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Game Developer Conference 07. Roundup & Sample-Bag by Ben Hutchison Lead Developer, Playscape Games. Shigeru Miyamoto. Famed designer of Donkey Kong/Mario/Zelda/Pikmen, gave a keynote. Well attended - the queue wrapped fully around a city block!

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game developer conference 07

Game Developer Conference 07

Roundup & Sample-Bag

by Ben Hutchison

Lead Developer, Playscape Games

shigeru miyamoto
Shigeru Miyamoto
  • Famed designer of Donkey Kong/Mario/Zelda/Pikmen, gave a keynote.
  • Well attended - the queue wrapped fully around a city block!
  • Outlined Nintendo’s “Expanded Audience” strategy by way of the
  • Wife-o-meter - they aim to make games that would appeal to his wife, who has “no interest in games”.
littlebigplanet
LittleBigPlanet
  • Sony used their Keynote to show off LittleBigPlanet
    • UK indie Media Molecule.
  • Awesome concept!:
    • Cute 10cm high characters
    • Cute little platform world.
    • Physics & gadgets everywhere
    • Emergent gameplay
  • Customisable avatar & world
    • “Art-n-crafty” in-game creation tools
  • Social Gaming
    • Share objects & levels with community
    • Give & get info/comments on content, what’s most popular, etc
gdc mobile
GDC Mobile
  • Frustration evident in North American mobile games market:
  • “Can’t innovate!”
  • “Operator squeezing me out!”
  • “Don’t know my customer’s needs”
  • Supermarket model prevails:
  • Limited customer purchase options
  • Getting Shelf Space key to success
  • Mass market casual games dominant
  • No shelf space for risky, hardcore or niche titles: “long tail” of mobile games

Mobile-game-free zone

gdc mobile1
GDC Mobile
  • Innovation continues in Asia:
  • Path of Warrior, a multiplayer online mobile game by Korean developer Gamevil.
  • Action RPG
  • Item acquire/trading focus
  • 80K subscribers in 18 months
  • 10% operator revenue share vs typically 50% in US
gdc mobile2
GDC Mobile
  • Consultancy Shufflebrain advocated adoption of Social game features, eg
  • Points, Leader Boards
  • Player Profiles
  • Comments and feedback
  • User generated content
  • Idea is that players, even of single-player games, want to feel connected to a community
  • Few mobile games in this space, but eg
  • Xbox Live (on Xbox)
  • 3’s SeeMeTV: “mobile YouTube”
multithreaded programming
Multithreaded Programming
  • Coverage of multithreading featured heavily in the programming track.
  • The near exponential growth in single thread performance we’ve enjoyed over ~30 years has ended. Multicore CPUs are the future.
  • Parallelise or Perish
  • Valve outlined how they converted their Source engine to take advantage of multi-core CPU systems.
peter molyeux fable 2
Peter Molyeux & Fable 2
  • Peter Molyeux spoke very well on innovation in Lionhead’s RPG Fable
    • Track record of outrageously ambitious games that promise more than is eventually delivered
  • His Big Idea: Love. You the player feel Love while you play the game.
    • A faithful dog companion that wants to please and help you.
    • Family members that miss you and fret when you go away adventuring.
  • Also:
    • All city buildings are purchasable
    • Can have sex & babies in the game (no screenshots provided)

* For the record, Arcadia features a faithful dog companion, independently conceived. ;)

ernest adams
Ernest Adams
  • Game designer advocated going beyond (violent) conflict as the core game mechanic
  • Exploration;“virtual tourism”
  • A space to hang out with friends in
  • Learning
  • On Far Cry: “it’s a beautiful tropical island and I’d love to look around, but everywhere I go a guy pops out and tries to kill me!”
  • Dig the message, Ernest! but …where have you been the last 3 years?
  • Nintendogs
  • Viva Pinata
  • Professor Neurogotchi’s Brain Training
  • LittleBigPlanet
briefly
Briefly…
  • AI Roundtable
  • “Finite State Machines” popular
  • “Goodness Score for Each Alternative Action” runner-up
  • No one using Learning or Neural Net
  • Casual/Web Games
  • Lots of sessions & interest
  • Advertising-supported gaming
  • Independent Games Festival
  • Won: Aquaria underwater platform
  • I Liked: BaseInvaders, Band of Bugs
closing remarks themes for 2007
Closing Remarks: Themes for 2007
  • Player created content and gameplay
  • Online, connected and social gaming
  • More types of games & gameplay for a wider audience
  • Thank you
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