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Hitman Absolution Embargo 1/11/12

As gamers, we’re often too caught up fighting for our lives in heated gun or melee battles to appreciate the countless hours of work that go into character animation. Motion capture has been standard fare for many action/adventure projects these days but there are still a lot of hurdles to overcome in terms of properly applying this animation to a specific game setting. This was evident in the high turnout for the GDC panel titled, “Animation Driven Locomotion for Smoother Navigation”.

Just as it takes countless man-hours for Pixar animators to design a garbage bag in Toy Story 3, it might surprise many how much work goes into making sure a non-player character’s feet animation looks realistic, let alone believable. The speakers at this panel know a thing or two about animation, namely:

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Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning

Artificial intelligence in games is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, it's artificial, but no, it's not intelligent. It's still a program, following a decision gate and making choices based on pre-determined outcomes and priorities. But when these become complex enough, they can appear to make something sentient. That's something important in every video game where you're playing against the machine, which is pretty much every game if you think about it. Whether you're facing enemies in an FPS, or fighting off monsters in an MMO, you'll want smart foes to compete against, or there's no challenge to the game.

This is where programmers step in and do their work: building systems, paths, traits, and databases that will inform enemy constructs about what to do in nearly every possible situation in the game. This is why the AI Game Programmers Guild produces an AI track at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, bringing wisdom from those who have gone before to the up and comers. At this year's GDC, those three wise man were Michael Dawe from Big Huge Games/ 38 studios and his work on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Daniel Brewers from Digital Extremes on Darkness 2, and Borut Pfeifer from Plush Apocalypse Productions with Skulls of the Shogun.

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GDC 2012: Guggenheim Speaking For EA... But Why?

This morning, Electronic Arts announced a couple speakers that they'll feature at their GDC 2012 "Game Changers" presentation, and their choices are intriguing to the point of this almost feeling like an ARG.The speculation is that EA is planning to formally reveal Sim City 5.

First off, EA says they are planning to make a big announcement during GDC 2012 based on one of EA "most beloved franchises." The speakers are: Davis Guggenheim, Academy Award-winning director and producer of An Inconvenient Truth. and Scott Harrison of Charity Water. Leading to speculation that the franchise to be unveiled is, in fact, Sim City. Specifically, Sim City 5.

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Tags: GDC, Videogames

Happy Thirsty Thursday everyone! It's time for your favorite bearded beer snob, Casey Schreiner, to let you know what's going on in the world of MMOs. This week he'll discuss what Guild Wars 2 was showing at GDC, how the Bungie MMO rumor was just a (poorly executed) joke, and of course he'll read some submissions from Uncle Casey's Mail Bag. Enjoy!

The MMO Report: Thursday, March 10th »



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G4 Is Heading To GDC 2011!

GDC 2012's dates have been announced. The 26th annual Game Developers Conference will take place between Monday, March 5 and Friday, March 9, 2012.

As you're no doubt aware, last week was Game Developers Conference 2011. Here's our site with all the GDC 2011 goings-on. According to the organizers, GDC 2011 was an unqualified success, drawing more than 19,000 visitors, the most attendees in GDC history.

“The past week of GDC truly embodied the passion and spirit of the video game community,” said GDC director, Meggan Scavio in a statement.

So, what did you guys think of GDC? Any standout games or news from the show?

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G.A.N.G. Awards Logo

The ninth annual G.A.N.G. Awards were handed out this week at GDC. The Game Audio Network Guild, a group dedicated to advancing interactive audio and those who create it, received more than 350 submissions for this year's honors. And just like other awards shows there was one clear favorite among the winners. Press play to see if your favorite game won! And by play we mean Read More.

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G4 Is Heading To GDC 2011!

Hey, Feed faithful! This year’s Game Developers Conference is just around the corner, and we here at G4 are in the final planning stages as we prepare to bring you all of the breaking news, interviews, previews, panel discussions, rumors and videos your precious game-loving brains can handle straight from one of the year's biggest gatherings in the games industry.

GDC 2011 officially kicks off Monday, February 28 and lasts through March 4, and G4tv.com will be all over it like some kind of incurable developer conference fungus, only…you know…not as gross. We’re expecting to see plenty of big name titles at the show, from Battlefield 3 to The Darkness 2 to, perhaps, the new game from Epic Games that was previously rumored to be announced at the show. In other words, lots of good stuff.

In addition to the countless number of fascinating panels and roundtables, another big highlight will obviously be the keynote presentation from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, in which he may or may not announce that Wii Points have become the official currency of the universe. It’s more likely that he’ll stick to the keynote topic, “Video Games Turn 25: A Historical Perspective and Vision for the Future,” but we’ll see.

So keep your eyes and ears glued to G4tv.com starting next week for all of the latest updates from this year’s big show.

GDC 2010 Homepage Hero

The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo may be the biggest, most hype-filled game con of the year, but if you really want to get to the nitty-gritty of gaming, and totally geek-out on a grand scale, it's got to be the annual Game Developers Conference. This morning, GDC's organizers announced a series of panel that is indicative of the passionate geekery of the entire show. They're calling them "Classic Game Postmortems," and the idea is to take legends of the gaming field and have them discuss and dissect some of the greatest older games ever made.

The line-up of speakers reads like a who's-who of the history of gaming itself. We're talking David Crane, Wil Wright, Toru Iwatani, Jordan Mechner, John Romero, Peter Molyneux, Ron Gilbert and more. The talks will cover the making of the games that made the game industry what it is, including Doom, Prince of Persia, Marble Madness, Pac-Man, Pitfall, Populous and more. To say I'm excited about these panels is an understatement. It's a little bit of a dream collection of panelists -- legends, if you will.

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Cliff Bleszinski

The upcoming Game Developers Conference has signed on an epic name: Epic Games' Cliff Bleszinski. Cliffy B. will be presenting a seminar entitled "Industry Lessons Learned and Applying Them to the Road Ahead" at GDC.

The seminar, aimed at industry insiders, will focus on how "understanding marketing and PR are not only important to a game's promotion but to its actual design and implementation." Bleszinski will also talk about branding, specifically branding a video game's IP, but also characters and even and one's self as a developer.

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Live Blog: GDC 2009 Keynote - Nintendo President Satoru Iwata

Nintendo's president Satoru Iwata will deliver the Keynote speech to the 2011 Game Developers Conference. The convention will be held in March in San Francisco, and Iwata's speech will be entitled: "Video Games Turn 25: A Historical Perspective and Vision for the Future."

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Epic Games LogoEpic Games plans on revealing a new IP at next year's Game Developers Conference.  In a recent interview with EGM Epic's Cliff Bleszinski gave some insight on Epic's future announcements and their hopes to reveal their new IP in early 2011. Details were scarce but he did assure gamers to keep their "eyes peeled at GDC."

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Puzzle Quest fans unite!

Infinite Interactive CEO/Creative Lead Steve Fawkner, sits down with us to talk about the series return to the core puzzle gameplay while still adding much more RPG elements as well in Puzzle Quest 2.

Puzzle Quest 2 CEO/Creative Lead Interview »












Much hullaballoo was made up over the Euphoria Engine during the build up to games like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Grand Theft Auto IV. The idea of such a dynamic physics engine propelled gamers dreams of frenetic gameplay into the stratosphere. Now, with the upcoming American football Backbreaker project from 505 Games and NaturalMotion, the imagination is aflame with the idea of a truer-to-life experience of one of the world's most violent real-life games.

To explain the efforts of the development team further, NaturalMotion Assistant Producer Rob Donald discusses how Backbreaker will attempt to be the "first live action video game sports title" and excite fans across the world, even sans an NFL license.

Backbreaker "First Live Action Video Game Sports Title" Int. »


 

Stardock's Impulse::Reactor Toolset Makes Gamers Lives Easier Too

I've built a PC system or five in my day, but when it comes to understanding code, I'm at a loss.  So when walking in to chat with Stardock's Brad Wardell about their Impulse::Reactor development tool at GDC, I was a bit apprehensive.  I enjoy their games, but I knew the conversation was going to get technical.  So I'll do what Wardell did and explain it simply: Impulse::Reactor is a toolset which allows developers to easily integrate a variety of in-game features such as chat, achievements, DLC downloads and matchmaking, into their PC titles. 

How easily?  With a few lines of code.  Seriously.  Now, there's a little more to implementing it properly as any developer will want to skin the application or create custom achievements, but the process is easy.  For example, creating achievements is the equivalent of an IF THEN statement in the game itself: IF player kills 20 orcs, THEN "20 Orc Killer" achievement is unlocked.  Set up the picture and POOF! You've got Gamerscore.

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Sam & Max: The Devil's Playground GDC 2010 Preview

The Sam & Max franchise is as beloved as they come, so naturally it's an exciting time when a new season of the popular adventure series rolls around. Enter Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse. G4’s Patrick Klepek checked out the latest installment during this year’s Game Developers Conference, and here’s some proof:

"The interface has been streamlined to reflect that many console gamers aren't necessarily used to managing and manipulating an inventory screen that's heavily reliant on guessing what the designer wants you to do. Telltale wants to encourage user experimentation without generating frustration."

You can find Patrick's full preview right here.

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