All Articles: GDC 2017

Learn how The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came to be in a “Making of” Documentary and “Breaking Conventions” GDC Session

Nintendo is giving fans an unprecedented look at how they designed and built The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in a new documentary series.

The Making of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a three-part documentary that focuses on all aspects of Breath of the Wild including the initial work done in “The Beginning,” the seamless exploration provided by the game’s “Open-Air Concept,” and the epic saga of the “Story and Characters.”

This documentary sets nicely alongside “Breaking Conventions,” a Game Developers Conference session hosted by Game Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Art Director Satoru Takizawa, and Technical Director Takuhiro Dohta. The three developers dive deep into the development process for Breath of the Wild, and provide plenty of new insight into the notoriously secretive inner workings at Nintendo.

I understand that not everyone has two hours to devote to behind-the-scenes stories from Breath of the Wild’s development (that’s time you could be playing the game, after all). But if nothing else, stick around long enough to see the 8-bit prototype the team created, as well as footage of an early game concept that included an alien invasion of Hyrule straight out of Independence Day.

All four videos can be found after the break. (more…)

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Overwatch is “Game of the Year” at the 2017 GDC Awards

gdcawardsOverwatch continues to rack up year-end awards for Blizzard Entertainment, and it picked up two more statuettes last night during the Game Developers Choice Awards. After more than a month of deliberations, the GDC committee choose to bestow “Game of the Year” status on the team-based shooter, as well as “Best Design” for its colorful world.

Two other games collected multiple awards at last night’s GDC Awards. Playdead’s platformer, Inside, earned “Best Audio” and “Best Visual Art.” And later in the night, Campo Santo’s Firewatch was selected as “Best Debut” and its story was honored with “Best Narrative.”

“This year’s amazing slate of winners is a testament to the diversity of experiences in games,” said Meggan Scavio, General Manager of the Game Developers Conference.

Scavio added: “Pokemon Go [“Best Mobile/Handheld Game”] took gaming outdoors using AR, while Job Simulator [“Best VR/AR Game”] showed how lo-fi aesthetics could meet cutting edge tech for a winning VR experience. Overwatch once again proved Blizzard’s uncanny ability to make a perfectly balanced multiplayer game, and Inside delved deep into our dark psyches to unearth our scariest nightmares. These nominees speak to the strength of games as a medium, but also show the various textures and possible creative outlets that interactive entertainment can provide. Congrats to all of the winners and nominees for following their visions and thanks to all developers who strive to make amazing games for us day in and day out.”

The full list of winners from the 2017 Game Developers Choice Awards can be found after the break. (more…)

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Quadrilateral Cowboy won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the 2017 IGF Awards

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Quadrilateral Cowboy, Blendo’s hacking-based heist game, took home the “Seumas McNally Grand Prize” last night during the 2017 Independent Games Festival Awards. Its 1980s-inspired world also helped Quadrilateral Cowboy capture the “Excellence in Design” category.

The other big winner last night was Heart Machine’s Hyper Light Drifter, which was also the recipient of two statuettes. The action RPG’s glitchy 16-bit graphics were rewarded with a win in the “Excellence In Visual Art” category, and its mass appeal ensured an “Audience Award” victory.

The Independent Games Festival Awards are awarded annually in conjunction with the Game Developers Conference, and you can view a replay of the entire ceremony through the GDC’s Twitch channel.

But if you’re in a hurry, a list of all the winners can be found after the break. (more…)

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NetherRealm adds some magic to Injustice 2 with addition of Doctor Fate to game’s roster

NetherRealm Studios continues to dig deep for new additions to Injustice 2, and today’s announcement that Doctor Fate will be joining the roster of playable characters is just further proof of their quest to explore the darker corners of the DC Universe.

Doctor Fate is actually Kent Nelson, a young archaeologist who learned the arcane secrets of sorcery from Nabu the Wise. You can watch him deliver a magical beatdown on Superman in the trailer embedded above.

Injustice 2 will offer a wide variety of character customization options thanks to its brand new Gear System, and NetherRealm showed it off to Sid Shuman of the PlayStation Blog at this week’s Game Developers Conference. If you’ve ever wanted to build Batman’s anti-Superman suit, Injustice 2 might just give you the chance:

Gear revolves around four main body parts — head, chest, arms, and legs — plus an “accessory” (think Harley Quinn’s pistols). Most gear you collect will buff at least one of your four base stats: Strength and Ability determine the offensive power of basic attacks and special moves, while Defense and Health dictate how much damage your superhero can absorb.

More exotic effects — resistance to environmental damage, earning XP more quickly — come via “augmentations” found on some higher-tier items. Full gear sets, such as Batman’s kryptonite-infused outfit, are likely to be especially prized because they can grant dramatic bonuses when fully assembled.

After playing dress-up, you can apply shaders to alter your hero’s color schemes in some striking ways. A purple-clad Superman? Why not! I’m expecting to see some seriously creative designs here come May.

Injustice 2 will be released for the PS4 and Xbox One on May 16.

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Microsoft brought a bunch of upcoming ID@Xbox games to GDC 2017

The 2017 Game Developers Conference is in full swing, and Microsoft is promoting their upcoming ID@Xbox lineup in a special area known as the Xbox Lobby Bar. While taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the convention, attendees will be able to play more than 20 games that’ll soon be available for the Xbox One and Windows 10.

The ID@Xbox display at GDC 2017 includes newly-announced titles from Cellar Door Games (Full Metal Furies), Lazy Bears Games (Graveyard Keeper), and Wizard Fu (Songbringer), as well as highly-anticipated games like Cities: Skylines, Tacoma, The Church in Darkness, and Mages of Mystralia.

You can learn more about Microsoft’s presence at GDC 2017 at the Xbox Wire, and you can find the complete list of games playable at the Xbox Lobby Bar after the break. (more…)

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Ubisoft is developing another game based on James Cameron’s Avatar

Avatar is nearly ten years old, and practically absent from the current pop culture landscape, but director James Cameron continues to insist that he’ll release the first of four sequels to his Oscar-nominated sci-fi spectacle in 2018. Today, Ubisoft announced it’ll be accompanied by a brand new Avatar game, which is in development at Massive Entertainment.

Massive Entertainment is best known for their work on Tom Clancy’s The Division, and they plan to work closely with Cameron’s Lighstorm Entertainment to bring recreate Pandora for players:

The new game will return PC and console players to the Avatar universe, using Massive’s Snowdrop engine – also used in The Division and the upcoming South Park: The Fractured But Whole – to bring Pandora’s unique terrain and inhabitants to life. It was after seeing a Snowdrop-run game prototype, in fact, that Avatar creator James Cameron and Lightstorm agreed to the partnership.

“With the power of Massive’s Snowdrop engine, and the team’s passion and obsessive focus on detail, we know they’re the right group to bring the beauty and danger of Pandora to life,” Cameron told the UbiBlog.

Representatives from Massive Entertainment are in attendance at this year’s Game Developers Conference, and hope to hire a number of new developers to help them work on this Avatar project. You can find a list of open positions at their official website.

Massive’s Avatar game is currently without a title or a release date, however, we do know it’s in the works for “PC and consoles.”

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Here’s the first trailer for SteamWorld Dig 2… launching this Summer on the Nintendo Switch

Developer Image & Form has been talking up their Nintendo Switch debut and a new entry in the SteamWorld series for a few months now. But… surprise, surprise… the two games are actually one and the same.

SteamWorld Dig 2 will pick up right where the first game left off and launch for the Switch this Summer. According to an FAQ on their official website, Image & Form also plans to bring the game to other platforms later in the year:

Grab your pickaxe and dig into the sequel to the award-winning SteamWorld Dig! A platform mining adventure forged in MetroidVania flames. In search of her lost friend, a lone steambot and her unlikely companion must dig deep, gain riches, and explore an underworld riddled with danger. But time is running short…

In addition to viewing the debut trailer, fans will get a chance to go hands-on with SteamWorld Dig 2 at a number of conventions and conferences this Spring including the Game Developers Conference (which kicked off on Monday in San Francisco) and PAX East (which opens its doors in Boston on March 10).

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Cities: Skylines will be released for Xbox One and Windows 10 this Spring

Last month, Paradox Interactive teased that Cities: Skylines would soon be available for the Xbox One and Windows 10, and that it would be playable at this year’s Game Developers Conference. This morning, the publisher confirmed that the city builder will make its console debut this Spring.

Tantalus Media is in charge of the port, and they’ve optimized Cities: Skylines for use with a controller. In addition to providing a new way to play Cities: Skylines, both the Xbox One Edition and the Windows 10 Edition will come packed with the After Dark expansion.

Other features players can expect to find in Cities: Skylines include:

  • Build the City of Your Dreams: Plan road networks, bus lines and parks. Bring on a smog-filled industrial revolution or create a quiet beach town ideal for tourists powered by renewable energy. Bring education, healthcare and safety to your citizens. Build it your way!
  • Multi-Tiered and Challenging Simulation: Playing as the mayor of your city, you’ll be faced with balancing essential requirements such as education, water electricity, police, firefighting, healthcare and much more, along with your city’s economy. Citizens within your city react fluidly, keeping you on your toes with ever-evolving demands.
  • Extensive Local Traffic Simulation: Managing traffic and the needs of your citizens to work and play will require the use of several interactive transport systems… use careful road planning alongside buses, trains, subways, and much more.
  • Districts and Policies: Be more than just another city hall official! Create a car-free downtown area, assign free public transport to your waterfront, or ban pets in suburbia.

Paradox also released a new trailer for Cities: Skylines, and its been embedded above.

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