It’s the largest and longest-running professional’s only gaming event in the world. And the market continues to be filled with game choices of all kinds. While there’s no official count yet, the Game Developers Conference, or GDC, is expected to draw in 25,000 game professionals to San Francisco this week.
Mark Niu reported from San Francisco on some games with truly unique features.
Profession gamers gather at Game Developers ConferenceIt's the largest and longest-running professional’s only gaming event in the world. And the market continues to be filled with game choices of all kinds. While there's no official count yet, the Game Developers Conference, or GDC, is expected to draw in 25,000 game professionals to San Francisco this week.
Developers play a huge role, for they are the backbone of what makes this industry tick.
The big boys are here showing off their gaming wares, everything from Xbox to PlayStation.
But growing in importance are also the independent developers and startup game companies, who bring creativity and passion.
Harbin, China-born Yang Zhenghua was 18 when he was bleeding non-stop and diagnosed with a rare disease called Chronic Refractory I-T-P.
“My doctor at the time told me I only had a few hours to live and it was super sudden for me. Luckily, I survived that night miraculously and since then I was hospitalized for two more years. During that time, I realized how life is so precious and how easy it is to slip away from you. I wanted to turn my passion for video games into something more meaningful,” Yang Zhenghua said.
Yang founded Serenity Forge, which created the free game – Loving Life– more like a visual novel based on his near-death experience.
At GDC, Serenity Forge is also showing off its new game The Kings Bird – about escaping oppression.
It’s also created Luna’s Wandering Stars, about the beauty of the universe, and Pixel Galaxy, a game where you win by turning enemies into friends.
“We’re so tired of training kids how to shoot people on the TV, knocking over bricks on your phone for two hours. We feel like video games can do so much more. We wanted to create experiences that kind of enhance and improve people’s lives,” Yang Zhenghua said.
GDC even has a special program, Independent Games Festival, which seeks to encourage outside of the box thinking and innovation in game development. It’s gaining a reputation as the Sundance, or even Oscars, of the independent gaming world.
And the winner for IGF’s Best Student Game went to Goodbye World Games for Close Your.
The game utilizes a player’s blinking to relive moments of the characters life while actually drawing upon the experiences of real stroke victims.
William Hellwarth, Founder of Goodbye Games said, “Video games are art. I remind everyone when we are making games. They are like oh, I wanna use coding this no you are doing art. You are doing art here. And that’s absolutely our focus, personal expression and making what feels right.”
Both Goodbye Games and Serenity Forge say they didn’t create their products to make money, but rather to give gamers a different perspective on life.
Fast facts on the Game Developers Conference
- 350 Exhibitors
- 650 plus sessions
- Last year 24,000 people attended. No stats so until end of conference for this year.
- This is the 29th year of GDC
- GDC is the world’s largest and longest-running professional-only games industry event