Gdc 2016  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Gdc 2016  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Google's GDC 2016 announcements are good news for game developers Fri, 18 Mar 2016 11:26:11 -0400 Sagger Khraishi

A bunch of things have been popping up at the Game Developers Conference 2016. But Google announced some pretty cool things for Android Developers that is worth checking out. Ever wanted to try a game before using your data limit to download that game? Now you can. Ever downloaded a game to find out that it wasn't worth downloading in the first place? Now you don't have to.

Over the next couple of weeks, a new type of ad will be available that will allow users to try out a game without downloading it. The trial period is limited to 10 minutes, but if you enjoy the game, you will be able to download it immediately. But for now this feature would be for people connected to the Wi-Fi.

This is good for fans...but maybe even better for developers.

With this new model, Android developers have a better change of getting their games out there. They can prep the best 10 addicting minutes of gameplay they can in order to bring in more downloads (and not just any downloads, but downloads by users who already know they like playing the game). And if users don't enjoy it, they can save space and devs won't have to hear about it.

On the topic of Android game development, in an appeal to the indie crowd, there is a new section in the Google Play store for indie only games. This is meant to help smaller studios who publish Android games get some exposure. While the list at the moment is pretty small, the requirements to get on it include being a small game company (15 people and lower kind of thing), and the game has to be awesome in some way. You can find the games in the Indie Corner on the play store.

The new streaming functionality is a good thing too.

With some tweaking for some games, players will be able to stream their gameplay to YouTube directly. There are two reasons why this is going to be big. One, if you want to stream and monetize your gameplay, this is going to be a much easier way to put your foot in the door without the extra programs.

Reason number two, as a game developer, if you want to record your game to make a video, you usually need to root your device -- which also voids your warranty. But using Google’s new Video Recording API, you can safely skip over that. So if you have made some games already, it will be worth going back to see if you can allow access. You can read more about that here.


The Witcher 3: GDC 2016 Game of the Year Fri, 18 Mar 2016 05:58:53 -0400 Sagger Khraishi

At the Game Developers Choice Awards 2016, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt won the Game of the Year award. Following Geralt of Rivia, the supernatural role-playing game was listed as one of the must-play titles of 2015, and topped Skyrim as one of the best role-playing games of all time.


The developer behind the game, CD Projekt RED, used the REDengine 3 to run the game, which allowed more realism to be added, as well as the smoke and fog you see as you traverse the world. The engine is the reason why the game itself could have a complex, nonlinear storyline that other engines would suffer to produce.

For example, if player A were to make a choice, then it would be a linear path from point A to point C with event B in the middle. While some games would emphasize the illusion of choice, and elaborate on it for an amazing game experience (BioShock for instance), the REDengine allows you to skip point B entirely in your journey from A to C. Rather than being forced to go through something, you can continue building the character without breaking the open world.


But apart from the beast of the engine behind the game, which won the Best Technology award, this open world role-playing game is one of the largest to date, with its map sitting at 135 km². That's 3.5 times bigger than Skyrim (which was already at a massive estimate of 37 km²). It's 30 times larger than the previous Witcher games, and CD Projekt RED put around 100 hours of questing into that world. Combat has evolved, whether fighting on horseback or underwater. The day and night cycles also influence monsters and what abilities they have.


If you throw in the gorgeous graphics, it can be seen why the award is well deserved. Read our review of the game if you want to know more. 

GDC: Games should address addiction issues before legislation does Thu, 17 Mar 2016 04:21:59 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

At GDC 2016 this week, there was a session called "Gaming, Gambling or Addiction: F2P Scientific and Legal Perspectives" led by psychiatrist Tyler Black and his brother Ryan Black, a legal expert. The session addressed free-to-play games and how addiction may arise -- and the possible future legal actions against them.

During the session, Tyler Black states that the biggest danger of game addiction lies among children. He proceeds to point out they aren't the best at making good decisions and resisting urges for gratification. This is mainly due to the fact that their minds are still developing. This makes them more likely to be targets for games involving chance. He acknowledges that gaming itself is a relatively harmless activity that can become addicting through overuse. 


The referenced over-use is rooted in a desire for rewards. The danger Black speaks about lies with titles that offer rare drops, elusive bosses, and so on. These "luck of the draw" mechanics are where addiction develops.

Black proposed that self-regulation should become the norm for said games. For example, parental controls that bar microtransactions and in-game ads would be effective. Providing players details as to the percentage of a drop would also be beneficial. 


Ryan Black makes note that these suggestions are close to being passed, and some are already in place for other countries. His concern is that government has always found a way to legislate on entertainment that maybe harmful (see gambling). It maybe a matter of time for games in the US.

The brothers stress that it would be best for game companies to take the matter into their own hands before the government does so. Tyler Black ultimately ends the session with expressing that game designers should be responsible -- not encouraging compulsive play, but offering fun and a fair challenge.