Learn to make games for ARKit, straight from Apple, at GDC 2018!

The 2018 Game Developers Conference is right around the corner, and this year organizers are pleased to present a cutting-edge talk on augmented reality game design for Apple’s ARKit at the event next month.

As part of the Programming track of talks, Apple is sponsoring a session, “Introduction to Apple’s ARKit: Best practices and recent updates“, that promises to give devs an inside look at the core framework of its ARKit API, direct from the source.

The session, presented by Apple’s Michael Kuhn, explains how to get started with ARKit using the different tracking and scene understanding capabilities as well integration into rendering/game engines.  In addition, it explains basic concepts and challenges of AR and computer vision to help avoid common pitfalls and allow the creation of great experiences!

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Study the AI and ‘Freak-O-System’ of Sony’s Days Gone at GDC 2018

As you plan out what to do and see at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next month, be sure not to overlook Sony Bend’s intriguing talk on the open-world AI of its upcoming post-apocalyptic game Days Gone.

Under the aegis of the AI Summit, Sony Bend Studio’s Darren Chisum and Tobias Karlsson will be giving a great talk with a gret title: “The “Freak-O-System”: The Dynamic Open World of Sony’s ‘Days Gone.”

Their talk looks at the AI and gameplay components used to create the dynamic and interactive open world of Days Gone. They’ll cover some of the different AI units, and how they interact with one another in the Freak-O-System.

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Here are the films you’ll see at the inaugural GDC Film Festival!

Game Developers Conference organizers are delighted to announce the films selected to be part of the inaugural GDC Film Festival, one of the first ever documentary & narrative film fests focused on the art and culture of video games!

Sponsored by Steam, the 1st Annual GDC Film Festival will take place at the Yerba Buena Center For The Arts’ Screening Room—directly adjacent to the Moscone Center—from Monday, March 19th to Wednesday, March 21st during Game Developers Conference 2018.

Screenings will be open to all GDC 2018 pass holders, on a first-come, first-served basis. Across the three days, there will be a wide range of documentaries based around the video game medium, including world premieres and a selection of work-in-progress presentations from top documentary webseries creators.

The Festival will include onstage Q&As with film-makers, and game producer/designer and journalist Mathew Kumar will be MC-ing the festival and has co-programmed the featured selection.

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Come to GDC for an inside look at ILMxLAB’s location-based VR experiences!

The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this March is filled to overflowing with great content, so today organizers want to quickly draw your attention to a very cool talk at the show from the folks at Lucasfilm and ILMxLab!

As part of the Programming track of GDC 2018 talks, Lucasfilm’s Stephen Hill and Ron Radeztsky will join ILMxLAB’s Lutz Latta to present an hour-long session on “Powering Up ILMxLAB’s Location-Based VR Experiences.”

It’s going to be a fascinating talk because last year ILMxLAB developed a number of location-based VR experiences (see photo), among them the Oscar-winning Carne y Arena, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay, and Transformers: The Last Night VR.

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Speaker Q&A: Blizzard’s Lana Bachynski discusses the joy of good game animation

If you’re a game animator, you’re probably already well aware that the Game Animation Bootcamp at GDC is one of the best resources out there for neophyte and veteran animators alike. In fact, there’s already an assortment of great talks listed for the 2018 Bootcamp, which is being organized by animators Lana Bachynski and Michael Jungbluth.

To get you ready for all the great sessions, we’ve reached out to Bachynski, who works as an animator at Blizzard Entertainment, to learn more about her career and what animators can expect at GDC 2018.

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

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Learn from top game artists and directors at the Art Direction Bootcamp!

If you’re coming to GDC 2018 next month, you should know about some of the informative and intriguing sessions taking place during the day-long Art Direction Bootcamp which will help kick off the conference.

It’s just one of many great 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 focus on the critical components of a game’s art direction, and its creators’ broader artistic vision.

GDC 2018 attendees are invited to attend the Monday bootcamp and join the leading artistic forces of our industry as they share their experiences and discuss some of the most important issues of the day. Learn a ton about what really matters in art, and how to build or support a vision and make friends doing it.

There will be a wealth of concentrated art-specific information from the top minds of the industry that should be interesting not just to newbies and students, but seasoned professionals who are concerned with pressing issues of the day and industry realities.

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Kids’ prosthetics nonprofit Limbitless receives free GDC Play space!

Here’s a nice bit of good news for the day: Game Developers Conference officials are excited to announce that Limbitless Solutions, a U.S. nonprofit dedicated to providing children with affordable 3D-printed bionic limbs, will be exhibiting its tech alongside games built for it by University of Central Florida students at GDC 2018 in March!

Organizers have donated space in the GDC Play area, which will be set up in the north hall of the Moscone Convention Center March 21st through the 23rd. That’s where GDC attendees can expect to find Limbitless showcasing some of its prosthetics tech — and how games are being used to help kids learn to use those prosthetics.

Specifically, you’ll be able to check out Magical Savior of Friends, a game that puts the player in the role of a customizable gnome-like character that uses elemental magical powers to fight the evil Sir Sneklesworth; a snake that has unfairly raised the rent on the frog inhabitants of his kingdom. By using a combination of various powers, each requiring the use of a different type of muscle flexing, the player can fight their way to Sir Sneklesworth and save their friends.

The game uses a proprietary calibration system to simulate an analog input from a single EMG sensor. This analog functionality of the sensor is intended to enhance the muscle control of children so they are prepared for the second generation of Limbitless arms, which will include individual articulated fingers, a rotating thumb, and working elbow joint.

Professors Ryan Buyssens, Peter Smith and Matt Dombrowski, and their team of undergraduate game development students from the School of Visual Art & Design (SVAD) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) have been working closely with Limbitless Solutions to develop training games like MSOF that teach children to use the Limbitless prosthetics before they receive them. The games use a combination of the electromyographic (EMG) sensor found in the actual prosthetic arm and a 3D printed game controller interfacing with the Unity-powered game.

In addition to MSOF, the team plans to show some of their various other EMG-controlled prosthetic training games: S.M.A.S.H.(a Rampage-like game), Tootin‘ Pooches (a four-player soccer game with farting dogs in space) and Who Nose (a nose-picking simulator). There will also be hands on examples of the prosthetic arm technology from Limbitless for anyone to try.

It promises to be a fantastic display, so make sure you make time to stop by while you’re at GDC next month!

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

Learn to make better, more accessible games at the GDC 2018 UX Summit!

With weeks to go until the 2018 Game Developers Conference, organizers want to quickly let you know about some of the great UI/UX design talks taking place during the March conference!

Each of these talks is part of the excellent GDC UX 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.

GDC Summits talks are great because they’re hyper-focused on one specific area of game design. For example, in “Halo Wars 2‘: A UX Postmortem” 343 Industries’ Max Szlagor will review the trade-offs and successes of designing great controls and experiences for two very different platform audiences (console and PC).

Check out this talk and you’ll walk away with an understanding of how establishing solid design and UX pillars can help focus game dev teams and specialists working around the world to deliver a compelling, approachable experience across multiple platforms and input options.

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Speaker Q&A: Rovio’s Michail Katkoff explains how to be a successful product manager

If you’re in the business of free-to-play games, you should know that at GDC 2018, Rovio’s Michail Katkoff will be presenting a talk on what it takes to be a successful product manager in that field.

His Business and Marketing talk will dive into the ways that different companies utilize their product managers, calling out the most successful among their ranks and highlighting what other companies should be doing to mimic their success. Here, Katkoff introduces himself to GDC attendees and discusses what they can expect from his upcoming talk.

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

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Vote now for the 2018 IGF and Game Developers Choice Audience Awards!

Game Developers Conference organizers are excited to announce that online voting for the Audience Awards for both the 2018 Game Developers Choice Awards and the Independent Games Festival Awards is now open through next Monday, February 12 at 11:59pm PT!

Please help spread the word! Public votes will help determine the winners, which will be announced live during the ceremonies on Wednesday, March 21st, as part of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The ceremonies are available to attend for all GDC 2018 pass-holders and will be livestreamed on the GDC’s official Twitch channel at 6:30 PM PT beginning with the IGF Awards, followed by the GDCAs.

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