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My Experience at GDC

Posted by Alex Rude on May 10, 2017 at 7:35 PM

2017 marks the third year That I've attended the Game Developer's Conference. Each time that I attend, I always find something unexpected that leaves a strong impression on me, not only as a game developer but as someone who has been an avid admirer of games from the time they were a kid.

In 2015 it was the emerging use of V.R. technologies and the sense of immersion they brought to gaming.

In 2016 it was a single display in which a digital display was projected onto a pile of sand that could be shaped at the player's will. The height and depth of the sand would correspond into readings of altitude, creating a physical/digital terrain through which the players would need to maneuver a pair of tanks. It was my first real look at augmented reality technology and out of everything I saw at the conference that year it was the thing that left the strongest impression on me.

This year's conference hosted an event called Alt-Control, in which independent game developers and students were given the task of creating alternate methods of player interaction for games. The technology showcased ranged from simple, to complex and even the bizarre, from a space shooter game that required players to sit in a cardboard box made to look like a child's homemade rocket ship, to a game that utilized a controller built around a spring.

But the entry that managed to gain the most attention (and take home an award) was The Fear Sphere, a truly unique display which consisted of an inflated sphere of black plastic that a player would enter and a projector/controller fashioned to look like a bulky flashlight. The player would stand in the center of the sphere and shine the projector on the interior surface, creating the effect of being in an unlit environment with only a flashlight to help them see where they were going. With the help of someone standing outside the sphere giving directions, the player would then have to navigate a labyrinth of dark corridors and stairwells until they finally reached the exit.

For the three years that I have attended, I have come away from the Game Developer's Conference with a sense or excitement and wonder at the innovation of my fellow game developers and I eagerly look forward to seeing what next year's conference will bring to the table.

Categories: Cup of Tea Games

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