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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”.


  • 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


  • 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