GDC 2017

Games

I’m Getting a Little Worried About VR

Last week we saw the best of the best in VR at the Virtual Reality Developers Conference. It’s an offshoot of the Game Developers Conference, and both are professional trade shows that show off the next wave of new games. This year, though, was particularly important for the VR sector of the industry. Now that quite a few consumers have gotten their hand on the Vives, PSVR, the Oculus, or any of the portable headsets you can mount on your phone, they’re all waiting for more great games they can play on their expensive HMDs. But, I don’t think the next batch of games is coming. Sure, there are a few interesting projects on the horizon, like Mage’s Tale, a VR adventure in the same universe as a Bard’s Tale, but those are few and far between. Even worse many of these games come with some hefty reservations. Mage’s Tale, for example, still doesn’t have a solution to the movement problem, something I mentioned that VR devs would need to tackle months ago. Robo Recall, a free game from Unreal Developer, Epic, doesn’t push much either. And, in fact, it’s mostly a beefed-up tech demo. The only games that gave…

GDC 2017 made me feel like game development isn’t even about games anymore

As most of you probably already know by now, the GDC 2017 event ended less than one week ago (GDC 17 went on between the 27th of February and the 3rd of March). Well, since I’ve been reading quite a lot of tweets, posts and comments from Gamers and game developers who went to GDC 17. Long story short, I… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!

428: Shibuya Scramble

Critically Acclaimed Visual Novel 428: Shibuya Scramble Releasing for PS4 and PC in the West

Spike Chunsoft made quite a few announcements at this week’s GDC event, including but not limited to the revival of Fire Pro Wrestling series, Cyber Danganronpa: The Class Trial for PlayStation VR, and a new project code named Psync by Zero Escape director Kotaro Uchikoshi. To end the week in style, the company revealed that its critically acclaimed visual novel, 428: Shibuya Scramble will be releasing in the West for the PS4 and PC in 2018. In a press release, the company wrote: We are thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response that our titles have enjoyed in the west, and are honored by the reception from the media about our upcoming portfolio of games. The exciting return of Fire Pro Wrestling and 428, along with games from the Danganronpa series, The Nonary Games collection and Project Psync are just the beginning. We’re dedicated to localizing even more games in the future and want to hear what fans want next! Here’s an official English overview of the game courtesy of Gematsu: Story A kidnapping on the streets of Shibuya brings together a hot-blooded detective, hard-hitting journalist, former gang leader, the head researcher of a big pharma manufacturer and a part-timer stuck in cat costume for a series READ FULL STORY AT…

blizzard

Blizzard Talks About How They Came Up With Overwatch's New Hero, Orisa

Overwatch’s newest hero, Orisa, isn’t what you’d call, er, typical. She’s a quadrupedal robo-tank with horns, and she kinda came out of nowhere. In creating her, Blizzard faced some unique challenges. Advertisement During a recent GDC session, Overwatch lead writer Michael Chu discussed Orisa’s conception. “Orisa was a character that emerged from game design,” he said. “We wanted to have what we called an anchor tank: an alternative to Reinhardt. On the art side, our assistant art director wanted to explore new things. He really wanted to push the boundaries of what an Overwatch hero could look like.” Advertisement This dovetails with a comment from Jeff Kaplan earlier this week where he said that Blizzard wanted to do something outside the box with a female character, as opposed to going with the usual slim femme look. Blizzard didn’t want Orisa to be like Overwatch’s other robots, either. Her personality, Chu said during the panel, would be somewhere between Robocop and GlaDOS. She’d have a technological edge on old-timers like Bastion and Zenyatta. Between those very particular personality quirks and a design that’s less reminiscent READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

GDC 2017

No Man’s Sky Developer Announces New Funding Initiative Hello Labs

No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games has announced that it has launched a new funding initiative called Hello Labs, which will support other small developers who are creating games that utilize procedural generation or that are “experimental …Read More The post No Man’s Sky Developer Announces New Funding Initiative Hello Labs by Tyler Fischer appeared first on DualShockers.

Overwatch's Unique Art Style Began With Torbjorn

It’s well-documented that Tracer was Overwatch’s first playable hero, but before the game was ever playable, another character helped hammer out Overwatch’s identity. Surprisingly, it was Torbjorn. Advertisement During a GDC panel earlier today, Overwatch art director Bill Petras and assistant art director Arnold Tsang explained, among other things, how Blizzard molded the game in Torbjorn’s image. “The dwarven blacksmith [archetype], Torbjorn, was so integral in not only bridging that gap between classic Blizzard and Overwatch, but also in how he helped develop our art style,” said Tsang. “He wasn’t the first hero that made it into the game—that was Tracer—but artistically we used Torbjorn as our art visual target, and he was the first one we modeled. We did a lot of our R&D around Torbjorn.” Advertisement Torbjorn was the first hero they really fleshed out visually, and his look influenced everything from other heroes to the game’s levels to the overall tone and vibe of the game. Here’s an early concept: Similar to the way Torbjorn is now, but a bit more… restrained. Overwatch as we now know it relies on exaggerated character designs and immediately recognizable silhouettes, and that began when Blizzard art director Sam “Samwise” Didier…

GDC

Look At This Ridiculous Space Submarine Game

GDC’s “alt.ctrl” section is a lawless land unified only by a single question: “why not?” It’s living proof that anything can be a game controller if you just believe hard enough. And while many of the games on display can be gimmicky, Objects in Space feels like a game I’d play even without all the extra hardware. Advertisement It’s about piloting a spaceship, except the ship is more like a submarine than a space-boat, space-plane, or space-automobile. You travel between systems, taking jobs and keeping your systems as quiet as possible to avoid radar detection. You have tons of control over the systems powering your space sub, but that means you’ve got to pay close attention and make sure everything’s in working order. It’s really cool! I’ve never played anything quite like it. Here’s a video (sorry about the quality; I recorded it on my phone): Combat is tense as hell despite being visually minimal. It’s nerve-wracking waiting for torpedoes to spin up while an enemy’s salvo sails rapidly in your direction. And goodness, the feeling of finally being able to flip the switch and press the big red button READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Games

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Began in 2D

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is here and real and spectacular. This weekend Nintendo Switch, as well as Wii U, owners will be able to play this Game of the Year for themselves. But at this year’s GDC, Nintendo showed that the game hitting shelves March 3 used to look very different. Breath of the Wild is a massive, 3D adventure, but its earliest prototypes resembled the original, 8-bit, 2D, Legend of Zelda on the NES The quickest way to bring these ideas to life, and present it to the team, a 2D prototype of #Zelda was created. pic.twitter.com/OJnE4yt8Oi — Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) March 1, 2017 The 2D #Zelda prototype we discussed earlier? It was actually 3D, running BotW’s physics and “chemistry” engine in the background! pic.twitter.com/xouThXgwqb — Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) March 1, 2017 At the panel, the Zelda team explained how these 2D (technically 3D but with a 2D perspective) prototypes were used to test the game’s various complex systems, systems that had never been in a Zelda game to this extent. These systems include the game’s liberal use of physics, like levitating metal blocks and seeing what happens when READ FULL STORY AT…

Game Developers Choice Awards

Overwatch Wins Game of the Year at the 2017 Game Developers Choice Awards

At the 17th annual Game Developers Choice Awards last night, Overwatch took home Game of the Year, beating Uncharted 4, Inside, Dishonored 2, and Firewatch. Other winners included Uncharted 4 for Best Technology, Inside for Best Audio and Best Visual Art, and No Man’s Sky won the Innovation Award. However, no one from Hello Games was at the event, so host Tim Schafer had to accept the award on their behalf. On Twitter, Hello Games code lead Innes McKendrick revealed that they were at dinner: apparently we won an award?umoops — Innes MᶜK @ gdc (@innesmck) March 2, 2017 we were uh, eating dinnertalking about how we definitely wouldn’t win an award — Innes MᶜK @ gdc (@innesmck) March 2, 2017 we’re here now? hi? uh, pic.twitter.com/yEcDUInddH — Innes MᶜK @ gdc (@innesmck) March 2, 2017 Hello Games Founder Sean Murray added, “I stand by what I said. If you have won, THEY TELL YOU BEFOREHAND. Hence we defo haven’t won, and there’s no rush.” Here’s the full list of winners from the 17th annual Game Developers Choice Awards (winners in bold): Best Audio Battlefield 1 (EA DICE/Electronic Arts) Thumper (Drool) DOOM (id Software/Bethesda Softworks) Inside (Playdead) Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment) Best Debut Heart Machine (Hyper READ FULL STORY AT PLAYSTATIONLIFESTYLE!

amazon

Amazon expands it’s presence at GDC 2017

Press release: Amazon’s largest GDC presence ever features more than 30 classroom sessions, 15 live tutorial kiosks, and game demos built using Amazon Lumberyard, AWS, and Twitch. This week at GDC 2017, Amazon will showcase tools, technologies, and services that empower game developers to focus on innovation instead of the heavy lifting involved in costly, time-consuming infrastructure. Developers are invited… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!

Gearbox Teases What Borderlands 3 Could Look Like

At this week’s annual Game Developers Conference, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford took the stage during Epic Games’ keynote to give us a glimpse of what the Borderlands 3 development team are working on in terms of what the franchise might look like with current-gen visuals. The Borderlands series is best known for its stylized graphical style that features heavily outlined cel shaded assets, and Pitchford showed off a few images that reveal some of the things the team is trying to do with Unreal Engine 4 to bring the game’s visuals to the next level while sticking to its original style. While Pitchford noted that the assets in the images were not final, it gives us a good look into what the game could look like. It might be awhile until we actually see Borderlands 3 hit store shelves though, because while the third major sequel of the franchise is next in line for the company after it finishes work on Battleborn and its DLCs, the game isn’t listed in publisher Take-Two’s fiscal year calendar for 2017. [Source: Game Informer] READ FULL STORY AT PLAYSTATIONLIFESTYLE!

Breath of the Wild

Here's What Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Looked Like In The Early Stages 

During a talk at the Game Developers Conference, Nintendo gave everyone a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Breath of the Wild. What you’re looking at above is technically an early playable version of a game releasing in 2017. “As you can see, this is a 2D Zelda, but we used this as a way to experiment,” said game director Hidemaro Fujibayashi. Advertisement “So you can say this is a legitimate prototype of Breath of the Wild,” he continued. “It’s very nostalgic.” In the 2D footage they shared, you can watch Link burn down trees, cut and move logs into the water for transportation—all followed by their 3D equivalent. While verbs remained the same, the action gained a new perspective in the final version. Advertisement “I thought that the quickest way to bring this idea to life and to present this to the rest of the team would be to create this in 2D,” Fujibayashi said. “So I brought the character data to the technical director, Mr. [Takuhiro Dohta], who will be coming up after this, and asked him to make it.” On Twitter, READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Aven Colony

Team17 reveals new GDC trailers and info for The Escapists 2 and Aven Colony

NEW Aven Colony trailer NEW The Escapists 2 trailer Press release: UK – 1st March 2017 – Award-winning veteran games developer and international games label Team17 has today revealed two new GDC trailers for the forthcoming Aven Colony and The Escapists 2. Together with Texas-based independent developer Mothership Entertainment, Team17 has unveiled a new gameplay trailer showcasing the beautiful and… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!

Observer is Like Playing Through a Nightmare in the Best Way

Really good psychological horror has been… well… lacking recently. Part of that is the collective realization that we, as a society, haven’t been terribly great at addressing mental health issues. And part of that is due to a shift in gaming culture. A good chunk of people simply prefer something a bit brisker and more accessible than your usual pants-shittingly terrifying, white-knuckle survival game. Observer is anathema to that. Presented as a mishmash of dystopic cyberpunk and hefty, unnerving atmosphere, it’s a refreshing twist on a classic genre. You play as the observer, essentially a far-future police officer who investigates crimes with the help of a suite of cybernetic augmentations. You can scan for biological evidence in the middle of a crime scene, and even sense electromagnetic fields. But, the most affecting enhancement is a cable that allows you to “jack in” to the memories of someone else. Once you’re in you can wander a dreamscape, always shifting and twisting around you, while hunting for clues. The problem, of course, is that memories, much like dreams, aren’t stable. As you search hallways and rifle through cabinets, the world around you will distort and change. Sometimes, you’ll enter a room, turn…