Meggan Scavio, General Manager for GDC Events, put out a short and friendly reminder today that there are rules that both speakers and attendees need to follow to make the Game Developers Conference a safe and happy environment for everyone. In her brief note to the development community, Scavio said that GDC is for everyone and anyone at the official venue during GDC week should act accordingly:
It looks like Valve is getting into the virtual reality game with everyone else. The Steam, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress, Portal, and Counter-Strike owners announced this morning its own entry into the space called "SteamVR." Valve describes SteamVR as a "previously unannounced hardware system," which will make its formal debut at the Game Developers Conference in early March.
Valve also plans to show the reworked Steam controller gamepad, and a series of new living room devices (what it used to call Steam Machines) at the event.
The crowd-funding Kickstarter campaign for recently revealed massively-multiplayer online game Crowfall has launched today. The game, which has a PvP focus, uses procedurally generated server-sized worlds that die over time, according to developer ArtCraft Entertainment. Players, thankfully, live forever and after the world they fought in days they return home to the Eternal Kingdom with their prizes and treasure to prepare for another battle within a brand new realm.
Gamasutra has an interesting and fascinating article on how one developer harnessed the power of a captive audience to test a prototype of his mobile game. Waiting in line at your local Department of Motor Vehicles office is a pain in the ass. Chances are you'll be fiddling around with your phone anyway so when the developer of the mobile puzzle game Patchmania needed some help testing his latest creation it made perfect sense to him to ask people to try it out.
According to this Globe and Mail report, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) and the video games industry are pushing for more flexible rules related to temporary foreign workers a week after the federal government of Canada agreed to allow universities to be more self-governing in how they comply with the temporary foreign worker programs.
Dead or Alive 5: Last Round developer Team Ninja issued a warning on Twitter that the game contains a game-breaking bug in Tutorial Mode Lesson 40.8 and 40 that causes the game to freeze, crash and corrupts save game data.
The bug seems to only affect the German, Spanish, French, and Italian versions of the game. The Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean versions of the game do not suffer from this bug.
Here's what Team Ninja said about the bug:
Yoyo Games and Playtech issued a joint statement today assuring current GameMaker developers that the future of the development tools is bright and full of sunshine. Earlier this week Playtech announced that it had purchased Yoyo games and its GameMaker technology for $16.4 million. One of the biggest concerns for users of the development software after the announcement was pricing, but "for now" the current pricing model will stay in place according to both companies.
Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile developer Tri-Ace has been acquired by Japanese mobile gaming company Nepro Japan. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Fans of these and other Tri-Ace games are concerned that these franchises might be seriously hurt - particularly when it comes to future titles being proliferated on other platforms that aren't mobile in nature.
Indie puzzler Camera Obscura launches on Steam today, and to celebrate developer Anteater Games announced that it will give a portion of each sale to Get-Well Gamers for a limited time.
In his latest video update to talk about the progress of Broken Age, Double Fine's Tim Schaefer took a little bit of time to share his thoughts on 22Cans founder Peter Molyneux's treatment by the press in the last week or so.
BioWare's co-founder Dr. Greg Zeschuk surprised everyone in 2012 when he announced that he was leaving the company and stepping away from gaming - perhaps forever. But it appears that his retirement from all things that might be considered gaming was short lived; Zeschuk has joined the board of Biba, a Vancouver-based app developer making mobile augmented reality apps that work with playground equipment aimed at young children.
The government of British Columbia has reauthorized a tax credit for video game companies that was set to expire in September of this year. The tax credit, which has been extended to 2018, gives video game companies situated in British Columbia a 17.5 percent tax credit on labor costs related to video game production.
Justin Leeper has an interesting connection with the heavy metal band GWAR and with the video games industry, so this article about the band's love of video games over the years is extra fascinating.
PlayTech announced this week that it plans to acquire Yoyo Games Limited, the company best known for developing the popular cross-platform game development tool suite GameMaker Studio.
GameMaker is popular with novice and indie developers. It has been used to develop such notable games as Hotline Miami, Risk of Rain, Gunpoint, Gods Will Be Watching, Nidhogg, and Spelunky. In its announcement PlayTech claimed that the game development tool has over 750,000 registered game developers.
Harebrained Schemes has just finished up its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for its second Shadowrun game, Shadowrun: Hong Kong. The campaign by anyone's standards was a smashing success, raking in $1,204,646. The Hong Kong crowdfunding campaign was only asking for a meager $100,000 at its launch, which it managed to hit only two hours after the Kickstarter launched. Basically, it raised over 12 times its original funding goal.
According to The Verge, Microsoft will finally make good on its promise (long before the Xbox One was released) to make every Xbox One system capable of becoming a development kit. In the old days if you wanted to develop on the Xbox platform you either had to buy an expensive development kit unit or use the XNA framework on the PC.
Indie developer Code Avarice has sold the rights to Paranautical Activity to PC and console game publisher Digerati, which in turn has brought the game back to Steam.
You may recall that the game was pulled from Steam late last year after one of Code Avirice's co-founders made a death threat to Valve founder Gabe Newell.
"Just sold PC rights for Paranautical Activity to @DigeratiDM," Tweeted Code Avarice.
Developer NetherRealm will take a more realistic approach to the way it presents female combatants in its upcoming game Mortal Kombat X. In other words, female characters won't have gigantic breasts and other ridiculously overblown body features. This, says production manager Spiro Anagnostakos, is in the name of making Mortal Kombat X more realistic.
Peter Molyneux says that he won't be giving anymore interviews (at least in the short term) after he and his family have been threatened. The threats are apparently related to the faltering game Godus, which Molyneux and his studio 22Cans managed to successfully crowd fund to the tune of $526,000. But this week Molyneux and his crew said that the game is struggling and that some features like multiplayer might not make it into the game any time soon.
Organizers of the 2015 Game Developers Conference have announced the eight winners of the Best in Play award program. The program lets winning entries be exhibited in the three-day GDC Play 2015 event in a specially designed kiosk. The winners were selected from more than 50 exhibitors participating in GDC Play.
Legendary game developer Brenda Romero and outspoken writer Leigh Alexander will host this year's #1ReasonToBe session at the Game Developers Conference next month in San Francisco. Alexander is the Editor at Large at Gamasutra, while Romero is Program Director/Game Developer at UC Santa Cruz and co-founder of Romero Games.
Forget about the fact that backers of 22Cans' and Peter Molyneux's god game Godus are probably not going to get all the rewards they were promised, or that the game might never have multiplayer; there's an implied risk whenever you back a project through crowd funding via Kickstarter or other sources that you might get what you were promised. "Sh*t happens," as that old bumper sticker slogan was fond of pointing out.
Just a reminder: Tonight's episode of Law & Order SVU features a storyline dealing with video games, online harassment, threats, and a female game developer under siege by a group of gamers out to do her harm.
Here's the synopsis for the episode set to air tonight (9 PM ET) on NBC:
An interesting Game Developers Conference panel discussion will explore the moral and ethical dilemmas real soldiers face during combat and if these elements can (or should be) properly simulated in video games. The discussion is titled, "Gaming the Laws of War: Can Real Consequences Mean Real Fun?"
Some major turmoil is happening at 22Cans, according to this GameSpot report. Key developers at Peter Molyneux's UK-based studio 22Cans have resigned from the company in recent weeks, while others have been asked to leave, according to GameSpot. And all of this is apparently occurring as Godus backers accuse the studio of failing to deliver on the rewards promised on the Godus Kickstarter page.
BioWare's four vs. one narrative-driven experimental game project has been canceled according to this Game Informer report. The title, which was in development at BioWare's Austin, Texas studio was officially announced at Gamescom in August of last year, and the media was given some hands-on time with it shortly thereafter. GI says that its reporting is based on multiple sources close to the situation.
Submissions for the first annual MomoCon Indie Game Awards are now open, organizers announced today. Indie game developers are invited to submit their completed titles or works-in-progress to the awards. Developers of games selected as finalists will receive free exhibition space at MomoCon 2015 from May 28 - 31, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.