GDC 2015: a digest of key news. 2nd of March

    California is hosting one of the largest and oldest gaming development conferences right now. GDC has been held since 1988 and traditionally includes an exhibition, lectures, master classes and round tables, where industry professionals discuss issues related to programming, design, music, management, and other burning topics.

    For those who have not reached the sunny city of San Francisco, we have prepared a digest of the most interesting releases, speeches and events that occurred on the first day of the conference.


    - Unreal Engine 4 is free for everyone. Previously, it was distributed by subscription: all users who paid money will receive compensation. Tim Swinney, the founder of Epic Games, considers this a good business step, because the basic user agreement remains valid. If a game created using Unreal Engine 4 generates income of more than $ 3,000 per quarter, the developer must pay 5% of the total income.

    - Autodesk introduced the Stringray game engine , which will support direct integration with 3D content creation tools. The engine’s technical preview will be available on Wednesday, but for now on the site you can find brief information, watch the trailer and subscribe to the beta.
    - Khronos announced Vulkan , the next-generation graphical API.
    - Tapjoy launched a new tool that will help mobile developers with marketing, analytics and monetization.

    - AdMob announced several updates that will help mobile developers with application monetization.
    - Audiokinetic and Steinberg combine Wwise and Nuendo 7 audio tools.
    - Developers can now sell and buy apps in the Gear VR store.
    - Google announced an analytics tool, as well as a new Nearby Connections API , which will allow developers to connect Android mobile devices with Android TV. Now phones and tablets can be used as controllers, while the game itself will run on Android TV.

    - Couchbase announced a new version of the Couchbase Mobile tool for Unity developers.
    - An animation tool IKinema will be integrated into Unreal Engine 4.
    - Autodesk talked about what 's new in Maya LT 2016. The release is scheduled for March 26.
    - SpriteBuilder tool will now be available by subscription.

    Interesting reports

    - Alain Ladawak at the Independent Games Summit talked about how the developers of Serious Sam created The Talos Principle.
    - Meg Jayans, 80 Days Adventure lead scriptwriter, told how the Inkle team created a non-linear and cool storyline for the game.
    - Cher Wang from HTC during the report mentioned that the company worked with Half-Life . True, she did not specify which part.
    - Sven Winky in his report spoke about the creation of Divinity: Original Sin and how this game saved the studio from complete collapse.

    - Mike Rose compared the level of sales of games on different platforms.
    - Ethan Levy talked about how to build a business model and what else needs to be done before the development of the game begins.
    - Specialists McNeil, Max Geiger, Ben Kane and others discussed the possibilities that open up for indie developers with the advent of VR.
    - Rough Coster, Gordon Walton and Rich Vogel talked about how to come to an understanding in the community of online games and minimize conflicts between players.
    - Interesting programming reports: Mesh Cutting in Farming Simulator 15 , Math for Game Programmers: Inverse Kinematics Revisited .
    - Zoe Queen talked about how to make the game fun and make the players smile.


    - At the exhibition, you can play a demo version of the game Heart Forth, Alicia , which will be released on PlayStation 4 and Vita in 2016.
    - The Swedes of Paradox Interactive brought to the exhibition a demo version of the game Magicka 2 - a cooperative Action RPG. For developers, this will be the first console release.

    Not without scandals: a new wave of Gamer Gate

    Mark Kern, one of the main developers of World of Warcraft, Firefall, Diablo II, Starcraft and the founder of Mek Entertainment, launched a real war on Twitter against corruption and deceit in the gaming press.

    Mark Kern accused the major gaming portals Kotaku, Polygon, and of fomenting conflict after the episode of the Law & Order video game series. The developer created a petition,in which he asked publications to stop writing about scandals and start a series of publications about gaming ethics, women in the industry and the positive aspects of video games.

    In response, Patrick Garrat wrote from an article in which he mocked Kern’s demands and advised the developers not to sign the petition. However, his tone was ... slightly threatening.

    Nathan Grayson, a journalist with the Kotaku portal, who had previously been implicated in a scandal involving Zoe Queen, joined in the discussion. Actually, it was this scandal that marked the beginning of the GamerGate phenomenon.

    Ben Kucher from Polygon tweeted that everyone who supports the GamerGate movement and the petition should stop reading his materials.

    And then - even more fun: Ben Kuchera was one of the participants in GameJournoPros - a group of journalists of large publications that included developers on the general black list, put pressure on their colleagues and manipulated public opinion. Their mail correspondence was published in September, and caused a lot of negativity.

    All these events resulted in a new wave of GamerGate at GDC 2015. Journalists, players and developers created thousands of tweets (already about 70,000) with the text “I am for a free and unbiased gaming press“.

    Whether the conflict will be further developed, we will find out tonight.

    Several game trailers and a ton of interesting photos from the GDC can be found on this blog.

    GameStop also hosted a live stream with developers, where you can watch interesting gaming news and listen to the stories of representatives of gaming companies.

    Despite the huge number of reports and new information, on the first day of the conference we did not receive such loud announcements or releases. However, the situation may change today, as we are waiting for presentations from NVIDIA, Unity, Valve and Amazon.

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