Gamescom exec Q&A: VR and indies are going to be big this year

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GDC Europe is taking place next week in beautiful Cologne, Germany, so now’s a great time to remind attendees that your conference pass also grants you complimentary access to the gamescom trade fair, which is co-located with GDC Europe.

Gamescom is primarily organized by the BIU (or Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware), which represents the European interests of Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony and other game makers.

BIU managing director Maximillian Schenk recently chatted with us about what’s new with gamescom this year, and we thought it would be a good idea to share his thoughts here in order to help better inform GDC Europe attendees about the big event and its place in the European game industry.

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GDC Europe 2016 starts next week, so get ready!

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The 2016 edition of Game Developers Conference Europe kicks off next week, so today we’re taking a brief moment to highlight some of the things you should know about before you get to the show!

Advance online registration for next week’s conference is about to close (11:59 PM Pacific Wednesday, August 10th to be specific) but if you miss it you can still register onsite at the registration desks in the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany.

The registration area is open for varying lengths of time from Sunday through Wednesday, March 14th through 16th — you can find the exact hours on the GDC Europe 2016 Registration page.

Plus, you can choose to register for access to the GDC Europe VIP Lounge for an additional fee during the registration process.

This purchasable package allows access to the GDC Europe VIP Lounge during conference hours, which will include light breakfast, lunch, coffee and other beverages throughout the day, all in a comfortable meeting place where you can network with other VIPs and clients. Attendees with access will be allowed to bring in one guest with a valid GDC Europe badge.

In addition, we’re going to take a minute to run down the details of the GDC Europe Code of Conduct:

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Catch these great talks at GDC Europe — Online registration closes Wednesday!

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The big GDC Europe 2016 conference is kicking off next week in Cologne, Germany, and today organizers would like to once again briefly highlight some of the great talks taking place at the show.

Also, it’s important to note that you have until this Wednesday, August 10th at 11:59 PM Pacific to register online to attend the show. After that deadline, you’ll have to register on-site — at an increased price!

There’s too many notable sessions to run down in a single blog post, so today we’re going to continue our efforts to draw out specific highlights by focusing on two more big tracks of talks at GDC Europe: The Design track and the Programming. Each is perennially popular and has its own distinct focus, and together they’re a great mix of intriguing design questions and practical game-making insight.

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GDC Europe online registration closes Wednesday! Don’t miss these great talks

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The big GDC Europe 2016 conference is kicking off next week in Cologne, Germany, and today organizers would like to quickly highlight some of the great expert sessions that will be taking place at the show. That means you have until this Wednesday, August 10th at 11:59 PM Pacific to register online to attend the show. After that deadline, you’ll have to register on-site at an increased price!

There’s too many to run down in a single blog post, so today we’re going to focus on two big tracks of talks at GDC Europe: The Production track and the Business, Marketing and Management track. While they each have a distinct focus, both offer a wealth of practical insight for both freshly-minted and veteran game makers.

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Come to GDC Europe for expert advice on rendering your games in 4K

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GDC Europe 2016 is happening very soon, and before it kicks off organizers want to quickly highlight a smart, technical talk taking place at the event in Cologne, Germany that will help you better understand what it takes to make 4K-ready games.

The talk, “4K Rendering Breakthrough: The Filtered and Culled Visibility Buffer“, will be delivered by Wolfgang Engel, the CEO of Confetti, who will present a new rendering system: a filtered and culled visibility buffer that will perform much better than the traditional systems with higher resolutions, and at least as good as traditional rendering systems with the most common resolutions.

Confetti is a think-tank for advanced real-time graphics research and a service provider for the video game and movie industry. In his talk, Engel will afford attendees insight into modern rendering design and will share a complete working solution (replete with performance numbers and implementation details) to integrate it into their game engine.

Most 3D games are expected to benefit from the visibility buffer system Engel will describe in his lecture, so if this is at all something you’re interested in, don’t skip it!

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Make time for all the great VR-focused talks at GDC Europe this month

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We’re less than two weeks away from GDC Europe, and conference officials want to quickly let you know about some of the great VR-focused expert sessions that will be taking place at the event in Cologne, Germany.

For example, game designer and Exozet Berlin VR consultant Thomas Bedenk will deliver a talk on “Psychology of Virtual Reality: Presence, Agency, Social” that aims to explain, from Bedenk’s perspective, the key outstanding elements of VR: its social possibilities and its capacity to foster feelings presence and agency among players.

During his talk, he’ll share ideas for how to improve your VR productions by catering to players’ perceptions and psychology, and offer concrete examples of how such improvements can be made.

For hard data on where the VR game market is at right now — and where it’s headed — check out EEDAR exec Patrick Walker’s GDC Europe talk on “Data and Insights in the VR Market.”

Walker aims to present a prediction on the future of VR by examining consumer gaming motivations and engagement in early VR adopters in the context of other platforms and business models. What factors currently influence where VR fits into the ecosystem, and what factors are more innate to the experience?

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Google, Microsoft lead GDC Europe’s smart lineup of sponsored sessions

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GDC Europe 2016 is coming up fast, and as the August conference draws nigh we’d like to quickly highlight some notable sponsored sessions that you’ll want to check out.

Today we’re highlighting a pair of informative sponsored sessions from game industry heavyweights Microsoft and Google that developers who work on mobile, console and/or PC games may find helpful.

What does the future hold for game developers who want to release games on Windows, Xbox, or both? That’s exactly what Microsoft’s Alex Teodorescu-Badia intends to make clear in his sponsored session “Envisioning the Future of Game Development on Windows & Xbox.”

Check it out and you’ll get an early look at Microsoft’s roadmap and plans to build a platform for indie game developers on Windows devices, including OS-level updates coming this year in Windows. Teodorescu-Badia will also dive deep into platform-agnostic development approaches, partner tools and engines, and how to maximize your game’s revenue.

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Attend GDC Europe and see how CCP integrated citizen science into EVE Online

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GDC Europe 2016 is right around the corner, and today organizers are proud to highlight a talk about how the creators of the popular massively multiplayer game EVE Online integrated citizen-driven scientific research work into their game.

CCP Games’ Bergur Finnbogason and MMOS chief Attila Szantner will do just that in a talk entitled “‘Project Discovery': How Citizen Science Got Into ‘EVE Online.‘”

The pair will explain how this project is just the first implementation of the “Massively Multiplayer Online Science” concept, and how it was realized in February of this year through collaboration between CCP, MMOS and the Human Protein Atlas.

They’ll explain what they learned from the process, dig into the various challenges they faced and highlight the work that EVE Online players have done (through Project Discovery) to advance the state of science.

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Don’t miss this year’s Women in Tech Day from GDC Europe and Gamescom

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GDC Europe is just two weeks away, and today organizers want to quickly remind attendees not to miss out on the second annual Women in Tech Day, which will take place immediately following GDC Europe.

You can now register to attend the limited-capacity event (put on by GDC Europe in partnership with gamescom) which will take place immediately after the close of GDC Europe, on Wednesday, August 17th — the first day of gamescom.

The Women in Tech Day serves as a forum for women working in all areas of technology, including the game industry, IT, digital and other fields. Prominent leaders from the video game industry and other areas of tech will come together to speak, network and share their unique experiences.

This year, goals include inspiring women to collaborate on innovative solutions by providing opportunities for learning and networking, promoting diversity in technology industries, advocating technology and celebrating women role models who have chosen a career in tech and who inspire others to do the same. The Women in Tech Day offers a unique combination of deep-dive talks, workshops and a networking reception.

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Watch experts discuss combat design for AAA games at GDC Europe

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It’s the first day of August, and that means we’re just weeks away from the big GDC Europe 2016 conference in Germany. For attendees looking to sharpen their design skills, conference organizers are pleased to announce an expert roundtable on big-budget game combat design.

In “Creating Conflict: Combat Design for AAA Action Games, Michael Barclay (Lead Level Designer, Cloud Imperium Games), Sam Howels (Principal Designer, Deep Silver Dambuster Studios) and Pete Ellis (Level Designer, Guerrilla Cambridge) will discuss what it takes to create combat scenarios for AAA action games.

The panelists, each of whom has some experience with the challenge, will take audience members through the various steps and considerations when creating action-packed scenarios for first- and third-person action games.

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