From VR and a slew of major engine updates to livestreaming and AI texture generation, this year’s Game Developers Conference certainly didn’t let up on the big news from Monday to Friday.
The price and release date for the PlayStation VR were finally revealed, with Sony also demonstrating the headset’s ability to offer room-scale experiences to developers – but watch out, anything less than 60 frames per second performance won’t cut the mustard.
At the annual IGF and GDC Awards, Her Story cleaned up, with developer Sam Barlow winning big at both the indie-focused and mainstream ceremonies. Although, CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher III ultimately claimed the biggest prize: Game of the Year.
In terms of tools, Unity and Unreal both had plenty to say and show off, with Epic saying 2015 was the best year yet for its iconic engine and Unity revealing its dominance in the mobile sector.
Meanwhile, CryEngine introduced a Pay What You Like business model and unveiled its VR-friendly focus for its fifth iteration.
Other software to launch at the show included Wwise, Vulkan, Substance Painter and Artomatix Materialize, the ambitious asset generation tool that plans to hand over the hard work to artificial intelligence. Develop spoke to the firm to uncover its plans for the impressive tech.
In the livestreaming space, Twitch was once again flying the flag for devs to get involved, detailing its latest boons for studios looking to broadcast their titles online.
There was plenty to talk about during the speakers sessions, too. Fullbright founder Steve Gaynor insisted that there is still more to be done in terms of inviting female devs into the industry, Cliff Bleszinski explained Boss Key’s move away from free-to-play for LawBreakers and we all learnt why video games need more dick jokes.
Oh, and Star Wars is coming to VR. Try to remain calm.
For more coverage from this and other GDC shows both past and future, bookmark www.develop-online.net/gdc.
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Here’s this year’s GDC headlines in cold, hard list form:
‘Hiring ideal job applicants limits diversity,’ says Fullbright founder
Boss Key abandons free-to-play model for LawBreakers
‘To make games the most powerful artform, don’t freak out about dick jokes’
PlayStation VR supports Vive-like room-scale experiences
Artomatix announces automatic texture generation tool Materialize
Smart Art: Meet the AI aiming to save devs from the boredom of asset generation
‘2015 was the best year ever for Unreal’
Vulkan SDK released with PowerVR Framework
Encore opens indie publishing label
Wwise adds support for Dolby Atmos
Sony may reject PlayStation VR games that don’t hit 60 fps
The Witcher 3 named Game of the Year at GDC Awards
Her Story wins IGF Awards Grand Prize
Epic Games launches virtual reality Unreal Editor
Native OSVR support comes to Unreal
Substance Painter 2.0 introduces Nvidia Iray renderer and curated asset store
CryEngine now natively supports open-source OSVR platform
Nvidia launches effort to attract devs to GeForce Now streaming platform
Unity: Certification program not designed to punish established devs
Unity Collaborate and EditorVR lead slew of new features
PlayStation VR to launch in October, cost £349
CryEngine V optimised for VR, introduces Pay What You Want model
386 Unity mobile games downloaded per second in 2015
1.1m devs use Unity Personal Edition
‘Mobile spenders play at least four hours a day’
Practical Magic, Fox and Ubisoft team up for VR Assassin’s Creed
VIDEO: ILMxLab unveils Star Wars VR experiment for HTC Vive
Twitch urges devs to make livestreaming games with Developer Success initiative
Google to embed mobile game demos in search results