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Posts tagged “GDC 2019”

Feature: Eat, play, shoot

Four offbeat ideas from GDC’s Experimental Gameplay Workshop

The Experimental Gameplay Workshop is an annual showcase of the most interesting and outlandish ideas in game design, presented at the end of the Game Developers Conference every year. This year that included everything from an adaptation of an Eminem video to a game that's trying to trick you into quitting. Here are some of the highlights:

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Feature: You may be seated

I got tied to a chair at Alt.Ctrl.GDC and it was wild

If you haven't heard of Alt.Ctrl.GDC, oh my gosh, are you in for a treat. Not the treat of actually going, because this happened two weeks ago in San Francisco. The treat of hearing about all the weird and wonderful games with alternative control schemes, including the Indiana Jones escape experience pictured above. There was also coal-powered train racing (with actual shovels), demonic couch co-op…

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Feature: The 7th annual chat in the sun

Lost Levels is the lovely ‘unconference’ of GDC

GDC, or the Games Developers Conference, has a secret. Except it's not a secret, and it's not actually part of GDC. Every year, a group of people gather in a nearby park for Lost Levels. A book is passed around, and every gatherer is invited to jot their name down if they fancy it. When their name gets called, that person leads a five-minute talk…

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Feature: Like evolution, only faster

Sing to a garden and make friends with happy jelly beans in Mutazione

It was explained to me that Mutazione is a difficult game to play on a loud and busy show floor. At conventions and trade shows, someone might notice a free demo station, pick up the controls, noodle around for a few minutes, and then run off because they only have half an hour in which to snarf down an overpriced sandwich. But Mutazione is quiet,…

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Feature: No Man's Planet

Journey To The Savage Planet is cute, colourful, and a little bit evil

There is an alien bird in front of me, and it is adorable. It’s all pupils and cuteness, a squeaking, big-eyed blob snuffling happily away at my feet. Or rather at the feet of Alex Hutchinson. He's the creative director of Journey To The Savage Planet, and he's guiding me through his new studio's "optimistic and colourful" sci-fi exploration game. It's about finding a new…

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Feature: Malady loves company

Divinity: Fallen Heroes is sort of XCOM for Divinity: Original Sin 2, but doesn’t have its guns yet

“Hot diggity daffodil,” says I, reading a GDC email two weeks ago. “A ‘new and unannounced Divinity: Original Sin 2 title’, what a day!” Eagle eyed readers will have already spotted that the email did not in fact say ‘hot new in-depth RPG Divinity: Original Sin 3 revealed’, and Divinity: Fallen Heroes is indeed not that. I got a hands on with an early alpha…

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Feature: Let's get weird

Control is a delightfully strange shooter with outstanding telekinesis noises

The sphere is loose. A spiky black void, jittering between realities as it loafs towards me like a murderous billiard ball from a higher dimension. It's one of many paranormal horrors to break out of the Bureau’s containment, and I do not like it one bit. Except I do, because weird balls and their ilk are the main reason I’m excited about Control. Those, and…

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Feature: But not why they didn't make the moon a big wheel of cheese

Why Arkane went roguelike with Prey’s Mooncrash DLC

At GDC this week, Prey's lead level designer Rich Wilson explained why their team decided to change the immersive sim formula for its Mooncrash DLC. Mooncrash is a fascinating artefact: it blends the immersive first-person exploration and triple-A production values of its parent game with experimental, permadeath, randomised elements pulled from roguelikes. It's a marriage that could not be more targeted to my personal tastes,…

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Feature: The show goes on

The System Shock remaster is spooky, but far from finished

“It’s not Citadel Station as it was, but as you remember it”. So goes the pitch for Nightdive's System Shock remake, but to me the early demo I played at GDC was neither. I’ve tiptoed my way through the mutant-infested corridors of its sequel, but the original System Shock always lay beyond an impenetrable wall of 90s design sensibilities. I need mouselook, me. I’ve got…

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Do vu no? Denuvo making Anti-Cheat

Denuvo, the folks behind the much-maligned DRM-strengthening software Denuvo Anti-Tamper, intend to block more shenanigans. On Wednesday they announced Denuvo Anti-Cheat, a new doodad for developers to tie into their games to bust cheats. They say it partially uses machine learning to detect cheaty behaviour--a trick used by others, including by Valve in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive--but don't say much about its efficacy or any developers…

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Feature: "This is the sequel you have been waiting for"

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is happening! It’s real!

Imagine, dear reader, my delight upon learning that Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, a game about which I have said “...but it’ll never happen” several times, is, in fact, happening. More than that, I have seen, hands off, the first half an hour of it and have spoken to senior writer Cara Ellison (late of this RPS parish), as well as Hardsuit Labs co-founder…

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Return Of The Obra Dinn wins IGF Grand Prize

Continuing to copy the tastes of RPS, the Independent Games Festival Awards last night awarded Return Of The Obra Dinn the Seumas McNally Grand Prize during the Game Developers Conference, with a cheeky Excellent In Narrative award on the side too. We declared it our favourite game of 2018 so, y'know, good on ya Ian GF. Correct decision. The other prizes were won by Mirror…

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Oculus Rift S isn’t the Rift 2, but no external sensors is a big thumbs up

The hardware news just keeps coming from GDC this week, with today's big headline courtesy of Oculus. They've just announced the Rift S, a new VR headset for PC that has a higher resolution display and built-in tracking to make it even easier to jump into your favourite VR games - and they've partnered with Lenovo to build it.

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The Outer Worlds, Control, The Sinking City and others go Epic exclusive

Epic Games are getting serious about going head-to-head with Valve with their store, and have the war-chest to prove it. They've just announced a slew of exclusives, including Obsidian's highly anticipated The Outer Worlds, and Remedy's upcoming horror shooter Control. Frogwares's cthulhoid detective mystery The Sinking City will be making its debut on the upstart storefront too. This is on top of Epic's surprise announcement…

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Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human coming to PC via Epic

You all called me paranoid, said David Cage wouldn't dare, insisted it would never happen, that the "threat" I spoke of was a joke, but it's true: Quantic Dream are bringing more games to PC, starting with 2010's Heavy Rain, 2013's Beyond: Two Souls and 2018's Detroit: Become Human. After years of PlayStation exclusivity, the Indigo Prophecy studio been lured back by Epic Games Store…

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Google Stadia promises instant cloud gaming from your Chrome browser

Google have finally lifted the lid on their cloud gaming platform, Google Stadia. Promising instant access to massive games including Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Doom Eternal simply by clicking a link in your Chrome browser, Google Stadia aims to make download times and hardware upgrades (and apparently my job) a thing of the past when it launches later this year. Here's everything we know so…

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Feature: Herding cats

How a Valve veteran and a former Riot designer want to ‘change the culture’ of making games

Stray Bombay are going to make co-op games. Dr. Kimberly Voll, (PhD in computer science and AI, first class honours degree in Cognitive Science, experienced game designer, VR researcher, expert in player dynamics, and former professor of computer science) and Chet Faliszek (man who worked at Valve and has made some games you’ve probably heard of) have co-founded this new game studio. It’s called Stray…

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Unity’s latest tech demo is a film I’d watch more of

High-tech stubble, virtual eyebrows, and a rad-as-heck crowbot feature in Unity's latest tech demo showing off their game engine's shiny new features. The Heretic is another wee film, a mysterious mix of sci-fi and fantasy that's looking all sorts of fancy running in real time on what Unity call "a consumer-class desktop PC." Not a cheap desktop PC, I bet. If you enjoying cooing over…

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System Shock 3 first trailer: she’s back (and so’s he)

Devil's advocate: I'd have been even more excited about Otherside's System Shock 3 if it didn't have revered murder-computer SHODAN in it. 'Shock, traditionally, has been about pushing things forwards, not looking to the past, and what stronger statement could there be than to ditch its godhood-seeking figurehead? Make the big bad a disgruntled janitor named Susan instead, maybe. But I won't pretend that I…

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Chet Faliszek and Kim Voll open Stray Bombay Company for new co-op game

Chet Faliszek, the former Valve fella best known for his work on Left 4 Dead and writing other good words for games, has joined forces with former Riot Games principal technical designer and AI bod Kimberly Voll to found a new studio. Stray Bombay Company is its name (as in Bombay cat), and drawing people closer through play is its game. They haven't announced any…

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