Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My top 5 from GDC08

1. Community
In-game and common social interaction and community features were key theme at the GDC08. Microsoft explained how XNA game studio would democratize game development and distribution. I totally agree with Russ Pitts's report at the Escapist: "The silence in the room said more than (Christopher) Satchell could have in twenty more minutes. It was as if every single developer was thinking "if anyone can make games ... what am I going to do?". Despite the fact user generated content and peer-group communities are already here. Also e.g. Spore was much into community and user generated content is coming out in September.

2. Machinima
Several companies were providing tools for machinima developers at the expo floor. For example Korean I-TONIC company had developed a Kloseup.com game community within which players could utilize their favourite game characters to create short movies.

3. Sims success
TheSimsCarnival online community is out on beta. All Sims fans should check it out! EA also announced the Sims to hit a 100 million mark soon.

4. Fable2
Peter Molyneux disclosed Fable 2 to contain dynamic co-op gaming and possibility to get money for doing quests, doing jobs and for gambling. Especially the idea of linking an Xbox live arcade game with Fable 2 was interesting. A player coulg gamble (with fake money) online and transfer that as credits/gold to Fable.

5. Casual games
In his keynote, Playfirst CEO John Welch envisioned an opportunity to elevate video games to become a first-tier form of entertainment, like TV. The goal is reached when 'casual games' goes away as a category, and 'hard-core games' is the niche. I am not that sure about that but nevertheless casual games were everywhere from Facebook gaming to online casual game portals and advergaming.

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