GDC 2015: Our highlights

Game Developer Conference 2015 proved to be a great week of meetings and entertainment for the Catchy team. Never a dull moment with the gaming community, here’s a snapshot of the hits for the week:

The VR landscape has intensified with the surprising major announcement week prior at MWC 2015 of HTC manufacturing a VR headset, Vive, in partnership with gaming industry leader Valve, along with the highly anticipated unveiling of Sony’s updated Project Morpheus this week at GDC. Oculus show off their third version, Crescent Bay, which proved to be impressive and stable. Here’s a quick and easy side by side comparison of the top VR projects from GDC provided by PC Mag. With only developer editions available across all competitors, the landscape will truly heat up once hardware is commercially available to consumers this holiday season.

Never one to be left out, Google stayed relevant in the VR headlines by passing out free Cardboard VR headsets. Yes, you read it correctly – cardboard. Minus a few minor components (magnet, lens, strips of tape), the entire headset is made of paper cardboard and can be easily constructed by consumers. Download a free app (Android and iOS compatible), attach your mobile phone to the headset and voila, you have a VR headset right in your hand. Not surprising, we’ve noticed the Android list of apps is obviously a bit more robust than iOS. Nonetheless, fun and we were excited to bring some of this insta-technology back to our teams to try out.

Other snippets from GDC:

  • Both the availability and technological advances of middleware was overwhelming and impressive. One exhibit that stuck with us was Geomerics’ demo of their cutting edge lighting software Enlighten. Labor intensive and typically extremely taxing for both hardware and software, Enlighten optimizes a developer’s ability to incorporate advance lighting techniques within PC and mobile games. If it wasn’t for us navigating a controller for real time response, we would’ve guessed we were watching a movie or pre-recorded video of some sorts. Totally impressive technology!
  • Did you know Publisher’s Clearing House (yes, the same mail in to win millions sweepstakes company) is a top producer of mobile games and analytics/lead generation tools? The more you know….
  • Unity 5 was released
  • Unreal Engine 4 is now available subscription free
  • Despite sightings of Game of War spokeswoman Kate Upton in San Francisco the day BEFORE the conference opening, thousands of gamer’s hearts were broken when sadly Upton did not make an appearance at GDC. Turns out Upton was in town to attend the Express Spring Fling Event

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