GDC 2013 has finally wrapped up and we’ve got tons of news, previews, and gameplay from the conference. For one week every year, the video game development community gathers in San Francisco to take a look at the future of game development. We got to play innovative games like Framed and even got a chance to try out the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles.
Here’s our best of GDC 2013.
Just about every game we saw at GDC 2013 was using the free-to-play monetization model, including two multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games we saw. MOBAs are a sub-genre of the real-time strategy genre where you play with a group of players in an arena style map.
My first introduction to Anomaly was the iOS version of the game. I didn’t know that 11 bit Studios’ original release of Anomaly on desktops had a commander that players controlled. This commander could perform commands like healing or setting up fake radars to draw the attention of the alien towers. This is the big difference with the Anomaly series. The game evolved from being a simple tower defense to what 11 bit calls a “tower offense” game.
Witching Hour Studios is an independent developer out of Singapore. Ian Gregory Tan is the Creative Director at Witching Hour Studios and he came to GDC 2013 to show off his new game, Ravenmark: Mercenaries. Their original game, Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion, was a single-player real-time strategy (RTS) game where you controlled an army throughout a 30 hour single player campaign.
Video games are often viewed as escapism but sometimes a video game comes along and completely obliterates that misconception. Pipe Trouble is a mobile game for Android and iOS tablets that does just that by merging politics and video games. The game was created by Pop Sandbox to raise awareness of the ecological costs of natural gas development in British Colombia, Canada.
One of the more developer-focused demos that I saw at GDC 2013 was for Intel’s Perceptual Computing SDK. This software developers kit is for creating gesture-based commands with a specifically designed webcam. Somewhat like what the Kinect and new PlayStation 4 Eye, the Intel Perceptual Computing software will allow you to control computers through the use of gestures, voice, and eye tracking.
I had been playing a bit of the open beta in Hawken before I met with Adhesive Games and Meteor Entertainment at the Game Developers Conference. The mech action game was a lot of fun, offering a lot of customization and solid gameplay. With both keyboard and mouse as well as gamepad support, it’s easy to jump into the game and learn the basics.
Nordic game developer, Megapop, showed off its upcoming iOS tower defense game, Trolls vs Vikings at GDC 2013. The game looks strikingly similar to Plants vs Zombies, which Megapop acknowledges on their site by saying their game shows “some similarities with a certain Plants-based game.”
Having finally gotten into the closed beta of Warface after being on the wait list for about a year, I found the game to be a solid experience. Crytek knows first-person shooters like Warface aren’t a far step from what the the company is known for.
Electronic Arts’ mobile division showed off some of the games they have lined up for 2013. There are, of course, classic games like Tetris as well as having a few surprises under its sleeve.
When I first saw Loadout last year, I found it to be a really fun and fast-paced third-person shooter with solid gameplay. With a free-to-play monetization model and massive amount of weapon customization, Loadout is accessible to everyone. I was both equally excited and curious about how the microtransactions system would work.
MekTek showed off a very early, alpha build of its upcoming mech game, Heavy Gear Assault. The Heavy Gear franchise is actually quite old, first appearing on the PC in 1997 so there’s a lot of lore and back story to work with.
We met with Joshua Boggs of Love Shack Entertainment at GDC 2013 and got to play Framed, a comic book puzzle game. It may sound like a weird combination, but the idea is innovative and definitely works. The game is designed for touch, which is a perfect medium for this type of puzzle game. There’s still no date set for launch.
For many gamers, the name SEGA brings back great memories of consoles like the Genesis as well as great games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Panzer Dragoon. The company still wants to leverage this gamer nostalgia but is branching out free-to-play mobile games.
Taiwanese game studio, Runewaker, and Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) are bringing Dragon’s Prophet to North America, with a planned European and Taiwan release as well. Dragon’s Prophet is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) with a focus on dragons, which can be used in battles or as mounts.
Today’s the first day of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) and we met up with German publisher and developer, Daedalic Entertainment, to check out what they have in store for this year. Daedalic is best known for developing the point-and-click adventure series, Deponia as well as publishing games like Torchlight II and Machinarium.
Yesterday, we got a hands on demonstration from Eutechnyx for Auto Club Revolution. Eutechnyx is the developer behind racing games such as NASCAR The Game: Inside Line and Ferrari Challenge. They’ve now taken their racing engine and have ported it over to the web for Auto Club Revolution, which brings console level graphics to the browser. Players will have to install a 500MB race launcher app one time in order to run the game.