be playable to all GDC attendees. Existing GDC Play exhibitors become eligible for ‘Best in Play’ when they enter their booth information in the GDC Play Matchmaking Software.

Booth space for GDC Play 2018 is still available via the UBM Tech Game Network’s information site. In addition, don’t miss your chance to save money by registering early — the deadline to register for passes at a discounted rate is next Wednesday, January 31st, 2018! 

For more information on GDC 2018, visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

See how AI drives the boys of Final Fantasy XV at GDC 2018

The 2018 Game Developers Conference is shaping up to be chock-a-block with fantastic talks, so organizers want to make sure you don’t miss a really promising presentation from Square Enix about the artificial intelligence driving the Very Good Boys of Final Fantasy XV.

After a great talk at GDC 2017 about the FFXV selfie AI, Square Enix’s Prasert “Sun” Prasertvithyakarn is back this year to present “Walk Tall, My Friends: Giving Life to AI-Buddies in ‘FINAL FANTASY XV.”

This talk will give you some rare insight into how game designers at Square Enix now focus on character storytelling by AI, and how to actualize them for the player, instead of only setting the characters.

The concept of character storytelling by AI is still new and challenging — game design, AI architecture design, and emotional experience design call for different expertise, but are all needed to create a living, experience-engaging AI-buddy, especially in a big and complicated open world game such as FF XV.

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PSA: GDC 2018 attendees, book your travel and accommodations!

If you’re planning on attending the 2018 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this March, please make sure to book your travel and accommodations sooner rather than later!

The start of this year’s GDC is closer than you think: March 19th, to be exact.  Conference organizers have arranged special deals for GDC attendees with select housing partners, deals you can only access by booking your travel and accommodations through the GDC Travel hub.

Act fast, though: housing partners have reserved a set number of rooms for GDC attendees to book at a discounted rate, and those reserved rooms tend to go quickly.

So don’t wait too long to arrange travel and lodging for GDC 2018 — San Francisco is a vibrant city with lots to see and do, so if you don’t take advantage of the exclusive GDC Travel hub hookups you’ll be competing with other city visitors for accommodations.

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Here’s a look at what you’ll find in GDC 2018’s Retro Play showcase!

Good news, everyone: Game Developers Conference officials are excited to highlight exhibitors showcasing classic games and hardware at GDC Retro Play, the interactive space at GDC 2018 in San Francisco that specifically concentrates on showcasing retro consoles, computers, games and related memorabilia!

The Retro Play area at GDC was a big hit when it debuted last year, and so GDC officials are pleased to again donate space in the North Hall Expo Floor to select retro collectors or organizations interested in exhibiting their collections Wednesday through Friday (March 21-23) during the show.

Each accepted organization is set to receive complimentary GDC 2018 passes and be given free space to show classics, curios, obscurities, or sets of games across multiple machines.

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Splatoon 2 and Arms devs will be speaking at GDC 2018!

Game Developers Conference organizers are excited to announce that devs on two of Nintendo’s most interesting games of last year will be at GDC 2018 in San Francisco this March to speak about what they learned.

These two talks promise fresh insight into the design and development of Arms and Splatoon 2, which together were something of a one-two punch of colorful multiplayer fun for the Switch last summer.

In his GDC 2018 talk on “Splatoon and Splatoon 2: How to Invent a Stylish Franchise with Global Appeal“, Nintendo’s Hisashi Nogami (who served as producer on both Splatoon and Splatoon 2) will share his experiences working with a design team whose goal was to create a game that was novel, yet easy to grasp and riveting to play.

Among the questions he hopes to answer are: What were the brainstorming sessions like, and what kinds of review processes determined the game’s final ideas? How do you make a sequel better while releasing it on a brand-new platform with unique features? And how do you land on a quirky concept like “squid creatures fighting turf battles with water pistols” in the first place?

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Diamond Partner Q&A: Google Play’s Sarah Thomson explores what indies can do in mobile games

At GDC 2018, attendees will have the opportunity to interact with an array of sponsors who help fuel the games industry, including our Diamond Partners, whose support plays an integral role to the success of GDC.

To introduce you to our Diamond Partner Google Play, we’ve reached out to indie business development lead Sarah Thomson to discuss how Google is working to support indies on its platform and what they can expect out of GDC!

Don’t miss out! The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next March will be a hub for many more great industry titans. For more visit the show’s official website.

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GDC State of the Industry: Dev interest in Nintendo Switch surges, VR interest wanes

The 2018 Game Developers Conference has released the results of the sixth annual State of the Industry Survey, revealing trends in the games industry ahead of GDC 2018 this March!

With responses from nearly 4,000 game developers, this year’s survey results reflect a growing level of developer interest in the Nintendo Switch, with 12% of respondents currently developing games for Nintendo’s unique hybrid console. This represents a significant jump from last year’s survey, in which only 3% of respondents said they were working on a Switch title.

Other findings include a continued investment in “loot boxes,” with one in 10 developers planning support for the practice, despite recent pushback from press and consumers. While interest in PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One development has gone up since last year, interest in mobile game development and VR, while still strong, has begun to slip this year.

Download the 2018 State of the Industry Survey here!

The State of the Industry Survey is the sixth entry in the ongoing series of yearly reports and serves as a snapshot of the games industry, illustrating industry trends ahead of GDC 2018. Organized by the UBM Game Network, GDC 2018 takes place March 19-23, alongside the 2017 Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC) March 19-20, both at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

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GDC 2018 Animation Bootcamp welcomes talks on Shadow of War, Horizon, and more!

Heads up, animators and artists: GDC 2018 organizers want to give you an early peek at the informative and intriguing sessions taking place during the day-long Animation Bootcamp that kicks off the conference in March.

The Animation Bootcamp is one of many Bootcamps and Tutorials that take place during the first two days of GDC (Monday and Tuesday, March 19th and 20th this year) and offer attendees the chance to dive deep and explore focused topics like level design, game production, art direction and animation.

This year the Animation Bootcamp kicks off on Monday with a series of great talks aimed at exploring new animation techniques, processes, and dimensions of what game animation is capable of contributing to a project.

Bringing together a group of experienced and specialized animation experts across the game industry (from triple-A to indie), this tutorial is a day-long gathering to rally developers from all over the industry, with a focus on deeper discussions into the needs of strong character performances and player communication.

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Refine your mobile game-making skills at the GDC 2018 Mobile Summit!

As the game industry prepares for the 2018 Game Developers Conference, organizers want to make sure you know about some of the great talks about the art and business of making mobile games that will be taking place during the event.

Each of these talks is part of the GDC Mobile Summit, one of eight that will take place Monday, March 19th and Tuesday, March 20th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA — the first two days of the conference.

As in every GDC Summit, the Mobile Summit is filled with talks that, together, give you a comprehensive overview of a specific game industry discipline.

For example, in their GDC Mobile Summit talk on “All the Families: The Making of ‘Animation Throwdown“, Kongregate’s Katrina Wolfe and Peter Eykemans will be presenting a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Kongregate’s hit free-to-play game Animation Throwdown.

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