Next week, March 25-29, 2013, the world’s largest professionals-only game industry event will kick off in San Francisco, California. The Game Developers Conference, or GDC, is an amazing event where game programmers, producers, game designers, executives, and many more all gather to talk about games and the future of the gaming industry. Over 20,000 attendees are expected at GDC 2013, with over 400 panels, tutorials, lectures, and presentations on game development topics. Traditionally, the most recent and forward-thinking game development tools, platforms and services are featured at GDC, along with the Independent Games Festival (for developers showcasing indie, original games) and the Game Developers Choice Awards (game industry peers give each other the recognition they deserve.
A few of the more interesting stats about GDC attendees:
- GDC conference attendees have an average of 6 years of experience, have worked on an average of 10 game titles, and published an average of 10 game titles.*
- GDC attendees manage an average of 12 people directly or indirectly.*
- Geography: 82% of GDC attendee are from North America with the balance mainly coming from Western Europe (9%) and Asia (6%)
- GDC 2012 conference attendees agree:
- They heard something useful within their craft that they didn't know before (93%)
- They were inspired (91%)
- They gained strong leads to advance their business (76%)
- The Expo Floor was one of the most important reasons to attend GDC (45%)
As you can see from the above image, GDC conference attendees are primarily developing for smartphones and tablets, with PCs close behind. This survey, conducted by the Game Developers Conference of more than 2500 North American game developers who attended the popular conference in 2012 or plan to attend in 2013, offered some intriguing insights on development practices:
- Independent game development and smaller indie teams are making steady gains. 53% of respondents identified themselves as “indie developers”, and 51% of these had been developing games for less than two years.
- 46% of the respondents work with organizations of ten people or less. Around half of those worked with an established publisher on their last project.
- Smartphones and tablets are what most developers are working on, with 55% of respondents currently creating games on these platforms. 58% plan to release their next projects for smartphones and tablets.
- Don’t count out the PC: 48% of developers are developing current games for this platform, and 49% are planning their next games for the PC.
- Overall, tablets and smartphones are grabbing most developers’ time and interest, with 58% and 56% (respectively) interested in developing games for these platforms.
If you’ve been following the Ultimate Coder Challenge: Going Perceptual contest, you’ll notice that we have a good mix of developer teams that pretty accurately reflects what this GDC survey results came up with:
- Sixense Studios: A team currently working on a freeform and creative experience that allows users to intuitively interact with virtual puppets using motion input; they’ve worked on console launches, 3D media enhancements, and develop immersive software for motion tracking tech
- Code-Monkeys: Indie development team working on touch-based game, Stargate Gunship, to be published on the Windows Store
- Infrared5/Brass Monkey: Studio that has produced content for the likes of LucasFilm, Hasbro, and Match.com; currently working on a game that will combine console experiences like those available on the Nintendo Wii U and Microsoft’s Kinect
- Simian Squared: A brother and brother team working on a virtual/immersive pottery experience to be delivered on the PC
- Peter O’Hanlon: A one-man band working on a Minority Report-like photo editing application for the Ultrabook/PC platform
- Quel Solaar: Another independent; working on a simple to use platform library with features such as multitouch, tilt sensors, head-tracking and stereoscopics
- Lee Bamber: Independent but affiliated; he’s working on a new kind of teleconferencing software that has great implications (potentially) for the gaming industry as a whole
Intel GDC events
Intel has a strong presence at GDC, including two Developer Day events. The first one is Tuesday, March 26, from 10-6, and is titled “Intel Perceptual Computing Developer Day”:
“As everyday human computer interaction begins to evolve beyond mouse and keyboard, we should be thinking about how we can leverage these ideas in games as well. The Perceptual SDK enables developers to begin these explorations by providing an easy-to-use toolkit for enabling Natural User Interface based interaction in their games, that integrates into the engines and frameworks they're already using. In this full day session, we will demonstrate using the Perceptual Computing SDK with some of these frameworks including Unity and OGRE. Attendees will also be given a Creative Gesture Camera to continue building and experimenting on their own.” (Register here)
There’s also the Intel Corporation Developer Day: Ultrabook-Graphics, Power, and Human Interfaces:
“Developing games for the PC has changed forever with new form factors, input methods, and a need for reduced power consumption. Intel's Developer Day will provide hands-on activities using the latest Ultrabooks. You'll learn from other game developers who have successfully taken advantage of new platform features and gain insights into how Intel is transforming the PC into the best gaming platform available.” (Register here)
What’s happening at Intel Booth #106 in the South Hall? Here’s a small sample:
“Atmospheric Light Scattering, Software Occlusion Culling, Configurable Touch Input for Real Time Strategy Games, and other featured game sample codes! …. Check out the latest games optimized for Ultrabook convertibles and tablets. Learn from the product experts within our booth, tech sessions and courses with Intel researchers, engineers, and key industry partners….. Join us in our workshops and technical sessions to learn about the latest advances in PC games. Intel engineers are presenting talks highlighting advances in Intel HD Graphics, showing how to optimize and deliver better game experiences on Ultrabook devices, the future of Perceptual Computing being realized today.” – Intel @ GDC 2013
Booth demos include:
- Ultrabook Gaming with Touch and Sensors
- Intel Perceptual Computing SDK
- Game Developer Code Samples
- Tablet Gaming with Razer Edge
- HTML5 Cross-Platform Experience
And many more. You can see all the Intel booth demos along with descriptions here, under the Booth tab.
Ultimate Coders at GDC 2013
In addition to the many fine demos, talks, tutorials, and day-long exhibitions at GDC, our Ultimate Coder challengers will also be showing up to talk about what they’re working on as part of the Ultimate Coder Challenge, complete with demos. Check out what these coders have in store (all demos are in the GDC Booth Theater):
- Eskil Steenberg/Quel Solaar/”Interfaces that Run on Every Device”: “In this presentation I will discuss the challenges and opportunities when developing a cross platform UI framework. How do you create a unified interface that looks good and works well on any screen size, resolution and input device? Expect loads of demos.” Wednesday, March 27 at 11:30 AM
- Brass Monkey/Infrared5/”How New Technologies Will Reinvent the Consumer Gaming Experience”: “Brass Monkey’s CEO Chris Allen will delve into the relationship between games and technology. Through a brief exploration of history in games he will attempt to answer the following questions: How does innovation in technology influences game design? What are the underlying aspects of technology that fundamentally change how people play? Chris will also show how he and his team are changing games through Brass Monkey, a next generation console that uses a web browser as the main screen and people’s smartphones as the game controllers. He will then talk about his team's use of the Intel's Perceptual computing SDK in conjunction with Brass Monkey to create Kiwi Catapult Revenge. This game features head tracking, gaze tracking and more using the Intel Perceptual Computing Camera and associated APIs.” Wednesday, March 27, 3:30 PM
- SimianSquared/Giuseppe Landolina/”Retrospective”: “A look at our projects with a focus on what we can impart to other developers as a small team taking on big projects. We will incorporate Perceptual Computing and effective UX design topics with relation to Intel.” Thursday, March 28 3:30 PM
- Code-Monkeys/Chris Skaggs/”Stargate Gunship: Look Ma! No Hands!”:” I’d be talking about a blend of the Perceptual Computing camera (opportunity) and effective UX using those new tools.” Friday, March 29 10:30 AM
- Lee Bamber: “Developing With Intel”: “A case study on how Intel helped TGC improve their products and technologies over the years. Quite fast paced with videos and live demos, rather than lots of text and presentation slides. 20 Minute Show features Multi-core Box2D, Ultrabook Sensors and the current Perceptual Computing prototype showing how the Gesture Camera can turn you into a 3D blob and track you. I'll be preparing some AGK discounts for attendees too, and maybe bring some freebies with me to give out.” Friday March 29 11:30 AM
- Sixense “Going Perceptual with Portal 2 in Motion”: “Sixense Studios integration of the ultimate depth camera expands on their dedication of cross platform development and 6 Degrees of Freedom input devices.” Wednesday, March 27 11:00 AM
See you there!
Will you be at GDC? Please be sure to stop by the Intel booth to participate in demos, giveaways, and talk to Intel staff. We look forward to seeing you there!