At GDC 2018, attendees will have the opportunity to interact with an array of sponsors who help fuel the games industry, including our Developer Day sponsors, whose select line of talks help game developers better learn how to use their tools.
To get you ready for Google's announcement-filled extravaganza, we've reached out to lead product manager Nathan Martz, who's working to help game developers make great experiences in VR and AR on Android devices. Check out what he has to say in the Q&A below!
Can you please introduce yourself, your role at Google, and what attendees can expect from Google’s Developer Day?
My name is Nathan Martz, and I’m the Lead Product Manager for Google's AR/VR developer platform. Our team's mission is to provide developers with a creative platform that lets them focus on building the best possible experiences in AR and VR. Before joining Google, I was a game developer at Double Fine Productions and LucasArts, where I worked on excellent games like Star Wars: Republic Commando, Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, and Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster.
On Monday, March 19th we’re kicking off GDC with our annual Google Developer Day. This year we’ll be focusing on helping developers get the most out of Android, including deep dives into new platforms like AR Core and best practices for optimizing your app both pre and post launch. Developers can also visit us on the expo floor at Booth #823 to demo the latest ARCore and Daydream games, get hands-on with our developer tools, listen to a tech talk, or connect with our developer engineering team.
How is Google planning to help developers get ready for the new kinds of VR and AR games that are possible on Android devices?
As I mentioned earlier, my team’s mission is to help developers efficiently build successful and engaging apps, which we do by building tools that help them create, iterate, debug, and release their apps quickly and easily. For example, we’ve recently released Poly (a free, remixable 3D asset repository), Instant Preview (a tool for rapidly iterating on device), and GAPID (a tool to help you debug the behavior of your GPU). We have a lot more detail on these tools (and more!) in our dev sites for AR and for VR, our talks at GDC, and our booth (#823).
Are there any notable shifts in the mobile game development market that you think developers should be aware of?
We believe that AR represents the beginning of a new paradigm in mobile computing. By combining existing capabilities of smartphones, such as touch screens, which enabled us to interact with our computers directly, and smartphone cameras that let us capture the world just as we see it, technologies like ARCore will allow developers to present gameplay elements in context and to allow players to directly interact with them. As this combination fundamentally blurs the line between the physical and the virtual, game developers should see this not just as an interesting new technology, but as an entirely new set of verbs that can enable genres and interaction designs we are only now beginning to imagine.
Do you have any advice for GDC attendees looking to make the most out of Google’s Developer Day?
Google’s Developer Day is a great opportunity to learn first hand about our newest developer tools and technologies. Many of the teams in Google who design products and services for game developers are planning to be there, not just to present but to talk with and learn about the problems game developers face today and how we can work together to solve them. With that in mind, my advice is to come prepared not just to listen but to talk, as we hope you’ll learn from us but help us learn from you, too.